Did you buy way more berries than you needed for that cobbler? Hey, we've all been there! Consider it your lucky day because these leftover fruit ideas are making us swoon.

leftover fruit in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Whether you're up to your eyeballs in strawberries or drowning in dates, we've got good news. Leftover fruit is basically shelf cooking gold! So, don't even consider letting your fruit go to waste.

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We're about to spill all the deets on preserving leftover fruit! From freezer instructions to easy, amazing recipes, you'll have leftover fruit ideas galore by the time we're done. Are you ready to do this?!


fruit smoothie ingredients for freezer, from Shelf Cooking

Let's say you've got a ton of fruit on your hands, but you're about to head out of town and won't have time to cook it up… When in doubt, freeze it! Here are a few freezer fruit ideas to try:

  • Traditional Freezer Method – Not quite sure how you may want to use your fruit in the future? No problem! Wash, trim, and core it, then slice it up. Place that fruit on a parchment paper-lined pan, and lay it flat in a single layer. Pop that pan in the freezer for about three hours, then transfer your newly frozen fruit to a resealable bag. Don't forget to label! It should last up to a year.
  • Make Smoothie Packs – Calling all smoothie fans! Stop shelling out $10 (or more) at that smoothie shop every time a craving hits. Turn your leftover fruit into grab-and-go freezer smoothie packs. You'll save loads of time and money!
  • Fruit Ice Cubes – Want to bring the “wow” factor to your next cookout or dinner party? Slice or dice your leftover fruit into bite-sized pieces, then drop it in an ice cube tray, toss in a few fresh herbs, and cover with water. Your lemonade and tea will be oh-so-fancy!
  • Freezer Jam – We don't like to pick favorites, but this one might take the cake. Round up your leftovers and make a batch of this incredible strawberry freezer jam! You can use other fruit, too.

If you'd rather not freeze your fruit, you can jar it, can it, or freeze-dry it if you've got the supplies! And of course, you can cook with it, which brings us to the good stuff! Are you ready for some leftover fruit recipes?!

Pro Tip: If you're looking for ways to store your fruit so it lasts a whole lot longer, we've got you covered. Check out this post for easy fruit storage tips! No more sad, mealy apples for you!


Snickers apple salad in cups, from Shelf Cooking

There are SO many yummy ways to incorporate fruit into sweet treats, side dishes, and breakfast. Here are a few of our favorite leftover fruit ideas:

  • Caramel Apple Bar – We're a little obsessed with this idea! Slice up all those apples, gather your toppings, and have a DIY caramel apple night. This is fun for parties, dates, or family movie nights.
  • Fruit Pizza – Spread a layer of cream cheese on a baked pizza crust (or crescent roll, tortilla, or cookie dough), top with sliced fruit, sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle with honey, and enjoy!
  • Snickers Apple Salad – Okay, we may have a caramel apple problem. But you have to try this Snickers apple salad, you guys! Trust us.
  • Lemon Blueberry Bread – As soon as you see the picture of this lemon blueberry bread, we know you'll be sold, so enough said!
  • Fruit Salad – Not a fan of salad? This one just might change your mind. The secret ingredient in our fruit salad is whipped cream, and it is GOOD.
  • Peach Cobbler – We sure love cobbler season! Slice up those peaches you need to use and make a batch of this easy peach cobbler. Don't forget the ice cream!
  • Apple Crisp – Plug in that crockpot! You'll need it for this ridiculously delicious slow cooker apple crisp.
  • Fruit Leathers – We don't know who needs to hear this, but stop spending half your grocery budget on snacks for the kids! Turn your leftover fruit into a batch of these homemade fruit leathers.

Who's hungry now?! We are; that's for sure. If you loved these ideas, just wait! We're going to dish out a few more ways to use that leftover fruit, and they are EASY.


waffles topped with fruit, from Shelf Cooking

Want to hit the easy button and call it done? These leftover fruit ideas require minimal effort but taste incredible:

  • Garnish Your Waffles (or Pancakes) – We like making a big batch of freezer waffles on meal prep day! And you know what makes them even tastier? A fruit garnish.
  • Whip Up Some Fruit Salsa – This fruit salsa recipe is one of our tried and true party apps, and it's the perfect way to use up your leftover fruit.
  • Serve it with Dip – You know how we said no-effort? This is it! Stir a little peanut butter, protein powder, or cocoa into some Greek yogurt and call it good.
  • Make Fruit Kabobs – Grab your skewers and get to spearing! Add sliced fruit, cheese, marshmallow, veggies, or whatever you have on hand. This makes for a fun and healthy after-school snack!
  • Top a Salad – Take your side salad up a notch with some sliced berries, apples, pears, or peaches. Grill that fruit for an extra special treat!
  • Puree It – Make your own applesauce, or puree other fruits to make your own baby food or top yogurt, oatmeal, or toast.

See? Pretty stinking easy!

Now that you know dozens of ways to put your leftover fruit to good use, we bet you can come up with dozens of more ideas on your own! Whatever you do, remember this: don't let it go to waste. For heaven's sake, use that fruit!

Tell us: what's your favorite recipe that calls for fruit? We love trying new things, so leave us a comment!

Image with text that reads "leftover fruit ideas" from Shelf Cooking

Want to try a few new treats? You'll love these recipes!

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