10 Chicken Recipes That Make Great Leftovers — Recipes from The Kitchn

There are some chicken dinners that are at the height of perfection right after they come out of the oven or off the stove, and then there are the ones that are knock-your-socks-off delicious on round two or three. I always seek out the latter — the recipes that make awesome leftovers. Here are 10 of my favorites.

1. Dill Pickle Chicken

Infused with punchy pickle brine, this flavor-packed chicken is the starting point for so many meals. The leftovers are terrific eaten cold as is, or you could feature them in sandwiches, salads, grain bowls, tacos, and burritos. The recipe calls for boneless, skinless thighs, but really any cut will work.

2. Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Chicken

The beauty of this recipe is that it makes a lot of chicken (three pounds, to be exact) without a whole lot of effort. Follow my lead and divvy up the leftovers and stock them away in the freezer for busy weeknights — your future self will thank you.

3. Chorizo Chicken Chili

No doubt about it — chili leftovers are some of the best. And with a combo of chicken thighs and punchy chorizo, this version does not disappoint. When you have a recipe that’s simple enough to pull together on a weeknight, like this chili, do yourself a favor and make a double batch.

4. How To Cook a Whole Chicken in Coconut Milk in the Slow Cooker

Of all the ways to cook a whole chicken, this one is at the top of my list. This fall-apart tender chicken is infused with coconut milk, fresh basil, ginger, and garlic, and will quickly remind you of Thai basil chicken.

5. Italian Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This is a recipe to add to your weekend meal prep routine to tackle lunch for the days ahead. It builds flavor and gets even better the longer it sits, and there’s not a drop of mayo in sight.

6. Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

I’m convinced that the only thing better than these easy-as-can-be burrito bowls for dinner is eating the leftovers for lunch the next day. The key to success with this recipe is layering the ingredients in your Instant Pot, with the rice at the top to prevent burning and ensure it cooks up tender and fluffy.

(Image credit: Henry Fong)

7. Chicken Curry in a Hurry

Chicken curry is one of those dishes that gets more flavorful with time, which is why I’ve started making this one-pot recipe at least a day in advance and then reheating it when it’s time for dinner.

8. Slow Cooker Salsa Pulled Chicken

Since the leftovers from this two-ingredient recipe hold up like a charm, I’ve taken to making a batch over the weekend and then using it in lunches and dinners throughout the week.

9. Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slow cooker soups are a boon for leftover-lovers. This version starts with chicken thighs, which means an extra-rich flavor and a promise that the meat won’t dry out from a lengthy cook time. Remember to wait until serving to adding the crumbled tortilla chip topping.

10. Weeknight Coq au Vin

While I’m only cooking for my family of two, I love that this recipe comfortably serves upwards of six of eight, because the leftovers are plenty for a second dinner or a weekday lunch that feels downright fancy.