Think twice before you toss that leftover chicken!
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Chicken-Pesto Flatbread Sandwiches
Credit: CAITLIN BENSEL

There's a reason why chicken is a weeknight dinner staple for so many households; it's filling, crowd-pleasing, and versatile—a blank canvas for you to play up your favorite flavors. Moreover, it's uncomplicated to cook, whether you're roasting a whole bird, grilling thighs, or pan-frying breasts.

Whenever you prepare chicken, and however you choose to do so, we recommend making some extra to carry you through the next few days. Alternatively, take a shortcut and buy something pre-cooked, like a rotisserie chicken! If you're pressed for time but you still need to pull something together for dinner, having cooked chicken in the fridge is a lifesaver. These 10 recipes will inspire you to transform your leftover chicken into comforting, fuss-free meals.

RELATED: How to Cook Perfect Chicken Every Time

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Credit: Jennifer Causey

1 Chicken Noodle Soup

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If you're feeling under the weather, nothing beats a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup. You could buy the canned stuff, but the homemade version is easy to make and so much better. To make this recipe even simpler than it already is, skip step one and use your go-to store-bought chicken broth. Once your noodles are cooked, toss in some leftover shredded chicken and heat through. Done!

Homemade nachos recipes - Cheesy Chicken Nachos
Credit: Greg DuPree

2 Cheesy Chicken Nachos

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Nachos scream "party," but who said they can't be a Tuesday night dinner? Load up tortilla chips with cheese and leftover chicken, bake for about 10 minutes until melty, then top things off with fresh ingredients like salsa, radishes, jalapeño, and cilantro. The leftover chicken makes the nachos substantial and satiating enough to call it a full meal.

Chicken-Pesto Flatbread Sandwiches
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

3 Chicken-Pesto Flatbread Sandwiches

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Mozzarella, arugula, and pesto-tossed chicken make a sandwich filling fit for dinner. Simplify this recipe by buying pre-made pesto and flatbreads, and all you'll need to do is assemble your sandwiches and serve them up.

Quick Dinner Ideas: Chicken Curry in a Hurry
Credit: John Kernick

4 Chicken Curry in a Hurry

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Lean on leftover chicken to make a quick, flavorful curry faster than it'd take to get delivery. Plain yogurt gives the dish a creamy texture and subtle tang, and fresh cilantro brightens everything up.

RELATED: 4 Easy Chicken and Rice Meals You Can Make in an Instant Pot

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
Credit: Jennifer Causey

5 Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

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Slow cookers are the secret weapon of the over-scheduled! In the morning, throw in a handful of ingredients and let the magic happen. Feel free to use leftover chicken for this make-ahead meal; just wait until right before serving to add it in, and let the hot broth heat it up. Packed with veggies and seasoned to perfection, this soup will satisfy your craving for Mexican food while taking only minutes of your time.

Crispy Chicken-And-Cheddar Sandwich With Pickle Dijon
Credit: Jennifer Causey

6 Crispy Chicken-and-Cheddar Sandwich

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Who among us can say no to a crispy chicken cutlet? Next time you fry up some Milanese, give your future self a gift and make extra. We suggest tucking your leftover cutlet into a hoagie roll with sharp white Cheddar, pickle relish, Dijon, and mayonnaise—the gourmet version of a fast food classic.

Baby Kale and Chicken Caesar Recipe
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

7 Baby Kale and Chicken Caesar

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This salad recipe is full of smart hacks, like opting for mayonnaise instead of egg yolks to keep the dressing trouble-free, and upping the protein with leftover chicken. The kale absorbs the punchy anchovies, garlic, Dijon, and lemon, which makes each bite savory and delicious.

Chicken and Chard Dumpling Soup Recipe
Credit: Greg DuPree

8 Chicken and Chard Dumpling Soup

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This soup is a riff on your classic chicken soup, and works just as well with regular gnocchi as it does with cauliflower gnocchi! If you have leftover chicken on hand, save some time and skip the poaching step. Ideal for a chilly evening, this comforting soup will warm you right up.

Chicken and Vegetable Potpie
Credit: Roland Bello

9 Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie

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Does pot pie sound like a laborious project to you? If you use leftover chicken and store-bought pie crust, it doesn't have to be! In this recipe, we unashamedly use shortcuts, resulting in a golden pie full of bubbling, creamy chicken and vegetables in about an hour, start to finish.

Instant Pot Chicken Pho
Credit: Antonis Achilleos

10 Instant Pot Chicken Pho

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There's something so healing about a big bowl of pho, which is hot, aromatic, and bright. Grab your Instant Pot to speed up the process and ignore the chicken-cooking section, adding leftover chicken right at the end instead. For serving, top the soup with the fresh ingredients of your choice! We love adding bean sprouts, cilantro, and serrano chiles, but the world is your oyster.