30 leftover chicken recipes | BBC Good Food

1. Chicken & tzatziki wraps

Open wrap on a plate topped with chicken, tzatziki, cucumber and tomatoes

Create delicious wraps by layering succulent chicken chunks with crisp cucumber, juicy tomatoes and creamy tzatziki. These simple wraps not only boast a delightful combination of flavours and textures, but also fit seamlessly into your budget, requiring only six ingredients. Plus, you can whip them up in under 30 minutes, making them a quick and satisfying meal option.

Roll up a savoury treat for lunch with more of our wrap recipes.

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2. Chicken, bacon & watercress baguettes

Chicken, bacon and lettuce baguettes on a tray with sauce

Top of the list has to be the classic chicken sandwich. We’ve given ours a lift with a zesty sauce of watercress, crème fraîche, lime and cracked black pepper, plus a portion of crispy bacon for extra flavour.

Check out our sandwich recipes for more sandwich, wrap and bun fillings.

3. Easy coronation chicken

Platter of coronation chicken on a bed of green leaves

We’ve served this coronation chicken in sandwiches, but it’s equally as delicious served atop fluffy jacket potatoes or spooned onto salads. It’s easy to throw together using storecupboard ingredients, too – you’ll just need some mayonnaise, mango chutney, curry powder, cinnamon and sultanas to create a flavour-packed chicken dish.

Spruce up chicken with a hint of curry in our coronation chicken recipes.

4. Mexican chicken & black bean wraps

Open wrap of mexican chicken and black beans next to a rolled wrap

Fill soft tortillas with a variety of tasty toppings to create this speedy supper – you could even serve it family-style and let everyone create their own. We’ve included classic fajita-inspired ingredients including onions, tomatoes and black beans. Finish with a drizzle of chipotle sauce, a dollop of guac and a sprinkle of cheese, and tuck in.

Make a Mexican-inspired supper with our Mexican chicken recipes.

5. Caesar pitta

Pitta bread filled with chicken, tomatoes and cucumber

Fans of chicken caesar salads will love this packed pitta, drizzled with a homemade caesar sauce. It’s super easy to make – simply whizz up lemon juice, garlic, yogurt, mayo, mustard powder, anchovy, parmesan and cracked black pepper, then assemble your sandwiches.

Make our classic pitta bread from scratch or use ready-made for our best starters, light lunches and mains pitta recipes.

Leftover chicken soups

Nourishing soup is as much a part of autumn as conkers, crumbles and crunchy fallen leaves. If you are feeling under the weather, not much comes close in terms of comfort either. Using leftover chicken as a base for your soup is a thrifty way of getting your bird to go further, and it means you can get experimental with all sorts of punchy flavours, from fresh rosemary, sage and thyme, to sweet, roasted tomatoes and a spicy kick of chilli.

6. Herby chicken & butter bean soup

Two bowls of chicken and butterbean soup, served with crusty bread and seasoning

Fresh rosemary, sage and thyme really shine in this chunky soup, bulked out with butter beans and leftover roast chicken. Our top tip – make sure you have plenty of crusty bread to mop up the delicious herby sauce.

Find more chicken soup recipes, the perfect comfort food.

7. Spiced black bean & chicken soup with kale

Spiced black bean & chicken soup with kale

This South American-style soup is a healthy way to use up leftover roast chicken – it’s low in fat, freezable, and under 300 calories per portion, too. Ramp up the flavour profile with garlic, coriander, lime, cumin and chilli, and crumble over creamy feta to finish.

Discover more kale recipes for meals full of goodness and then read our helpful guide on the top five health benefits of kale.

8. Chicken & sweetcorn soup

Pan and a bowl of chicken and sweetcorn soup topped with spring onions

A chicken carcass from your roast makes for a tasty bone broth base in this Chinese-inspired soup, served with eggs and cooked chicken. It’s healthy, low fat, low in calories and gluten-free, too.

Ditch the takeaways and try making our Chinese chicken recipes.

9. Creamy curried chicken & rice soup

Creamy curried chicken & rice soup

This Asian-inspired soup is made using risotto rice for a really creamy texture. We’ve used red Thai curry paste, coconut milk and chicken stock to pack in the flavour.

Check out more of our rice recipes for meal ideas using this storecupboard staple.

10. Thai-style chicken soup

Thai src chicken soup

If you have soba or wholewheat noodles to hand, this soup is a real winner. The broth is made using any leftover chicken bones and meat from your Sunday roast, along with beansprouts, pak choi and spring onions for colour and texture.

