Keeping the house, the kids and the hubby without breaking the bank, the earth, the people I love, or myself.

Leftover Chicken Recipe 3: Chicken Stir-fries

Here are 3 formal chicken stir-fry recipes. Honestly, once you've gotten used to stir frying, you can pretty much wing it.

Sweet and Sour
Cashew Chicken
Teriyaki Chicken stir fry

Stir Fries are a favourite because they’re fast and include lots of vegetables. They’re low in fat and offer a complete meal with little effort. When it comes to stir-fries (and many leftover-chicken recipes) you don’t need to be exact in the measurement of the chicken. If you only have one cup leftover chicken, either reduce the recipe to serve fewer people, or increase the vegetables. These all serve 6-8 people. (Note that you can also make these stir fries with raw chicken. Simply cut the chicken into strips (it’s much easier to cut partially frozen chicken than completely thawed) and cook in a small amount of oil or cooking spray in the same wok or skillet that you will cook the stir fry in. Remove the chicken before stir-frying the vegetables and then add it to the mixture when you add the sauce. Also note that you can always add dried chili peppers to stir-fries for added heat. If you (and everyone you’re serving) like it hot, add two or three.

Sweet and Sour Stir-Fried Chicken

  • 1 can pineapple chunks in juice, drained, with 1/3 cup juice reserved
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 3T white vinegar
  • 1 T honey
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups cooked, leftover chicken cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium green bell pepper cut into strips
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely shredded
  • 1 cup broccoli and cauliflower florets
  • Hot, cooked rice

Mix 1/3 c pineapple juice, cornstarch, vinegar, and honey. Heat wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add bell pepper, broccoli and cauliflower florets and onion, stir fry 1 minute. Add cornstarch mixture and carrots to wok. Cook and stir about 1 minute until sauce thickens. Stir in pineapple chunks and chicken, cook until hot. Serve over hot, cooked rice.

Cashew Chicken
  • 1/3 c chicken broth
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp red pepper sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups cooked chicken cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper cut into ¾ inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 2/3 c dry-roasted cashews
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups cauliflower and broccoli florets
  • Optional – 1 dried hot chili pepper (adds heat)
  • Hot cooked rice

Mix broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper sauce.
Heat wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat. Spray with cooking spray to coat. Add vegetables (except green onions) to wok or skillet, stir-fry 2 minutes or until all vegetables are crisp-tender. Add cornstarch mixture to wok Cook and stir about 1 minute or until sauce thickens. Stir in chicken and cashews. Cook and stir until chicken is heated through. Garnish with green onions. Serve over hot rice.

Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry
  • 1 Jar Teriyaki stir fry sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups cooked chicken cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper cut into ¾ inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups cauliflower and broccoli florets
  • Optional – 1 dried hot chili pepper (adds heat)
  • Hot, cooked rice

Heat wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat. Spray with cooking spray to coat. Add vegetables (except green onions), stir-fry 2 minutes or until all vegetables are crisp-tender. Add teriyaki stir-fry sauce. Cook and stir about 1 minute. Stir in chicken. Cook and stir until chicken is heated through. Garnish with green onions. Serve over hot, cooked rice.


Chicken à la King

Leftover Chicken Recipe 2: Chicken à la King

6 servings

  • ½ cup margarine or butter
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 ounces canned mushroom slices or pieces with liquid reserved (or 1 cup sliced)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ cup milk (with mushroom liquid total amount is 1 ½ cup)
  • 1 ¼ c chicken broth
  • 2 cups cut up cooked chicken
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice, OR 12 toasted bread triangles, OR 4 cups hot cooked noodles (preferably egg noodles)

Melt margarine in large saucepan (at least 3 quart) over medium-high heat. Cook peppers and onions until pepper is crisp but tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once bubbling, remove from heat. Stir in milk plus mushroom liquid and broth. Return to heat and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in chicken. Cook until chicken is hot. Serve over rice or bread triangles or noodles.


Quesadillas from leftover chicken

Chicken Quesadillas

Tortillas (10” or 8” – 2 per adult, 6” or 8” – 1 to 2 per child)
Leftover, shredded chicken
Shredded cheese
Sour cream (or plain yogurt)

Spray a nonstick frying pan or griddle with cooking spray. Place a tortilla on a plate large enough to hold it. Layer some chicken (about 1-2 ounces) and spread about 2-3 heaping tablespoons of salsa (strained by dipping it out with a fork so it’s not too wet) over the chicken, sprinkle shredded cheese over the salsa. Top with another tortilla. (If using 10” tortillas, use only one tortilla and place filling over one half of that tortilla, then fold the tortilla into a half-circle.) Carefully place tortilla on hot pan or griddle. (Cooking spray or margarine will help the tortillas get crispy on the outside.) Allow to cook until underside becomes lightly browned and crisped. Flip and cook on other side until also lightly browned and crisped. Place cooked tortilla on plate large enough to hold it. Use pizza cutter to cut into triangles. Top center of tortilla with additional salsa and sour cream or plain yogurt if desired. One whole, large quesadilla is a serving for an adult, a small tortilla to one-half a small tortilla is a serving for a child. Cook time is about 5 minutes per quesadilla.

