If your family enjoys roast chicken, you’ve probably found yourself wondering what to do with the leftovers. All too often, leftovers can sit in the refrigerator while we figure out what to do with them, and before long they’ve started to look a bit sad and unappetising, and we end up guiltily scraping them into the trash, trying not to think about global food waste and its impact on the environment.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. After all, there are tonnes of online recipes for leftover turkey to help you make the most of your Christmas or Thanksgiving roast. So if you’re looking for quick and easy ways to make a meal of your leftover chicken, take a look at our mouthwatering selection of recipes, designed to help you reduce waste, help the planet, and save money on groceries in the process.
Greek Chicken Grain Bowls:
One of the great things about chicken is that it goes with so many things, so you can do something completely different with your leftovers to keep things interesting. This healthy grain bowl from The Kitchn is the perfect light lunch for the day after a big roast. Full of fresh, crunchy salad and quinoa grains, with salty olives, creamy feta sauce, and those tasty chicken leftovers, this dish will tempt your tastebuds and make you feel virtuous at the same time.
Chicken Fried Rice:
Use up your leftover veggies too with this flavourful and satisfying Asian-inspired dish, also from The Kitchn. Perfectly-cooked, eggy, crispy rice, with aromatic ginger, sesame oil and soy, savoury chicken and the sweet crunch of a rainbow of bite-sized vegetables.
Honey-Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry:
A deliciously simple midweek meal, our third recipe from The Kitchn takes just 30 minutes including prep time. Made with fresh broccoli and sweet peppers, and drizzled with a savoury-sweet honey and garlic sauce, this dish is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Chicken Mac and Cheese:
The ultimate comfort food, this rich and creamy Mac and cheese recipe from Jo Cooks can be adapted to whatever you happen to have in the fridge. If you only have a little chicken, the cheddar and mozzarella sauce is strong enough that it will still pack a punch flavour-wise, and it’s also perfect for hiding extra veggies from your kids.
Chicken Noodle Soup:
This chicken noodle soup from Averie Cooks is like a hug in a bowl. Packed with goodness and flavour, this quick, 30-minute soup is made from an aromatic base of celery, onion and carrot, with a delicious herby chicken broth, egg noodles and strips of chicken.
BBQ Chicken Quesadilla:
Give your chicken leftovers a Mexican makeover with this easy cheesy recipe from Meatloaf and Melodrama. With a total cook and prep time of just 15 minutes, they’re perfect for a busy weekday meal.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers:
A simple and tasty recipe from Taste of Home, these yummy stuffed peppers are packed full of tasty chicken and rice, and topped with cheese and enchilada sauce. They need just 20 minutes prep time, then you can leave them in the slow cooker while you get on with your day.
General Tso's Stew:
This flavourful stew from Taste of Home is bursting with Asian flavours, with a spicy tomato broth made with hoisin sauce, soy, and red chilli flakes. The recipe also works with other leftover meats like turkey or pork.
Chicken Potpie Galette with Cheddar-Thyme Crust:
All the flavours of a comforting, home-cooked pot pie in a French-style galette, with a golden cheese and herb crust. Made with chicken and vegetables in a delicious chicken and herb gravy, this recipe from Taste of Home really does deliver that made-with-love taste of home cooked food.
This Italian inspired bread salad from Southern Living makes simple, quality ingredients the star. A fresh vegetable salad, chicken, and chunks of rustic granary bread, all tossed in a tomato seed and mustard vinaigrette and left for 15 minutes for the bread to soak up all those delicious juices.
Roast chicken and asparagus soufflé omelette:
This 15-minute recipe idea from Delicious gives the simple omelette a gourmet twist, with spring asparagus, chicken, and sharp cheddar. The perfect light lunch or supper.
Chicken and mushroom pasta bake:
Chicken and mushroom is always a winning combination, and this creamy pasta bake from Delicious is a real crowd pleaser. This is another dish where you can use leftover veggies as well as your chicken - the recipe calls for baby spinach and petit pois, but any green vegetables work well.
Chicken, spinach and ricotta cannelloni:
An Italian classic from Delicious, this midweek meal for two is rich and comforting, and so easy to make. Pasta tubes stuffed with a chicken, ricotta and herb mixture, smothered in a tasty tomato sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan, then baked in the oven until golden and bubbling.
Chicken Alfredo Lasagna:
This lasagna dish from Taste of Home is a variation on another Italian favourite, replacing the classic beef filling for cooked chicken and salty prosciutto ham.
Chicken and Fontina Panini:
Treat yourself to the ultimate gourmet sandwich with this irresistible creation from Southern Living. Made with ciabatta bread, chicken, fresh tomatoes and fontina cheese, and heated in a panini press until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted and oozing out of the sides.
With these recipes to hand, you need never throw out your leftover chicken again. And there are plenty of recipes out there to help use up your other leftovers, too. Do your bit to help combat food waste with these mouthwatering gourmet dishes you can make with leftovers.