Leftover Chicken: 30 Mouthwateringly Simple Recipes

When we roast a chicken to eat with our family, it is not uncommon for there to be leftover chicken once the meal is over. 

Leftover Chicken - 30 Mouthwateringly Simple Recipes

Luckily, chicken is one of the most versatile meats available, giving you countless options for simple, tasty recipes that can utilize your leftovers and feed your family in the process. 

1. Chicken Fajitas

Chicken fajitas are probably one of the most common and simple dishes to make with your leftover chicken, and can be a beautiful addition to any family’s weekly menu.

What’s more, you can go from a bunch of ingredients to a healthy, delicious meal in around 30 minutes. 

Pair with your choice of wholemeal or white tortilla wraps, and any number of sauces (including salsa, guacamole, and sour cream) to make it a truly wholesome family meal. 

2. Leftover Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Caesar salad is a classic, light summer dish – and what better way to use up your leftover roast chicken? 

With fresh romaine lettuce, crispy bacon lardons, and your choice of cheese, this is a great dish for sharing with family and friends, and can be a great centerpiece for summer BBQs and get-togethers. 

3. Chicken Macaroni Cheese

With the warm, gooey comfort of the cheese, and the filling addition of the macaroni, this dish is a classic for a reason. But why not change it up with your leftover roast chicken? 

This can be an interesting twist on a classic, and add some extra flavor to your usual mac and cheese dish. 

Pair with your choice of spices and seasoning. Paprika is great for adding a richness to the flavor, whilst heat lovers might like a sprinkling of chili flakes for that extra kick. 

4. Chicken Enchiladas

This is another comforting, wholesome dish that can be a great way to use up leftover chicken. 

It is also open for experimentation, and you can really use any kind of cheese, peppers, and spices with this dish, so if you love the spice and ingredients with some serious flavor, then go nuts!

5. Chicken Parmesan

A historic southern Italian dish that has never waned in popularity, chicken parmesan can be a filling, wholesome dish to use up surplus roast chicken, and provide you with a delicious meal in the process. 

Simply substitute the raw chicken patties with the pre cooked chicken leftovers, reheating them thoroughly through the same process, before adding the hot spaghetti sauce and topping with your choice of cheese. 

6. Chicken Casserole

For a more savory choice, a chicken casserole (see also ‘28 Fantastic Chicken Casserole Recipes For Tasty Midweek Meals‘) can be a great way to utilize surplus chicken, and takes an incredibly short amount of time to prepare. 

This too can be personalized to your liking. Mix several kinds of cheese to unlock rich flavors, or introduce some different vegetables to put your own twist on it.

This meal was designed to use up leftovers, which is one the reasons it is so versatile. 

Whatever you choose, this is definitely going to taste great!

7. Leftover Chicken Tikka Masala

The chicken tikka masala (see also ‘13 Side Dishes That Taste Delicious With Chicken Tikka Masala‘) is one of the most popular Indian dishes on the planet, and whilst the way it is prepared differs depending on the country you consume it in, it remains a great, flavorful way to enjoy your leftover chicken without going to too much effort. 

Whilst the tikka masala is moderate in terms of heat, spice lovers can spruce it up in any way they want to, with any number of chili powders, flakes, and concoctions working wonders with this dish. The only limitation is your own tolerance!

8. Chinese Chicken Curry

Another global favorite, this classic Chinese dish is simple to make but rich in flavor. 

Moderately spiced, and perfect for people who don’t like it hot, this dish can be made with leftover or raw chicken, and merely requires less cooking time to reheat the leftovers thoroughly. 

Pair with fluffy white rice for the perfect comfort meal!

9. Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

A slightly different take on the average chicken casserole, this can be a great way to add a more savory flavor palette to your weekly menu, while using up any leftover chickens and vegetables you might have. 

You can perk this up with different kinds of cheese if you are looking for a stronger flavor, or even a subtle spice if you want to get really adventurous.

But whatever you choose to do, this is a tasty dish, perfect for those seeking great food for minimal effort. 

