Leftovers can often be a hot topic. Some people swear by them. Love them. Others can’t stand leftovers. Most days I love them, but I fall in the camp of can’t stand them when leftovers last more than a day or two beyond the original night.
Leftovers have saved me on many a busy night, whether we have a lot going on after school, have had simply too much fun on a gorgeous summer afternoon to bother with cooking dinner, or when the chef in charge (me!) is under the weather.
What do you do when you’re on day 3 or 4 of leftovers and you are absolutely so over that original meal? Don’t throw the food away! The answer – instead of throwing away perfectly good food, repurpose your leftovers! Turn something old into something new.
Chicken is probably our most common dinner theme around here lately. Both kids eat it. It is easy. It is versatile. It isn’t expensive. But who wants to eat the same chicken 4 nights in a row?
Here are some great ways to repurpose leftover chicken to help you be more mindful about your leftovers and decrease your food waste. One thing that is important to note: If you are unable to consume the leftovers within 3-4 days, you will need to freeze it for a later use, so it does not go to waste.
Repurposing Leftovers – 5 Easy Ways to Revamp Chicken
Chop up leftover roasted, grilled, or baked chicken and make a pot of soup. Since the chicken is already cooked, you’ll just have to stir that in towards the end and cook until it is heated through.
- Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Noodles
- White Bean Chicken Chili Verde
- Rosemary Chicken Chowder with White Beans
- Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Coconut Chicken Curry Soup
Add chicken to your favorite vegetarian pasta dish for a new variation or swap out your favorite Italian sausage in favor of chicken. Or try this easy pasta formula to create your own pasta dish based on what you’ve got in your fridge: 3-2-1 Pasta
- Chicken Tetrazzini
- Pasta Alfredo with Broccoli and Mushrooms
- Chicken, Artichoke, and Mushroom Lasagna Rolls
- Pineapple Chicken Quinoa Salad
- Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wraps
- Curried Chicken Salad with Watercress
- Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad
- Mexican Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad
- Balsamic Berry Salad Lettuce Cups
- Spanish Rice Taco Salad Bowls
Turn a Side Dish into a Main Dish
- Cheesy Spiced Cauliflower Gratin
- Warm Arugula with Quinoa and Goat Cheese
- Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Stuffing
- Warm Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Pita Bread
- Spring Asparagus Quinoa with Tarragon Vinaigrette
Sandwiches, Quesadillas, Tacos, or Wraps
Sandwiches, Quesadillas, Tacos, and Wraps are another great way to use up chicken. Think outside the box, too, when it comes to flavors.
- Chicken Parmesan Panini – Leftover chicken parmesan cut into strips, sauce, and mozzarella pressed between 2 slices of sourdough bread.
- Queso Fresco & Chipotle Chicken and Veggie Wraps
- Santa Fe Chicken Salad Wrap
- Whole Wheat Naan and Tandoori Chicken Wraps
- Roasted Chicken, Apricot, and Brie Panini
- Open Face Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches (just add chicken)
- Lemon Pepper Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Slaw
- Garlic Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Quesadillas
Related: How to Make an Awesome Sandwich
How do you handle leftovers in your house so you don’t waste perfectly good food?
While SC Johnson is the sponsor of the 30 Green Days Challenge, all opinions and comments within this post are my own.
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