Six ways to use up leftover chicken and turkey

Love Food Hate Waste
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What To Do
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This advice counts for turkey or other poultry, as well as chicken.


1. Cook the right amount

One of the main reasons chicken, turkey and other poultry gets binned in the UK is because we’ve prepared, cooked or served too much. Buying the right amount of chicken or turkey and using it all up is one of the best ways to both stop the waste and save you money.

Get started right now. Put the number of people you’re cooking for into our Portion Planner and we’ll let you know how much you need. Easy peasy.

2. Speedy stir fries

Cut chicken or turkey breasts into thin strips, lay them out on a tray and put the tray in the freezer. Once frozen you can pack the strips in bags – freezing on a tray first means they won’t stick together and are easy to use later.

For a quick mid-week dinner, take out as many chicken strips as you need and add to a stir fry to cook directly from frozen.

3. Make a posh (simple!) pâté

If you have leftover cooked chicken (or turkey, or ham), give it a face lift and transform it into a delicious Potted Pâté. Whizz the meat in a food processor with a good spoonful of softened butter, then season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. The consistency should be quite wet and smooth. Spoon the mixture into a dish. Place it in the fridge to harden and enjoy it on crisp breads or toast.

4. Take stock

After using all the meat from a roast chicken or turkey, boil the carcass or bones in water for a couple of hours with two or three pints of water, any spare veggies (carrots, onions, celery stalks…) and some herbs (parsley and bay leaves are great, but you can use whatever you have in the cupboard).

There you have it: chicken stock! Great as a base for a soup, stew or risotto (more on that later). Measure your stock into pint portions and freeze to use whenever you need it.

5. Rock a risotto

After roasting chicken or turkey, the fatty juices can be saved to use in risottos. Simply pour the juices in the roasting tray into small tubs leave to cool and allow the fat to rise to the top, and then cover and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to make your risotto, place the tub in the microwave for 30 seconds and easily lift off the layer of fat and use instead of oil or butter.

6. Love your leftovers

There are so many recipes out there for leftover chicken, and no real excuse to throw it away when it could make you a mean meal. Here are some of our favourites – get creative, be inspired, go cook! You could use up your turkey too in most of these recipes.

What else can I do?

Buying what you need, storing it right, and cooking it up. That’s all you need to do. Find out more: