A Recent Survey Finds That 79% of Americans Believe Soup Makes the Best Leftovers

Whether you prefer takeout or typically cook dinner at home, leftovers often find their way into your fridge. However, a new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Bosch home appliances reveals that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. According to their findings, a majority of respondents say they'd rather eat leftovers because it's easier than having to cook (46 percent) and more affordable than going out and buying dinner (32 percent). While you may immediately think of pizza or pasta as Americans' favorite leftovers, soup actually tops the list, with 79 percent of respondents favoring it.

The survey polled 2,000 people and found that a weekly diet among Americans typically includes five home-cooked meals, three leftover meals, three takeout meals, and three meals out at restaurants. The survey also found that 61 percent of respondents are eating leftovers more than ever since the start of the pandemic. Half prefer to eat leftovers from a home-cooked meal or from takeout, while 42 percent say they use meal prepping techniques. Among the survey participants, 72 percent of Americans identify themselves as pro-leftovers, but the rest say they don't like to eat them or never eat them.

Related: 15 Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps and Leftovers


Some factors make certain leftovers better than others. Over half of the respondents believe a key detail is how recently the food was made, followed by how it smells (46 percent), where the food is from (46 percent), and how reheatable it is (41 percent). Additionally, survey participants have specific foods they feel make the best leftovers. While soup is the favorite, pizza is also a top contender with 63 percent of respondents choosing it at their top pick. Other leftover picks include meat (62 percent), pasta (60 percent), and rice (55 percent).

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The two most contentious foods among respondents are avocados and guacamole. While one-third think avocados don't work as leftovers, 34 percent feel they're good enough to save. Guacamole is slightly more popular though, with 36 percent saying it's a good leftover in comparison to 30 percent wouldn't wouldn't have it for a second meal. The worst things to keep as leftovers include eggs (42 percent) and sushi (33 percent).

While 12 percent say they never eat leftovers, many Americans save food with the intent of eating it as a leftover meal (even if they never do). Sixty-three percent even say they save leftover takeout food whether they think it would be good the next day or not. According to the study, eating leftovers is key to helping Americans be more sustainable, with 56 percent saying this was the top sustainability practice they uphold in their kitchen.