I’m not a fan of throwing out food so I always lean on my 5 easy meals with leftover chicken. I don’t care how the chicken is cooked, it seems to work in any of the recipes listed below. I work all day and have a busy life so I always choose fast, easy meals that will please everyone, including my wallet.
- Chicken Enchiladas – Chicken enchiladas are a favorite in our house. I like that I can quickly assemble them and put them in the oven while I take some time to unwind while the cheese melts. I’d love to say that I make my sauce from scratch, but that’s just not my thing! I take leftover chicken and either shred it while it’s still cold with the mixer (my stand mixer works best) or chop it up very fine. I dump a little of the green enchilada sauce inside the meat and then roll up a small handful into each flour tortilla. (Don’t forget to spray the pan first so things don’t stick. I’m a huge fan of Pyrex baking dishes. They clean up so nicely!). After I fill the pan with all of my roll ups, I spread the remaining enchilda sauce over all of them, top them off with shredded cheese and put them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the brown slightly on top. Easy peasy!
- Chicken Tacos – I don’t cook a lot of fried foods for my family, so we use steamed corn tortillas or corn tortillas that have been lightly warmed on this awesome pan my sister-in-law bought me. We use chopped chicken (bbq’ed, baked, grilled or whatever) and top them with whatever fixings that are around the house. Cheese, sour cream, Chipotle Tobasco Sauce, chopped pineapple and fresh lime are the favorites.
- Chicken and Broccoli Pasta – This is one of the easiest meals and is a favorite with everyone in the house. I’m usually feeding 5 and we use one box of cooked pasta, GOOD EVOO, usually bow ties (“fun noodles” as they’re called in our family but the one pictured uses thin spaghetti noodles), steemed broccoli, garlic salt, pepper and grated parmesan cheese. My trick for steaming broccoli is to boil the water first then turn it down to a simmer. AFTER boiling the water and turning it down, place the steamer basket of broccoli on top and put the lid on it. Time it for 7 minutes then shut it off and remove the lid. I capitalized GOOD when mentioning the olive oil because the olive oil has to be a good! If you’re using cheap olive oil, it’s just not going to taste the same. Buy your olive oil from a reputable source so you know you’re using a good quality that is fresh. It honestly makes the biggest difference. Ok, I get distracted easily… In a large pan, add the cooked pasta, generously coat with GOOD EVOO ;), sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper to taste, add the steamed broccoli and then add a handful of shredded or grated parmesan cheese. Stir and serve. Here’s a link to a handy tool that I use to grate my own parmesan cheese. It’s not the exact one I use, but it’s similar. It’s super easy to use and clean and tastes better than the pre-shredded bagged parmesan.
- Chicken Chili – Dump and Serve Chili is what I call this recipe. I use four cans of beans (I like to use a mixture of black beans, white beans and kidney beans), one packet of low sodium chili seasoning, one can of Mexican steweed tomatoes and chopped chicken. Serve with a side of cornbread. Tummies are full, everyone’s happy with this one ,too.
- Chicken “Taco” Salad – Chopped lettuce, chopped chicken, shredded cheese, corn, rinsed can of black beans, crunched up tortilla chips and ranch. This one has a lot of possibilites….red bell peppers, shredded carrots, tomatoes, avocados (I’m the only one in my house that likes them) or any other salad items you like. If your family will go for anything other than ranch dressing, try a creamy cilantro! I’m a fan of Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Cilantro Dressing.
My family is pretty hard to please and they aren’t very adventurous when it comes to food. I hope you’ve enjoyed the 5 Easy Meals With Leftover Chicken, my family go-to’s. What are some of your favorite easy meals with your family?