25 brilliant ways to use up leftover chicken
istockphoto.com

25 Brilliant Ways to Use Up Leftover Chicken

Don’t let perfectly delicious chicken go to waste
25 brilliant ways to use up leftover chicken
istockphoto.com

Chicken dishes can be relatively easy to make, given the fact that poultry is versatile and tastes good with all kinds of herbs, spices and marinades. But if you’re making a whole roast chicken for a small family or just so happen to grill a few too many chicken breasts, it can be hard to know how to get creative with all that leftover chicken.

Luckily, the versatility of chicken means you can make all kinds of chicken sandwiches, soups, salads and wraps with your leftovers. Feel good about not wasting food by making something delicious with these leftover chicken recipes perfect for busy weeknights, a nice potluck or a hearty lunch.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Courtesy of The Gumbo Bros

One of the most iconic foods in America, gumbo was named the official state dish of Louisiana in 2004. This stew comes in two varieties: Creole and Cajun. This recipe for Cajun gumbo calls for andouille sausage in addition to chicken, with onions, bell peppers, okra and a healthy amount of Cajun seasoning to give it a good kick.

Click here for the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo recipe.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip
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A buffalo chicken dip can be perfect for a party or snacking on game day for a taste of delicious chicken wings without all the mess. Add cream cheese, hot sauce, mozzarella cheese, ranch dressing and yogurt in with your leftover shredded chicken for a quick, satisfying dip.

Click here for the Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe.

Cheesy Chicken Flautas

Cheesy Chicken Flautas

Courtesy of Chi-Chi’s

Flautas, also known as taquitos, are basically small, rolled tacos that have been fried. These Cheesy Chicken Flautas are a great use for your leftover chicken, which along with cheese, salsa and cumin makes up the filling. This dish is at its most delicious when eaten with sour cream or guacamole on top.

Click here for the Cheesy Chicken Flautas recipe.

Savory Crescent Chicken Squares

Savory Crescent Chicken Squares

Courtesy of Pillsbury

Mix cubes (or shreds, if that’s easier) of leftover chicken with butter, cream cheese, milk, chives and pimientos to make a deliciously creamy filling for crescent roll sandwiches. Baked in the oven and topped with crushed croutons, these Savory Crescent Chicken Squares are best served still warm and are perfect for a quick meal.

Click here for the Savory Crescent Chicken Squares recipe.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
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Chicken Caesar salad is perhaps the most perfect dish ever, and the easiest way to use up your leftovers. Just throw your chicken in with some romaine lettuce hearts, Caesar dressing, garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese for a classic meal.

Click here for the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad recipe.

Mexican Chicken Lime Soup

Mexican Chicken Lime Soup
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A traditional soup from the Mexican state of Yucatán, lime soup has its roots in Mayan cuisine, with the influence of Hispanic culture and European meats changing it over time. Instead of cooking cubes of chicken breast, you can just use your leftover chicken to make this scrumptious soup, packed with onion, garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro and, of course, limes.

Click here for the Mexican Chicken Lime Soup recipe.

Chicken Salad Crostini with Pepitas and Cilantro

Chicken Salad Crostini with Pepitas and Cilantro
istockphoto.com

One of the best salads that isn’t really salad, chicken salad is the perfect way to repurpose your leftover chicken for lunch or a snack. This recipe for Chicken Salad Crostini with Pepitas and Cilantro features slices of a baguette topped with chicken salad that includes Parmesan cheese, jalapeno, cilantro and pepitas, which are shelled pumpkin seeds.

Click here for the Chicken Salad Crostini with Pepitas and Cilantro recipe.

Thai Chicken Spinach Wraps

Thai Chicken Spinach Wraps

Courtesy of Bellyfull.net

These wraps are bursting with flavor. Combine lime juice, honey, mayonnaise, yogurt, apples, spinach, onions, cilantro and almonds and a chicken filling, which gets a Thai-inspired twist with ginger and red curry paste. Wrap the mixture in spinach tortillas, and make sure to eat it while it’s warm.

Click here for the Thai Chicken Spinach Wraps recipe.

Chicken Tacos

Chicken Tacos

Naomi B./Yelp

Everyone loves a taco, and this recipe is perfect if you have some roasted chicken leftovers. Using pulled chicken as the protein, these tacos are topped with pico de gallo, queso fresco and spicy aioli.

Click here for the Chicken Tacos recipe.

Peri-Peri Chicken Penne Pasta

Peri-Peri Chicken Penne Pasta

Courtesy of Venturists

Your leftover chicken is perfect for this pasta with a spicy flair. This recipe adds zesty peri-peri sauce to a creamy pasta dish alongside onions and tomatoes for tons of flavor that can revive any dryness your chicken may have.

Click here for the Peri-Peri Chicken Penne Pasta recipe.

BBQ Chicken Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad

Dreamstime

If you’re craving a taste of barbecue, try adding it to a fresh salad bowl. Romaine lettuce topped with chicken, bacon, black beans, corn, tomato, onion and cheese is tossed with a mix of ranch dressing and barbecue sauce. Even better, the recipe calls for tortilla chips instead of croutons.

Click here for the BBQ Chicken Salad recipe.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
istockphoto.com

Soup is the ultimate comfort food for when you’re sick or the weather is chilly, and you can heat things up with a Tex-Mex twist. Chop up some tomatoes, onions, cilantro and garlic to complement your leftover shredded chicken, and add all that to chicken broth. Chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper give this soup a bold flavor you can’t resist. Make this soup extra fun with avocado, Monterey Jack cheese and tortilla chips on top.

