Party Leftovers Series: Party Foods that Make for Great Leftovers

I am habitually making too much food for parties. I never, ever want to have a party and run out of food! Recently I made way too much food for a ladies night and had a bunch of leftovers. Party food leftovers typically go bad fairly quickly if they are not stored right and used soon after the party. So, when creating breakfast the next day with my leftover party food this series was born. I’ll spend a couple of posts talking about party food leftovers… I include some recipes and tips. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use this list the next time you are working on planning and executing your next party!

Party Foods that make for Great Leftovers:

Buying foods for your party that are easily used in leftovers helps. Sushi and many fish dishes are not great for leftovers. Salads and Breads with dips already spread on them also don’t work out great the next day. I don’t stay away from those items at a party… however, I do not make those in huge quantities so that I know there probably won’t be much leftover. Here are some party foods that are GREAT for storing and using up leftovers:
photo taken by my friend Macey & posted on her instagram— follow her @motormouthmacey
  • Breads with dips on the side
  • Cheese Platters (just be careful to not set out for too long— I like to set out small portions and refill as needed)
  • Fruit Platters
  • Veggie Platters
  • Roasted Veggies
  • Meat Platters (same as cheese— set out small portions and refill as needed)
  • Chips and Dips
  • Nuts
  • Many Baked Goods and Appetizers make for great leftovers as well

Storing Your Party Food Leftovers:


The best way to ensure that your party leftovers do not go to waste is to store them properly. I like to put out smaller portions for most of the items I put out and then refill as needed to make sure any refrigerated items stay cool and safe to eat. Other tips/tricks I abide by with party food:


  • Keep the jars or containers that your dips/salsas come in! When you buy a jar of salsa and put out a big bowl of it… keep the jar for storing any leftovers.
  • Keep the chip bag! I’ve thrown away WAY too many chip bags to end up just wishing I’d kept them. I serve my chips out of bowls… but, I hide away the chip bag to use in case there are leftovers. Seal the bag with a chip clip and use the chips before they go stale. I like using chips for breading in meals like Crispy Potato Chip Chicken or Salmon Filets with Potato Chip Crust.
  • Have tupperware ready to go. That way, when you are exhausted and ready to go to bed you don’t have to take too much time to put up your items. Seal any foods in tupperware. Refrigerate items like cheese, meat, fruit, and veggies. I also refrigerate dips and salsas after opening.
  • I put bread items in a tupperware and try to use the breads right away. If you have the time… go ahead and set up a strata for the next day’s breakfast using up your leftover bread, meats, veggies, and cheeses! I mix it up for stratas just using whatever leftovers I have. Just break up your bread pieces and put in a pan with cut up veggies, cheeses, and meats. Pour an egg and milk mixture over the bread, cover with cellophane, and refrigerate. The next day you just need to put the casserole pan into the oven and bake until cooked through. One of my favorite strata recipes is the Canadian Bacon Strata from Martha Stewart.
What did you do with your party food leftovers at your last party? 
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Jenni is a freelance writer and media assistant based in Portland, OR. A Well Crafted Party is a blog about all the little things to celebrate in life. Follow Jenni or A Well Crafted Party with BlogLovin, RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

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  1. Reply

    i love the party leftovers, especially the meats and cheese platters!

    1. Reply

      The best!

  2. Reply

    This is a good post… I always buy too much food for parties, but it’s better to have leftovers than run out of food…or worse yet…booze!

    1. Reply

      Thanks– I’m with you! Leftovers are a good thing.

  3. Reply

    What a great series! I love to make 7 layer dip and then (have Nate) make burritos with it the next day. So good! 🙂

  4. A very practical post!

  5. Reply

    Love the idea/excuse of a strata… Both packs leftovers and preps brunch for the next day!

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