Did your sugar smacks go stale? Did your fruit loops languish? We've got some ideas for you! These cereal recipes are genius.

bowls of cereal, from Shelf Cooking

If you've ever been on the receiving end of a grocery delivery order gone wrong, then you know how you can end up with six boxes of corn flakes you don't need. But around here, we like to turn mix-ups into blessings!

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So, if you've got more cereal than your pantry can handle, or you let that crunchy Kashi go soft, let's troubleshoot! There are SO many ways to use up leftover cereal, so today, we're gonna share a few brilliant, delicious cereal recipes. No milk required!


meatloaf made with cereal breadcrumbs from Shelf Cooking

Cereal for dinner?! Well, not exactly, but sure. Why not? Let's think outside of the box (and bowl) for a minute. Here are a few cereal recipes that just might save your supper:

  • Cornflake Chicken Tenders – Skip the flour! Those cornflakes you've been holding onto make the BEST breading. Whisk ½ cup of milk with two eggs. Dip your boneless, skinless chicken tenders in the liquid, then dredge in a mixture of 3-4 cups of crushed cornflakes and the seasonings of your choice. Then bake at 425°F for around 15 minutes and serve with a side of campfire sauce for dipping!
  • Cheesy Chicken & Veggie Bake – The only thing that could make this chicken and zucchini casserole better? A crunchy topping! The next time you whip up this recipe, try adding a cup of crushed, sugarless cereal to the top.
  • Green Bean Casserole Topping – Green bean casserole is famous for that crunchy onion topping, but if you're running low, you can add some cornflakes to the top. Just season with onion salt, garlic salt, and a little red pepper for a nice kick.
  • Meatloaf Filler – Most meatloaf calls for oatmeal or bread crumbs, but you can sub in crushed cereal, too. Try our famous meatloaf recipe if you haven't already! It tastes just like grandma made it.
  • Crabcakes/Salmon Croquettes – Open a few cans of crab or a large can of salmon, combine with an egg, about one cup of crushed cereal, some diced red peppers, and the seasonings of your choice. Form into patties, then pan-fry for 5-6 minutes on each side. So yummy, cheap, and easy! And here's a little trick: you can add a spoonful of mayo to your mixture to keep them moist.

And just like that, you've got half a dozen ways to use up your cereal. But we're not done yet! Not even close. Let's talk about breakfast next!


funeral potatoes with cereal topping, from Shelf Cooking

No, we're not going to tell you to dump that cereal in a bowl, pour in some milk, and reach for the spoons. You could, but what fun is that?! These cereal recipes are ten times better:

  • Hashbrown Casserole – Feed a crowd and wow them, too! Thaw 30 ounces of frozen hashbrowns and mix with a cup of shredded cheese, one cup of sour cream, and one can of cream of chicken soup. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix in ½ cup of diced onions. Top with two cups of crushed cornflakes (you can use frosted flakes for a salty + sweet combo) and drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350°F for around 40 minutes and enjoy!
  • Crunchy French Toast – We love how fun our crunchy French toast sticks recipe is! It fries up with a nice, crispy coating and so much extra flavor! Fruity Pebbles are especially fun, but go ahead and mix and match using what you have. It'll be delicious no matter what cereal you use!
  • Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits – Granola isn't the only thing that belongs in a parfait. Try adding some leftover cereal in a layer or two.
  • Overnight Oats – Why not top your overnight oats with a little cereal?
  • Granola Bars – If you haven't tried our chewy granola bar recipe yet, stop what you're doing! It's amazing. And you can add some crushed-up cereal to the mix, too.

See? You don't need a bowl for any of those! And don't they sound SO good? If you liked those, you'll LOVE what's coming next.


lucky charms rice krispies treats, from Shelf Cooking

Obviously, Rice Krispies treats are one of the best ways ever to use up cereal, but if you're looking for a more creative option, try one of these cereal-packed desserts:

  • Lucky Charms Treats – Here's our St. Patty's day twist on Rice Krispies treats! The truth is, these Lucky Charms treats are magically delicious enough to eat all year.
  • Snowballs – You can make a Christmas version of Rice Krispies treats, too! Just form those treats into balls and decorate with red and green candies or some confectioner's sugar.
  • Ice Cream Sundaes – Make a big batch of homemade vanilla ice cream, and bring out the cereal for the toppings bar!
  • Loaded Cookies – Making chocolate chip cookies? Why not add some cereal to the batter?
  • Ooey-Gooey Bars – The only thing that could possibly make these ooey-gooey bars any better is the crunch from some leftover cereal. Just mix it right in the batter. Any kind will do!

We don't know about you, but our sweet tooth is talking to us now! We'll take one of each, please and thank you.


The next time you find yourself with a few too many boxes of cereal, you'll know what to do. There are tons of ways to put that flaky, crispy goodness to work from breakfast to dinner.

Let's keep the brainstorm going, eh? How do you use up leftover cereal? Drop a comment below and let us know!

three leftover cereal recipes, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more hacks, tips, and tricks that help you prevent food waste?

It's crunch time!