Cozy Chicken (Leftovers) Soup

Like many couples, Brian and I have our differences. He loves video games and I’m terrible at them (I’m still trying to fulfill my childhood dream of beating Super Mario Bros. 3). I sort my laundry meticulously by color, whereas Brian simply tosses lights and darks together with a laissez faire that makes me wince.

Brian hates leftovers, and I love them. Seriously. I’m happy to make a tray of lasagna and feed off it all week (and have many times). Brian, however, bores of having the same meal more than once.

After our recent Dinner Party Challenge, we had several leftover ingredients.


I also found a bag of spinach, celery, and a  chopped-up onion that needed to be used soon.

What to do?

I simply chopped up the leftover chicken, carrots, some of the celery, and tossed it all into a pot, along with a few cups of chicken stock. I tossed in parsley, and a couple of cloves of garlic as well. I brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer for an hour or so.

Doesn’t that just look hearty and delicious?

When Brian got home from work, this is what he had waiting for him:



This effectively uses up those leftovers AND makes a meal even the biggest leftover haters can enjoy! Do you ever use your leftovers this way?


38 thoughts on “Cozy Chicken (Leftovers) Soup

  1. Jillian, Terrific idea, I do it myself since I love soup. Mmmm, so good.
    Looks good even though I don’t eat meat. But, I looooovvve leftovers. They do make the most comforting soups. I add things from my pantry, too: dried brown or red lentils, canned toms with their juice (only after lentils cook), drained and rinsed cannelini beans, maybe greens, veg broth in a box and some seasonings. Awesome and different every time ! Saves money, fills my tummy, and prevents excessive food waste. I usually have enough to give away a quart or two (I save pasta sauce jars for this purpose). Only problem is when people want the recipe and I don’t have one, because it’s always an experiment. Brian, how did you like it ?

  2. I live off of leftovers. I’ll eat my leftovers, your leftovers, anyones leftovers! I, too, am a big soup maker. I even dress up the soup each time I eat it. I usually make a basic vegetable soup. That’s meal #1. Then the next time, I may put in some meat or beans. Meal #2. I have added leftovers to the soup….ie that little bit of pasta sauce left over. Goes in the soup. Meal #3. Had a side dish with just a few bites left not worth reheating….into the soup it goes. Meal #4. So my basic veggie soup is an ever evolving dish of homemade yumminess!! Thanks for sharing, Jillian, what you did with your “leftovers”!

  3. Leftovers are LIFE for my household! It’s all we eat for lunch! I’ve learned I’m fortunate to have a husband who eats leftovers as I hear of ma g guys who eschew them.
    We’ve made many a “clear the fridge” fried rice, frittata, and curry for dinner but somehow rarely think to make soup! I’ll add that to the list of ways to make use of the bits and bobs that end up in the fridge despite my careful meal planning and shopping habits 🙂

  4. When I have an abundance of anything, like carrots or celery or onions…that kind of thing…I chop them up and freeze them. Then, if I have leftover meat (or sometimes even when I don’t want meat in my soup) I toss them all in a pot with broth and cook up some soup…love your soup idea…have to try it soon! Right now there are too many people in my house to ever have ANY leftovers!!!…LOL

  5. I hope you have some vegetarian friends to feed! When I have leftover veggies (obviously I don’t have leftover meat), I make and Indian curry-type sauce, and the leftovers are usually better than the original dish. I have friends who are real picky eaters, so I end up making mild stuff for them and once they leave, voila!

  6. I’m sure you know how hard it is to cook for 2 especially after cooking for a family of 4 boys, so we do have leftovers now. I’m still adjusting to a empty nesters home. We eat leftovers for lunch & sometimes remake them into soup or remake them period. If I make meatloaf I can remake it into meat sauce with pasta or a pot of chili. Sometimes meatloaf or leftover chicken makes it into tacos. Love your blog.

