64 Ideas for Leftover Cheese plus a Joke!

This post was prompted by a rather fine joke my sister told me about cheese, plus it is one of my favourite things!

Joke – best read aloud

A cheese looks into a mirror and says ...

Sorry about that!

Ideas to Suit Most Leftover Cheese

1.    Stir grated, chopped or soft cheese into hot mashed potato.
2.    Add to omelettes, scrambled egg and other egg dishes.
3.    Try burgers topped with real cheese, the processed stuff isn't compulsory, or even real cheese!
4.    Stir through risotto during last few minutes of cooking – Parmesan is traditional but other cheese work well too, soft cheese gives a rich finish.
5.    Toss into salads.
6.    Float a bit of cheese on toast on soup; if it’s good enough for the French its good enough for us! – see my cheese on toast post for details.


7.    Crumble into vinaigrette, Parmesan is traditional in Caesar dressing and blue cheese works well in dressings too – see here for basic vinaigrette recipe and lots of ideas.
9.    Mix with breadcrumbs and sprinkle onto dishes to be baked; pastas, gratins, Cauliflower Cheese etc., for a crisp crust.


10.   Sprinkle on pizza, of course.
11.   Make cheesy garlic bread.
12.   Add cheese to bread dough, grated cheese will give an even flavour throughout and crumbles will give lovely cheesy pockets. After the first rising roll out the dough and scatter with the cheese plus any other additions such as nuts, fruit etc. Re-knead and continue as usual.
14.   Cheese on Toast – lots of cheese on toast ideas here.
15.   Grilled (so called!) Cheese Sandwichessee here.
16.   Add to Alfredo Sauce – Parmesan is a basic ingredient in this lovely, quick, easy and luxurious sauce but other cheese instead of or as well as Parmesan make delicious variations.

17. Traditional Cheese Sauce

        Normally I would use a mixture of Cheddar and Parmesan plus a little mustard but any leftover cheese can be used to good effect together with seasonings to match.

30g butter
30g plain flour
600ml milk
salt and pepper
a pinch of mustard powder, cayenne, nutmeg or nothing as applicable
80g grated or crumbled cheese

~       Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan and stir in the flour to form a paste.
~       Cook gently for a minute or two then gradually whisk in the milk till completely combined.
~       Turn up the heat and whisk constantly as the mixture comes to a boil and thicken to a smooth sauce.
~       Reduce the heat to low, simmer for 5 minutes then stir in the cheese till melted.
~       Taste and season but do not boil again as the cheese may become stringy.

18.   All sorts of cheeses make great fillings for baked potatoes.
19.   Cheese Soups – stir grated or soft cheese into your favourite soup or there are five recipes for cheese soups in SOUP (almost) the Only Recipe You'll Ever Need! including this sexy Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Cheese Soup


20.   Put a nugget of cheese in the middle of potato cakes for a molten centre when cooked.

21.   Use in a Quesadilla – a good way to use up other leftovers as well as cheese. 

~      Have you’re your filling ready; in addition to cheese good ideas are chicken, chilli, cooked vegetables, shredded cooked meat, beans etc.  You also need a flour tortilla.
~      Heat a little oil in a frying pan large enough to take your flour tortilla laid out flat.
~      Lay the tortilla in the hot pan and sprinkle the fillings over half of it.
~      Cook gently till the underside is crisp and golden, the filling hot and the cheese melty.
~      Carefully fold the unfilled half over the filled, slide onto a chopping board and cut into wedges. 
~     Serve with salsa and sour cream.

        Incidentally there is a recipe for entirely cheese-free Chocolate & Chilli Quesadilla here.

22.   Cook’s Treat – just sit yourself own with the leftover cheese, a glass or wine and maybe a good book and finish the irritating stuff off!

Ideas for Soft & Cream Cheeses

23.   Mix with a little cream and appropriate seasoning and add a spoonful to soup when serving.
24.   Melt into hot pasta for a quick sauce adding other ingredients according to your fancy.
25.   Stir into tomato based pasta sauce.
26.   Mix with a leftover sauce or salsa and use as a dip.
27.   Top crostini with cream cheese, smoked salmon and chives (or dill or parsley etc.)
28.   Almost a Cream Tea – replace the clotted cream with sweetened cream cheese (but this is absolutely no excuse to any other aberrant behaviour – the rule is jam first!).
29.   Savoury Cream Tea – use plain but not too sweet or, even better, cheese scones and fill with cream cheese and tomatoes. Boursin or similar is good for this.


