What to CookChickenLunchNot Sad Desk LunchRoast ChickenLeftovers

4 Chicken Dinners You Can Turn into Lunch

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Eating leftovers shouldn't have to be a chore, but meals can be less-than-appealing when you've had the same reheated dish three days running. Enter chicken, the leftover superhero. It's a blank slate that pairs well with any and all flavors and gracefully transitions from main event to salad-topper to sandwich. Through all that, it still manages to taste like, well, chicken.

Photo by James Ransom

Here are four chicken dinners that double as tomorrow's lunch:

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1. Roast Chicken

Barbara Kafka's Simplest Roast Chicken
Barbara Kafka's Simplest Roast Chicken

For lunch: Use your roast chicken on top of salads (the mayonnaise kind and other, leafier, varieties), tacos, and lettuce wraps.

Warm Chicken Salad
Warm Chicken Salad
Asian-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Slaw
Asian-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Slaw
Two-Pea Pesto Chicken Salad
Two-Pea Pesto Chicken Salad
California Chicken Tacos with Corn and Red Cabbage Slaw
California Chicken Tacos with Corn and Red Cabbage Slaw

2. Breaded Chicken

Chicken Tenders with Apple Cider Sweet and Sour Sauce
Chicken Tenders with Apple Cider Sweet and Sour Sauce

For lunch: All the best sandwiches start with breaded chicken. Try it with caponata and pesto, black beans, jalapeños, and avocado, or in a classic Parmesan sub (you can have those meatballs another time!).

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken, Caponata, and Pesto Sandwich
Parmesan-Crusted Chicken, Caponata, and Pesto Sandwich
Pistachio-Crusted Chicken Tortas
Pistachio-Crusted Chicken Tortas
Chicken Meatball Sub with Gobs of Fresh Mozzarella
Chicken Meatball Sub with Gobs of Fresh Mozzarella

3. Grilled Chicken

Aromatic Grilled Chicken Thighs
Aromatic Grilled Chicken Thighs

For lunch: Sandwich your grilled chicken between a crusty roll and an out-of-this-world Green Goddess dressing, shred it with cold noodles and crunchy vegetables for spicy salad, and slice it to crown a Caesar salad that won't compare to your corner store's grab-and-go version.

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Green Goddess Chicken Sandwiches
Green Goddess Chicken Sandwiches
Chicken Caesar Salad with Anchovy-Caesar Vinaigrette and Garlic-Parmesan Croutons
Chicken Caesar Salad with Anchovy-Caesar Vinaigrette and Garlic-Parmesan Croutons

4. Chicken Kebabs

Shish Taouk with Toum (Chicken Kebabs with Garlic Sauce)
Shish Taouk with Toum (Chicken Kebabs with Garlic Sauce)

For lunch: Stuff a pita with your chicken (we still love you, koftas) and Tzatziki sauce, or pile your bite-sized chicken pieces over a Mediterranean vegetable or grain bowl. Don't forget hummus!

Kofta Pocket with Tzatziki Sauce
Kofta Pocket with Tzatziki Sauce
Mediterranean Vegetable Bowls with Quinoa, Toasted Chickpeas, and Harissa Tahini
Mediterranean Vegetable Bowls with Quinoa, Toasted Chickpeas, and Harissa Tahini

What are your favorite ways to repurpose your chicken dinners? Enlighten us in the comments!

Tags: chicken dinner, chicken lunch, chicken salad, chicken taco