10. Chicken Quesadillas

Another famous Mexican dish, the quesadilla is a simple way to incorporate flavor and spice into your life. 

Perfect for cheese and spice lovers, quesadillas are less messy than their similar counterparts, with a pressed, flatbread style design that makes them attractive and easy to eat. 

These can be great to eat during the day, either paired with a light salad, some spicy rice, or even French fries. 

11. Roast Chicken Biryani 

While not one of the spiciest Indian dishes in the world, this chicken curry can be perfectly blended with rice, peppers, vegetables, and other ingredients you might have laying around to create a wholesome, comforting dish to share with family and friends. 

This is a perfect, quick and easy midweek meal, and is not only a good way to use up leftovers, but also to introduce plenty of vegetables into your family’s diet.

Experiment with spices to suit your tastes, and pair naan breads, flatbreads, or onion bhajis for the perfect sharing platter. 

12. Chicken Mushroom Soup

 A classic feel good dish, especially for those looking for something a little lighter to eat, chicken and mushroom soup can be a great way to utilize leftover chicken in a way that is simple, quick, and low effort. 

Great for lunchtime meals, winter warmers, or for just when the mood strikes you, chicken and mushroom soup is a wholesome, hug in a bowl, that is not just for people who are feeling under the weather. 

13. Leftover Roast Chicken Pasta

This tomato pasta dish is great as a lighter bite in the summer, or for a wholesome, hearty meal in the winter, the only difference is how it is prepared and what you pair it with. 

Go with a crunchy salad for summer dining, or for the perfect comfort food combination, choose garlic bread, or potato wedges to keep the winter blues at bay. 

14. Easy Chicken Chili 

Chili is a popular staple of most people’s diets, and is a quick and simple dish to prepare when you want something filling, hearty, and comforting (see also ‘19 Recipes To Use Up Your Leftover Chili‘).

While most people might think beef is the only way to go, chicken can make a surprisingly good, lighter substitute for those who avoid red meat. 

This tomato based dish can be as spicy as your taste buds desire, and can be topped with any number of cheeses, all of which give it a strikingly different feel. 

Pair with some tortilla wraps as a sharing option, or with some crispy potato wedges. 

15. Fiesta Chicken Casserole

Somewhat similar to the chili, albeit with the tomato base, this can be the perfect Friday night meal for any family or couple, rich with cheesy pasta, loaded with flavor from the spices, vegetables, and red kidney beans, and offering a somewhat happy medium between a rich Mexican dish, and the average casserole. 

This is another great sharer, and can be paired with salad, or your favorite Mexican side dishes. 

16. Chicken Pasta Bake

This comforting, hearty meal is great for those winter nights, and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Similar to some of the other counterparts on this list, where the pasta bake differs is in its consistency – a perfect blend of crispy outer shell and gooey, tomatoey center. 

You certainly won’t regret this dish, and it couldn’t be simpler to make. 

17. Chicken & Potato Bake

Similar to a casserole, the chicken and potato bake can not only be a good way to use up leftover chicken, but potatoes too. 

Perfect for those seeking a more savory dish for their chicken, this is the quintessential winter meal. This offers a surprising amount of customization, and you could quite easily experiment with different vegetables, and potatoes for the crispy topping. 

18. Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

A somewhat unusual dish on the face of it, this is a great take on the traditional casserole, and offers a stronger, richer flavor, thanks to the herbs within the stuffing. 

Pair with a great, rustic loaf of bread, or with seasonal vegetables. 

19. Chicken Croquettes

Similar to small patties, these chicken croquettes are rich with flavor, thanks to the herbs within the simple mixture. 

Perfect to be paired with any number of sides, or eaten as a simple lunchtime snack, they are incredibly versatile and easy to make, and are a great way to get rid of leftovers. 

20. Gourmet Chicken Pesto Sandwich

A fresh take on the typical chicken sandwich, this is a great lunchtime treat to curb your cravings and use up some leftovers while you are at it. 

Pair with potato chips or a small side salad for the perfect lunchtime treat!