Try more of our Thai chicken soup recipes for a warming dinner.

10. Classic roast chicken soup

A bowl of chicken soup with bread

This rustic chicken and veg soup pairs perfectly with garlicky yogurt – swirl it through just before serving. You’ll want a crusty baguette or a seeded roll to dunk, too.

Why not try and make your bread homemade? Our crusty bread or baguette would be perfect.

11. One-pot Chinese-style chicken noodle soup

Bowl of chicken noodle soup topped with coriander, chilli and more garnish

What’s not to love about a one-pot? This one takes just over half an hour to make, and it’s low in calories and fat, too. Use up any leftover roast chicken bones and meat to make the stock, then liven it up with storecupboard ingredients including soy sauce, honey and pickled ginger.

Whether you want a quick meal or a next-level supper, our chicken noodle soup recipes will satisfy your cravings for comfort food.

Leftover chicken salads

Fresh herbs, light dressings and interesting ingredients are sure to add life to leftover chicken. Pack it up and save money on a work lunch, or simply enjoy as a light but filling supper.

12. Roast chicken with sweet potato gremolata salad

Chicken, sweet potato, pomegranate and onion salad on a plate

This colourful salad is practically a whole rainbow on your plate. We’ve included instructions for how to roast a fresh chicken, but you can easily use up any leftover meat that you have to hand. Roast sweet potatoes and red onions with fennel seeds until caramelised, and serve with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds for a final pop of colour.

Make a classic gremolata condiment and use it in a number of our gremolata recipes.

13. Chopped tarragon, bacon & chicken salad

Chopped tarragon, bacon & chicken salad

Earthy, sweet tarragon complements chicken, bacon, avocado and peas perfectly in this simple salad. We’ve drizzled over an olive oil vinaigrette mixed with Dijon mustard for a touch of warming heat.

Serve a bright plate of goodness with our fuss-free chicken salad recipes.

14. Herbed chicken, peach & feta salad

Herbed chicken, peach & feta salad on a plate

Bulgur wheat is a brilliant base in this filling, summery salad piled high with chicken and flavoured with herbs. Sweet peaches and salty feta create a lovely balance of flavours.

Try more of our bulgur wheat recipes for ideas on how to make this grain centre-stage.

15. Red rice & chicken salad with pomegranate & feta

Red rice & chicken salad with pomegranate & feta on a plate

Topped with jewel-like pomegranate seeds and crumbled feta, this grain bowl is a really satisfying option for lunch or supper. The vibrant red Camargue rice makes it special enough to serve at a picnic or al fresco gathering, too.

Make the most of this deliciously salty cheese with our simple feta salad recipes.

16. Pulled chicken salad

Pulled chicken salad on a plate

Finely shredded red cabbage, carrots and spring onions form the base of this vibrant salad, drizzled with a punchy hoisin and sesame dressing. It’s a healthy and low-calorie way to use up your leftover chicken, and the best part is that it takes only 20 minutes to make.

17. Winter cobb salad

Winter cobb salad on a plate

Salads aren’t just for summer – this chunky chopped salad is perfect for the winter months. Serve your leftover chicken with chunks of blue cheese, crispy bacon and hard-boiled eggs along with a honey mustard dressing.

Leftover chicken dinners

Sometimes only a hot and hearty supper will do, so turn your leftovers into a comforting family meal with filling and flavour-packed enchiladas, bakes, hot pots and pies.

18. Waste-nothing chicken & dumpling stew

Waste-nothing chicken & dumpling stew

Opt for a larger chicken when shopping and maximise your meals by utilising the leftovers. Elevate the taste of your comforting stew by extracting rich flavour from the chicken bones. Simmer them alongside onions, carrots, parsnips, and celery to craft a homemade stock that takes your culinary creation to the next level.

Enjoy more winter chicken recipes that will warm you until spring.

19. Easy leftover chicken curry

Two plates of chicken curry with mangetout and rice.

Transform your leftover chicken into a quick, effortless curry featuring vibrant sugar snap peas. The coconut milk base imparts a creamy and mild character to the curry. If you desire a spicier kick, enhance the flavour by finishing with a generous sprinkle of chilli and coriander.

Whip up one of our warming chicken curry recipes, from creamy chicken korma and katsu to spicy tomato-based jalfrezi and madras.

