12 Delicious Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Earlier this year, I made a pledge to reduce the food waste in my kitchen. Earth Day felt like a good time to check in with this goal. Although I have been more conscious and intentional about using all of the ingredients in my fridge, there is still room to improve.

Spring is also a good time to check in and re-strategize, as more delicate spring vegetables are coming into season. Hearty winter veggies last a lot longer and are easier to store than the leafy greens of spring. Here are 12 recipes to reduce food waste during the spring and summer:

Make a sauce or pesto:

Leftover herbs and greens can be transformed into flavorful sauces to take your meal to the next level. Most pestos are easily freezable for max shelf life.

1. Radish Green Pesto: I love radishes, but often am not sure what to do with the greens. Check out this recipe that uses the greens! (via Caroline’s Cooking)

2. Radish Top Aioli: If pesto isn’t your thing, try an aioli! (via Food52)

3. Carrot Top Pesto: Carrot tops don’t get a lot of love… but try them in this pesto! (via Sidewalk Shoes)

4. Fennel Frond Pesto: Most fennel recipes call for the bulb, but the fronds have excellent flavor as well! (via Whole Food Bellies)

5. Broccoli Stem Pesto: I eat a LOT of broccoli, and find myself stumped when it comes to the stems. (pictured below, via Happy Veggie Kitchen)

Photo by Happy Veggie Kitchen


Make some snacks:

Fruit and veggie odds and ends can often turn into a snack all their own! Try pickling or turning into a crisp like these:

6. Pineapple Core Crisps: Have a fresh pineapple, but not sure what to do with the core? Make a crunchy snack! (via Kitchen Sanctuary)

7. Watermelon Rind Pickles: Watermelons make an appearance at nearly every summer picnic. Show the rind some love too! (via Bon Appetit)

Make breakfast:

The most important meal of the day can also be the most eco-friendly meal of the day.

8. Kitchen Sink Frittata: Making a frittata is a sure way to start the day off right. Add whatever veggies or proteins you have on hand. (via Whip and Wander)

9. Strata with Sausage and Greens: If you are feeding a crowd, a strata is the way to go! (via Food52)

Make a new salad:

Salads are a great way to use up all of those greens and spare veggies in your fridge! Here are a few new takes to give you some inspiration:

10. Celery Lentil Salad: Why is it that you can only buy celery in a large quantity, but recipes only need 1-2 stalks?? This salad uses both the celery and its flavorful leaves. (via My Kitchen Love)

11. Broccoli Stalk Ribbon Salad: Another use for those broccoli stems! Don’t toss them, slice them! (via Dinner Mom)

12. Simple Sauteed Kale Salad: Sometimes life happens and the greens in the fridge can get a little wilty. This salad is okay with that! (pictured below, via Nourish)

Photo by Nourish



Do you have a recipe that helps you combat food waste? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram!


  1. LOVE all of these ideas! We are always trying to reduce waste in our kitchen as well, always nice to find some new ideas to try out 🙂 Thanks for including my fennel fronds pesto!

  2. Hi Kelli! Thank you for the great ideas in this post!

    One of my favorite ways to use veggie odds and ends is to add them to smoothies. Last week I added a few strips of yellow bell pepper and part of a carrot to a blueberry smoothie. I’ve also had success with adding romaine lettuce cores, spring mix, and other veggie bits. I hardly notice them!

  3. Love these ideas! Reducing kitchen waste is always one of my top new years resolutions and this was a good reminder with some great creative ideas I hadn’t thought of. Will be trying the broccoli stem pesto. (I do love carrot top pesto, which I make all summer when my crop share arrives.)

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