17 Easy Leftover Chicken Recipes

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We have all had the problem of having leftover chicken or turkey. The good news is there are tons of things we can do with that leftover meat.

Whether you like Mexican or Asian, Southern or Italian, there are plenty of options to choose from. Are you looking to make lunch for yourself in the coming week? Or do you need a big meal for everyone in the family?

Read on to see 17 delicious and easy recipes that use leftover chicken. Many of these recipes are customizable and can use any kind of leftover chicken, poultry, or even any other leftover meat you may have.


17 Easy Leftover Chicken Recipes

These easy recipes are great ways to use up leftover chicken. Whether you have a lot of leftovers or just a little you can adapt these recipes to fit your needs.

1. Leftover Chicken Quesadilla

Quesadillas are one of the easiest foods to make. Using leftover chicken makes them even easier. Best of all, most people who like them have the ingredients readily available.

All you need for these delicious quesadillas is leftover chicken, tortillas, and cheese. You can make these with leftover grilled chicken, fried chicken, BBQ chicken, rotisserie chicken, or leftover turkey.

Chicken Quesadillas

2. Leftover Chicken Tacos

Tacos are another great option for leftover meats. You can use your simple chicken or any chicken in a sauce. Have you ever tried Curry Chicken Tacos? They are delicious!

Tacos (as well as quesadillas) make the ideal weekly quick lunch. Just pack all your ingredients and put them together during your lunch hour. Eat them cold or reheat them.

Chicken Tacos

3. Leftover Chicken Nachos

Chicken Nachos are a great side dish or appetizer for a party. Just layout the chips and top with your leftover chicken, cheese, and any other toppings you like.

The great thing about nachos is you can make a small batch for 1-2 people, or you can make a huge party-sized batch. Pair with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream for extra delicious flavor.

Chicken Nachos

4. Leftover Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a great way to use leftover chicken. Just throw the chicken in at the end giving it enough time to warm up. You can make a small batch for 1-2 people or a whole family’s worth.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Leftover Chicken is easy to customize. You can add as much chicken as your baking dish will hold. You can also add or remove any vegetables you do or do not like.

Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

5. Leftover Chicken Pasta

Pasta with Leftover Chicken is even more customizable than Mac and Cheese. Like Mac and Cheese, Chicken pasta can be made in smaller or larger batches.

Try one of the recipes below or grab a box of pasta, a jar of pasta sauce, any vegetables you want, and your leftover chicken.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

6. Leftover Chicken Curry

Leftover chicken is great for any kind of sauce covered chicken. Make your curry sauce from scratch or grab a jar of prepaid and heat it with your vegetables and chicken.

Chicken Curry goes great with rice so be sure to make some rice to go with. It makes a great weekday lunch as well.

Quick Chicken Curry

7. Leftover Chicken Soup

Leftover Chicken is great for making chicken soups. Using leftover chicken cuts the cooking time significantly. Toss your leftover chicken into a pan with some canned or boxed premade soups or make your soup from scratch.

Chicken soup is the perfect meal for a cold day. Make a small batch or make a huge pot. It is also a great dish to bring to any potluck-style parties.

Chicken Noodle Soup

8. Leftover Chicken Chili

Chicken Chili is another great way to use leftover chicken. For extra flavor, make sure to have plenty of toppings such as cheese, chopped onions, sour cream, avocado, and more.

If you are hosting a party or taco night, consider serving this chili alongside your chicken nachos, chicken tacos, chicken enchiladas, or chicken quesadillas. Even better, host a potluck taco party and have everyone bring a different dish.

Red Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

9. Leftover Chicken Enchilada Bake

Chicken Enchiladas is an extremely popular way to use leftover chicken. You can make traditional rolled enchiladas, or you can make an enchilada bake where you layer each ingredient.

There are many ways to customize this dish. You can change the salsa. You can add or remove vegetables, beans, or rice. Consider making a side of refried beans and Mexican rice if you do not already have them in the enchilada bake.

Chicken Enchilada Bake

10. Leftover Chicken Lasagna Bake

Like Enchiladas, Lasagna is a great way to use up leftover chicken. Lasagna is a great dish because it has many uses. You can eat it for dinner and have tons of leftovers or you can make it for a party.

It is easy to customize Lasagna. You can use any kind of pasta sauce you like, and you can add or remove vegetables. Great sides to go with your Chicken Lasagna are Caesar salad and garlic bread.

Chicken Lasagna

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna Bake

11. Leftover Chicken “Shepherd’s” Pie

Leftover Chicken is great for making a Shepherd’s Pie, Cottage Pie, or Pot Pie. This meal is quick and easy and makes a great family dinner.

It reheats well which makes it great if you want to use leftovers for lunches later in the week. It can be a heavy dish so pair it with a nice light salad.

Chicken “Shepherd’s” Pie

12. Leftover Chicken BBQ Bake

Whether you have leftover chicken or leftover BBQ chicken these two bakes are a delicious dinner option. The BBQ Chicken and Cornbread Casserole is perfect for a Memorial Day, Labor Day, or 4th of July picnic.

If you feel like these are a little heavy by themselves, you can add some fresh vegetables such as diced chiles or tomatoes. You can also pair your BBQ chicken bake with a delicious ranch salad.

BBQ Chicken and Rice Bake

13. Leftover Chicken and Mexican Rice Bake

For fans of Arroz con Pollo (or chicken and rice from Mexico) here are some great recipes that use leftover chicken. These one-dish meals are quick and easy to put together.

mix in your vegetables or serve some sauteed fajita vegetables on the side. This meal makes plenty of leftovers to enjoy during the week.

Mexican Chicken and Rice

14. Leftover Chicken Fried Rice

Fried Rice is a quick and easy recipe and leftover chicken makes it even quicker and easier. One of the great things about fried rice is it uses leftover rice as well.

You can make a small one serving batch just for yourself or make a whole bunch for family or for meals later in the week.

Chicken Fried Rice

15. Leftover Chicken Risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that most people think are complicated. In fact, risotto is easier to make then most people recognize. Using leftover chicken makes it even easier.

If you want to surprise some friends by bringing it to dinner, it is easy enough to make ahead. Just put it in a casserole dish and reheat it when you get to your party.

Mushroom Chicken Risotto

16. Leftover Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is one of the oldest methods for using leftover chicken. The best part of chicken salad is there are many varieties and many uses.

You can make chicken salad sandwiches or toss it on a salad. You can even eat chicken salad by itself. If you want to make it a complete and rounded meal mix in some vegetables for added nutrients.

Classic Chicken Salad

17. Leftover Chicken Sandwich or Wrap

Whether you decide to make your chicken into chicken salad or use it plain, you can make some delicious sandwiches and wraps with leftover chicken.

Looking for something to take to a party? Try BBQ Chicken sliders instead of a sandwich. Hosting a party? Why not try a make your own sandwich bar?

Pesto Chicken Sandwich

Wrap Up

There you have it, 17 delicious and easy recipes that use leftover chicken. An important thing to remember is you can just as easily adapt these recipes to any other leftover meat you have.

Enjoy exploring the many flavors and varieties of dishes that can be made with leftover chicken. Happy cooking and happy eating!

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