30 Healthy Recipes That Use Leftover Chicken Breast
Transform leftover chicken breasts into a healthy and delicious meal. Using leftover chicken saves time and energy, and cuts down on food waste, too. Better yet, this versatile protein can be used in a variety of dishes for lunch or dinner. Recipes like Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad and Creamy Mushroom, Chicken & Asparagus Bake are flavorful and satisfying.
Adobo Chicken & Kale Enchiladas
Put out your favorite toppings for these quick and healthy layered enchiladas. We like cilantro, sour cream, guacamole and jalapeños.
BBQ Chicken Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw
This zippy, creamy slaw is so good you might find yourself making it for other sandwiches. Still, it pairs beautifully with the tangy pulled chicken for an incredibly quick dinner you can make even on your busiest nights. To save even more time, use a preshredded coleslaw blend.
Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes
Tons of spice, corn and bell pepper give this healthy one-pot chicken chili recipe Southwestern flair. Serve with your favorite hot sauce, tortilla chips and a cold beer.
Chicken & Stuffing Casserole
Stuffing is not just for Thanksgiving with this easy chicken and stuffing casserole. And speaking of Thanksgiving, if you have leftover turkey, feel free to substitute it for the chicken in this comforting and healthy recipe. It's also a great use for extra carrots, celery, onions and day-old bread you might have on hand around the holidays. There's no boxed stuffing mix or canned soup in this lighter take on the comfort-food casserole, but it's still super-easy to make. Poultry seasoning helps humble bread to taste like stuffing, while thickened chicken broth takes the place of canned soup. There are plenty of veggies in this one, too, making this a healthy casserole you can feel good about serving year-round.
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
This scrumptious and healthy salad combines elements of Caesar salad, pasta salad and chicken salad for an easy weeknight dinner that comes together in less than 30 minutes (and most of the prep can be done ahead). Use your blender to whip together the tangy buttermilk-based dressing, which would also be great on a salmon or chickpea salad.
Chicken Udon Bowl with Zucchini Noodles
Mix udon and zucchini noodles for a lower-carb noodle bowl that's full of flavor thanks to the finger-licking-good peanut sauce. Using leftover chicken will save you even more time on this quick dinner recipe--you can whip it up in about 10 minutes.
This retro dish will please kids and adults alike.
Chopped Chicken & Sweet Potato Salad
This easy salad recipe allows for a wonderful use of leftover cooked chicken. Look for escarole in the produce section near the leafy greens; if you can't find it, you can use romaine instead.
Chicken Enchilada Skillet Casserole
This simplified take on cheesy chicken enchiladas only requires one pan for cooking and eliminates the need to stuff and roll corn tortillas. Charring the veggies in a cast-iron skillet adds depth of flavor. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, because you can use any oven-safe skillet instead.
Creamy Mushroom, Chicken & Asparagus Bake
This comforting weeknight casserole recipe features plenty of mushrooms and asparagus combined with chicken and brown rice and a creamy Parmesan cheese sauce. Whip this up anytime you have leftover chicken or cooked brown rice to spare.
Classic Sesame Noodles with Chicken
Classic sesame noodles become a healthy meal with lean chicken and tons of veggies in this quick recipe for Asian noodles. Be sure to rinse the spaghetti until it's cold, then give it a good shake in the colander until it's well drained. Are you a spiralizing pro? Swap 5 cups of raw zucchini, carrot or other veggie “noodles” for the cooked pasta.
French Onion Dip Chicken & Rice Casserole
This creamy French onion dip chicken and rice casserole topped with crispy potato chips is perfect for game day or whenever you want a comforting meal the whole family will love.
BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Toss leftover cooked chicken with barbecue sauce and crunchy carrots for a quick and healthy lunch.
Chopped Cobb Salad with Chicken
This healthy chopped salad is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken. You can reserve the remaining hard-boiled egg half for a snack.
