30 Ways to Turn Leftover Chicken Into Delicious New Meals

Breathe new life into an old ingredient

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

 Leah Maroney

Want great ideas for using up the leftovers in your fridge? These recipes can be made with any type of cooked chicken, whether it was baked, roasted, fried, grilled, or poached. Of course, you needn't have cooked the bird yourself—all of these recipes work for rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, too. If you're starting with chicken that was breaded or cooked in a sauce, just scrape off the coating or crumbs before using.

  • 01 of 30

    Grilled Chicken Banh Mi

    Grilled Chicken Banh Mi

    Leah Maroney

    Banh mi is a tasty Vietnamese sandwich that typically includes some type of meat, pate, pickled veggies, and fresh herbs. This mouth-watering version calls marinated chicken breast made from scratch, but you can easily swap in leftovers as a quick replacement.

  • 02 of 30

    Crunchy Middle Eastern Chicken Salad

    Crunchy Middle Eastern Chicken Salad

    Anita Schecter

    Leftover chicken is the perfect starting point for this dinner salad, also featuring carrots and almonds in a tangy, Middle Eastern-style yogurt dressing. Serve with pita wedges for a nutritious and filling meal.

  • 03 of 30

    Thai Chicken Soup With Coconut Milk

    Thai Chicken Soup With Coconut Milk

    The Spruce

     

    Save money on takeout when you cook up this creamy Thai soup from scratch. Traditional Southeast Asian ingredients—including lemongrass, kaffir limes leaves, red chilies, and galangal or ginger—deliver huge flavor, with coconut milk making it a rich bowlful.

  • 04 of 30

    Buffalo Chicken Casserole

    Buffalo Chicken Casserole

    Leah Maroney

    This hot chicken casserole with the popular taste of Buffalo chicken wings is always a hit at parties and potlucks. Sour cream, condensed cream of chicken soup, tater tots, and pepper jack cheese complet the crowd-friendly dish.

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  • 05 of 30

    Chicken Pot Pie

    Chicken Pot Pie

    Elizabeth Watt-Photolibrary-Getty Images

     

    Serve up comfort when you make this luscious chicken pot pie for family dinner. Leftover cooked chicken meat, a refrigerated pie crust, and frozen mixed vegetables make this one-hour recipe easier, but it tastes like you spent all day making it.

  • 06 of 30

    Spicy Thai Chicken Salad Wrap with Sesame Peanut Dressing

    Spicy Thai Chicken Salad Wrap with Sesame Peanut Dressing

    Grilled Cheese Social

     

    Dark chicken meat from juicy legs and thighs are a fabulous addition to this delicious wrap flavored with Thai ingredient, including sweet chili sauce, coconut milk, soy sauce, and chunky peanut butter.

  • 07 of 30

    Chicken Pilaf

    Chicken Pilaf

    Diana Rattray

    Make this weeknight dish on your stove top when you need to get dinner ready in a hurry. Seasoned long grain rice is dressed up with crunchy pecans and precooked chicken cubes in a simple recipe that uses pantry staples and cooks in about 30 minutes.

  • 08 of 30

    Barbecue Chicken Pizza

    Barbecue Chicken Pizza

    Chuck Kahn-EyeEm-Getty Images

    Pizza is a terrific way to use leftover chicken because you don't need a lot of meat to make a difference. Layer it onto a ready-made pizza crust with plenty of cheese, a few veggie toppings, and your favorite barbecue sauce for a super easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love.

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  • 09 of 30

    Chicken Quesadillas

    Chicken Quesadillas

    The Spruce

     

    Chicken quesadillas make an easy weekday lunch or satisfying after-school snack. Shredded chicken is layered with cheese in flour tortillas, then quickly browned in a lightly-oiled pan to melt the cheese. Add some green onions, chopped tomatoes, or jalapenos, if you like, for extra color and flavor.

  • 10 of 30

    Chicken Alfredo Casserole

    Chicken Alfredo Casserole

    annas_bananas-Flickr-CC BY 2.0

     

    Busy weeknights just got more delicious with this chicken alfredo pasta bake that is easy to assemble and cooks in well under an hour. Diced breast, jarred sauce, curly pasta noodles, Parmesan cheese, and a little milk are all that's needed.

  • 11 of 30

    Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches

    Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches

    Foodcollection-Getty Images

     

    These chicken sandwiches start with cooked chicken. Mild breast meat works best for these sammies, which also call for some mayonnaise, hard boiled egg, onion, celery, relish, and your favorite bread or rolls.

  • 12 of 30

    Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Chowder

    Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Chowder

    Diana Rattray

     

    Spring asparagus adds a wonderful fresh flavor to this creamy chowder, which includes tender potato chunks for great texture. Loads of heavy cream makes this soup velvety and rich. It's great for warming stomachs on rainy, cool days.

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  • 13 of 30

    Grilled Chicken Panini Sandwich

    Grilled Chicken Panini Sandwich

    JMichl-Getty Images

     

    Cook up an Italian-style sandwich with leftover cooked chicken, pre-cooked bacon, and store-bought pesto sauce. Don't have a panini grill? Simply heat your sammie for a few minutes on each side in a non-stick pan, pressing it down with a heavier pan set on top.

  • 14 of 30

    Smoky Chipotle Chicken Salad

    Smoky Chipotle Chicken Salad

    Katie Workman-themom100

     

    Canned chipotle peppers give this chicken salad a terrific smoky flavor, while chopped fresh vegetables add great crunch. A combination of dark and white meat works well in this recipe, which can be served over spinach or romaine greens, or sandwiched between slices of your favorite bread.

