Best Leftover Chicken Recipes



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Leftover Chicken Shopping Tips

Buy whole chickens and ask the butcher to quarter them for you. You will save an average of $5 per pound, or more.

Leftover Chicken Cooking Tips

Allow meat to rest for at least ten minutes before slicing into it; otherwise, the juices will leak out.

Wine Pairing

Pinot noir, gamay, merlot, zinfandel, carménère, pinotage, or grenache with grilled, roasted, or other simply cooked chicken; chardonnay, pinot gris/grigio, pinot blanc, or chenin blanc with chicken in cream or light tomato sauce or with chicken crêpes or croquettes; sauvignon blanc or sémillon with fried chicken; viognier with spiced chicken dishes.


The Best Ways to Use Up Leftover Chicken

If you’re reading this article, rejoice: leftover chicken is like a gift to yourself. Light meat, dark meat: both are endlessly versatile. Although there’s nothing wrong with slicing it up and eating it with a side of plain roast veggies, we’re here to give you a dose of inspiration so the first and second days of leftovers are still interesting.

Below, you’ll find a list of our favorite leftover chicken recipes.

But first, here is a great trick for iterating leftover chicken ideas yourself: Any type of recipe that calls for rotisserie chicken can be made with your leftover chicken instead. We've also brainstormed ways to use up leftover chicken by thinking about three main buckets: sandwiching, mixing and topping. Let us explain.

Sandwiching is exactly what it sounds like: layering or wrapping up chicken in bread, tortillas, hard shell tacos or even lettuce. A simple chicken club sandwich with a chicken breast, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo is a great example. So, too, are chicken tacos. Stuff leftover chicken into hard shells or roll it up in tortillas with chopped tomatoes, avocado, pickled jalapeno and your favorite toppings. Create chicken and cheese quesadillas by sprinkling the two ingredients over a tortilla, topping it with a second tortilla and baking until the cheese is melted. If you’d like a low-carb option, consider rolling up chicken, shredded carrots, cilantro leaves and a creamy salad dressing in large lettuce leaves.

By mixing, we mean stirring leftover chicken into dishes that are already in your repertoire. For example, if you’re making your favorite pasta dish, add chopped chicken at the end and cook it for a few minutes to warm it through. Shred leftover chicken into microwaved mac and cheese, drizzle in buffalo sauce and call it a day. Add it to your go-to casserole recipe. Throw it into soup and simmer until the flavors meld. Combine it with stuffed pepper filling. you get the picture.

Finally, try topping off dishes like pizzas, salads or even baked sweet potatoes with leftover chicken. Serve leftover chicken over cooked rice with some salsa on top. Shred it, toss it with some chipotle chili powder and sprinkle it onto nachos.

Hopefully by now you’re feeling inspired, and just to get those creative juices flowing, here are those recipes we promised.


These spicy tostadas use chorizo and chicken. You'll also need black beans, lettuce, crema, queso fresco, cilantro, onion, tomatoes, garlic cloves, and small corn tortillas.

One final way to use your leftover chicken: coat it in tomatillo-cilantro sauce and wrap it up in tamale dough. Using leftover (or rotisserie chicken) will cut back on the time it takes to make this Mexican favorite.

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20 Leftover Chicken Recipe Ideas

Here are all of the best budget friendly leftover chicken recipes for you. For most of these dishes you only need a small portion of chicken to create a meal to feed a family.

1. Chicken Salad

This leftover chicken salad includes spinach, chopped vegetables and an easy homemade orange dressing which combines together:

  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 Orange
  • Zest of 1/2 to 1 Orange
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt

2. Chicken Stock

A frugal way to make use of a roast chicken is to turn leftover bones into chicken stock or bone broth.

Simply save the carcass and any bones you can, pop it all into a saucepan, cover the bones with water and add in onion, garlic, carrots and plenty of salt. (And pepper or any other seasoning you like, too.)

