By Carl Hanson

Best ways to use up leftover shredded chicken

Shredded chicken is such a smart, time-saving trick for quick dinners during the week. We love having shredded chicken around, already prepped for the week. These top-rated recipes are terrific, whether you're using up leftover chicken, roasting a chicken specifically for shredding, or simply dropping by the grocery store for a pre-made rotisserie chicken to shred.

Here's how to use up shredded chicken. We'll start with a few favorite Mexican recipes. Shredded chicken always does wonders paired up with tortillas and traditional fillings in tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, burritos, chimichangas, nachos, and taco salads. Any of these recipes would also work great with leftover turkey meat.

Chicken Enchiladas II

"A great way to use leftover chicken," says teppij. "Even kids love these!" There's no tomato-based enchilada sauce in this chicken enchiladas recipe, just a satisfying cheese and shredded chicken filling, all topped with a creamy sauce. It's always a family favorite.

Photo by Dianne

Sarah's Easy Shredded Chicken Taco Filling

"Serve warmed as a substitute for ground beef in tacos," says Holiday Baker, "in a taco shell, with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, or other favorite toppings."

Restaurant Style Chicken Nachos

"This is one of our favorite quick meals," says Sarah Jo. "If I have it on hand, I'll use leftover chicken taco filling or even leftover chicken fajita filling from the night before. I like to use homemade salsa and sometimes, I'll add a layer of homemade refried beans. Pure comfort food."

Restaurant Style Chicken Nachos | Photo by bellepepper

Pollo Mechado (Shredded Chicken)

A traditional Venezuelan recipe with shredded chicken, capers, garlic, tomato, and the snap of sherry. "This was great," says roz. "I put them on arepas. The sherry really gives it an awesome flavor."

Quinoa Pilaf with Shredded Chicken

For a super-easy weeknight meal, simply combine shredded chicken with quinoa, coconut oil, and sage. "This was the BEST quinoa recipe I've tried so far," says Kris. "It could be easily used for a couple made up of a vegitarian and a carnivore, as the chicken can be thrown in at the last minute."

Photo by Occasional Cooker

Mango-Lime Shredded Chicken Tacos

"If you like sweet and spicy together, this is a great dinner idea," says stephy. "Fill shells with chicken, lettuce, tomato, fresh cilantro, and your choice of hot sauce. Enjoy!"

Spicy Rice Noodle Salad

Here's a simple and spicy Asian salad with rice noodles and chicken, plus carrots, green onions, and fresh herbs -- basil, cilantro, and mint -- tossed with a super-easy dressing.

Salsa Chicken Burrito Filling

"Quick, easy burrito/taco filling that is delicious and freezes great," says JUBEEFISH. "I serve this with tortillas, shredded Cheddar cheese, and little sour cream. You could fill the tortillas and put them all in a baking dish and then cover with salsa and cheese and bake for about 10 minutes, if you don't want a mess at the table."

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Photo By Allrecipes Magazine

Lime Chicken Tacos

Another great way to use up cooked chicken. We served ours with fresh tomatoes, radishes, and cilantro for an extra pop of color and flavor. Instead of Monterey Jack you can also use queso fresco like we did.

Photo by Allrecipes

Cheater's Chicken Chili

Enjoy this quick-and-easy chicken chili plain or over rice. "Top with tortilla strips, shredded cheese, sour cream, plain yogurt, and/or green onions," says Vicki. "Could also be served over tortilla chips for a great nacho dish."

Broccoli Chicken

Combine cubes of leftover cooked chicken with chopped broccoli, shredded Cheddar, a creamy broccoli soup mixture, and dried bread crumbs. Then bake until bubbly and delicious.

Chicken Tamale Pie

"Easy and great alternative to all the work of hand-wrapping chicken tamales, with no masa," says laidback. "Leftover cooked turkey works great too!"

How to Make Shredded Chicken

Here are some favorite recipes for making versatile, recipe-ready shredded chicken in the slow cooker.

Photo by Creative Side Of Me

We have loads of recipes using rotisserie chicken. Now see how to make your own rotisserie chicken at home:

Rotisserie Chicken

See how to season and cook a whole chicken on a rotisserie. In the video, you'll get directions for cooking on a gas grill with a rotisserie attachment or with a poultry stand, which works like a rotisserie only it stands upright on the grill.

Once you've shred the chicken, save the carcass for delicious homemade chicken stock.

Chef John's Homemade Chicken Stock

Check out our collection of Leftover Chicken Recipes .