11 Tasty Ways to Use Leftover Bread

Learn how to use leftover bread with these tasty recipes. Ideas to repurpose your bread into something delicious no matter if you just have too much bread, your bread is drying out or your bread is starting to taste a little stale.

 ways to use bread cover photo

Additional Reading: Tips for Storing & Freezing Bread, How to Make Sourdough, No Knead Crusty Yeast Bread

When you use leftover bread not only will you enjoy new meals but you’ll help reduce food waste too. Did you know that in Canada, breads and cereals are the second most common food we (consumers) waste after fresh produce. The National Zero Waste Council (2018) found that by weight, 45% of what we waste is fresh produce and 24% of what we toss are breads and cereal. We can do better.

With that in mind, here are my favorite recipes for using extra bread.

11 Ways to Use Leftover Bread

You can use these recipes with homemade or store bought bread. They’re especially great for day old bread, dry bread or slightly stale bread. Just don’t use moldy bread – no part of a moldy loaf is safe to eat; toss the entire loaf.

Sweet Breakfast Bake

Start the morning right with this Apple Cranberry Breakfast Bake. The link includes make-ahead tips when you’re feeding a crowd or just one or two people.
apple cranberry bake

Savory Breakfast Bake

If you prefer a savory start to the morning, this Three Cheese and Sausage Breakfast Bake will fit the bill. Another make ahead dish that will feed a crowd or can be frozen to enjoy another day.
savory cheese and sausage bake

French Toast & French Toast Fingers

French toast is a perfect way to use dried out bread. Try this classic recipe or jazz it up by filling two toasts with jam as in these Heart Shaped Jam Filled French Toasts or by making French Toast Fingers to dip into stewed rhubarb or your favorite fruit compote.
French toast fingers in stewed rhubarb

Bread Pudding

This Rhubarb Bread Pudding is equally delicious for breakfast or dessert. Of course you can switch up the fruit and create your own dish.
rhubarb bread piece ready to serve

French Onion Soup with Cheese Toast

Warm thing up with ridiculously delicious Homemade French Onion Soup. Whether you have the fancy oven proof bowls or not, the cheese toast on top is a sure winner and a great way to use leftover bread. Of course if you really want – skip the soup and just have the cheese toast!

bowl of french onion soup with cheese bread

Stuffing

This Traditional Vegetarian Stuffing recipe comes from my friend Katie who shared her family recipe with me. Stuffing is not something I grew up with, but Katie assures me it makes a tasty side dish whether you’re serving a bird or not. I’m pretty sure my family is going to love this!
cooked stuffing

Bruschetta

This Bruschetta recipe is a crowd pleaser and a tasty way to use up bread – no need to go buy a baguette.  Another great toast option is this Chicken and Hummus Toast recipe from Manitoba Chicken – same method as bruschetta, just totally different toppings.
bruschetta fresh

Bread Salad – Panzanella

You will likely go out of your way to ensure you have dry, leftover bread in the house just so you can make this Bread Salad or Panzanella as it’s also called. The bread is lightly toasted and combined with flavorful seasonings and tasty veggies that make this salad as good as it looks without being soggy.

panzanella colorful bread salad in bowl

Grilled Cheese

You probably don’t need a recipe for grilled cheese – right?! I just wanted to remind you that a good grilled cheese sandwich is an ideal way to use up leftover bread. In case you are interested in a recipe, try this Sheet Pan Goat Cheese, Apple and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese recipe from my friends and Registered Dietitians at How to Eat.ca
grilled cheese sandwich and salad

Croutons

Dress up your soups and salads with these Herb and Parmesan Cheese Croutons. So good on Chicken Caesar Salad with homemade Caesar Salad Dressing.
croutons

Bread Crumbs

If you are too exhausted to do anything with your leftover, dry bread – toss it in the freezer for another day. When you’re ready, take out your frozen bread and make some amazing homemade bread crumbs with them. They’ll store for months and are perfect for meatballs, chicken fingers, meatloaf, etc.
bread crumbs in bowl

Toast – Regular, Garlic or Cheese Toast

Here’s a bonus way to use leftover or dry bread – toast. The simple act of toasting slices of bread will give dry bread a whole new life. You can even make fancy cheese toast or garlic toast using herb butter. Simply slice bread, top with cheese or herb butter and place under the oven broiler for 2-3 minutes.
garlic bread with herb butter

There you have my 12 favorite ways to ensure every morsel of bread gets used and enjoyed to the fullest!

Finally, I’ll leave you with this link on how to refresh day old bread in the oven and How to Store and Freeze Bread. Tips for all types of bread, whether you make your own, get it from a bakery or the corner store.

If you have any questions, favorite ways you like to use leftover bread or want to touch base, please comment below or share your photos and ideas with me on instagram @getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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