Bring the saucepan up to the boil and then simmer for 1 hour or up to a few hours, to allow for the bones to fall apart and stock to become rich and flavorful.

Strain out the bones and vegetables and then use the stock as you would regularly in soups, stews and casseroles.

3. Chicken Omelette

Pop a portion of leftover roast chicken into an omelette, along with any vegetables you like and cheese too.

Simply fry up vegetables and then move to a plate when done. Then, whisk 2 to 3 eggs per person and pour into the frying pan.

I like to move the inside of the omelette to the outside and the outside in, to evenly cook the omelette. When set, fill with chicken, vegetables and cheese then carefully fold over.

Flip and cook through on both sides and make sure that the chicken is hot and cooked through, then serve.

4. Creamy Chicken Pasta

This is probably the way that I use leftover roast chicken most often. Cook pasta according to package directions and soften onion and garlic in a frying pan, add in mushrooms or your vegetables of choice.

Cook the vegetables until softened and almost done, then add in the leftover chicken and toss to combine.

Pour over cream to cover and allow to bubble for a few minutes.

Serve the pasta with the creamy chicken sauce, adding in parmesan or any other cheese, if you like.

5. Chicken Risotto

Risotto is actually really easy to make when you’re using leftover chicken.

Bring the kettle up to boil or bring stock up to boil in a saucepan and heat a frying pan to start softening onion and garlic in oil or butter. Once starting to soften, add in mushrooms or your vegetables of choice.

Cook for a few minutes and then sprinkle over rice to cover. Pour over boiled water or stock to just cover the rice and vegetables, allow to bubble and once the liquid has been absorbed, add more.

Keep adding liquid, a little at a time until the rice is cooked to your liking. Once almost done, add in the leftover chicken to heat through. Serve as is or with parmesan or your cheese of choice as a topping.

6. Chicken Stroganoff

To make chicken stroganoff with leftover roast chicken, heat oil or butter in a frying pan and cook onion and garlic until starting to become fragrant.

Then, add chopped mushrooms. I like to include a few different mushroom varieties.

Cook until almost done, sprinkle over plenty of paprika, add the leftover chicken and then pour over your choice from:

Allow to bubble for a few minutes and then serve as is or with rice or pasta.

7. Chicken Soup

Leftover chicken can be mixed into any soup you like for a hearty chicken filled bowl full. (Plus, here’s how to make chicken soup with drumsticks.)

8. Chicken Mayo

Mix leftover chicken with mayonnaise, sour cream or even plain/natural/Greek yogurt for a quick and easy chicken mayo that you can enjoy as a snack or sandwich filling.

9. Chicken Pizza

You can make a pizza base yourself, use a store bought pizza base or even a pita to make a homemade pizza.

Simply top the pizza base with pizza sauce, leftover chicken, cheese and your toppings of choice then bake in the oven until done to your liking.

10. Chicken Pita

Spread a pita with either avocado, mayo or a creamy dressing, add leftover chicken and vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber or tomato.

Wrap up the pita and then you can slice it in half if you’d like.

11. Chicken Sandwich

Spread bread with mayo, avocado, pesto or dressing and top with lettuce, spinach, tomato and leftover roast chicken.

You could add in feta, cream cheese or another cheese variety.

12. Chicken Frittata

Heat a frying pan and cook onion, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli or any other vegetables you like, until golden.

Move to a baking dish or tin and mix through leftover roast chicken. Whisk 2-3 eggs per person and pour over the chicken and vegetables.

Top with cheese or crumble over feta and place into the oven, which has been preheated to 180C/350F for 20 to 30 minutes.

13. Breakfast Hash

Fry up onion, garlic and any leftover roast potatoes or other vegetables until golden.

Add in the leftover roasted chicken to heat through. Then crack a couple of eggs over the breakfast hash and cook until the eggs are done to your liking.

14. Roast Jacket Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and line a baking tray with well greased baking paper.

Wash potatoes or sweet potatoes and place onto the prepared baking tray. Slice an X on the top of each potato, sprinkle over salt and drizzle over extra virgin olive oil.