20. Leftover roast chicken pad Thai

Leftover roast chicken pad Thai on a plate

Add some pizzazz to your leftover chicken with this recipe inspired by pad Thai. It’s easy to make your own sauce using storecupboard ingredients that are often used in Thai cooking such as fish sauce, tamarind paste and sriracha.

Rustle up one of our pad Thai recipes for a cheaper alternative to a takeaway.

21. Chicken & mushroom hot-pot

Chicken & mushroom hot pot topped with sliced potatoes in a rectangular baking tray

Potato-topped hotpots are the ultimate comfort food, and this recipe is a great way to use up both leftover chicken and any stray mixed vegetables from the freezer. It’s a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen, too, and build up their cooking confidence.

Try more of our chicken & mushroom recipes for inspiration with this classic flavour pairing.

22. Chicken & leek filo pie

Chicken & leek filo pie with a slice cut out

Transform your leftovers into a truly deluxe pie with leeks, mushrooms and a creamy, mustardy sauce. We’ve topped it off with a crisp filo crust, brushed with olive oil and scattered with nigella seeds.

Make one of our chicken pie recipes for a comforting family dinner.

23. Spanish-style chicken pie

Spanish src chicken pie on a plate with a side salad

Onions, tomatoes and peppers add tonnes of flavour to the filling for this pie, which is finished with a layer of paprika-spiked mashed potatoes. It’s dairy-free and low in salt, plus it’s ideal for making ahead – simply pop in the freezer for another evening.

Transport yourself to Spain with our Spanish-inspired recipes, from patatas bravas to paella.

24. Roast chicken & pea risotto

Plate of chicken and pea risotto topped with parmesan shards

This indulgent risotto is made even more rich with the addition of crème fraîche, plus a generous dusting of parmesan. It’s an ideal way to serve leftover chicken breast, but you can use darker meat if that’s what you have to hand.

Master this Italian dish with more of our risotto recipes.

26. Easy chicken & bean enchiladas

Easy chicken & bean enchiladas

Bulk out leftover meat from your chicken legs with kidney beans and sweetcorn, then wrap into tortillas to create these family-friendly enchiladas. Serve alongside salsa and a Mexican-style salad.

Try more enchilada recipes with any choice of filling.

27. Italian-style chicken bake

Rectangular baking dish with Italian chicken bake with a serving removed

This tasty tomato and onion bake is topped with torn mozzarella and crunchy breadcrumbs for a flavourful upgrade on roast chicken leftovers. Serve alongside your choice of mash, jacket potatoes, rice or pasta.

Try a warming, comforting Autumn chicken recipe.

28. Chicken & mushroom risotto

Bowl of chicken & mushroom risotto

Comforting and creamy, a perfectly cooked risotto is difficult to beat. Luckily this easy step-by-step recipe walks you through the process to create that rich risotto texture, with plump rice grains and a silky, starchy sauce. We’ve paired cooked chicken chunks with bacon lardons for an extra dose of flavour.

29. Chicken & egg-fried rice

Three bowls of chicken and egg fried rice

If you always order egg-fried rice from your local Chinese takeaway, you have to try this homemade version. It’s a perfect way to introduce children to some mild spice, and as an added bonus it’s all cooked in one pan, saving you time and effort on the washing-up.

Take the two basic ingredients of rice and chicken and create something delicious with our rice & chicken recipes.

30. Nacho chicken bake

Nachos and chicken in an oval bowl

Finally, this tortilla-topped bake makes for a satisfying snack or a light lunch for two, complete with a layer of bubbling, gooey cheese to dig those nachos into. Serve alongside an avocado salad to really make a meal of it.

How to store leftover chicken

Cooked chicken should be fine to keep in the fridge for two to three days. With any hot food that you want to store, you need to cool it down as quickly as possible, then refrigerate it. The easiest way to cool chicken quickly is to portion it out, or better still, cut it into pieces, lay it out on a tray or a plate in one layer and as soon as it’s cold, put it in a bowl, covered, or in a lidded container in the fridge, making sure all the steam has evaporated, first. To store your chicken for longer, you can put it in the freezer, but you should never remove uncooked chicken from the freezer and then re-freeze without cooking it. If you want to heat leftover chicken, make sure it’s piping hot and only reheated once.

If you want to portion out your bird before it’s cooked, our video guide on how to joint a raw chicken is perfect for ensuring there’s little wastage:

How to joint a raw chicken

Try more of our leftover chicken recipes and see our pick of the best leftover chicken recipes.

Do you have any top tips or favourite recipes for using up leftover chicken? We would love to hear them…

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