Whether it’s leftover roasted chicken from last night’s dinner or meat from an iconic Costco rotisserie chicken, or even skinless chicken breasts, having a few leftover shredded chicken recipes in your rotation is a good idea.
Leftover cooked chicken can be a versatile ingredient in creating quick and delicious meals. We’ve compiled a list of the top 42 leftover shredded chicken recipes that will inspire you to create new dishes and make the most of your leftovers. From soups and salads to wraps and casseroles, you will surely find something that will please your taste buds.
My (and now your) Go-To Protein
As someone who loves playing around in the kitchen, nothing makes me happier than trying out a new recipe, drinking a glass of wine, and listening to music in the kitchen. But that’s the exception, not the rule in my life. Sometimes I can’t help but appreciate the value of a reliable, quick-to-prepare protein. Between my nine-five and all my side hustles, I often just need to get dinner on the table. So to prevent relying on take-out and frozen meals, I’ve learned that keeping shredded chicken around for at least a few meals really helps!
Whether I’m using the remnants of a store-bought rotisserie chicken or have taken the time to cook and shred the chicken myself (which isn’t really hard), this go-to protein is the perfect foundation for tons of meals. Here are some of my favorites, as well as my no-fail recipe for making shredded chicken to keep in the fridge.
Asian Inspired Leftover Shredded Chicken Recipes
Stir-fry leftover chicken with cooked rice, mixed vegetables, and soy sauce for an easy, flavorful dish that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Simmer shredded chicken in a rich and flavorful curry sauce with vegetables, then serve over rice or with naan bread.
Quickly stir-fry shredded chicken with your favorite Asian-inspired sauce for a healthy and flavorful meal.
Stir-fry shredded chicken with rice noodles, bean sprouts, and a tangy sauce for a delicious Thai-inspired dish.
Fill crisp lettuce leaves with a mixture of shredded chicken, diced veggies, and a flavorful Asian-inspired sauce for a light and healthy meal. Typical lettuce wraps call for ground chicken, but chicken breasts or chicken thighs diced well can be just as delicious. To avoid overcooked meat, make sure you are adding your roast chicken as the final step.
Stir-fry shredded chicken with a colorful mix of vegetables and your favorite stir-fry sauce for a quick and nutritious meal. On a low-carb or keto diet? Try your stir fry over cauliflower rice.
Serve shredded chicken, cooked rice, and steamed vegetables with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce for a quick and easy meal.
This savory Chinese chicken can be made at home for less money than any takeout restaurant. With this quick and delicious recipe, you might leave the Chinese menu in the drawer.
South American & Mexican Shredded Chicken Recipes
Layer tortilla chips with shredded chicken, cheese, and your favorite nacho toppings, then bake until bubbly and delicious. This recipe works great with boneless skinless chicken breasts. Add some taco seasoning or a tablespoon or two of Tex-Mex paste.
Combine shredded chicken with your favorite cheese, veggies, and seasonings, and cook between two tortillas for a quick and delicious meal.
Fill store-bought pastry dough with a mixture of shredded chicken and cheese, then bake or fry for a tasty and portable snack.
Crafted with care in an Instant Pot pressure cooker, this Mexican shredded chicken brings a tender, pull-apart texture that’s nothing short of remarkable. Whether served in enchiladas, tacos, or your own unique dish, it promises a level of versatility that’s certain to delight.
Fill flour tortillas with shredded chicken, black beans, cheese, and your favorite burrito fillings, then roll up and bake for a tasty and portable meal.
Fill tortillas with shredded chicken, cheese, and your favorite enchilada sauce. Roll up, place in a baking dish, and top with more sauce and cheese before baking.
Fill tortillas with shredded chicken, a shredded Mexican mix or cheddar cheese, and your favorite Mexican seasonings. Roll tightly, then bake or fry for a crispy and tasty treat.
Top your favorite tortillas with shredded chicken, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and your favorite taco toppings for an easy and delicious meal.
A creamy and hearty with marinated chicken and bell peppers. The jerk seasoning gives it a solid kick to it! A great recipe for a special weekend meal or served on rotation any day of the week.
Layer shredded chicken, sautéed peppers and onions, rice, and your favorite fajita toppings in a bowl for a customizable and delicious meal.
Similar flavors to chicken chili, combine shredded chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and broth in a pot, then simmer until flavors meld. Top with tortilla chips, avocado, and sour cream.
Spread refried beans and shredded chicken on a crispy tostada shell, then top with your favorite Mexican-inspired toppings for a quick and delicious meal.
Italian-Inspired Leftover Shredded Chicken Recipes
Combine shredded chicken with your favorite Alfredo sauce and cooked pasta for a creamy and satisfying dinner.
Nothing is more delicious than a delicious pesto dish. The combo of quality olive oil, pine nuts, and basil always hits the spot. Toss cooked pasta with shredded chicken, your favorite pesto sauce, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for a quick and flavorful meal.
Combine cooked pasta, shredded chicken, cooked bacon, and a creamy Parmesan sauce for a delicious and satisfying dinner. I recommend using penne pasta, so the sauce adheres well to the pasta.
Bake shredded chicken with cooked pasta, a creamy sauce, and cheese for a delicious and comforting casserole.
Layer lasagna noodles, shredded chicken, spinach, ricotta cheese, and marinara sauce in a baking dish for a delicious and hearty meal.
