40 Leftover Chicken Recipes That Aren’t Totally Boring

Whether you’ve gone all Ina Garten and whipped up a whole lemon and herb roast chicken or simply baked some frozen breasts, you suddenly have more food on your hands than you can eat. If you’re wondering what to make with leftover chicken (other than just steaming some broccoli and calling it a day), here are 40 surprising leftover chicken recipes that will use up the last tidbits.

35 Low-Carb Chicken Recipes That Aren’t Completely Boring

1. Chicken Tinga Tacos

All you need are a few pantry ingredients (plus a few fun toppings), and dinner will be ready in 30 minutes. We can’t get enough of the quick chipotle pepper blender sauce drizzled on top.

2. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Stuffed Peppers

They’re ideal for packing in your kid’s lunch box, but you won’t be disappointed if you keep a few for yourself. In fact, we highly recommend it.

3. Spicy Enchiladas With Pumpkin Seeds

A little secret: After Thanksgiving, we stuff these with leftover turkey, but they’re just as delicious with chicken any other time of year.

4. 15-minute Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Serve these at your next party, but don’t tell anyone how easy they were to make.

5. Rotisserie Chicken Ramen

Even with the simplest ingredients, this sure beats the microwave cups of ramen we ate in college.

6. Crispy Baked Chicken Burritos

Bonus: You can freeze these cuties for up to a month, so if you make a double batch, you’ll be well prepared for your next craving.

7. The Ultimate Chicken Potpie

Whether it’s the most comforting food of all time is still up for debate. What we do know is that they’re worth breaking out your trusty cast-iron skillet.

8. Spicy Lemon-ginger Chicken Soup

By swapping in leftover cooked chicken, you can skip an entire step and save at least an hour’s worth of work in the process. Just pick up a carton of chicken stock at the store and you’re good to go.

9. Lemon-roasted Potatoes, Chicken And Spinach With Tzatziki

This dish takes 35 minutes, tops. Streamline it even further by skipping the boneless chicken breasts when you roast the potatoes.

10. Avocado Chicken Salad

Chicken salad? A classic. Gloppy chicken salad? Less so. We gave it a modern twist with just two tablespoons of mayonnaise and, of course, avocado.

11. Green Bowl With Chicken, Citrus And Herbs

With the chicken already cooked, all you have to do is prep and assemble.

12. Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Nothing against chicken noodle, but sometimes we need a change. (Besides, who could say no to gnocchi?)

13. Pasta Florentine With Grilled Chicken

You can skip the whole lighting-up-the-grill thing and make this creamy pasta in record time.

14. Grilled Pesto Chicken Couscous Bowls

By using precooked chicken, you’ll save at least 15 minutes of cooking time and keep your leftovers from going to waste.

15. Buffalo Chicken Wraps With Blue Cheese And Celery

Admit it: We had you at buffalo. The best part? Lunch for the week is just 20 minutes away.

16. Chicken Pesto Focaccia Sandwiches

If you can get your hands on freshly baked bread, it will make these sammies feel even more special. Pretty fancy for repurposed chicken, huh?

17. Grilled Peach, Chicken And Ricotta Pizza

The best homemade pizza is a lesson in shortcuts. Leftover chicken and store-bought dough make this pie as easy as it is impressive.

18. Grilled Lemon-herb Chicken And Avocado Salad

Truth: Salads are only as good as the sum of their toppings. This one will keep you full long past lunchtime.

19. Keto Sheet-pan Chicken And Rainbow Veggies

Leftover chicken happens to be a genius ingredient for healthy lunches and dinners. Give your roasted veggies a boost of protein, why don’t you?

20. Baked Chicken And Mushroom Risotto

You hear risotto and think hours of stirring, right? Not so. This one is cooked in the oven and topped with cooked chicken for a luxurious and effortless dinner.

21. Mini Mason Jar Chicken Potpies

Behold the most adorable, tiny, comforting casserole we’ve ever laid our eyes on.

22. Low-carb Zucchini Enchiladas

These beauties are made with zucchini instead of tortillas, so they have all the gooey, cheesy goodness you love, just a little bit lighter.

23. Mexican Posole

Posole can be made with chicken or pork, and since we have an entire roast bird in our fridge, you know which route we’re taking.

24. Mini Nachos

Honey, we shrunk the nachos, and we’re not mad about it at all.

25. Healthy Garlic Herb Chicken Salad

Think of this as more of a salad with chicken in it than a mayonnaise-laden gut bomb.

26. Peanut Noodles With Chicken

You can never have too many pasta salad recipes in your back pocket. Now all we need is a picnic invite.

27. Broccoli Chicken Mac And Cheese

This is a major upgrade from plain leftover chicken, and it happens to make a mean second-day meal itself.

28. Sheet Pan Nachos

Shred up your leftovers and watch the magic happen. As for toppings, feel free to go wild.

29. Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Bacon-wrapped Jalapeños

No one at the game watch will suspect that you’re trying to get rid of last night’s dinner.

30. Tikka Masala Soup

Just like your go-to Indian takeout, but in soup form. Add it to your weeknight dinner rotation, stat.

leftover chickenr ecipes chicken and kimchi fried rice recipe
So Much Food

31. Chicken And Kimchi Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of those miracle foods that are actually better when made with leftovers. For a heartier dinner, put an egg on it.

Get the recipe

32. Weeknight Saucy Pineapple Barbecue Chicken Bowls

Thanks to the tangy barbecue sauce, your leftovers will feel like a fresh new meal.

33. Baked Chicken Quesadillas

No more standing by the stove, flipping quesadillas one by one? Sign us up.

34. Chopped Asian-inspired Chicken Salad With “peanut Dressing”

Remember those chopped salads with crispy chow mein noodles you ate as a kid? This is just like that, but sooo much better.

35. Spicy White Bean Chili With Shredded Chicken

Chili usually simmers for an entire day before it’s ready. This one comes together in about 30 minutes.

36. Thai Coconut Soup With Chicken And Lemongrass

Our favorite kind of one-pot meal feels fancy even when it’s not, and this will do more than just fine.

37. 15-minute Healthy Moroccan Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

If you hadn’t already noticed, we love a souped-up chicken salad. This one is lightened up with yogurt, but it still feels fresh thanks to tahini, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon.

38. Roasted Tomatillo Chicken And Rice Bowls

Pile your shredded leftover chicken high in a bowl, then top it with a dreamy green sauce and all the fixings.

39. Baked Chicken Rigatoni With Sweet Corn, Zucchini And Roasted Poblano Béchamel

It’s hard to say no to creamy, cheesy baked pasta as it is, but the color of this one seals the deal for us.

40. Autumn Grain Bowls

It might have autumn in the name, but feel free to swap ingredients for what’s in season and make it all year long.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...