30.   Sweeten and flavour cream cheese with citrus zest, vanilla extract, jam, marmalade, liqueur etc., soften with a little cream if necessary and use as a topping, frosting or filling for cakes and desserts.
31.   Fill peach halves with fresh cheese, sprinkle with brown sugar and pop under the grill till warm and caramelising.

Ideas for Brie, Camembert and Similar

32.   Dice and coat with seasoned flour, dip in beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs. Shallow fry till crisp and golden and toss in a salad.
33.   No Cook Pasta Sauce - mix together diced Brie or Camembert, coarsely chopped tomatoes, a little finely chopped red onion, a glug of olive oil, torn fresh basil if possible, salt and pepper and set beside the stove to warm whilst cooking pasta.  When ready drain the pasta, reserving a spoonful or two of the cooking water, and toss together with the cheese mixture. Add the reserved water and toss again. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
34.   A Warm Salad Dressing – scoop the soft cheese from the rind and heat gently with about half as much crème fraîche, whisking till smooth and runny enough to drizzle. If necessary dilute with a little port, wine, Brandy, water or stock. Toss a green salad with some crunchy croutons, drizzle over the warm dressing and serve immediately.

Ideas for Semi Hard Cheeses such as Edam, Halloumi & Mozzarella

35.   Slice thinly and top with hot roasted tomatoes, serve with crusty bread and a glass of red wine.
36.   Speidini - toss cubed bread in flavoured oil, thread onto skewers alternating with cubes of semi hard cheese and toast under a hot grill, turning now and then, till the bread is crisp and golden and the cheese starting to melt.
37.   Mozzarella in Carrozza – make mozzarella sandwiches, white bread is the norm. Dip them in milk, then dredge with flour and finally dip in beaten egg. Shallow fry in hot oil turning so that each side is crisp and drain briefly on kitchen towel and serve immediately.
38.   Coat slices of cheese in flour, then beaten egg and finally breadcrumbs (panko crumbs are great) and fry till crisp and melting. 


 Ideas for Cheddar and other Hard or Crumbly Cheese

39.  Twice Baked Soufflés – gorgeous and useful twice baked Cheddar Soufflé recipe here



41.   Cheese Scones – I have a very useful key recipe to making scones which is great for making many other things too; dumplings, doughnuts, English biscuits as well as America, pie crusts, cobblers, slumps, griddle cakes and so on. 


I have written an The Secret Life of Scones all about this genius recipe, which in addition to all the other variations includes suggestions for at least 11 different cheese scones.

42.   Glamorgan Sausages – despite having no meat in them these are remarkably sausagey – my Glamorgan Sausage recipe is here.


Ideas for Well Hard Cheeses such as Parmesan, Gran Padano and Pecorino

43    Eat thin slivers with a glass of something red and I’m not talking tomato juice.
44.   Grate or shave over soups, risotto, pasta dishes and salads.

45.   Frico Crisps

~      Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/180ºC fan/gas 6.
~      Scatter an even layer of grated Parmesan onto lightly oiled greaseproof paper on a baking tray, sprinkle with black pepper or a pinch of cayenne.
~      Cook for five minutes or so till melted but not browned.
~      Leave for five minutes to firm up, remove from the baking tray to a rack and cool completely. To make a little cheese bowl drape over a glass or cup to cool.


Don’t throw away the rinds! ...

46.   Simmer in tomato sauces or soups, as is traditional when making Minestrone, or in any sauce or soup that you would grate Parmesan over.


47.   Parmesan Broth – simmer rinds in chicken or vegetable stock together with your choice of flavourings for an hour or more. Strain and use the broth in soup, sauces, and risotto.
48.   Parmesan Oil – marinate in olive oil together with flavourings such as peppercorns or chilli. Discard the rind and use the oil to drizzle or dip.

Ideas for Blue Cheese – aka Bleu Cheese in America!

