20 Food Leftovers That Should Be Banished Forever

In this world of inflation, we are all about saving money and reducing waste, but there’s a limit, you know? When it comes to some food leftovers, they transform into these gross mutants that shouldn’t exist in the world of edible things!

One Redditor asked, “What’s the worst food leftover?” This thread received thousands of comments as users jumped in to share their views, and we have compiled the top 20 worst food leftovers for you.

1. Cereal

woman eating granola for breakfast
Image Credit: rossandhelen via DepositPhotos.com.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Whoever would eat leftover cereal voluntarily needs a psych evaluation asap.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “I can remember my brother leaving out a bowl of milk & lucky charms so long that it turned into this rainbow-colored pudding-looking substance.”

Another replied, “Especially Corn Flakes. Those go soggy 30 seconds before you take the cap off the milk.”

But hey, maybe you think you’re clever. You decide to salvage the situation by adding more cereal on top, hoping to mask the mushiness with fresh crunchiness. But all you’ve done is create a cereal layer cake- a crispy top and a squishy mess underneath.

2. Dressed Salad

Funny woman eating salad healthy meal on beach in Hawaii.
Image Credit: Maridav/Shutterstock.

You think you’re being all healthy and stuff, packing a dressed salad for lunch. But by the time you open that container, it’s all wilted and slimy.

One said, “No one’s going to say an already dressed salad?”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Caesar salad – croutons are soggy, Parmesan cheese is soft and gooey. Just a sad situation all around.”

3. Nachos

nachos and cheese with lime
Image Credit: Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock.

A Reddit user wrote, “Nachos 🙁 My poor heart”

Another added, “This is the right answer. Some of the other things ppl have suggested can be reheated well with the right technique, but nachos can’t. The sauce-y chips will forever be mush.”

But wait, there’s more: the toppings. Those jalapenos that once added a fiery kick? They’ve mellowed out and lost their spunk. The guac and sour cream that used to be so fresh? They’re now questionable blobs of green and white.

4. Taco Bell

Box set of tasty taco, nachos, and cup of drink served in retail background of taco bell restaurant. A popular Mexican & American fast food chain.
Image Credit: KULLAPONG PARCHERAT/Shutterstock.

This user shared, “Here is a little story- one-day Postmates had a deal, pay $50 get $35 off, and my dumb self was craving Taco Bell; I ordered $50 worth, and it was difficult to get that high a number and had plenty left over. Leftover Taco Bell turned me off of Taco Bell for a looooong time”

Another person pitched in to say, “Tacos? Wilted lettuce and soggy shells.”

So, those once-crispy tacos? They’ve turned into limp, sad excuses for themselves.

5. French Fries

Tasty french fries on cutting board, on wooden table background
Image Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.

First of all, can we talk about the soggy fries? Come on, who wants to bite into a limp, sad excuse for a fry? 

Someone commented, “French fries. They can never taste the same the next day. Call the police if someone uses them as leftovers. Fries are never good reheated or cold though.”

Another replied, “I love soggy cold refrigerated french fries 😔 (joking ofc)”

Another added, “French fries. They’re good for about 10 minutes after you buy them, and then they get disgusting. Dry and flavorless.”

6. Sushi

Image Credit: Andrei Iakhniuk/Shutterstock.

Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re all for embracing the art of leftovers and reducing food waste. But sushi? Nah, that’s a whole different ball game. 

One said, “The worst! Whether it’s raw seafood or avocado, it is always questionable at best.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “It’s the way the rice gets hard in the fridge that really f***s it up.”

7. McDonald’s

McDonald's menu: French fries and burger on red background. Minimal concept
Image Credit: Pavlovska Yevheniia/Shutterstock.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Fr. Left half a mcchicken in the fridge overnight. The next morning the bottom bun was dry and hard, the mayo was absorbed into the chicken breading, and the lettuce was wilted af. I’m a fiend for fast food, but alas I had to toss that mcchicken :(“

Another replied, “That is genuinely disgusting.”

Sure, some might say, “Just add fresh ketchup or crisp up the fries in the oven!” But let’s be real, you’re not a magician, and leftover McDonald’s is not your stage.

8. Eggs

Three fried eggs with herbs.
Image Credit: FineShine via DepositPhotos.com.

A Reddit user wrote, “Cold scrambled eggs are disgusting. Also if you try to stick them in the microwave, they end up cooking more.”

Another added, “Other than the texture becoming rubbery, reheating eggs can be bad for you if reheated too long or multiple times.”

Well, we hate to break it to you, but leftover eggs are just one sad parody!

9. Mac N Cheese

Baked mac and cheese in a cast iron pan
Image Credit: Elena Veselova/Shutterstock.

This user shared, “Mac and Cheese from a box. That s*** turns into something else entirely after being refrigerated.”

Another person pitched in to say, “My family recently had an argument because my mom didn’t understand why we wouldn’t eat the leftover congealed Kraft mac and cheese.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “I actually love the congealed cold stuff. My mom always looks at me like I’m crazy and wants to reheat it for me.”

And let’s talk about texture. You know those soft, tender noodles that used to cradle the cheese like they were meant to be together forever? Say goodbye to that!

10. Fish

Shutterstock 2009834777
Image Credit: Marla_Sela/Shutterstock.

Freshly cooked fish has that irresistible aroma that’s like a siren’s call for your taste buds. But leftover fish? It’s a smelly ghost from the sea that has taken over your kitchen. 

