What to Do with Leftover Chicken
What do to with those leftover chicken breasts? Those leftover chicken thighs? Shred them! Leftover cooked shredded chicken is one of the most perpetually useful things to have in your fridge.
Whether it’s from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, or just extra chicken from a dinner earlier in the week, whether the chicken has been poached, grilled, roasted, baked or steamed, it’s a goldmine of future recipes and meals waiting to happen.
(Psst….anything on this list also works with leftover shredded turkey! Which many of us will have in our fridges right after Thanksgiving.)
If you’re super smart, you’ll plan ahead and make a few extra pieces whenever you cook chicken and then you’ll have this springboard for all sorts of great chicken meals later in the week. You can plan for leftover chicken breasts or thighs, or even a whole extra roast chicken.
I often buy a rotisserie chicken at the market if I’m not sure what the week’s meal plan is, because there will be a dinner one way or another. There are so many leftover chicken ideas, easy shredded chicken recipes just waiting to happen.
Shredded Chicken From Costco
You can buy packages of fresh shredded rotisseries chicken breasts at Costco, and then you are ready to roll with any of the following. It’s a great shortcut for those moments where you don’t even have time to shred up a rotisserie chicken. These packages are all chicken breasts, so all white meat, perfect for chicken salads and the like.
How to Shred Chicken
You can shred chicken while it’s still warm, once it’s cooled to room temperature, or when it’s cold from the fridge. You can use your fingers, which is the easiest way to shred chicken, or you can use two forks to pull apart the meat.
And, you can shred the chicken as roughly or as finely as you like, in pieces large or small, depending on the texture you are looking for and how you’re using it. I like smaller pieces for soups and enchiladas and burritos, and larger chunks for stews and salads.
How Long is Cooked Chicken Good For?
Leftover cooked chicken will last in the fridge will last for 3 or 5 days, depending on how fresh the chicken was when you cooked it. Keep it tightly sealed in a container or well-sealed zipper top bag.
How To Use Up Leftover Chicken
So, without further ado: here’s what can be made from shredded chicken!
36 Shredded Chicken Recipes
Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup
Late Summer Cobb Salad
Chicken Marsala Pasta
Shredded Chicken Tacos
Herbed Chicken Salad
Chicken Taco Salad
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Barbecued Chicken Quesadillas
Smoky Chipotle Chicken Salad
Chicken and Avocado Salad
Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup
Pasta Salad with Chicken, Avocado and Tomato
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Easiest Baked Chicken Quesadillas
Overstuffed Chicken and Vegetable Quesadillas
Pasta Salad with Chicken, Green Olives, and Ramp Vinaigrette
Chicken, Onion and Mushroom Quesadillas
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
Butternut Squash, Black Bean and Chicken Enchilada Cups
Indonesian Chicken Salad
Best Chicken Salad
Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti
Chopped Salad with Chicken, Tomatoes and Lemon Thyme Dressing
Chinese Chicken Salad
Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Spread Sandwich
Chopped Salad with Chicken and Blue Cheese Dressing
Easy Rotisserie Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas
Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps
Hashbrown Chicken Vegetable Pot Pie Casserole
Lemony Chicken, Barley and Shiitake Mushroom Soup
Chicken Satay Salad
Spicy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
Pasta Salad with Chicken and Chipotle Dressing
Chicken Recipes That Make Good Leftovers:
- Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lime, Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Marinade
- Baked Chicken Legs with Herbs and Lemon
- Greek Roasted Chicken Thighs
- Greek Roasted Chicken Breasts
- Garlicky Roast Chicken with Shallots and Potatoes
Also see: How to Safely Thaw Frozen Chicken.