What’s better than roasted chicken on a Sunday evening, especially if you’ve followed our advice for the perfectly cooked one. But if you are cooking a big bird, odds are you might be left with more than a few leftovers.
So here at Chow, we’re giving you ten recipes (five for lunch, five for dinner) that put that leftover chicken to good use. Or you could take the lazy way out and still make most of them with a store-bought rotisserie chicken but where’s the fun in that.
1. Best Chicken Quesadilla
Why head to Taco Bell when you can make your own chicken quesadillas. Just take some leftover chicken, cheddar cheese and fresh tortillas and throw ‘em on the grill (either outside or in a thick bottomed pan). You’ll know when the quesadillas are done when the cheese is fully melted and the bottoms start to brown. Get our Best Chicken Quesadilla recipe.
2. Tarragon Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is sort of a no-brainer when it comes to leftover chicken. For our French-inspired version, you’ll combine apples, celery, mayo and tarragon along with champagne vinegar marinated red onions for an elevated take on the picnic staple. For the full French experience, serve on croissant or fresh baguette. Get our Tarragon Chicken Salad recipe.
3. Chicken Salad Sandwich
For a classic version of Chicken Salad, look no further than our original recipe. Unlike the Colonel’s, ours isn’t a secret but it’s darn good. You can even make your own mayonnaise and mustard for take your chicken salad to new heights. Get our Chicken Salad Sandwich recipe.
4. Easy Rotisserie Chicken Tostadas
Perfect for that cheat day, tostadas are basically nachos on steroids. To assemble, you’ll top the tostada shells with refried beans, chicken, sour cream, lettuce and queso fresco. The rest of the toppings are up to you but we recommend a little spice - maybe even a homemade hot sauce you have sitting in your fridge? Get our Easy Chicken Tostadas recipe.
5. Chinese-y Chicken Salad
Not your grandmother’s chicken salad, our Chinese-y chicken salad is also not Chinese (technically). In our pseudo-Chinese salad, the chicken is tossed with fresh veggies and a sauce made with sesame oil, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger and Chili-garlic paste for a distinctly Asian flavor. Get our Chinese-y Chicken Salad recipe.
6. Chicken a la King
If our Chinese-y chicken wasn’t on your grandmother’s menu, surely she has made Chicken a la King before. The American classic dates back as early as the 1880s and is the definition of comfort food. Our version sticks to the classic preparation with chicken and peas served along with a mushroom cream sauce. To keep it traditional, serve over buttered noodles or biscuits made from scratch. Get our Chicken a la King recipe.
7. Easy Chicken Gumbo
Making real gumbo can be a time consuming affair, but if you follow our recipe, you’ll have a hot steaming bowl on your table in less than 45 minutes. Since the chicken is already pre-cooked, the only “real” cooking you’ll have to do is making the roux. Once that’s done, everything get’s slowly added to the pot until you’re ready to eat. Get our Easy Chicken Gumbo recipe.
8. Spicy Chicken “Takeout” Noodles
Stir-frying is meant to cook everything quickly, so having pre-cooked chicken is a real game-changer. Our takeout noodles are also loaded with veggies, making this a far healthier version that what you might get at the takeout joint down the street. And if you’ve planned wisely, hopefully your cabinets are full of extra packets of duck sauce and hot mustard. Get our Spicy Chicken “Takeout” Noodles recipe.
9. Chicken Pot Pie
Creamed chicken is pretty much what it’s named - chicken that is cooked along with a cream and flour based sauce. It’s super easy to make and a comforting weeknight meal, especially when served over noodles and with some steamed veggies. Or you could take it a step further and make your own chicken pot pie. Your call. Get our Chicken Pot Pie recipe.
10. Jerk Turkey Chicken Chili
Technically the original recipe calls for leftover Turkey but since Thanksgivings a few months away, we think that chicken can do just fine here. As with any chili, the flavor will deepen the longer it sits so maybe stick this in a crockpot in the AM to come home to a super flavorful dinner. Get our Jerk Turkey Chicken Chili recipe.
Dan McKay is a Canadian actor, film director, screenwriter, and musician—oh wait, that's Ryan Gosling. Dan is a Philly-based freelance writer, photographer, and digital marketer. He has written for Eater and Thrillist, in addition to other publications. Outside of work, you might run across him in the Asian market or in one of Philly’s local drinking establishments.