Leftovers are a thing of beauty and roast chicken is one of the most versatile ingredients there is, lending depth of flavour to anything you cook. We love it baked into a pie, encased in flaky golden pastry, stirred into a comforting soup or stuffed into a Mexican-style burrito with spicy rice and creamy avocado. Whip up the most indulgent recipes and be smug in the knowledge that you’re being thrifty, too.
Take a look at our leftover chicken recipe collection for even more pocket-friendly midweek meals.
1. One-pot Chinese chicken noodle soup
Make a broth more robust by using the leftover chicken carcass for the stock. Dark soy, ginger and honey give this chicken noodle soup a fragrant Chinese flavour and pieces of leftover roast chicken are optional (the stock should be potent enough that you don’t need it). Sprinkle over spring onions and chilli for a kick and enjoy the combination of crunchy, tangy pickled ginger with the soft umami noodles.
2. Chicken & leek filo pie
What could be better after a long day than sitting down to a filo-topped chicken & leek pie? It only takes 15 minutes to prep, then put your feet up for a bit before throwing together some buttered cabbage and creamy mashed potato to serve with it.
3. Mexican chicken & black bean wraps
Good Food’s got your leftovers all wrapped up. Smother your tortillas with cheese, hot sauce, guacamole and all your favourite toppings for our Mexican-inspired chicken & black bean wraps. Not only do they count towards your five-a-day but they can be on the table in just over half-an-hour. Perfect for sharing, try these DIY dinner wraps for a night in with your family.
4. Leftover roast chicken pad thai
Take your tastebuds on a trip to Thailand with our leftover chicken pad Thai. Any dish with oodles of noodles and juicy king prawns is a winner in our book. It’s all about the aromatics, though. Transform what could be boring and bland with sriracha, shrimp paste and tamarind – great storecupboard ingredients to have handy. Finish with a squeeze of zesty lime.
5. Chicken & freekeh salad
Our chicken & freekeh salad is an easy throw-together meal that’s chock-full of good-for-you greens like asparagus, avocado and cucumber. There’s plenty of crunch and flavour, too, from radishes, toasted pine nuts and a fresh salsa verde to complement the chicken. As salads go, this earthy recipe is more substantial than most and it counts as two of your five-a-day.
6. Roast chicken soup
Pinching pennies doesn’t have to mean skimping on flavour. Go for a rustic chicken soup with a dose of garlic, a smattering of thyme and a cheesy scone on the side. Ideal for warming up on a chilly evening, this marvellously moreish concoction can also be frozen for an even quicker meal at a later date – or use a slow cooker to have it ready when you need it. See the tip box for our feta & spinach scone recipe.
7. Chicken & bean enchiladas
Frugal cooking at its finest. Try these flavoursome chicken & bean enchiladas for a speedy, cheesy supper. Bulk up your wraps with tinned kidney beans, sweetcorn and your favourite fresh veg. Ramp up the spice, too, for those who enjoy a dish with some peppery punch. Serve golden and bubbling.
8. Roast chicken & pea risotto
Stir up a budget-friendly chicken risotto with a little thyme – this herb goes so well with chicken – crème fraîche and of course, a healthy grating of parmesan. If you boil the leftover carcass to make stock, it’ll be even better. In any case it’s a real winter warmer and sure to become a family favourite.
9. Mexican bean soup with shredded chicken & lime
Here’s more comforting bowl food – our Mexican bean soup with shredded chicken & lime. Make use of any canned beans sitting in the storecupboard to whip up this low-cost meal that’s ideal for two. It’s healthy, hearty, low-calorie and low-fat, plus you can cook it in one pot. Serve with crusty bread.
10. Chicken & mushroom hotpot
Slide your spoon through a layer of lightly crisped potatoes and into a richly flavoured, umami filling. Our chicken & mushroom hot-pot is a wholesome, family-friendly dish that uses whatever vegetables you have in the back of the fridge along with the leftover chicken, plus fresh button mushrooms. Delicious.
Like these recipes? Try more ways with leftovers…
What to do with leftover lamb
Top 10 ways with turkey leftovers
Top 10 ways to use up leftover bread
What’s your favourite recipe for leftover chicken? Leave a comment below…