Buffalo-Chicken Celery Sticks
These stuffed celery sticks, packed with zesty Buffalo chicken and tangy blue cheese, make a perfect low-carb game-day snack. The kick of flavor from tangy Buffalo sauce is tempered by creamy Neufchâtel (reduced-fat cream cheese), but you can cut back if the hot sauce is too much for sensitive palates. Drizzle a few drops on the sticks before serving for those who can handle the heat.
Camping Chicken Quesadillas
These make-ahead quesadillas are a genius campfire dinner solution. Assemble and wrap in foil at home, then once you get to camp, just throw over hot coals for a quick campsite meal.
Chicken & White Bean Salad
Zucchini and celery give this chicken-and-bean salad a nice crunch. We like serving it over a bed of slightly bitter escarole and radicchio, but any type of salad greens will work. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Chicken & Cauliflower-Rice Casserole
Get your veggies and your protein fix in this easy, gluten-free chicken and cauliflower-rice casserole. Riced cauliflower stands in for traditional rice, making this creamy casserole low in carbs but—with the simple combination of Cheddar cheese and chicken—suitable for even the pickiest of eaters.
Mushroom Ravioli & Chicken Piccata
This weeknight-friendly version of classic chicken piccata calls for mushroom ravioli, but regular cheese ravioli works too. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut down on prep time, and use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken here to cut down on cook time in this fast and easy dinner.
Cranberry Chicken Salad
This healthy chicken salad recipe with cranberries, toasty pecans and crunchy vegetables is slathered in a combo of mayonnaise and yogurt which keeps the dressing light and tangy. Serve it open-face on toasted bread or scoop it on top of fresh salad greens.
Avocado, Tomato & Chicken Sandwich
In this healthy chicken sandwich recipe, the avocado is mashed to create a healthy creamy spread.
Hot Chicken Salad Casserole
A crunchy cornflake-almond topper complements this saucy chicken mixture.
Spring Vegetable Salad with Chicken & Buttermilk-Herb Dressing
The buttermilk dressing for this easy and healthy chicken salad recipe calls for using dried herbs, which gives you a more intense flavor blast and cuts down on prep time. But if you prefer the flavor of fresh, use 3 tablespoons fresh for each 1 tablespoon dried. Using leftover cooked chicken further speeds prep in this 20-minute dinner recipe.
Korean Chicken Soup
This quick and easy spicy chicken soup recipe is made with leftover cooked chicken and is spiked with garlic, ginger and hot sauce.
Curried Chicken Pitas
Cranberries and pear are sweet counterpoints in this tangy curried chicken salad. Toasted sliced almonds add a nutty crunch.
Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
This healthy 5-ingredient spaghetti squash recipe is a satisfying low-carb alternative to taco night. If you have leftover cooked chicken on hand, skip Step 2 and stir 2 1/2 cups into the filling. Look for an enchilada sauce with less than 300 mg of sodium per serving, such as Hatch brand.
Hot Wing Salad
Enjoy the taste of hot wings without having to use your hands! This one-bowl meal with chicken, celery, hot sauce, and blue cheese is quick and easy to prepare.
Quick King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Usually made by layering creamy chicken and tortillas (lasagna-style), this classic Tex-Mex chicken casserole gets speedier for an easy weeknight dinner when we mix everything together in a skillet, then pop the whole pan under the broiler to make the cheese topping gooey.
Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad
Avocado makes an exceptionally creamy and healthful dressing for this chicken salad. A bit of ranch dressing with pickled jalapeño adds a tangy spin to the lunchtime classic. Serve it on a slice of whole-wheat toast for an open-face sandwich or in a lettuce cup for a low-carb lunch.
Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken
Chicken turns this Greek-inspired salad into a substantial main course. Feel free to substitute other chopped fresh vegetables, such as broccoli or bell peppers, for the tomatoes or cucumber. Use leftover chicken, store-roasted chicken or quickly poach a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts while you prepare the rest of the salad. Serve with pita bread and hummus.