Frugal Cooking: Eight Ways to Use Leftover Chicken

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

One of the best things about roasting a whole chicken like we did last weekend is having all that leftover meat! It’s often more economical to buy a whole chicken instead of chicken parts, and already having it cooked means one less thing to do when preparing weeknight meals. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use up those leftovers…

If we roast the chicken over the weekend, we can use the extra meat for quick dinners like these throughout the week that follows:

1. Green Salad – A fresh green salad with cubes of chicken, fresh fruit, and some toasted nuts is one of our favorite meals for a simple lunch or dinner.

2. Chicken Salad – Use a little mayo or yogurt to bind shredded chicken together (or skip the mayo altogether). Raw veggies make a nice texture contrast and a sprinkling of spices adds flavor. Add some pasta and you have a full meal!

3. Chicken Soup – Chicken noodle soup is an obvious choice for leftover meat, but we also like to use it to make white chili, chicken and rice soup, posole, or even an extra-hearty minestrone.

4. Chicken Pizza – Toss a handful of shredded chicken onto your favorite pizza!

5. BBQ Chicken Sandwich – Mix a little of your favorite BBQ sauce with the shredded chicken and pile it on a soft roll.

6. Lettuce Wraps – These wraps are just shredded or minced chicken rolled up in lettuce leaves along with small-diced vegetables and a sprinkling of sweet-salty sauce, but they’re so good! We like this recipe from Taste of Home.

7. Chicken Pot Pie – Warm and comforting, this is a favorite cool-weather meal.

8. Burritos and Enchiladas – Roll up the leftover chicken in a tortilla along with beans, cheese, rice, and any other extras you might have on hand. Eat as is, or cover the rolls with salsa in a baking dish and bake until they’re warmed through.

And if there are still leftovers at the end of the week, we shred all the meat and freeze it for later!

What other suggestions do you have for using up leftover chicken?

(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)