Thursday, September 1, 2016

Leftovers for Lunch: Ways to Use Chicken Leftovers!

When I am meal planning for the week, I purposely buy chicken and have it once a week just so I can have the leftovers for lunches. The fella actually teases me about my love of chicken leftovers.

It's my favorite! So versatile and so many ways to incorporate it into different meals.

I figured it would be a great idea to put some of those into one post so the next time you have a leftover chicken breast or two in the fridge, or a container of leftover chicken from a fryer or roaster, you'd be inspired to make some fantastic lunches from the leftovers!

Note: You could take the chicken and make heartier meals like Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken Soups, but my goal of this post was to try and focus more on quick fix lunch items or each to assemble items. Enjoy!

Chicken Salad: Turn leftover roaster chicken or diced up chicken breast into chicken salad for lunches. You can serve it with bread slices, crackers, or on lettuce leaves for a delicious lunch. I even like to stuff it inside tomatoes, yum!

Salad with Chicken: I usually make this for my own lunches more than for Little Miss, but I love packing a fresh salad in my EasyLunchboxes container and topping it with sliced leftover grilled chicken breast for a healthy lunch. 

Quesadilla: One of Little Miss' most requested lunch box items are quesadillas. Add some cheese (dairy or non-dairy, depending on your allergens) and diced up leftover chicken for fun change-up from the usual sandwich. You could also try my BBQ Chicken Quesadilla recipe. 

Chicken Tacos: Reheat the chicken with some taco seasoning and pack in a thermos with shells and toppings.

Chicken Nachos: Just like above, reheat with taco seasonings and pack with tortilla chips & toppings for DIY Nachos.

BBQ Pulled Chicken: Reheat the chicken with BBQ Sauce and pack in a thermos. Pack with a GF bun or bread slices to build a delicious BBQ Chicken Sandwich for lunches. Or you could make them into BBQ Pulled Chicken Nachos

Chicken Wraps: Instead of a quesadilla, make a wrap sandwich with leftover chicken, romaine, and dressing. You could use hummus, ranch, or I personally love the zip that Just Mayo Chipotle gives to the wrap.

Chicken Pizza: Top a lunchbox sized pizza crust with chicken dices, in lieu of pepperoni or sausage. For the crust, try my cauliflower pizza crust recipe or my DIY Mini Pizzas

Pasta Salad: Cold pasta salads are such a great lunch box item! Like this Mesquite Chicken Pasta Salad from the Gluten Free on a Budget cookbook

Chicken Dunkers: Keep it simple. Slice leftover chicken breast into strips. Pack along side a dip container of ketchup or BBQ sauce and let the kids go to town at lunch. 

Chicken & Rice: Make a quick stir fry or simply pack up the reheated dinner leftovers in a thermos of chicken, rice, & veggies. OR you could make these Chicken & Rice Patty Cupcakes

What are your favorite ways to use
chicken leftovers for lunches? 
Share below in the comments!



  1. O these are great ideas! Love the pizza and quesadilla!

  2. Although I don't have kiddos yet, I do pack lunch for my husband and I daily so these are such wonderful ideas for me!

  3. These are all great ideas. My girls are going to love them all!

  4. These are great ideas! Some of them will definitely by in #CricketsPlanetBox soon!

  5. BBQ Pulled Chicken sounds delicious! I like to make extra chicken for leftovers too. It makes lunch so much easy to think about, especially when you know one ingredient is ready to go.

  6. I can't say enough how impressed I am at the versatality you're able to come up with for school lunches!

  7. We always seem to have an abundance of leftover chicken each week. These are great quick and easy ideas to use it up!

  8. What great ideas! You are so creative with leftovers! I'm so impressed.

  9. You have so many great ideas here! Can't wait to explore your other posts for more suggestions!

  10. Love this post Keeley. Chicken is definitely a staple on our home. I usually make just enough for dinner, but am thinking I should make extra now as I'm craving chicken salad sandwiches.

  11. So many good ideas for leftovers and it gives the kids more variety!


Let me know your thoughts!

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