10 Great Recipes For Leftover Chicken
There’s a certain sadness that comes with throwing away uneaten leftovers and food that’s gone bad. You start calculating how much money you just threw into the garbage, you think of all the dinners you could have made and the time you would have gained had you just opened up the fridge. We feel you. As much of a pain cooking might seem some nights, it never feels worth it to waste time, money and food on unnecessary trips to the store or a restaurant. And even if you’re not the biggest fan of leftovers, that word doesn’t have to mean eating the same thing for multiple nights in a row. So much can be done with the food you’ve already made. The one we are the biggest, baddest fans of is that good ol’ fashioned leftover chicken. Whether it’s roasted, grilled, baked or rotisseried-there’s a lot you can do with this fowl before it goes foul.
We’ve compiled a few of our favorite leftover chicken recipes to help you along with your weeknight meals. Dinner doesn’t have to be a hassle and these cheap and easy recipes will help you keep it fresh.
Chicken Pot Pie
There’s not one thing you could do to change most people’s minds of how awesome chicken pot pie is. It’s simplicity at its finest. Chicken, onion, celery, carrot, potato and peas made a perfect home-style, comfort food filling that warms the heart just as much as the belly. This is one of those leftover chicken recipes that doesn’t sacrifice flavor as the chicken is just added. Some salt and pepper, a pinch of time and parsley will take you a long way. You can make your own regular or gluten-free pie dough or make it super simple and use the frozen stuff. In the end, you get a delicious, homemade meal that’s ready in under an hour.
Few things make people as happy as quesadillas do. They’re cheap, simple and absolutely delicious when smothered in salsa and sour cream and stuffed with enough cheese to combat a cow. Without a doubt, this is simple food at its best. That’s why we can’t help but love throwing in some chicken to that mix, maybe with some Chihuahua cheese, diced jalapeno and topped with a mound of sour cream and guacamole. Definitely consider chicken quesadillas the next time you’re left with more chicken than you know to deal with.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is one of the simplest and most rewarding dishes you can make with leftover chicken. Some onion, celery and carrot give this soup most of the flavor it needs to be absolutely delicious. Throw in some parsley, salt and pepper, chicken broth and your chopped chicken, and you have dinner in a total of about 30 minutes.
This protein packed sandwich stuffer or lettuce topper is delicious at its most simple-with onion, celery, salt and mayonnaise. Add a bit of spice or some tasty out-of-the-box additions and you could have created one seriously amazing sandwich stacker. That’s where chicken salad is so great: it’s a flavor absorber, molding to whatever you happen to mix in. We would recommend mixing in a bit of curry powder and some fresh grapes or a little bit of honey mustard and some chopped green apples.
There are so many things you can do with chicken and pizza that this should easily be one of your go-to leftover meals. Pick up a pre-made crust and go wild with toppings. You could do it up Mediterranean style with a bit of pesto, some fresh tomato and spinach for a light option. And you can never go wrong with the good ol’ American way using barbecue sauce as the base, topped with some thinly sliced red onion and buffalo mozzarella. And speaking of buffalo, you can have some fun with a buffalo chicken version using the sauce as the base again, a lovely mixture of mozzarella and blue cheese and that delightful leftover chicken.
Chicken Club Sandwich
Hot or cold, the amazing chicken club sandwich is an easy go-to for leftover chicken recipes. Bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato add just the right amount of flavor and texture to an already unbeatable sandwich. And don’t let those toppings tie you down. You can go wild with different sandwich stuffings.
Easily a leftover chicken go-to. If you’ve never made chicken enchiladas before, you need to do it as soon as possible. You would be surprised just how easy this classic Mexican dish is to make. We definitely were! Throw some of that chicken into corn tortillas with cheese, chopped cilantro and veggies. Fold it up and place in a baking dish, seam down to lock everything in. Keep doing it until the pan is full and then top with your favorite roja, verde or mole sauce and gobs more cheese. To make it extra easy, we recommend a store bought enchilada sauce. In the end, you have another dinner ready in under an hour.
Sometimes chicken chili hits the spot even better than the traditional beef and beans. Plus, it’s a great way to use up a bunch of things you have sitting in your refrigerator. Peppers, tomato, onion, garlic throw it in with some shredded chicken and a couple can of beans and you have dinner and lunch for at least a day.
Made a little bit too much grilled chicken at your last barbecue? That smoky flavor makes a great addition to any salad. Mix your greens and toppings, toss with a lovely homemade or store bought dressing and slice up some of those chicken breasts you have in the fridge. It’s healthy, packed with protein and a great option for lunch or dinner.
Pesto Chicken Pasta
It’s pesto, chicken and pasta. Of course it’s delicious! Try it with some lovely homemade pesto sauce and you will seriously be blown away by the simplicity of this flavorful dish. We recommend using a spiral or rigatoni type noodle so every bite has an even amount of sauce.