Sauté shredded chicken with spinach and garlic, then serve over cooked pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for a light and flavorful meal.
Classic American Recipes Using Shredded Chicken
Combine shredded chicken with mixed vegetables, cream of chicken soup, and your favorite seasonings. Top with a store-bought pie crust and bake until golden brown. Serve with a side of ranch potatoes or another side for chicken pot pie.
Spread your favorite BBQ sauce on a prepared pizza crust and top with shredded chicken, red onion, and mozzarella cheese. Bake until bubbly, and enjoy a delicious homemade pizza.
Top shredded chicken and vegetables in a savory gravy with store-bought biscuits and bake for a comforting and tasty dish.
Mix shredded chicken with cream cheese, hot sauce, and shredded cheese for a spicy and creamy appetizer. Serve with tortilla chips or veggies.
Create a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup by adding shredded chicken, noodles, carrots, celery, and any other veggies you have to a flavorful chicken broth.
Sauté shredded chicken with onions and bell peppers, then serve on a hoagie roll with melted provolone cheese for a delicious twist on the classic Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.
Mix shredded chicken with your favorite Sloppy Joe sauce, then serve on hamburger buns for a fun and easy meal. If you want to add a twist on the tradition, spread a thick layer of ranch dressing on your buns before adding your meat.
Bake a mixture of shredded chicken, cooked rice, cream of chicken soup, and cheese for a comforting and delicious casserole.
More Leftover Shredded Chicken Recipes
Fill bell peppers with a mixture of shredded chicken, cooked rice, black beans, corn, and salsa for a healthy and flavorful meal.
Mix shredded chicken with mayonnaise, celery, onion, and seasonings for a classic chicken salad sandwich filling. Want to up your chicken salad game? Try walnuts and grapes for a delicious Waldorf Salad. You can also replace the walnuts with sliced almonds for a yummy spin. This is a perfect option if you’re big on meal prep.
Toss leftover shredded chicken with crisp romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing for a satisfying and healthy meal.
Simmer shredded chicken in a savory broth with vegetables, then add fluffy dumplings for a comforting and hearty dish.
Stuff pita bread with shredded chicken, cucumber, tomato, onion, and a creamy garlic sauce for a flavorful and portable meal.
Simmer shredded chicken, andouille sausage, and vegetables in a rich, flavorful broth for a hearty and delicious gumbo. For chicken gumbo, I highly recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs, if you have.
Combine shredded chicken with cooked egg noodles and a creamy mushroom sauce for a comforting and delicious twist on classic stroganoff.
Combine shredded chicken, sausage, and vegetables in a richly flavored rice dish for a taste of New Orleans at home. This is also a great meal to make in pressure cookers or slow cooker.
Stuff large tomatoes with a mixture of cooked quinoa, shredded chicken, and your favorite seasonings for a healthy and delicious meal.
Fill store-bought crepes with a mixture of shredded chicken, sautéed mushrooms, and a creamy sauce for a delicious and elegant meal.
Combine shredded chicken with avocado, cherry tomatoes, corn, and a zesty lime dressing for a healthy and flavorful salad. Have leftover fresh herbs in your fridge? This is the perfect salad to throw them in. Don’t let them go to waste!
Poach Chicken for Shredded Chicken
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breast
- chicken broth
- (you can also use water, beef broth, or any type of broth)
- Seasoning such as onions or garlic optional
- Put your chicken in a heavy-bottom pot. If you want you can add seasoning such as herbs, onions, or garlic. But you don't have to.
- Pour broth into the pan until the chicken is about halfway covered.
- Turn up the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer uncovered for approximately 15-20 minutes. Continue simmering until the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Carefully remove the chicken from the broth, setting it aside to rest for 5 minutes before any slicing or cutting.
- Strain the remaining broth.
- Finally, proceed to slice, dice, or shred the chicken as desired. I like to either use two forks to shred my chicken or a hand mixer.
Shredded Chicken Recipes FAQs
What’s the difference between pulled and shredded chicken?
Pulled and shredded chicken are similar in that both involve tearing the meat into small, thin pieces. The main difference lies in the method used to cook the chicken. Pulled chicken is typically slow-cooked at a low temperature until it’s so tender that it can easily be “pulled” apart with forks. Shredded chicken, on the other hand, can be cooked any way you like (baked, boiled, etc.) and then manually shredded into pieces.
How do you fix dry shredded chicken?
If your shredded chicken is dry, you can add moisture back in by mixing the chicken with a sauce or broth. Depending on the recipe, you might choose barbecue sauce, salsa, chicken broth, or a creamy sauce. Warm the chicken gently on the stove or in the oven to help it absorb the added moisture.
Is it easier to shred chicken breast hot or cold?
It’s generally easier to shred chicken when it’s still warm, just after cooking. The meat is more tender and falls apart more easily. If the chicken has cooled or been refrigerated, you might find it more difficult to shred and the result might not be as tender.
What attachment is best for shredding chicken?
If you’re using a stand mixer to shred chicken, the paddle attachment is generally the best choice. It can quickly shred chicken without overworking the meat. Make sure the chicken is warm and cooked through, then place it in the mixer bowl and use the lowest speed to gently break the chicken into shreds. Be sure to stop the mixer as soon as the chicken is shredded to your liking, to avoid over-processing.
More Recipes for Leftovers
Have questions or suggestions about these recipes using leftover shredded chicken?