Which food tops the list of the best leftovers? Surprisingly, it’s not pizza

NEW YORK – “What’s for dinner?” Don’t ask: More than half of Americans think this question is actually one of the most stressful things they will encounter during the day.

A survey of 2,000 people found that Americans’ weekly diet typically consists of five home-cooked meals, three leftover meals, three take-out and three restaurant meals. Forty-six percent of respondents say they’ll turn to leftovers because it’s just easier than having to cook and 32 percent of adding affordability seals the deal, so they don’t don’t have to go out and buy anything. While 72% of Americans identify as pro-leftovers, the rest say they either don’t like to eat them or never eat them.

Driven by OnePoll on behalf of Bosch home appliances, the survey also found that 61% have been eating leftovers more than ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Half choose to eat leftovers from a home-cooked meal or take-out most often, and 42% use meal preparation techniques, so they have leftovers on a regular basis.

What Makes a Good Leftover Meal?

More than half think a key factor is when the food was prepared, followed by how it smells (46%) and where the food comes from (46%). For 41% of Americans, “reheating” is a key factor in their eating more leftovers.

“Using a steam oven can retain the original nutrients, moisture and integrity of your food so your leftovers are always fresh and tasty,” said a spokesperson for Bosch home appliances in a statement. Or, if you’re in a rush, reheat leftovers on an induction hob for quick and precise reheating to make sure your leftovers don’t have cold spots and for easy cleanup. “

What foods are the best leftovers?

Soups top the list with 79%, with pizza (63%), meat (62%), pasta (60%) and rice (55%) completing the top five. More than half of those surveyed believe Chinese take-out (53%) and roasted potatoes (52%) are food worthy of leftovers. Another 47 percent even think the tuna and egg salads are worth saving for later.

LeftoversThe two foods that respondents view both positively and negatively as good leftovers are avocados and guacamole. A third think avocados are off limits for leftovers, but 34% think they would be good enough to save. Guacamole seemed to have a slightly better chance of reaching a second meal, with 36% saying it’s a good leftover versus 30% saying it’s a bad choice. Eggs and sushi are by far the worst things to keep as leftovers, at 42% and 33% respectively.

Apart from the 12 percent who “never eat” leftovers, many Americans save foods with the intention of eating them as leftover meals. Sixty-three percent always save leftover food, whether it’s a good leftover or not when ordering to go, and 65 percent take it into account when preparing something at home.

The study also suggests that eating leftovers is essential in helping Americans live a more sustainable lifestyle. More than half (56%) think this is the best sustainable practice they stand for in their kitchen, followed by limiting food waste (55%).

“Sixty-one percent of people think they would waste less food if their refrigerator had more useful storage capacity,” adds the Bosch appliance spokesperson. “To help Americans get the most out of their leftovers and limit their food waste, it’s imperative that their refrigerator is outfitted with customizable organization details and freshness features.”

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