3 Things You Can Do to Your Leftovers

Got some extra chicken, beef, or Christmas ham? Here's what you can do.

Now that the holidays are nearly over, your refrigerator is probably crammed with leftovers from the parties and reunions you’ve thrown and attended. Let’s not forget the food gifts you’ve received from friends and family. Fruitcake and jamon de bola, anyone?

Because food waste is a no-no, it’s best to put your leftovers to good use. Make them exciting again by introducing this ingredient: pork and beans. Choose Hunt’s Beans, which is made from high-quality white beans and real pork bits. Its flavorful, rich, and thick sauce adds oomph to leftover embutido, ham, and other meats, as these recipes show.


Baked Beef Embutido with Beans

Prep time: 45 minutes

Makes 6 servings


1/2 kilogram ground beef

1 cup leftover lechon or ham, finely chopped

1 small carrot, grated finely

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1 can (390 grams) Hunt’s Pork and Beans, drained, sauce reserved

1 tablespoon oil

1/4 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste


1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Set aside.

2 In a large bowl, combine ground beef, lechon or ham, carrot, breadcrumbs, parsley, drained Hunt’s Pork and Beans, egg, and salt and ground black pepper to taste. Cook a small portion to test for seasoning, and adjust as needed.

3 Form beef mixture into 6 mini loaves, and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush with oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 30 minutes or until loaves are cooked through.

4 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix reserved pork and beans sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, ground black and cayenne pepper to taste.

Dollop tops of meatloaves with sauce before serving with garlic fried rice.

TIP: If you don’t want to use or don’t have an oven, steaming and then frying it like you would an embutido is an option.


Cheesy Meatballs and Beans

Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Makes 6 servings


3 tablespoons oil

1 medium white onion, peeled, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

3 pouches (100 grams each) Hunt’s Chili Beef & Beans

1/4 kilogram ground beef

1 cup leftover ham, finely chopped

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped

1 large egg

1 c. mozzarella cheese, grated

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Oil for deep frying


1 Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Transfer half the onion mixture to a large bowl. Set bowl aside to cool.

2 Place the pan with remaining onion and garlic back on the stove over medium heat. Add diced tomatoes and Hunt’s Chili Beef & Beans, and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. Remove from heat and transfer to a baking dish. Set aside.

3 To the bowl with onion and garlic, add ground pork, ham breadcrumbs, parsley, egg, salt, and ground black pepper. Using your hands, mix mixture, crumbling ground meat to thoroughly combine the ingredients. (Mixture will be soft.) Test for seasoning by cooking a small portion. Adjust seasoning with salt and ground pepper accordingly. Using an ice cream scoop, divide mixture into 1 1/2-inch round meatballs.

4 Heat enough oil in a deep sauté pan to reach halfway up the sides. Roll meatballs between wet hands to form a ball, and then immediately place in the hot oil. Repeat, placing just enough meatballs in the hot oil to not crowd the pan. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon. Drain on a rack over paper towels. Repeat with remaining meat mixture.

5 Add mozzarella cheese over the meatballs and beans while they are still hot, and let it melt on its own.


Meaty Bean a la King 

Prep time: 30 minutes

Makes 6 servings


1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 can (298 grams) cream of mushroom soup

1 can (390 grams) Hunt’s Pork and Beans

2 cups leftover chicken, cubed

2 cups leftover pork, cubed

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste


1 In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, and nutmeg. Place over medium heat, and add cream of mushroom soup. Whisk until smooth and begins to thicken.

2 Stir in Hunt’s Pork and Beans, chicken, pork, and mixed vegetables. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.

3 Remove from heat, and then transfer to a serving dish. Serve while hot with steamed rice.

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