For the finicky kids who won't eat even the mildest salsa -- don't use any. Use chopped tomatoes or simply make the quesadillas with just chicken and cheese.

Serve with a green salad and there's a whole meal.

Tip: I find it quickest to cook these all at one time on our large griddle. Dinner's done in less than 10 minutes!


10 Entrees to Make With Leftover Chicken

Leftovers are probably the source of greatest savings in this house. The monetary kind and the sanity kind of savings. Eliminating waste by using leftovers differently appeals to the finicky palates in the house and also lightens the cooking responsibilities for me.

Here are 10 different entrees you can make with chicken leftovers. The recipes will follow on subsequent days.

  1. Quesadillas
  2. Chicken ala king
  3. Stir fries – chicken & vegetable, sweet & sour chicken, etc
  4. Soup – chicken noodle, etc.
  5. Fajitas
  6. Chicken with rice
  7. Casseroles
  8. Chicken Salad (several variations)
  9. Chicken sandwiches, wraps, or pitas
  10. Barbecued, shredded chicken on a bun


And our suggestion for dinner today...a steaming pile of ...

Seriously. What the hell does that look like to you? This is the recommended recipe I received in my mailbox today from . I have scooped giant piles that look just like that from my cat box (minus the sour cream and parsley on top...or is that cilantro...I bet it's cilantro.) Honestly. And after scooping such steaming piles from the cat box, I call the vet and say, "OMG you should see what came out of my cat! Is something seriously wrong with him, or what?" (Vet had me change fatty's diet and reduce his intake because what's pictured above is what comes out of overfed kitties.)

This recipe was for an enchilada casserole. I tell ya, I've made enchilada casseroles and they don't look like steaming piles of bloody pooh on our plates.

This is what my enchilada filling looks like:

And the sauce...well the sauce doesn't look like so much heart-attack inducing slop as whatever is in that top photo (I'm thinking

I'm betting you want a recipe now, don't you? Seeing as how I didn't write down anything, I'll TRY to get this right.

Rachel's Chicken Enchiladas (honestly, I ripped apart about 20 different recipes to pick and choose what I wanted in them.)

This made 2 9x13 dishes, by the way, but I was serving 8 that night & had nothing left over.


  • 2 T olive or canola oil
  • meat of 2 whole chicken breasts chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 can Red Kidney Beans (or 1.5 cups cooked red kidney beans)
  • 2 small or 1 large bell pepper -- colours of your choice (I like it more colourful as you can see)
  • 1 small onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Small can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded co-jack cheese (marbled cheese in Canada)
  • medium sized tortillas

  • Large can tomato sauce
  • small jar enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1 t Ground red pepper (we grind our own dried chili peppers for this...I'm sure cayenne or chili would work)
  • 1/2 cup red cooking wine
  • 1 T corn starch
Cook all sauce ingredients on low heat for 30-45 minutes. Sauce should be smooth and spicy. (I actually added red pepper to the "grown ups" pan -- the younger ones wouldn't be able to handle it.)

1. In large frying pan, pour oil and add chicken, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked through.
2. Add beans and peppers, can of chopped tomatoes, and as much of the cilantro (chopped) as you'd like. (We saved some for on top of the enchiladas and for our homemade salsa. The bunches are rather generous here.) Cook over low heat for as long as you like. I wanted the flavours to blend, so I left it on low heat until the sauce was the consistency I wanted it (thick).
3. Using a 9X13" baking dish, add some sauce to the bottom of the dish. Take one tortilla, dip it in sauce then fill the center of it with about 1T of cheese and 3T of filling. Fold the tortillas like you would a burrito. Place seam-side down in casserole dish. Do this for as many tortillas as you can fill with filling. Don't overstuff them and have filling oozing out all over.
4. Pour enchilada sauce over all the tortillas. Use all the sauce.
5. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes. You don't want the tortillas to become mushy. For the last 5 minutes of baking, remove foil and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Serve with sour cream, if desired.

These were really very good, but a fair amount of work so they're an every-now-and-then recipe. I'll be honest and tell you that I'm pretty liberal with the spices and I'll add more when I feel I'm not getting the right blend. Use your own discretion.

Now I really wish I'd taken a picture of the enchildas after they came out of the oven, but I was so ready to dive into the suckers that they were gone before I snapped a picture. I can tell you this much: they looked NOTHING like that picture of slop at the very top of this post.



About This Blog

Saving money. Saving graces. Raising children, husbands and, sometimes, cats. Laughing. Living. Thinking. Doing. Life in the Niagara Region of Ontario.

About Me

I am a happily married woman with four children and various cats and kittens (fosters). I love to read and my favourite authors are George RR Martin, Thomas Hardy, Raymond Carver, PD James, Kurt Vonnegut, J. K. Rowling, and Margaret Atwood. I know there are only three women in that list (and none of them American), so if you'd like to suggest some I'm willing to give them a shot! And yes, I am an American living in Canada. (Hence the nick -- CannedAm.) I like it here. There are things about the states that I miss, but my love is here and this country has things to offer that my own does not. Things that make my quality of life much better than it ever was in Ohio. Guess I'm stuck here. Though there's a nice spot in the Appalachian hills where I'd love to spend my retirement.

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