Has this ever happened to you? You defrost chicken breasts for dinner. For whatever reason, you don’t end up making them. A day or two goes by, and you still don’t have the opportunity to cook them up for dinner. You can’t refreeze them, right? So what do you do? Waste the chicken? No way.


When it happens to me, I throw the breasts in the slow cooker with some chicken broth to slow cook while I’m working. (If you need your chicken cooked more quickly, try this quick, moist chicken breast recipe.) Then I can shred the chicken for meals later in the week or freeze it.


Here are five healthy recipes to use when you’ve got shredded chicken that’s not meant for a specific meal.


  1. Summer Vegetable and Chicken Hash — Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this chicken dish needs a trip to the farmers market before you can make it to get fresh corn, tomatoes, scallions, potatoes and jalapenos.
  2. Chicken and Cabbage Salad — Originally made with duck, this Asian dish has loads of fresh cabbage, peppers and herbs.
  3. Great Greens Salad — Arugula, green apple, avocado, and Brussels sprouts make this one very green salad with shredded chicken meat. A Dijon vinegar dressing tops it.
  4. Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken and Vegetables — Whole wheat spaghetti and a frozen vegetable medley (but come on — it’s summer, use fresh veggies) are tossed with shredded chicken and a peanut sauce.
  5. Shredded Chicken with Kale and Lentils — Canned lentils make this a quick, nutrition-packed salad.

What’s your favorite way to use shredded chicken?


Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

5 healthy recipes for shredded chicken
Cook up a batch of chicken and shred it, and you’ll have the base for these five nutrition-packed meals.