Toss the potatoes until they are completely covered in the oil. Roast for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, toss the potatoes and cook for a further two 20 minute sessions or until golden and cooked through.

You can heat the leftover chicken in a frying pan, along with cream or sour creamy to make a creamy chicken topping for the potato.

Or, you could mix the leftover chicken with sour cream or mayo. Top the roast potatoes with the chicken, along with sour cream and cheese.

15. Chicken Lasagna

You can follow your favorite lasagna recipe, just omit the beef mince and add in leftover roast chicken into the tomato based sauce instead.

16. Chicken Pie

Leftover chicken can be transformed into an indulgent pie. Fry onion, garlic and leek, along with mushrooms in a frying pan. Cook until all of the vegetables have softened and cooked.

Then, add in the leftover chicken and pour over your chosen liquids from stock, cream or sour cream.

Allow to bubble for a few minutes, then move to a baking dish. Cover with puff pastry, crimp the edges with a fork and poke a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape.

Place into an oven which has been preheated to 180C/350F for 30 to 35 minutes.

17. Chicken Stir Fry

Fry up your favorite stir fry vegetables, add in leftover chicken to heat through and serve with noodles and your go to stir fry sauce.

18. Egg Fried Rice

Make basic egg fried rice by cooking onion and garlic in oil in a frying pan or wok until browned.

Add in a portion of cooked rice, leftover chicken and salt, along with more oil and toss to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes to heat through.

You could also add in any fresh of frozen vegetables you like, like carrots, peas or scallions/spring onions to help the dish go further and add in flavor and nutrition.

Whisk a couple of eggs and pour over the chicken. Allow the egg to set briefly and then toss around the pan until the egg is cooked to your liking.

Serve as is or you could mix through soy sauce or your sauce or seasoning of choice.

19. 4 Ingredient Tortellini or Ravioli Bake

In a baking dish, combine together:

  • 1 Package of Tortellini or Ravioli
  • 1 Jar of Pasta Sauce
  • Leftover roast chicken
  • Grated Cheese

Toss until well combined, top with more grated cheese and place into a preheated oven at 180C/350F for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

20. Cheesy Chicken & Vegetable Casserole

Combine leftover roast chicken in a baking dish, together with vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms or your vegetable of choice.

Pour over 1/3 to 1/2 cup each of cream, sour cream and cheese, then toss to combine.

Top with more grated cheese and place into a 180C/350F oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

These leftover chicken recipes ideas are all you need to create all kinds of tasty chicken dishes when you find yourself with leftover roasted chicken.


Weeknight Rotisserie Chicken Recipes

Make quick work of dinner on busy weeknights with a simple shortcut: use rotisserie or leftover chicken. You’ll save a ton of time and still be able to sit down to a delicious, homemade meal.

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©prop stylist: Marina Malchin Food stylist: Jamie Kimm

Quinoa Bowl with Chicken and Avocado Cream

Every grain bowl should have a successful balance of crunchiness, creaminess and bold flavor. In this Mexican-inspired bowl, the crunchy tortilla chips and roasted pepitas are nicely complemented by avocado cream and hearty quinoa. Make a big batch of quinoa and keep it frozen in resealable bags for up to 1 month thaw and reheat as needed. Having an arsenal of the premade stuff in your freezer will help cut down prep time on busy nights.

Chicken Shepherd's Pie

With rotisserie chicken, frozen spinach and grated cheese, this is a great recipe to make the most of those odds and ends that are hanging around the kitchen.

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

For a healthier and quicker take on pulled pork sandwiches, give Ellie's chicken BBQ sandwiches a try.

Herby Chicken and Spinach Baked Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella

Toss fusilli with plenty of fresh parsley, spinach, shredded rotisserie chicken and mozzarella and bake it until golden brown. A shower of fresh parsley at the end adds a fresh touch.