49.   If you make your own burgers put a nugget of blue cheese in the middle making sure to enclose it completely. If you don’t make your own just put some on top of your burger.
50.   Crumble over steak just before serving or stir into the pan sauce, either way a drizzle of balsamic vinegar is a good addition.
51.   Fill halved and cored ripe pears with crumbled blue cheese and pop under a hot grill.
52.   Blue Cheese and Roasted Garlic Butter – or other cheesy butter, there is lots of useful information on making compound butters here.
53.   Toss in a salad, especially one containing walnuts – see for a great pear vinaigrette for this salad. 
54.   Blue Cheese Dip – process blue cheese with an equal quantity of mayonnaise, flavour with roasted or black garlic, caramelised onions or black pepper, dilute with cream if necessary.

Ideas for Goat and Sheep Cheese

56.   Marinate pieces of Feta or goats’ cheese in olive oil flavoured with chilli, garlic, peppercorns, herbs and spices and keep in the fridge for up to a month.
57.   Stuff fresh figs with goats’ cheese, wrap in prosciutto, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, bake until warm and serve as a starter.
58.   Baked Feta – place a chunk of Feta on a piece of lightly oiled foil. Drizzle with good olive oil and season according to preference. I usually add oregano and chilli flakes but roasted garlic is good too. Loosely seal the parcel and bake in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the cheese. Serve with crusty bread and red wine.
59.   Horiatiki – Greek Salad. Toss lovely ripe tomatoes, cucumber and onion in a simple red wine vinaigrette (no mustard) together with fresh or dried oregano and salt and pepper. Serve topped with black olives and Feta.


Ideas for Sweet Nutty Cheeses such as Emmental, Gruyère or Norwegian Jarlsberg

60.   Käseschnitte –or Swiss Rarebit. Lay slices of toast in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with white wine to moisten. Lay a slice of Swiss cheese on each piece of toast, then a slice of ham and another slice of cheese. Bake in a hot oven till melted and lightly browned.
61.   Raclette(ish) - put a goodly lump of cheese in a dish under a hot grill or on the hearth in front of a roaring fire till pretty well melted and forming a skin. Serve traditionally scraped over new potatoes with gherkins and pearl onions or non-traditionally with crusty bread.
62.   Swiss cheese is used together with ham to stuff chicken breasts in the classic dish Chicken Cordon Bleu.

2 Ideas for a Mix of Cheeses

63.   Potted Cheese – a kind of cheese pâté. Mix grated or chopped cheese scraps with a third of their weight of  soft butter, or slightly less if there are soft cheeses in the scraps. Process or whisk to combine together with a modicum (approximately a tablespoon) of leftover alcohol; brandy, port, wine or even a good ale. Taste and season. Turn into a pretty pot or pots and chill but take it out of the fridge a while before serving to soften a little.
64.   Fromage Fort – French potted cheese,  they spurn the butter, add garlic and their alcohol of choice is white wine.

Serve either of these with rustic bread and wine.


Phew – I bet I could think of lots more but that’s enough for today! 

If you found this post helpful, be sure to pin it to refer to later - here's a useful Pinterest friendly image ...

If these are just some of the suggestions I can think of for cheese don't you wonder what ideas I have for the other 450 potential leftovers in my book Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers?

Great Preview Here!

A couple of Reviews of my Leftovers Book ...

Helps you create tasty loveliness from almost every possible leftover foodstuff you could think of (and possibly some that you couldn't....)
Cookery books are really very boring, but this one definitely isn't!   

Absolutely Topping Ideas for Pancakes!


To accompany my post of pancake recipes (including the gluten-free crèpes above which I actually prefer to the gluteny ones) here are some good things to serve on them, although they will also work on waffles, French toast, normal toast, brioche, fingers and so on.

Sauces for Pancakes

Sticky Toffee Sauce

125g butter
225g soft dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175ml double cream

~   Melt together the butter and dark brown sugar, stirring all the time.
~   Add the vanilla and cream and stir till merged.
~   Bring to a fast simmer but do not boil.
~   Use immediately or cool and re-heat gently to use (if the butter separates out when reheating add a little cold cream and stir it in. The sauce will immediately re-emulsify.

Banoffee Sauce

Just slice a banana or two and sauté in a little butter till turning golden.  Stir in some of the above Sticky Toffee Sauce.

