Chicken is probably my favorite protein to cook with. You can literally do anything with it and it will taste good every time. And on top of that, it tastes fresh even if you are eating it leftover. Recently, I have been making extra cutlets when I cook chicken for dinner and then eating them throughout the week for lunch. Using all of the chicken leftover ideas below, I am able to eat breaded chicken every day for lunch and make it taste like something new each time.
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The Basics of making chicken
Breaded chicken cutlets are a super easy option to make for any lunch or dinner. To bread them, you need to set up an assembly line. I use coating trays when I make chicken, but if you don’t have that, all you need are shallow dishes or plates. The first one should be flour, the next are eggs, and the last is your bread crumbs. Be sure to put salt and pepper in all three dishes!
Once you are all prepped, you can use either your hands or two forks and transfer your cutlets to each stage. Flour, eggs, bread crumbs, repeat! You can cook this two different ways. I usually just put them all on the tray and throw them in the oven. If you want to be extra fancy and get your chicken super crispy, you can pan fry them. To do this, heat up some olive oil in a pan on the stove, and then place them in the pan. After about 5-7 minutes, flip to the other side. When it is completely cooked through, remove from the pan. Timing may vary based on the thickness of the cutlet.
Now you should have plain breaded chicken all ready to go. The possibilities are literally endless with what you can do. Breaded chicken is the perfect base for any lunch or dinner meal prep! Below are my three favorite ways to spruce up some plain chicken. For my lunch meal preps, I usually make the plain chicken in the beginning of the week and then embellish it the day of so it tastes fresh.
CHICKEN LEFTOVER IDEA #1: Caprese Chicken
This one is my personal favorite chicken leftover idea. I make this for lunch at least 3 times a week when I have leftover plain cutlets. It is so so easy and absolutely delicious.
Taking your cutlet, place one or two slices of tomato on top. Then, add sliced mozzarella cheese. Cook in the oven until cooked through. If the cutlet is precooked, heat up in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drizzle balsamic glaze on top to finish.
CHICKEN LEFTOVER IDEA #2: Chicken Rollatini
Chicken rollatini is such an easy way to make plain chicken taste less plain. This can be made using chicken that is already cooked or not. Basically, chicken rollatini is breaded cutlets rolled with toppings in the inside. I am a picky eater, so I usually just stuff it with cheese, but you can add whatever is your favorite. Some options are prosciutto, peppers, onions, basil, or spinach. Chicken rollatini is one of the easiest chicken leftover ideas because you can basically use whatever you have around!
Place all your toppings in the middle of your cutlet. Then, using your hands, roll the cutlet into a log shape. To keep it in place, add toothpicks to the top. Cook in the oven until cooked through. If the cutlet is precooked, heat up in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Chicken leftover idea #3: Chicken Parmesan
Chicken parm is pretty self explanatory, but it is basically just chicken, sauce, and cheese. This is such an easy way to spruce up leftover cutlets, because it can be made using already cooked chicken.
Taking your cutlet, spoon red sauce on top so the chicken is completely covered. Then add your desired amount of mozzarella cheese (you can use shredded or sliced, whatever you prefer). Cook in the oven until cooked through. If the cutlet is precooked, heat up in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Hopefully you now have all the best chicken leftover ideas and are all set for lunch and dinner! If you’re looking for more recipes, check out my Easy, Make-Ahead Scrambled Egg Muffins for a delicious option for breakfast!