  7. OF COURSE!!! You sound like me and Brian sounds like my husband. When you are with people that don’t like leftovers you have to get creative and some times, you have to wait a day or so to use those leftovers in a revamped meal. I I have a BIG family so I cook a lot but also hate to waste anything. I love your new blog. Can’t wait to see more. I am a foodie so this is delighting.

  8. My husband takes leftovers to work every day. As the cook of the house, I love it. And soups? Soup any time of the year is just perfect. You can throw in pasta or rice or whatever and have a great chicken soup. Different everytime and always satisfying.

  9. I’m a leftover lover myself. With arthritis I cook a few dishes on the weekend then don’t have to worry about cooking during the workweek.

    I’ve freeze food in ice cube trays, then pop the food-cubes into ziploc bags. When I need a few cubes it’s easy to grab what I need. I do this with a lot of cooked food to keep from throwing anything away. Each food-cube is about 2 tablespoons. You could do the same with a flat pan and parchment paper. Measure out 2 tablespoons worth of the food and plop on the parchment paper. When frozen put into ziploc baggies.

    It’s also a good way to keep fresh basil going – stuff shredded fresh basil leaves in ice cube trays, cover with olive oil or water, and freeze. It retains the basil flavor better than drying the leaves.

  10. Leftover chicken burritos!! Toss the meat in taco seasoning and water in s skillet til it get a little thick, then pile on burritos, chipotle style. I usually put out a spread of toppings and let everyone make their own. And of course, the southern chicken salad with grapes and pecans ( or curried chicken salad with apples, raisins and almonds) to use up leftovers for lunch!

    Love the new blog! Miss the refashionista too. Still searching Goodwills in Anderson for a le crueset Dutch oven!

  11. My husband & I both love leftovers! Many times, the flavors are even better the next day (: Like you, we do Not waste food in our home. We love just about anything (meats, cheeses, beans of all kinds, fruit) in a big salad. We also love quiche which can be leftover-friendly. I keep a “for soup” container(s!) my freezer and put in the liquid from canned veggies, cooking liquid from veggies, pan drippings from meats (chicken drippings & broth from boiling chicken for certain recipes go into their own labeled container), etc. I use this as a flavorful base for all kinds of soups. Sometimes some boullion is needed. And I use a lot of various spices. Hubby loves my soups and I’ve rarely ended up with a dud! When my garden was coming on this past summer, I needed to clear out my freezer and canned more than 5 dozen quarts of soup broth for long term storage & easy use (chicken, beef, veggie, and even seafood broth (from cooking shrimp & fish – NO tuna broth!😛- for a chowder base). Now soup making is even easier! I really enjoy your new blog and was hooked on Refashioista!

  12. When all 4 my kids were still home I was the queen of leftover camouflage!!!

    First..TACOS one night ( plain hamburger no seasoning)
    Second…SPAGHETTI and a salad the next. Used up leftover hamburger onions tomatoes lettuce!
    Third…CHILI add red, black, and pinto beans chili powder cumin and red pepper flakes to the spaghetti sauce!
    Fourth…STUFFED POTATOES bake big potatoes, steam some broccoli sprinkle on cheese! Butter and sour cream!

    4 nights of camouflaged leftovers…hot, hearty, homade meals, that save time in the kitchen for busy weekday evening with homework chores and extra curricular activities!!!

  13. I’m always challenging myself to repurpose my left overs! I attribute it to watching too much Chopped! Lol But it’s also a great creative outlet for me.

  14. Yum!!!! I like when you can use leftover things to make a “new” dish. Sometimes if I just have leftover finished complete dishes I struggle to eat it, especially if it lasts through 2 additional meals. Depends on the dish!

  15. No, don’t like leftovers. Therefore I love and opportunity to give last night’s food a make over. Chicken korma becomes a pastie, roast lamb goes into wraps for lunch and I do curried sausages with whatever vegetables are in the bottom of the fridge. Keep up the great blog, loving it. Also have you seem the 3 ingredient fruit cake? I made one today and cleared out the dried fruit from my pantry. Look it up on pinterest for the recipe. Nicole from Australia

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