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.
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.
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.
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.