Anyone who has ever had a slice of pizza for breakfast knows the importance of eating food that isn’t hot or fresh. Many dinners meant to be enjoyed warm taste even better when chilled. Any dish with lots of sauce, cheese, and spices will be an excellent choice for leftover success.

This isn’t just an opinion. This is supported by science! The Institute of Food Technologists says that leftovers can still have chemical reactions that produce new flavor molecules when chilled overnight. This is not just a fantasy. A cold slice of leftover eggplant Parmesan is much more flavorful than when it came out of the oven.

We love cold meals at WWL because they are easy to prepare and great for those who don’t have a microwave. These ten recipes are best when they’re out. They also make a lot of servings, which is a boon for dedicated meal preppers and lazy people.

These cold meal options are great for anyone looking for a quick and easy lunch or something to eat in the heat.


You might be thinking, “chili, cold?” I’m not going to lie. It’s not that you should eat a bowl full of ice-cold chili. It’s delicious on top or inside food if it’s fresh from the fridge. A few spoonfuls can be added to a piece of Texas toast with butter and some cheese. For an additional boost of protein, add a scoop to a wrap. This A Couple Cook recipe will last long because it is entirely vegetarian (but still as filling and hearty as any good chili).

Chicken Stir-Fry

Stir-fried chicken takeout is a favorite of many. It’s easy to see why after the chicken and nuts have had all night in that sauce. This I Am A Food Blog recipe will make enough for you to eat for days. It can be served over fresh (or chilled) rice. For a quick wrap, do it with rice or lettuce leaves.

This recipe will require a nonstick pan. This is our favorite!


Let’s face it; meatloaf is only made for the meatloaf sandwiches that follow the meal. This hamburger-flavored recipe is from Budget Buttes. Make sure to save some glaze for your sandwich. Choose a firm but crispy bread to contrast the delicate texture and flavor of the meat.

This recipe calls for a casserole dish. This is our favorite!


Hot enchiladas have a gooey, cheesy, saucy goodness. Cold enchiladas taste like chips and salsa but are just as delicious. We love this recipe from Chicano Eating and recommend eating it straight from the refrigerator (or pan). You can easily give the recipe a quick makeover by adding fresh ingredients like avocado and chopped scallions.


Cold quiche is our favorite type of quiche. It can be challenging to cut and serve if the quiche is still hot. This is because all the elements (the cheese, eggs, and crust) have not had enough time to set. It’s accessible to slice a few pieces of this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction after a night in the fridge. The flavors are more robust and enjoyable.

For this recipe, remember to bring your glass pie plate!

Fried Chicken

Although this is hot food, you can eat it straight from the fridge. Cold fried chicken tastes better when dipped in a sauce like a buffalo or a barbecue. A dry fried chicken recipe like this one from Foodie Crush can still be delicious when it’s cold. However, add some dipping sauce.


It’s a great stew to make on a cold winter night. It’s also a great vegetable dip for warm summer days. You can drizzle the leftovers from Once Upon A Chef with olive oil and flaky sea salt before you start eating them. It’s a lot like eating bruschetta; only you can spoon it on your favorite bread, crackers, or toast.