Click here for the Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe.

Chicken Ramen Noodle Salad

Chicken Ramen Noodle Salad
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Turn your love of ramen into a healthier option by just making a few tweaks to half a pack of instant ramen. This Chicken Ramen Noodle Salad recipe doesn’t use the spice packet and, instead, calls for some chicken, garlic, ginger, soy sauce along with some veggies for a salad with a Japanese flair.

Click here for the Chicken Ramen Noodle Salad recipe.

Chick and Broccoli Pot Pies

Chick and Broccoli Pot Pies

Courtesy of Pillsbury

Using a ready-made tube of biscuit dough, you can make some delicious mini pot pies perfect for a potluck or even just your own enjoyment. These Chick and Broccoli Pot Pies feature cheese, rice cereal, chicken and broccoli, and are also sprinkled with almonds to add a fun textural element.

Click here for the Chick and Broccoli Pot Pies recipe.

 

Mixed Veggie and Chicken Quesadilla

Mixed Veggie and Chicken Quesadilla
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Eat more vegetables by adding them to some delicious quesadillas. This chicken quesadilla includes diced bell peppers, shredded jack cheese and mixed veggies alongside your leftover shredded chicken wrapped in a warm tortilla.

Click here for the Mixed Veggie and Chicken Quesadilla recipe.

Chicken and Quinoa Soup

Chicken and Quinoa Soup
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Add more protein to your diet by making a chicken soup with some quinoa. Onions, tomatoes, carrots, celery, cilantro and cumin help to make this delicious soup, which is perfect for a runny nose or rainy day.

Click here for the Chicken and Quinoa Soup recipe.

Chicken Florentine Panini

Chicken Florentine Panini

Courtesy of Pillsbury

Leftovers are perfect for sandwiches, and you can use yours to make this delicious Chicken Florentine Panini. Taking inspiration from Florentine pasta, this perfect office lunch uses pizza crust for the bread. The sandwich amps things up with spinach, provolone cheese, mayonnaise, onions and Italian seasoning.

Click here for the Chicken Florentine Panini recipe.

Mandarin Chicken Salad

Mandarin Chicken Salad

Courtesy of Green Chef

The Mandarin Chicken Salad is meant to be made with chicken tenders but can work with any leftover chicken — just add red leaf lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, almonds and canned mandarin oranges. Top it with a homemade mango-tamari vinaigrette and make some delicious rice cakes to eat along with it for a full meal.

Click here for the Mandarin Chicken Salad recipe.

Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes
Shutterstock

Another innovative way to enjoy your chicken salad is by not using any bread at all. Add chicken to a mix of yogurt, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, mustard, green onion and bacon. Then add the filling to some hollowed tomatoes for a quick, healthy meal.

Click here for the Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes recipe.

Slow-Cooker Poblano Corn Chowder with Chicken and Chorizo

Slow-Cooker Poblano Corn Chowder with Chicken and Chorizo

You can make plenty of delicious foods in a slow cooker if you know how to use it right. Throw your chicken in along with some sausage, potatoes, chiles, poblano chile, broth and sugar, and let it simmer for seven to eight hours before adding in some heavy cream and cilantro for a Southwestern-style chowder.

Click here for the Slow-Cooker Poblano Corn Chowder with Chicken and Chorizo recipe.

Chicken-Chile Pozole

Chicken-Chile Pozole

Pozole is another traditional Mexican dish that’s worth a try. New Mexican or Guajillo chiles, garlic, onion, lime juice and oregano are added to a mix of chicken, broth and hominy (or corn) before being garnished with radishes, avocado and cilantro.

Click here for the Chicken-Chile Pozole recipe.

Fast ‘N Fresh Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich

Fast ‘N Fresh Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich

Add some spice to your chicken salad sandwich with this easy recipe that calls for a mix of chicken, apricot jam, yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, carrots, celery, grapes, raisins and almonds. Apple slices and spinach leaves add more crunch to your sandwich, and whole wheat bread is a great way to increase your fiber intake.

Click here for the Fast ‘N Fresh Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich recipe.

Chicken Salad Wrap with Grapes

Chicken Salad Wrap with Grapes

A dressing made with mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar and nutmeg gives your leftover chicken new life and ample flavor. This classic chicken salad recipe also uses grapes to add in a bit of sweetness.

Click here for the Chicken Salad Wrap with Grapes recipe.

Red and Green Chicken Enchiladas

Red and Green Chicken Enchiladas
Shutterstock

You don’t need to make a trip to the Southwest or Mexico to try these delicious street food favorites; enchiladas are pretty easy to make at home. Using shredded chicken, these Red and Green Chicken Enchiladas are cheesy delights, half covered in red enchilada sauce and half in salsa verde.

Click here for the Red and Green Chicken Enchiladas recipe.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Shutterstock

Turn your leftover chicken into the perfect comfort food with this classic Texan recipe. This dish gets a crunch courtesy of a layer of tortillas, which are then topped with chicken, cheese, onions, and peppers for a lasagna-like taste of the South. If the King Ranch Chicken Casserole doesn’t tickle your fancy, don’t worry. You can use your leftovers in these 100 different casserole recipes instead.

Click here for the King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe.

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