10 Foods That Are Always Better The Next Day

One of the best things about either making too much food to eat in one sitting or ordering too much grub when out at a restaurant is that you always have a meal for the next day. Now, there are definitely some people out there who might cringe at the thought of a reheated entrée, but tackling a pile of leftover food from the day before saves you money, time, and effort. Why the heck would anyone want to cook when they can just pop the remaining remnants of a delicious meal in the oven for a few minutes instead?

Oddly enough, there are a few kinds of food that, some would argue, actually taste better the next day. It might sound strange that a piping-hot meal fresh out of the oven might not contain the plethora of flavors that results from the food resting for a multitude of hours. So, if you're the type of person who loves making a meal out of leftovers, this list of foods that taste better the next day is certainly for you!


There is rarely a time when pizza doesn't satisfy an appetite. A hot doughy disk of gooey cheese, tangy marinara sauce, and all the toppings your mind can dream up usually hit the spot perfectly. But, sometimes if you're ordering more than one pie, the chances of finishing all the slices are slim, especially if you don't have company over to help chow down. Luckily, pizza is one of those foods that tastes absolutely awesome the very next day.

So, why exactly does that reheated slice of 'za seem to pack more flavor? It's thanks to time. When all the ingredients in the pizza sit overnight, much of the flavor from them –- from the sauce to the toppings -– all have a much longer time to meld together and create a stronger, richer experience. Chris Simons, an associate professor of sensory science at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, explained that in the case of foods left overnight, "there's an opportunity for those flavors to marry a little bit longer and sort of continue to evolve, which can make them more flavorful."

Thanksgiving food

When Thanksgiving time rolls around, we all get our waistlines ready for some serious action. A Thanksgiving feast is like no other. We sit around the dinner table with friends and family while stuffing our faces with delicious food without feeling a fraction of guilt because that's what Thanksgiving is for! Check your diet at the door and prepare your stomach for some serious dining action. But, once the feast is over, just know that all those amazing leftovers are going to be a home run the next day.

The reason why Thanksgiving turkey and all the delicious side dishes still taste awesome the next day is because so many of the flavors are able to set overnight and combine with each other to create a powerful punch of taste, per WHYY. Many of the dishes served at Thanksgiving have a number of herbs and spices in them, and all those flavors release and join hands to create potent flavors after resting for some time.

Egg salad

Eggs are one of those awesome foods that can be prepared in tons of ways. Heck, those white vertical toques that chefs wear have 100 folds in them to represent the number of ways one can prepare an egg. So, eggs are pretty versatile. And, preparing a batch of egg salad is a great way to enjoy eggs for multiple days at a time. Plus, you can add a bunch more ingredients beyond just eggs and mayo. The best part about egg salad, though, is that if you add a bunch of ingredients, it'll taste even better the day after you make it.

The reason for this is that when you place something in the fridge overnight, the flavors are able to settle in with each other to create a more potent taste. The mayonnaise used will certainly seep into the egg more, allowing for a softer texture the next day. And, if you add ingredients like onions or various spices into the salad, those flavors will absolutely go through some chemical changes that alter the flavor for the better, per HuffPost.


Tons of people remember those classic dinner nights as a kid when Mom made meatloaf for the family. Meatloaf –- although not the most appealing name in the world -– is an awesome dish that can contain so many different ingredients in it. There's no right or wrong way to make it. As long as you have a loaf of ground meat, you can toss in anything your little heart desires. If you ended up making an enormous meatloaf, don't fret! The next day that dish will taste even better.

The reasoning behind this is that all of the individual ingredients that comprise the dish are allowed to blend together over time. Dr. Kantha Shelke with the Institute of Food Technologists, told Forbes about this flavor-enhancing tactic, saying, "Aromatic ingredients tend to undergo a larger number of reactions that produce flavor and aroma compounds which in turn react with the proteins and the starches. In general, as the food cools and is left to sit in the fridge, and then reheated, some of these reactions continue to take place resulting in improved flavor."


If you're in the mood to truly fill your belly to the brim, there are few meals that ensure that happens quite like lasagna. The layered pasta dish comes complete with meat, cheese, sauce, and, of course, those thick sheets of lasagna pasta ready to nestle in your gut like savory cement. And, as great as lasagna tastes when it comes fresh out of the oven, you'll likely find that diving into a plate of the leftover stuff the next day actually tastes better.

