I think you’ll agree when I say:
Trying to decide what’s for dinner day after day can be REALLY annoying. Am I right?
Let’s learn a few quick and easy leftover chicken recipes you can whip up in a hurry… sound good?
In today’s post, I’ll be every busy parent’s hero. You’ll love these three simple leftover chicken recipes — with pasta or rice — that are a snap to prepare!
They’re also budget-friendly, delicious, and can be fixed with rotisserie chicken as well. So, pull up your sleeves and let’s get a few easy meals on the table.
Leftover chicken recipes your family and budget will love
Soup is one of the top comfort foods. Here’s an awesome soup recipe for that leftover chicken that you’ll come back to again and again.
With a cup and a half of leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken, this soup recipe has plenty of protein and healthy veggies. I always use frozen tortellini, but the bagged type from the pasta aisle works great too.
Easy tortellini soup made with leftover chicken
For chicken stock, I only use Better than Bouillon chicken soup base. It’s made with real chicken, natural ingredients, MSG-free, and tastes amazing!
*For picky eaters, add cooked pureed yellow squash, cauliflower, or zucchini for a great ninja nutrition boost.
1 bag of tortellini (frozen or dry bag)
8-10 cups of chicken stock (or more, if you want plenty of leftovers)
1-2 cups of leftover chicken
Dash of parsley flakes, thyme, or oregano (optional)
1.5 cups of chopped carrots
1 cup of cubed yellow squash (optional)
2 cups of kale [we freeze leftovers from our garden for soup and smoothies all winter] (optional)
Putting it together:
Bring the soup stock to a boil [if you use the Better than Bouillon, follow directions for making 8-10 cups of stock] and add the carrots for the first five minutes to give them a head start.
Add the tortellini, squash, and other ingredients after carrots have boiled for at least five minutes. Cook until the tortellini is done and enjoy!
Two easy leftover chicken recipes with rice
Rice is a common staple in most pantries. It’s really versatile, inexpensive, and it pairs together nicely with almost anything! If you’ve been wanting to add more healthy grains to your diet, brown rice is a fantastic way to go.
If you have picky kiddos, just make a small pot of both white and brown rice and mix the two. They’ll never know!
You’re likely to have most of these ingredients on hand. And if not, they’re super budget friendly.
Below are two of my family’s favorite recipes with leftover chicken. I get regular requests for them. Enjoy! 😉
Leftover chicken burrito recipe
This easy recipe with chicken leftovers has long been a family favorite. It’s been a frequent request throughout the years. I like to use brown rice in the burritos, but you can use white if you prefer.
[This makes about 6 large burritos]
Large tortillas (burrito-sized)
3 cups of cooked rice
3 cups of cooked chicken (or more if you like them extra meaty)
1 can of refried beans or black beans (optional… my kids never wanted them in)
1 cup chopped black olives (optional)
1/2 cup of sour cream [regular or light]
1 package of shredded cheddar cheese of choice
1 can of green chili enchilada sauce [or red chili sauce if you like things spicy]
1 can of cream of chicken soup or cheddar cheese soup + 1/2 cup of milk mixed thoroughly [or you could mix these]
**The soup could be optional. I like it because it makes the chicken/rice mixture creamy. You can simply add a dollop of low-fat sour cream inside the burrito instead.
Mexican seasonings of your choice [I use paprika, cilantro, and a dash of red pepper… could use packet of taco seasoning]
Putting it together:
Cook the rice on the stove until done. Mix rice, soup +milk, sour cream, spices of choice, black olives, and chicken in a large bowl until well combined.
On each tortilla, spread a thin layer of refried beans … however much you’d like.
*When adding the rice mixture to the tortillas, they will roll up easier if you don’t put it right in the middle. Try to get most of it on the first 3rd of the tortilla — the part that’s closest to where you’re standing. Make sense?
Add about 2/3 cup of the rice and chicken mixture in a long heap horizontally across the tortilla and sprinkle with olives if you’d like. Tuck in your left and right edges as you start to slowly roll the burrito up. Put it seam-side down in a long baking dish.
Repeat with 6 tortillas [or more if you have enough filling], placing all seam-side down in the baking dish. If you have a large rectangular baking dish, they may all fit, but I normally need my 9 x 13″ and my 8 x 8″ to get them all in the oven. 😉
Pour the can of green chili enchilada sauce evenly over the burritos and sprinkle cheese over all.
*I frequently mix about 1/2 cup of sour cream with the green chili sauce to make it go further. You could also use two cans of chili sauce if you’d like.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until it’s hot and bubbly. Enjoy!
Leftover chicken and rice casserole
A friend of mine brought this wonderful dish to our family after a traumatic month we’d had. It was such a delicious reminder of how much we’re cared for in our circle of friends.
So, this chicken casserole recipe is well loved in our family because it tastes great, it’s super easy to fix, and it ranks high on the comfort-food scale!
Leftover Chicken and Rice Casserole
2 cups uncooked brown rice + water according to directions to cook it [usually a 2:1 ratio of water to rice]
2 cups of leftover chicken
1 can water chestnuts (optional)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can milk (fill one of the empty soup cans)
1 cup of mayo (I omit this sometimes… but it sure is rich and creamy when you add it!) 😉
4 stalks of celery finely chopped (you can sub small pieces of cooked broccoli also)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese for the top
*Salt and pepper to taste… although soup adds some salt, so add sparingly
Cook the rice according to directions (or you can use faster cooking white rice). Cut leftover chicken into bit-sized pieces. Mix everything in large bowl or casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Most of the time, I use my microwave for this chicken and rice casserole. It cooks up just as well, and it’s twice as fast. Mine is usually done after two 4-minute sessions.
Since my casserole dish is too big for the microwave turntable to rotate, I turn it off and cook the chicken rice casserole for four minutes. Then I turn it around and cook it on the other side for four minutes (making sure the middle is hot and cheese is melted)… and it’s done.
I’m sure this rice and leftover chicken casserole recipe will become a family favorite at your house, too. It’s so easy!
There you have it … three incredibly easy leftover chicken recipes your family will love. You’ll appreciate the time and money savings, too.
What kinds of things do you like to fix with leftover chicken? 😉
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