Apple Cider Sauce


175g sugar
300ml cider
5 Bramley apples

~   Bring the cider and the sugar to a boil, stirring till the sugar has dissolved.
~   Turn down a little simmer and cook to a light golden brown – about 10 minutes.
~   Peel and slice the apples, add to the pan and return to a boil.
~   Turn down the heat, cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes stirring from time to time. The apples will naturally break down into a kind of chunky sauce which is why I recommend using Bramleys.
~   When all cooked and mushy beat with a wooden spoon to achieve your ideal apple sauce texture.

Caramelised Pineapple & Rum Sauce

450g granulated sugar
Small can (227g) pineapple in fruit juice
50ml rum or Malibu

~   Drain the pineapple setting aside the juices.
~   Coarsely chop the pineapple.
~   Put the fruit juice right beside the stove.
~   In a small heavy pan over medium heat stir together the sugar and half a cup of water till the sugar is dissolved completely.
~   Turn up the heat and boil the sugar, watching it all the while but not stirring at all, but you can carefully swirl the pan a bit as it takes on colour.
~   Watch carefully.
~   As soon as it reaches a lovely rich golden brown caramel colour carefully pour in the fruit juice.  This will splatter a bit so stand back. Stir over the flame till the caramel, which will have hardened, melts again.
~   Stir in the chopped pineapple, turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes till the pineapple is a little darker.
~   Away from the heat stir in the rum or Malibu.
~   Cool the sauce and then chill till needed.

Dark, Milk or White Chocolate Caramel Sauce - all delicious

100g granulated sugar
50ml wate
150ml double cream
90g coarsely chopped dark, milk or white chocolate
pinch of salt
 tsp vanilla extract

~   Set the cream beside the stove.
~   In a deep saucepan over low heat stir together the sugar and the water till the sugar is dissolved and then bring to a boil.  Don’t stir any more but when it begins turning golden you can swirl it about a bit to even out the colour.
~   Cook to a deep golden brown watching carefully and swirling occasionally.
~   When you are happy with the colour add the cream and stir over low heat till the caramel which will have hardened has melted back into the cream.
~   Add the chocolate and stir till completely melted and mixed into the sauce.
~   Add the salt and vanilla extract and mix in.

Fruit Coulis - a slight recipe!

soft fruits such as berries or ripe peaches
sugar (approximately half the weight of the fruit)

~   Put the prepared fruit in a small saucepan.
~   Add the sugar to the fruit.
~   Simmer the fruit, helpfully giving it a squash now and then – you could add a dribble of water to encourage the sugar to melt if the fruit isn’t very juicy.
~   Strain through a fine nylon sieve pushing on the fruit debris to extract as much coulis as poss.
~   Cool, cover and chill till needed.

Syrups for Pancakes

drizzle honey on pancakes
Honey and maple syrup are two syrups commonly used with pancakes, and no wonder, but other ones work well too for instance Coffee Caramel Syrup here.


melt butter onto pancakes
Just a knob of creamy, probably salted, butter melting onto hot pancakes is a lovely thing or dry flavouring the butter first with whatever you fancy! Cinnamon, toasted nuts, crushed caramel, vanilla sugar, all spring to mind. See here for how to make all sorts of flavoured butters.

Incidentally the butter in my picture is melting on a pancake which has been sprinkled with panko crumbs for gorgeous crunchy butter and sauce catching surface. See here more for panko ideas.

Top Pancakes with Preserves

Here’s an easy one – just top your pancakes with a spoonful of lemon curd, jam, marmalade or similar. 

spoon jam onto pancakes

Creamy Toppings for Pancakes

These can be with or instead of my other suggestions and include ...

~   Whipped Cream (maybe with a little alcohol whipped in, maybe not)
~   Clotted Cream
~   Sour Cream
~   Ice cream (speaking of which have a look here at my book on a wonderful no-churn ice cream method with over 100 recipes)
 ~  Greek yogurt – plain, fruit, honeyed etc.
~   Cream cheese.
~   Custard!

Sprinkles for Pancakes

Finish off your dish with a scattering of ...

~   Chopped, possibly toasted, nuts or even salted nuts if serving, for instance, a caramel sauce.
~   Toasted Coconut (see here for how to toast it and also how to vastly improve desiccated coconut)
~   Chopped or grated chocolate.
~   Crunched up granola!
~   Crunchy caramelised bacon – brush smoked streaky bacon rashers with maple syrup and cook on a baking tray under a hot grill to crisp. Cool and then sprinkle.