The science behind this enhanced taste has to do with time allowing the ingredients to bond with each other to create a richer, deeper flavor profile. A food director at Taste named Kim Coverdale explained the process, saying, "Have you noticed if you cut your lasagna as soon as it comes out of the oven, it can be sloppy, falls apart easily and the sauce runs to the bottom of the dish? When you have it the next day, the sauce has had time to firm up and create an even richer tomato taste."


A little something sweet after a big savory meal is always ideal. It helps change up the vibe that's been dancing around your palate for some time, and a sweet flavor totally complements a savory one perfectly. When someone breaks out a freshly baked pie post-dinner, it's applause all around the table because everyone knows they're about to literally sink their teeth into something sugary and delicious to wrap up a great meal. But did you know that a slice of pie actually tastes better the day after it's made fresh?

Pie tends to taste better after sitting for awhile for one simple reason: All of the ingredients involved have time to marry and become more potent. Sure, a hot slice of apple pie fresh out of the oven does taste great, but when you allow all the sugars and spices to snuggle with each other for many hours, that sweet apple flavor is enhanced tenfold. Pie innards will coagulate over time, which also leads to a denser, richer flavor, per Science & Food.


When you're staring into your cupboard trying to figure out how to throw together a bunch of things into one dish, the answer is a casserole. You can make it meat-heavy, veggie-heavy, or a great mixture of both, depending on the ingredients you have at your disposal. Now, casseroles can be quite a filling meal, but the great news is that saving some for the next day not only saves you time and money, but it also makes for an even tastier meal.

Because casseroles are made with a variety of flavors, all of the profiles have a chance to really mix with each other when cooling in the fridge overnight. Charles Spence, a food scientist and experimental psychologist at Oxford University, had this to say about the flavors of leftover food, per Mirror: "Dishes that taste better on reheating are moist (so avoiding the dangers of drying out or going soggy), and they often incorporate a complex range of ingredients." So that casserole sitting in your fridge is eagerly awaiting your return, and it'll be even tastier this next time around.


If your palate is craving something that's gonna smack it hard with tons of vibrant spices, you should look no further than curry. Curry dishes are packed with intense flavors from an array of unique spices that play all sorts of amazing notes as they dance across your tongue. And, great news if you're a curry-head: That stellar bowl of curry you ate today is going to taste richer and deeper if you save some for tomorrow.

When a batch of curry sits for a lengthy period of time, all of those spices used are able to seep into the broth, veggies, and meat. Oxford University food scientist Charles Spence explained to Mirror what happens with leftover curry. He said, "In a curry, for example, when it's left overnight in the fridge, flavors disperse more evenly. Though a curry may have as many as 20 or 30 different spices, the idea is they should meld so that no singular element is identifiable in the mix. At the same time, the longer meat is in contact with the sauces, the more it will marinate and take on the delicious maturing flavors."


There are few foods that can face down Old Man Winter and his dastardly band of blizzards quite like a hot bowl of stew. The rich broth staves off the cold like nothing else, and the meat and veggies are a perfectly silky texture. When it comes time to make a stew, it's always a better idea to make an enormous batch so you have a stash for a later date. And, not only do you have a great meal, but you have a meal that tastes even better than when it came fresh out of the pot.

Because stews contain such a plethora of hearty ingredients, it's only normal that the longer they stay mingling with each other, the more they're going to take on richer, deeper flavors. Dr. Kantha Shelke with the Institute of Food Technologists talked with Forbes about what happens to stewed meat when it rests overnight. "When stewed meat cools down, the gelatinous material from the collagen and tendons etc. that has melted during cooking begins to gel in and around the chunks of meat. As this happens, the various flavor compounds get trapped in the gel," she said.


There's only one thing on our mind when we start feeling a cold creeping up on us unexpectedly: Get us to the nearest bowl of soup. Chicken noodle soup will live in the memories of so many people as the cure-all to childhood colds. But, as good as that chicken noodle soup, or any soup, tastes the day it's made, if you let it sit overnight, you'll be able to dive head-first into a hot bowl of even more satisfying, tasty soup the next day.

Allowing a batch of soup to rest overnight in the fridge lets a thorough marination process occur. BBC Science Focus explained that "free water in a dish will tend to soak into starch, taking dissolved flavor with it -– pea and ham soup tastes better the next day because the ham stock has been absorbed by the pea starch." Kim Coverdale, a food director at Taste, echoed this sentiment when it comes to enhancing pumpkin soup. She said, "Turn a good pumpkin soup into great pumpkin soup by allowing the soup to rest in the fridge overnight. It results in a thicker, full-bodied soup. Yum!"