10 Ways to Use Up Leftover Cheese

How to Put Leftover Cheese to Work

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Is your refrigerator cheese drawer filled with leftover cheese scraps and rinds? These morsels are too valuable to throw out. Whether it's a hunk of hard Parmesan or a few slices of American cheese, there are many creative ways to use up that cheese before it goes bad. Combine them to make cheese spreads, mixed grilled cheese sandwiches, or any of these cheese-filled options.

01 of 10

Fromage Fort

Fromage Fort
Photo by Huge Galdones / Food Styling by Christina Zerkis

Fromage fort is the ultimate way of using leftover cheese. Jacques Pépin's father used to combine pieces of Camembert, Brie, Swiss, blue cheese and goat cheese together with his mother's leek broth, some white wine and crushed garlic. These ingredients marinated for a week to a week-and-a-half. Now Pépin and his wife, Gloria, make a milder version in a food processor that takes only seconds.

02 of 10

Vegetable Soup with Fennel, Herbs and Parmesan Broth

Vegetable Soup with Fennel, Herbs and Parmesan Broth
© Yunhee Kim

Simmering Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds in the broth gives it a rich, cheesy flavor. It's a great example of the "nothing wasted" approach that Italians take to their cooking.

03 of 10

Macaroni and Many Cheeses

Macaroni and Many Cheeses
© James Baigrie

At the end of their wine-and-cheese parties, cheese-whizzes Helen Jane Hearn and Natalie Wassum gather any leftovers to make an incredible mac and cheese later in the week. This specific recipe works beautifully with any semi-hard cheese but is particularly good with an international blend of French Mimolette, aged Dutch Gouda and American Vella dry Jack.

04 of 10

Mushroom Bolognese

Mushroom Bolognese
© Christina Holmes

Chef Sarah Grueneberg created this vegetarian version of Bolognese. It's as rich and delicious as the meat version, in part thanks to the Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, which infuses the mushroom sauce with even more umami.

05 of 10

Parmesan-Braised Gigante Beans with Turkey

Parmesan-Braised Gigante Beans with Turkey
Photo: Jennifer Causey / Food stylist Chelsea Zimmer / Prop stylist Kathleen Varner

Use that leftover of Parmesan cheese for this soup that enriches the broth. Giant lima beans cooked to al dente complement tender braised leftover turkey thighs and drumsticks in this cozy stew.

06 of 10

Mushroom and Fontina Crostini

Mushroom and Fontina Crostini
© Fredrika Stjärne

Put your leftover cheese to work with a crostini. Maria Helm Sinskey likes to use Italian Fontina cheese, which melts beautifully, but young Gouda would be equally delicious. 

07 of 10

Cheese Fondue

Swiss cheese fondue with dippers like bread, potatoes, salami, apples
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Have any leftover Swiss cheese or Gruyère? There's no better way to use these delicacies than to make a delicious cheese fondue. 

08 of 10

Four Cheese-Stuffed Portobellos

Four Cheese-Stuffed Portobellos
© John Kernick

A surplus of cheese welcomes these decadent portobellos. Laurent Tourondel's mushrooms, which are stuffed with cheese, brightened with lemon zest and topped with golden toasted breadcrumbs, are a perfect side dish or appetizer. 

09 of 10

Cauliflower, Bacon, and Cheese Frittata

Cauliflower, Bacon, and Parmesan Frittata
© Lucy Schaeffer

This frittata is easily adaptable; swap in any kind of grated leftover cheese or vegetable you have on hand for a quick, easy dinner, breakfast, or lunch. Parmesan to Manchego will work here; you can use up what you have leftover in the fridge if you like.

10 of 10

Pasta Aglio e Olio

Pasta Aglio e Olio

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Amelia Rampe

This simple, garlicky pasta uses pantry ingredients and comes together in minutes. Plus, this dish is the perfect way to use up that block of Parmesan in the fridge. 

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