It’s the hardest math problem in summer food: hot dogs are sold in packs of 10 and hot dog buns in packs of eight (shout out to Hebrew National, which sells its dogs in packs of seven). As a result, you’re almost certain to have leftover buns. Without hot dogs to fill them, those buns are banished to the darkest corner of the fridge or clutter your kitchen counter until they’re noticeably moldy enough to throw away. To help you get the most food for your money and reduce food waste, here are some breakfast, lunch or dinner and dessert dishes that puts those pesky leftover buns to delicious use.
Mini BEC Breakfast Subs
Melt the cheese of your choice like American or cheddar on the inside of the bun. Then lay down two strips of bacon, scrambled eggs, a few dashes of hot sauce and voila! You’ve got the perfect start to any day.
French Toast Sticks
Separate the halves of your buns before dipping them in a mixture of raw eggs, milk, salt, vanilla and cinnamon and browning them in a skillet with some melted butter. Take them a step further by dusting them with brown sugar and a little more cinnamon.
Garlic breadsticks are the savory answer to French toast sticks. Once again, split the buns into halves and brush them with a mixture of melted butter, Kosher salt and garlic powder. If you’re a garlic lover, sprinkle some minced garlic on the buttered buns before baking them until golden brown.
New England-style lobster rolls are a decent bang for your buck as this pricey crustacean goes. Making a chilled lobster salad with a little mayo and finely diced celery stretches one 1.5-pound lobster into feeding a few people so it’s a great way to enjoy the summer delicacy on a budget. Make sure to brush the buns with melted butter and toast them so they’re warm and crunchy and balance out the cool, salty and slightly creamy lobster salad.
Chicken Parm Subs
Melt some mozzarella on the inside of a bun, spoon in some warm tomato sauce and add one or two cooked breaded chicken fingers for an easy version of this satisfying Italian-American classic sandwich. Home entertaining pro tip: make a dozen or so and cut them into thirds before skewering each with a toothpick and serving them as crowd-pleasing hors d’oeuvre at your next party.
Open and separate the hot dog buns and place them inside-down in a mixture of eggs, melted butter, milk, a little vanilla, sugar and cinnamon that you’ve poured into a baking dish. Bake it until the mixture has been absorbed by the buns and serve this dessert to friends or family, maybe with a side of vanilla ice cream. It also makes a decadent breakfast, and you can make a little bit more morning-appropriate by adding slices of peeled apples or a handful of your favorite berries before baking.