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls

Aaron's cheesy rotisserie chicken balls get a big dose of flavor from hot sauce and fresh scallions. Serve with a tangy blue cheese dipping sauce.

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

Personal pot pies make it easy to use up exactly what you have on hand. The secret ingredient for an extra burst of chicken flavor? A bouillon cube.

Italian Chicken Pasta Salad

Geoffrey's "icebox cleanout" salad is perfect for busy nights when you need to use what's on hand. Mix and match meats, veggies and cheeses depending on what's in the fridge.

30-Minute Coq au Vin

Classic coq au vin can take up to two days to prepare, including marinating the chicken overnight. We make a red wine sauce with bacon, mushrooms and pearl onions (the frozen variety, so you can skip the tedious peeling), then slip in rotisserie chicken parts to warm through, and voila!

Shortcut Chicken Enchiladas

This dish whips store-bought rotisserie chicken, salsa and beans into a quick enchilada bake that is ready in less than an hour. It's a great use for that leftover half of a chicken, but if you have a whole chicken, you can easily double the recipe to make 8 to 12 servings.

Chicken Tamales

Healthier than traditional tamales, thanks to a noticeable lack of lard, these tasty tamales use shredded rotisserie chicken, green peas and pimiento olives. However, the filling options are limited only by your imagination.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Make this soup when you need something both warming and wholesome. It's full of fresh flavor and hearty whole-grains, like fiber-rich farro.

Chicken and Asparagus Crepes

Chicken Carbonara

White Chicken Chili Stew

Shredded Chicken and Tomatillo Tacos

Grilled tomatillo salsa elevates the rotisserie chicken in this dish. You can warm flour tortillas directly on the grill, but Bobby prefers blue corn tortillas, which he runs under water before grilling so they don't burn.

Skillet Chicken and Dumplings

The secret to this shortcut version of the comfort classic is using rotisserie chicken and prepared biscuit dough: With these two products on hand, a three-hour dish becomes fast enough for a weeknight dinner and easy enough (just one pot!) that you can make it almost anywhere--from a camping trip to a vacation rental.

Chicken Flautas with Avocado Cream

Pozole

Thanks to shredded rotisserie chicken, Ree&rsquos spicy soup is ready in just 16 minutes.

Chicken Ramen Noodle Dump Dinner

Low maintenance and packed with flavor, this creamy casserole transforms dorm-friendly ramen noodles into a satisfying casserole for a crowd.

Open-Face Vietnamese Chicken Sandwiches

Spring Chicken Salad

Layered Picnic-in-a-Jar

Packed with Moroccan spiced chickpeas, rice tossed in a cilantro vinaigrette, tender eggplant and moist shredded chicken, Melissa's layered meal is the perfect solution when you need a quick dinner.

Chocolate Chicken Mole

Chicken and Black Bean Tostadas

Middle Eastern-Style Chicken, Veggies and Rice

Almost-Famous Chimichangas

Chicken Summer Rolls

Spiced Couscous and Chicken

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Cold Peanut Soba Noodles with Chicken

Chicken and Bean Burrito Verde

Quick Rotisserie Chicken Pot Pies

Why fuss with making a traditional pot pie? You can finish this easy stove-top version in half the time. Topping the finished filling with golden, buttery pieces of puff pastry is a delicious, fast and pretty finish to this bowl of comfort.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Claire's 5-ingredient dip packs all the delicious flavor of wings into one cheesy, spicy bowl. This is the perfect pick when you need a fun, laid-back dinner. Add veggies and crackers for dipping or spread onto slices of bread.

Asian Chicken and Quinoa Salad

Chicken and Bean Burritos

Chicken-and-Cheese Enchiladas

Baked Gnocchi with Chicken

Chicken and White Corn Chowder

Sunny's Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza

Chicken and Egg Soup with Pastina

Chicken Soup with Dumplings

Frozen dumplings and pre-cooked rotisserie chicken help bring this warm, comforting soup together in just 30 minutes.

