Did you know that some people refuse to eat leftovers or would rather throw away what they don’t eat rather than eat it the next day? As someone who grew up poor and made the most of food in our house, I can’t imagine throwing away food unless it’s been spoiled. An online discussion surrounding food that tastes better piqued my interest. There have always been certain foods that are enhanced after sitting, especially things with tomato sauce or other intense flavors. Do you agree that these foods are more enjoyable the second time around?
1. Thanksgiving Food
Dozens of people agreed that eating Thanksgiving food leftovers, reheated or not, is better than the first meal. While I immensely enjoy the first plate, I must concur with the commenters who brought up the “After Thanksgiving Day Sandwich” and how delicious it is.
2. Leftover Pizza
I’m probably biased as one of the few people who isn’t gaga over pizza. However, with several ways to reheat pizza and keep its texture and flavor intact (read: use a pan, the oven, or even the air fryer instead of the microwave), plenty of people enjoy pizza even more on the second day.
3. Day-Old Rice
If you like Chinese or Asian food, you’re probably a fan of fried rice, typically made with day-old rice. One person mentioned that stir-fried rice using dinner leftovers was their favorite breakfast after staying at a friend’s house as a kid.
4. Indian Food
One commenter said, “Indian food hits differently with late-night microwaving.” Others mentioned that they believe Indian food is the best either a few hours later, the next day, or even a couple of days later. I can’t agree more—sometimes I order extra to enjoy it as a second, third, or even fourth meal.
Although I’ve never made gumbo or had the chance to have it the second day, many people agreed that gumbo and other Southern dishes are better the next day. One person said, “Any liquid for food continues to blend flavors, even in the fridge. Sauces, gravies, stocks, broths, stews, soups, marinades, salad dressings, infused oils…” I’m getting hungry just reading the list!
6. Spaghetti, Lasagna, and Most Italian Foods
There were dozens of comments mentioning a variety of Italian dishes, including lasagna and spaghetti. One person got into the science of it, saying, “As rich, hot food cools, the chemicals inside form longer chain molecules which our tastebuds like more.” Another person added that the next day, anything tomato-based tastes better.
7. Casseroles of Any Type
“Any type of casserole, from fancy, homemade with expensive ingredients, to Hamburger Helper, is amazing,” one comment with high praise for leftover casseroles. Another person added, “Hamburger Helper super-hot out of the microwave the next day is where it’s at!”
8. Pasta Salad
It’s something to do with the herbs and flavors used in the pasta salad dressing, but this dish tastes much better after being chilled for a while. A follow-up comment mentioned that the second-day potato salad was also delicious.
9. Chili and Soups
I’ve always enjoyed making a big pot of soup or chili, even if it’s just for me as meal prep, due to how good it tastes throughout the week. While other meals that don’t combine all the ingredients might dry out, the soup tastes better every time.
Meatloaf wasn’t something we ate much growing up, but now I love to make it at home just for myself. I always make extra to heat it up the next day and enjoy it even more. One person in the comments said, “I look forward to the next day’s meatloaf sandwich more than I do the meatloaf on the day of.” Again, it must be how the sauce and meat marinate.
Written by: Daisy Frisch