One said, “Any cooked fish, especially baked or grilled. It gets too dry when you reheat it.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “Tuna is especially the worst leftover. So hard and disgusting.”

11. Alfredo Sauce

Bowl of alfredo - Italian pasta sauce
Image Credit: Alexander Prokopenko/Shutterstock.

When it comes to leftovers, Alfredo Sauce is that one friend who’s all fun at the party but a total buzzkill when the party’s over. 

Someone commented, “Alfredo sauce. It always separates, and as far as I know, there’s no way to emulsify it again.”

Another replied, “Bad Alfredo sauce can lead to severe stomach aches and even food poisoning.”

12. Broth Noodles

Homemade Chinese Wonton Soup with Bok Choy.
Image Credit: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.

We’re all trying to save a buck and reduce waste, but when it comes to broth noodles, it’s playing a risky game of leftovers that’s bound to end in disappointment. 

A Reddit user wrote, “Any type of noodle in broth. Noodles get all swollen and disgusting… the broth gets cloudy and ruined… reheating it doesn’t make it better 🙁 so sad…”

Another added, “Yeah. A leftover soup is the saddest thing of all. The noodles are gross and the vegetables just don’t taste fresh anymore.”

13. Guacamole

Guacamole, guacamole ingredients and chips on wooden background. Flat lay.
Image Credit: Valentyn Volkov/Shutterstock.

This user shared, “Guacamole. Definitely not a next-day kind of food.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “I scrolled way too far down for this answer. It was the first food to pop in my head when I read the question initially. Leftover guac is the worst.”

But wait, there’s more-  the taste. That guacamole that used to make your taste buds salsa with joy? Yeah, it’s now a lackluster, bland version of its former self.

14. Pizza

Lovely cute positive young woman hiding behind pizza
Image Credit: Vadymvdrobot via DepositPhotos.com.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Honestly? There are some pizza places that taste good when you get it fresh but reheat it the next day? And it’s absolute trash.”

Someone commented, “Reheat leftover pizza? Nah, I’ll eat mine cold…”

Another person pitched in to say, “The fancier the pizza, the worse it tastes the day after.”

And don’t even get us started on reheated pizza. Now, we are all for a cold pizza the morning after a wild night, but when you nuke that bad boy, it turns into a crime against taste. The crust transforms into a rubbery disaster, and the cheese? It goes from gooey perfection to a weird, plasticky mess!

15. Lamb

Organic Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic and Lime
Image Credit: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.

Freshly cooked lamb has that mouthwatering vibe that can make a vegetarian question their life choices. But leftover lamb? It’s a sort of faint echo that doesn’t even come close. 

One said, “Lamb. Great when fresh off the grill. BUT, it never reheats well. Ever….”

Another replied, “Instant gagging. It’s so bad that if I can’t make a single-serving meal, I just won’t buy it anymore.”

16. Spaghetti

Woman eating pasta
Image Credit: belchonock via DepositPhotos.com.

A Reddit user wrote, “Unpopular opinion, but I’m gonna say spaghetti, can’t stand reheated pasta.”

Another added, “It’s kind of disgusting to eat because you always get lots of sauce on your lips. Leftover spaghetti is one of the worst meals ever…”

You remember those perfectly cooked noodles that used to glide between your teeth? Well, now they’re like stubborn little worms that refuse to cooperate!

17. Chipotle

Chipotle plate and receipt. Chipotle restaurant logo. Chipotle Mexican Grill is an American chain of fast casual restaurants
Image Credit: dennizn/Shutterstock.

We’ve all been there, piling on the rice, beans, meat, and salsa, creating a burrito bowl masterpiece that’s practically a work of art. But when it comes to reheating that Chipotle goodness, let’s just say it’s a tragic tale of lost flavor and disappointing bites. 

This user shared, “Just ate two-day-old Chipotle — that was pretty bad.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “I can do a bowl the next day if there wasn’t any guacamole to turn brown, but two days is too much.”

18. Fried Chicken

crispy fried chicken plate. Delicious homemade crispy fried chicken. Crunchy Fried Chicken Ready To Eat.
Image Credit: kckate16/Shutterstock.

Someone commented, “Fried Chicken. Warming it up in the oven kind of works, but it’s still just not the same at all.”

Another added, “The breading will soak up the sauce no matter how you try to recook it. It’ll never be crispy and covered in sauce again unless you order the sauce on the side.”

Now, we know some might suggest dunking the leftover fried chicken in sauces or giving it a quick fry to revive the crunch. But let’s be real: no amount of sauce can bring back the fried chicken’s original glory.

19. Pancakes

Pancakes with berries and maple syrup
Image Credit: foodstck/Shutterstock.

One said, “Pancakes, they get so soggy, and I like my pancakes crunchy!”

Another replied, “never touching a day-old pancake. Too disgusting”

So, let’s leave the leftover pancakes for the brave souls who want to play the leftovers game. Your taste buds deserve the real deal, not some sad, reheated pancake disaster.

20. Avocado

Young woman holding avocado sandwich closeup.
Image Credit: Phoenixns/Shutterstock.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Avocado. It lasts for a day, regardless of the lemon juice trick.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “Avocados go bad quickly once you cut into them due to a natural process called oxidation. So it’s probably one of the worst food leftovers ever.”

That avocado that used to sing a symphony of flavors in your mouth? Yeah, it’s now a bland, tasteless impostor. So, when it comes to leftovers, avocados are a total letdown.


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