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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Courtesy of Campbell’s Kitchen
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.
Courtesy of Melissa d’Arabian
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.
Courtesy of Melissa d’Arabian
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.
Courtesy of California Table Grape Commission
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.
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.
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.
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