50 Quick Shredded Chicken Recipes

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Use pre-cooked shredded chicken to make these easy dinners in no time! Keep bags of chicken ready to go in your fridge or freezer as an essential kitchen shortcut.

The photo collage shows a bag of shredded chicken next to 3 photos of the recipes you could make with it.

If I had to list the #1 most-used dinner shortcut in all my meal prep, it would be to use pre-cooked shredded chicken as the building block for easy family dinners in less time.

Peek inside my fridge on any given day and you're almost sure to find a bag of pre-cooked chicken waiting in my fridge or freezer to be stirred into one of these easy casseroles, sandwiches, soups, or for topping a homemade pizza in a pinch.

Looking for some fresh chicken inspiration?? Here are my top favorite chicken recipes for busy nights:

The Best Shredded Chicken to Use

I've been stocking up on rotisserie chickens from Costco since I first got my membership card when my oldest was just a baby.

I love to shred them and stash the meat in my freezer for a busy night shortcut.

However, if you don't want to use a rotisserie chicken, you can make your own shredded chicken in the Instant Pot in just 15 minutes!

Chicken Casseroles

When you freeze smaller bags of shredded chicken, you can thaw them quickly for mixing into these easy casserole recipes that included cooked chicken as a shortcut.

If you buy it in bulk like I do, a rice-based casserole is an excellent choice for a budget-friendly dinner. My family loves my chicken wild rice casserole and my chicken alfredo rice casserole.

For the pasta lovers, my chicken tetrazzini and creamy pesto chicken casseroles are always a hit.

And for pure comfort food, you can't go wrong with a light chicken pot pie or my cozy Dutch oven chicken and dumplings.

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Mexican Food

Chicken is an excellent way to lighten up your favorite Mexican foods. It pairs so nicely with taco seasonings or fresh cilantro in a variety of not-too-spicy dishes.

You could substitute shredded chicken for my easy taco salad bowl or use it in place of ground beef for these baked chicken tacos. Use cooked chicken instead of ground turkey to make chicken taquitos.

I tuck cooked chicken into homemade quesadillas with cheese and I roll it up in air fryer chicken chimichangas. Pre-cooked chicken makes my chicken enchiladas even faster to prepare.

Pasta with Chicken

Shredded chicken is the easiest way to add a boost of protein to any of my vegetarian-friendly pasta recipes. It would pair especially well with my creamy farfalle primavera or my creamy lemon garlic pasta.

If you like things with more spice, my Asian peanut butter pasta or this Asian chicken pasta salad kick things up with the plain chicken.

Chicken Soups

When you don't have time to make a fully from-scratch chicken soup, using pre-cooked shredded chicken makes these easy chicken soups even faster!

It is the perfect short cut for making chicken pot pie soup or my faster matzo ball soup.

Spend your prep time chopping vegetables for my red chicken chili or Tuscan chicken soup and then just stir the cooked chicken in at the end.

Chicken Pizzas

If you want to make a homemade pizza on a busy night, start with my easy bread machine pizza dough or even a store bought pita or flatbread and then top it with shredded chicken for a delicious variation.

Some of our favorites include my Thai chicken pizza or this spicy buffalo chicken flatbread.

Chicken Sliders

These fun-to-eat party appetizers also make a delicious weekend lunch or light dinner on a busy night when paired with a salad.

You can make so many different flavors of chicken sliders but some of our top favorites include these melty buffalo chicken sliders, savory pesto chicken sliders, and tangy BBQ chicken sliders.

Chicken Sandwiches

You could use shredded chicken in many different sandwich wraps. Add it to a simple Caesar salad mix and wrap it in a tortilla for a chicken Caesar salad wrap, for example.

Otherwise, use it as the base for your favorite chicken salad. My cranberry chicken salad is a spicy spin on the classic recipe. Tuck it inside a store bought croissant for a delicious sandwich.

I also love to make these creamy chicken pesto sandwiches and pop them in an air fryer for an easy dinner.

Chicken Salads

Cooked chicken is an excellent addition to a tradtional green leafy salad, but it also pairs really well with a variety of pasta salads, too.

Whether you like fresh and fruity like my chicken pasta salad with grapes or want to add it to my yummy strawberry feta salad or you like things hot and spicy like my buffalo chicken salad or this crunchy Thai chicken salad, there's always a great way to use it for a healthy lunch or light dinner.

The photo collage shows a bag of cooked chicken next to 4 recipes it could be used to make.


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