You can never have too much leftover brisket. Seriously.

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
September 18, 2020
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No matter how many guests you have over, if you cook a brisket, you’re always destined to have more leftovers than you bargained for. And that’s a good thing! While you could generously give away takeout containers of your extra pounds of slow-cooked meat, hoarding it for a few days’ worth of cooking projects is not the worst idea. Brisket is one of those foods that’s just better left over anyway. So let your meat soak up its own juices and revive it with these leftover ideas that keep flavor fatigue away. Bonus: most of these simple leftover hacks are freezer friendly.

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Start by making our favorite Red Wine-Braised Brisket recipe—or by buying one from the best via Goldbelly—then put it to use in one of these delicious dishes.

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Pasta night comes together so quickly when the meat is already cooked and tender. Sauté a soffritto (diced celery, carrots, and onions) in olive oil in a large saucepan, then stir in a tablespoon of tomato paste when fragrant. Deglaze the pot with a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes. Stir in desired amount of leftover brisket, and simmer until hot. That’s it! Serve with pasta. (And maybe some extra bread for dipping.)

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Hefty sandwiches are an obvious day-after go-to for meat, and brisket is no exception. The key to a successful beef brisket sandwich is sturdy bread that will soak up the juices, and a few complementary ingredients, like cabbage, to diversify each bite. If you’re feeling fancy, grab a baguette for a brisket French dip. Grilled cheese with a little bonus brisket—plus fresh apple slices pressed in the center—is also never a bad idea. 

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Slow-cooked meat is the perfect filling for a variety of Mexican dishes. Grab some fresh tortillas and try your hand at brisket quesadillas, brisket taquitos, brisket burritos, brisket-topped nachos, and more. Just use your favorite recipe for a beef or pork version, sub in the brisket, and you have a new, easy-to-make fusion dish.

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Add a little extra protein to your morning eggs and scramble them with shredded brisket, or fold brisket into an omelet. Garnish with fresh herbs and shredded cheese.

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Almost anything can be delicious potsticker or egg roll filling with a few tweaks. Finely chop leftover brisket with at least two other minced steamed (or leftover) vegetables to lighten up the filling mixture, like cabbage and sweet potato, or spinach and squash. Add fresh ginger and fill pre-bought wonton wrappers or egg roll wrappers with your filling. Fry on the stovetop or in an air fryer.

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Hack your way to a quick weeknight chili with pre-made brisket. Dice or pull the meat, simmer in a can of diced tomatoes, add beans, and the seasonings of your choice (cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper all work well) for a chili that’s ready in under 30 minutes. Toss in corn, additional veggies, lentils, or chickpeas to add even more texture to the chili. Voila: you’ve stretched your leftovers and created a new satisfying, shareable (and freezable) meal. 

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You don’t need a recipe to whip up an excellent fried rice—just pre-cook your rice right, use a nice selection of aromatics, and throw in your pre-cooked meat, an egg, and some fresh veg for an excellent side dish or entree you can put together in minutes.

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An ambitious homemade agnolotti, tortellini, or ravioli project can take over a day’s work if you’re starting from scratch, but having leftover, tender meat to create a filling with helps speed up the arduous (yet delicious) process. Mince your leftover meat and mix with an equal portion of pureed squash, ricotta cheese, or both, and scoop your filling into rolled-out pasta sheets to fold as you wish. Those looking for shortcuts can also use the meat filling for pre-made jumbo shells or manicotti noodles.

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Shepherd’s pie is already an easy and satisfying weeknight dinner, but guss it up a little by swapping out ground beef for succulent brisket. This is meat and potatoes like you’ve never had before.