21. Chicken & Bacon Spaghetti

Italian food really is the perfect outlet for leftover chicken, and this example of a simple spaghetti dish is a great way to not only incorporate chicken, but also any rashes of bacon you might have laying around. 

Pair this gorgeous tomato dish with a hearty garlic bread, or simply garnish with a little seasonal salad and enjoy as is. 

22. Asian Orange Chicken

While generally made using chunks of chicken breast, you can easily use leftover shredded chicken, following the same methods to produce the perfect Asian dish. 

Pair with a fluffy white rice, or with a nice vegetable samosa to add further spice and flavor. 

23. Leftover Chicken Risotto

Similarly designed to use up leftover ingredients, a risotto can be a surprisingly filling dish that is both cheap and easy to make. 

You can incorporate whatever vegetables you would like for this, as well as adding your own spices and seasonings if you prefer something with a little kick. 

24. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

This is a great alternative to the classic enchilada, and can be a good way of introducing more vegetables into your family’s diet in a subtle and tasty way. 

The choice of peppers is up to you, and you can really go to town with the experimentation on this one, making your own choices with regards to spiciness and flavor combinations. 

Whatever you choose though, this will be a meal to remember! 

25. Creamy Pesto Chicken

If tomato dishes aren’t really your forte, then this creamy pesto chicken dish might be right up your street. 

The cheese and sour cream give this a rich, wholesome feel, whilst the vinegar taste of the pesto gives a necessary twang to keep things interesting. 

Pair with the pasta of your choice to make a subtle yet remarkable Italian dish. 

26. BBQ Chicken Sliders

For burger lovers, this can be a great alternative to red meat, using your leftover roasted chicken and a tangy BBQ sauce to create something truly exciting and delicious. 

These are great for BBQs and family get-togethers, and can be incorporated into both summer and winter menus. 

They also offer freedom when it comes to customization, allowing you to tweak the spiciness, introduce new and different BBQ sauces, or simply pad it out with plenty of veggies. 

27. Thai Red Curry

If Thai food is more your speed, then why not incorporate that leftover chicken into a spicy, rich Thai red curry? 

Offering something different, this curry can be made as spicy as you would like, and can be paired with a fluffy white rice to make a filling, wholesome meal with a twist. 

This might be an easy dish, but you will be shocked by how flavorful it can be!

28. Chicken & Mushroom Stroganoff

With a slightly different take on the traditional chicken dish, the stroganoff incorporates mushrooms, salt, pepper, and paprika to create a creamy, flavorful dish perfect for getting rid of leftovers. 

A great winter warmer, chicken and mushroom stroganoff might be one of the most divisive dishes on this list, but if done correctly, it will be one that you never forget. 

29. Chicken & Corn Chowder

A famed dish throughout much of New England, chowder is a chunky soup that is a great source of meat (or fish) and vegetables, all wrapped in a rich, creamy sauce. 

This is another great winter dish, and can be paired with your choice of bread to fight off the cold weather and keep your belly full. 

30. Leftover Chicken Nachos

Finally, if you are looking for the perfect sharing plate for you and your loved ones, then leftover chicken nachos might be the one for you. 

With a rich, cheesy texture, and just a little bit of spice, this can be the perfect take on the popular bar snack.

Frequently Asked Question

How Do I Reheat Cooked Chicken?

Although depending on the size of the piece of chicken, cooked chicken should be reheated to at least 75 C (or 165 F). 

Will Reheated Chicken Taste Dry?

The best way to stop cooked chicken from getting dry is to cover it with tinfoil during the reheating process (for the oven). 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know to make the most of your leftover chicken. 

Chicken really is the most versatile of the meats, and when it comes to making a whole new dish, the only limit really is your own imagination. 

Anybody else hungry?

Leftover Chicken: 30 Mouthwateringly Simple Recipes

Leftover Chicken: 30 Mouthwateringly Simple Recipes

Recipe by Jenna

Looking for the best simple recipes for leftover chicken? Check out this handy guide for everything you need to know!

Course: Dinner
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