  • 15 of 30

    Chicken Fried Rice

    Chicken Fried Rice

     Ray Kachatorian

    Takeout-style fried rice is so easy to make, it's sure to become a go-to recipe in your household. Leftover rice is quickly stir-fried in soy sauce with diced chicken and any fresh or frozen veggies you have on hand for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

  • 16 of 30

    Chicken Enchiladas With Salsa Verde

    Chicken Enchiladas With Salsa Verde

    Lauri Patterson-Getty Images

     

    Mild, green salsa verde is the secret ingredient in these scrumptious chicken enchiladas. Buy it jarred for pouring over flour tortillas that are filled with pre-cooked chicken and cheese and baked in the oven until they are hot, melty, and ready to enjoy.

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  • 17 of 30

    Chicken Risotto

    Chicken Risotto

    Philippe Desnerck-Getty Images

     

    Arborio rice cooked slowly in a bath of white wine, butter, and chicken stock (store-bought is fine), is made even better with the addition of shredded chicken bits and Parmesan cheese at the end. Mushrooms would make a great addition, too—just add them with the shallots.

  • 18 of 30

    5-Minute Creamy Chicken Curry Soup

    5-Minute Creamy Chicken Curry Soup

    Diana Rattray

     

    If you have five minutes, you've got enough time to make this Indian-style soup. Condensed soup and pre-cooked chicken means it's a snap to heat and serve, and the creamy texture and aromatic curry flavoring makes it heavenly to enjoy.

  • 19 of 30

    Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

    Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

    Katie Workman-themom100

     

    Using precooked chicken in this soup, along with store-bought ramen noodles, means you can have soul-soothing homemade soup in minutes. Feel free to use prepared broth or stock, too!

  • 20 of 30

    Buffalo Chicken Tacos

    Buffalo Chicken Tacos

    Lauri Patterson-Getty Images

     

    Chicken tacos flavored with a Buffalo wing sauce boosted by heavy cream are guaranteed to become a buffet party favorite! Blue cheese salad dressing and ripe avocado slices add even more decadent richness to every bite.

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  • 21 of 30

    Creamy Artichoke Chicken Soup

    Creamy Artichoke Chicken Soup

    Steve Brown Photography-Getty Images

     

    Creamy artichoke soup makes a fabulous lunch or a light dinner when served with crackers. Chunks of boiled potatoes, steamed artichokes, and other veggies are pureed, then combined with shredded chicken, cream, and Parmesan cheese for a filling bowl.

  • 22 of 30

    Easy Chicken Crepes

    Easy Chicken Crepes

    Gareth Morgans StockFood Creative-Getty Images

     

    Savory filled crepes are special enough to impress at a dinner party, but simple to prepare. All you need is precooked chicken, canned water chestnuts, and an addictive sauce made from condensed cream of mushroom soup.

  • 23 of 30

    Thai Mango Chicken Salad

    Thai Mango Chicken Salad

    D Schmidt

     

    Tropical mango slices and coconut shreds mingle in a Thai-inspired dressing in this delightful salad with crunchy fresh vegetables, peanuts or cashews, fresh basil strips, and tender chunks of cooked chicken.

  • 24 of 30

    Deep-Fried Chicken Croquettes

    Deep-Fried Chicken Croquettes

    Philippe Desnerck-Photolibrary-Getty Images

     

    Kids love these deep-fried chicken bites with a golden-brown exterior and creamy mixture on the inside. A simple white sauce is mixed with chicken, onion, and fresh parsley to create the filling.

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  • 25 of 30

    Chicken French Bread Pizza

    Chicken French Bread Pizza

    Thomas Firak Photography-Getty Images

     

    This easy five-ingredient appetizer "pizza" is made with prepared barbecue sauce, French bread as the crust, three kinds of cheese, and leftover cooked chicken.

  • 26 of 30

    Green Goddess Chicken Pasta Salad

    Green Goddess Chicken Pasta Salad

    Linda Larsen

     

    Green goddess dressing is the star of this pasta salad made with frozen peas, Havarti cheese cubes, and a trio of bell peppers. You could make your own dressing, but store-bought will do just fine, and this recipe shows you how to tweak it by whisking in some added mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, and zingy lemon juice.

  • 27 of 30

    Chicken Waldorf Sandwiches

    Chicken Waldorf Sandwiches

    Linda Larsen

    Raisin bread makes an unusual, but delightful base for this Waldorf-inspired chicken sandwich with a tasty mayonnaise and honey-mustard dressing. Canned or precooked chicken is mixed with diced celery, walnuts, dried cranberries, and chopped apples to make the sandwich filling.

  • 28 of 30

    Classic Cobb Salad

    Classic Cobb Salad

    sbrogan-Getty Images

     

    When is a salad more than a salad? When it's a fully-loaded Cobb chock full of tender chicken, creamy avocado, salty bacon, hard-boiled egg, blue cheese, lettuce, and tomato.

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  • 29 of 30

    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Spinach

    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Spinach

    Diana Rattray

     

    Pasta salad with chicken and vegetables is always welcome at picnics and potluck lunches. Spinach, tomato, red bell pepper, and red onion are tossed with canned or chopped cooked chicken in a tangy mayonnaise-and-Dijon dressing.

  • 30 of 30

    Chicken Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

    Chicken Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

    Diana Rattray

     

    This family-friendly casserole is a delicious option when you've got lots of leftover chicken. It goes into a classic macaroni and cheese bake with a simple homemade cheddar sauce, some thawed frozen spinach, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping.