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Leftover Chicken Breast Dinner Ideas

by Kate Bradley, studioD

You may be tempted to toss that leftover chicken; but as long as it's still safe to eat, you can use it to make a scrumptious and totally different meal. Don't limit yourself to simply reheating and eating. Chop it up, pour sauce on it or even shred it to create a meal or snack that your whole family can enjoy again.

Chicken with Pasta

Adding pasta to chicken is quick and inexpensive. Coat your remaining chicken breasts with crushed croutons and fry them lightly while you cook spaghetti noodles. When the pasta is finished, place the finished chicken on top and add marinara sauce and shredded Parmesan cheese. Presto, you've got chicken Parmesan. Or toss the chopped-up, lightly grilled chicken breasts with pesto, olive oil, basil, shredded mozzarella and capellini pasta. The result is a zesty, filling and tasty dish that takes just minutes to make. You can also slice the breasts into strips and toss them with angel hair pasta, grilled vegetables and lemon butter. Sprinkle garlic powder on top and enjoy.

Chicken in Soup or Salad

If you can't get your kids to eat veggies, chicken noodle soup may do the trick. Boil the chunked leftover chicken in chicken broth with freshly chopped zucchini, carrots and celery. Add a package of dried salad dressing mix for flavor. Or whip up a quick and easy tomato soup with chicken: You'll need 2 quarts of tomato juice, all the fresh vegetables you want and chunks of leftover chicken. Boil it all together and enjoy. You can also do a cold chicken salad: Toss strips or chunks of the leftover chicken with chilled light dressing and raw broccoli, cauliflower, chickpeas and green peas.

Chicken in Sandwiches

If you've got bread, you've got a chicken sandwich. Fry the leftover chicken and make crispy chicken sandwiches with a deli ciabatta bun, lettuce, tomato and a touch of creamy ranch dressing. Or chop up the chicken and stuff it, along with a slice of low-fat mozzarella cheese, spinach and mushrooms, into whole-wheat pita pockets. You can also grill the chicken, top it with grilled vegetables and melted cheese and have an open-faced chicken sandwich. Pick your bread base and enjoy.

Other Chicken Dishes

You can pair chicken with just about any side. Grill your leftovers, drizzle them with lemon juice, sprinkle feta on top and serve with a baked potato. Or cut the chicken into strips and fry them. Serve them as chicken fingers with homemade French fries. You can also chop up the chicken and serve it with melted cheese, chili and peppers on a bed of nachos. Add salsa or creamy salad dressing for dipping.

About the Author

Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images