Lemon-Dill Chicken Cakes

Made with citrus, herbs and mustard, there&rsquos no shortage of flavor with these tender, pan-fried chicken cakes.

Cheesy Ditalini with Chicken and Spinach

This quick and easy dinner is a complete meal in one simple dish. It&rsquos loaded with chicken, pasta and veggies &mdash all wrapped up in a creamy, cheesy sauce.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

When you need a speedy meal, salad is always a good option. This Waldorf-inspired salad is extra filling, thanks to the addition of shredded rotisserie chicken.

Tequila-Chicken Fettuccine

Mix it up on pasta night with this 35-minute dish. The fettuccine is tossed with chicken, sautéed bell peppers, onion, garlic and jalapeno. Lime juice and cilantro round out the Tex-Mex inspired flavor.

Barbecue Chicken Sliders

Shredded rotisserie chicken practically begs to be doused in sweet-and-smoky barbecue sauce. Pile it high in soft rolls and top with a tangy cucumber-and-onion topping for the perfect sandwich.

Chicken Taco Salad

Health-ify your Tuesday night taco routine by serving all your favorite fillings over crisp, refreshing romaine lettuce.


Hanging on to leftover rotisserie chicken? Throw it in the slow cooker with a few additional ingredients and create a whole new dinner that will please the entire family!

Slow cooker meals are seriously the best because you essentially toss a bunch of ingredients together and then walk away. Hours later you return to a delicious homecooked meal. This southwestern dinner is made with several protein-rich ingredients such as chicken, quinoa, and black beans. Enjoy the meal on its own or toss the ingredients into a tortilla!


Best Taco Toppings

The best thing about this leftover chicken taco recipe is that it is a super vehicle for your favourite toppings. Here are a few ideas, but let me know what you like!

  • Guacamole, as spicy as you like it!
  • Tomato and onion relish
  • Sour cream, with or without a sprinkle of paprika or freshly chopped herbs.
  • Thinly sliced red onions
  • Chopped avocado
  • Grated cheddar
  • Squeeze of lime

Salad

Slater again: his asparagus with chicken and basil dressing is almost too simple to call a salad. The key to it is the dressing, which should be made at the last minute.

Chicken pad thai. Photograph: gbh007/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Chicken and freekeh salad with salsa verde requires a bit more chopping, but that’s all. If you don’t like freekeh, or don’t know what it is, you could easily substitute bulgar wheat or couscous. We’re only dressing up leftover chicken, after all, so it makes sense to work with what you’ve got.

If you’re fortunate enough to have some stale bread on hand, Thomasina Miers’s chicken panzanella salad needs only the addition of good tomatoes, capers, anchovies, basil, peppers and an onion to create something considerably more elegant than the sum of its parts.

If you’ve still got any chicken left, you can try this leftover chicken pad thai, the historical curiosity that is coronation chicken or Jackie Middleton’s delicious, if unprepossessing, cheesy bake.


Leftover chicken tray bake

If you've got leftover chicken from a roast, we're betting there is a few stray roast potatoes and some veg too? A tray bake is an easy way to warm them all up together. All you need to do is drizzle with a little flavour and stick in the oven.

  • Potatoes (can be cooked)
  • Onions
  • Lemon/lime juice
  • Sauce (like soy sauce or teriyaki)

Image credit: JEMMA_WATTS

25 Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Recipes to Get Dinner on the Table FAST!

These leftover rotisserie chicken recipes will help you feed your family fast. Most can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, started in your crockpot or instant pot, and will bring dinner together quickly.

Grocery stores make it convenient and affordable to feed our families more than ever before. If you buy a whole chicken to cook at home, it would cost about $4-$5.

When you walk past the deli, you can find a rotisserie chicken for $6-$7. Who wouldn’t pay $2 for someone to prepare the chicken FOR THEM and be able to buy it immediately (saving an hour or more of time!)?

If you haven’t purchased a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken because you didn’t know what to do with it, I’ve got you covered!



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