April 25, 2013 at 9:59 AM ET
On a regular pizza night, if there's anything more than a slice or two left in the box, we have to question the health of our family. Seriously. Is the flu bug going around? But when there's a pizza party in the works, be it for one of the kids' birthdays, a football game or a neighborhood get-together, we admit to getting a little carried away with the ordering. (Hey, when else do we get the chance to spring for Canadian bacon and pineapple, guilt-free?) And after a night of gorging on cheese and pepperoni, the idea of a pizza party part deux needs a little creative disguise. So we rounded up 10 ways to perk up your leftover pie. Buon appetito!
1. Breakfast of champions. Obviously! We’ve been dining on cold pizza in the morning since college, but if you want to health it up a bit for the young 'uns (who'll no doubt be thrilled that they get to eat pizza first thing in the morning), try scraping off the toppings and adding them to an omelet. Trust us, your kids will not be late to the breakfast table when this one's on the menu.
2. Cut off the crusts: Does your delivery box end up full of uneaten crusts? Don't pitch them—turn them into breadcrumbs. We found a recipe that uses the crumbs made from pizza crust to use in a delicious pasta dish. Genius!
3. Makeover madness: Kiddie parties generally call for lots of cheese pizzas—the perfect canvas for all sorts of fun toppings in the future. Go ahead and freeze the leftovers, and then, a few weeks later when the pizza craving hits again, set out all sorts of veggies and meat and let your family create their own masterpieces. Just warm up in the oven and serve!
4. Casserole calling: This recipe is like a lasagna, where you layer pizza (crusts cut off), tomato sauce, cheese, meat and veggies. We doubt there will be any leftovers after this baby comes out of the oven.
5. Fritatta fever: Breakfast for dinner rules—even more so when it includes pizza. Just chop up a few slices of pie, mix it up with some wilted spinach, garlic, beaten eggs and cheese, cook it up and ta-da! Dinner is done. Here's a recipe.
6. Turn it into cheesebread: Maybe a little camo is all you need. Cut your leftover slices into strips and serve with a side of Ranch dressing or marinara sauce. Suddenly, last night's leftovers are today's dipping sticks! Stick these in a lunchbox and Jr. is the envy of the cafeteria.
7. Snack savvy: Is your kid always foraging through the fridge after school? Freeze leftover slices individually, then older kids can simply warm up a piece in the microwave after school. Bread, cheese, meat? Hey, it's not exactly apples and carrot sticks, but it beats a Pop-Tart in a pinch.
8. Crush on pizza quiche: In the same vein as the frittata, you can use leftover slices in a quiche. (Are you getting the theme that pizza and eggs just work together?) The chopped-up pizza goes into the quiche along with your other ingredients—giving you a pie in a pie shell. How meta is that? Here's a recipe to try.
9. Pizza salad: Feeling healthy? Here's a salad your kids will request: Crisp up your leftover slices, chop 'em up and toss 'em in a big ol' mixed salad. It's pizza panzanella.
10. Use leftovers for your leftovers: So, you have some leftover pizza. And some leftover chicken. And some leftover broccoli. You, friend, have one heckuva pie in the making, and—bonus!—a cleaned-out fridge, to boot. No waste, great taste. Winning!
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.