~   Crunchy sea salt, perhaps, with caramel or dark chocolate sauces.

Or, of course ...

Fresh Fruit on Pancakes!

fresh fruit is delicious with pancakes

Lots of ideas for Pancakes on my Pinterest Board

How to Make All Sorts of Pancakes for Pancake Day (and the rest of the year!)

Here's a few suggestions for the big day and for throughout the year, of course!

French Style Crèpes

As we think of them now – they used to be the “normal” pancakes my Mummy used to make on Pancake Day! This makes approx. 6 depending on the size of your pan.

100g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
300ml milk
50g butter – melted

~   Stir together the salt and the flour and make a well in the middle.
~   Break the egg into the well and start whisking it in gradually adding the milk till a batter the consistency of single cream is achieved.
~   Stir in the melted butter.
~   Lightly grease a frying pan, bring to good heat and ladle in about 2 tablespoons of batter.
~   Roll the pan to spread the batter thinly and cook till the underside is golden.
~   Turn with a deft flip of the wrist or more carefully with an implement.

Traditionally, of course, these are served sprinkled with sugar and lemon juice for Pancake Day but are good filled with all sorts of sweet or savoury fillings such as this one filled with sugary sautéed apples.


Lovely Alternative (gluten free - bonus!) Pancakes

These are a great alternative to the above crépes; they are crisp and nutty and good for you! Make them the same way as above replacing the flour with 100g buckwheat flour.  The only difference is that it is a good idea to chill the batter for an hour or two before stirring in the cooled melted butter and proceeding with the recipe.


Thick Fluffy American Style Pancakes

– makes about five 3" pancakes.

120g plain flour
pinch salt
1 tbsp sugar
a rounded teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
100ml milk
a little vegetable oil

~   Stir together the first 4 ingredients.
~   Male a well in the middle of the flour mixture.
~   Break the egg into the well.
~   Gently whisk the egg into the flour and, as it thickens, gradually add the milk, still whisking, till you have a thick but pourable batter.  This may or may not take all the milk, or might even need a tad more, depending on the make and age of the flour.
~   Heat a non stick frying pan and carefully, using a piece of paper towel, smear the surface with a little cooking oil.
~   When the pan is hot and greasy pour a 3" circle of batter in the pan and cook till the surface is pitted with burst bubble holes.
~   Flip or turn the pancake and cook till the other side is golden.

If, like me, you enjoy a crunchy contrast cook each pancake in a spoonful of hot oil (rather than in a lightly greased pan) and you will end up with crisp frazzled edges like these.


Serve immediately or keep in a warm oven till all are done so everyone can eat together.  Very often these are served with smoked bacon, maple syrup and butter but are good with all sorts of things.

Pancake Additions ...

When adding things such as fruit or nuts or chocolate do it this way ...

~   Pour the pancake batter into the pan.
~   Immediately sprinkle your addition evenly sprinkle over the surface. This means that whatever you have added won’t burn as the first side cooks.
~   Drizzle a little more batter over the additional ingredient.
~   Continue as usual.  


 Possibly Strange Pancake Variations

~   I have made this style of pancake with leftover porridge and they are very good indeed which is helpful for me as I dislike the texture of porridge and this helps me get my oats. 

~   Different liquid can be used instead of milk as in this Tomato Soup Pancake!


~     Flourless Banana Pancakes 

I haven’t tried these as I am bananaphobic but they sound like a good idea, this is what I understand you do. 

~   Mash up a large ripe banana.
~   Beat together 2 eggs.
~   Stir the eggs into the banana and make pancakes with the result.

If I did like bananas I would add a drop of vanilla extract.


Chinese Spring Onion Pancakes

These are really a kind of bread but I thought I’d just mention them as they have the “P” word in their title.  They are also known as Tsung yu Ping - recipe here.



Leftover Pancakes and Batter

If you are familiar with this blog you know how I hate to waste food and have even written a book on delicious ways to use up leftovers!

If you have a little leftover batter when making either of the above drizzle it into the pan and make yourself a Cook’s Treat.

Leftover Pancakes can be gently reheated in the pan you cooked them in or fried till crisp - read more about leftover pancakes here.

And ...

Lots more pancake ideas on my Pinterest board ...

Pancake Day ~ and the rest of the year!