Zero waste chicken

chicken soup

A cooked chicken has been the meal of choice for many busy families but unfortunately our recent waste survey reveals that chicken is one of the top 10 most wasted foods in Brisbane.

With good food hygiene in your kitchen, a cooked chicken will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. With this in mind we’ve drawn together five ways to maximise the use of your cooked chicken and reduce the amount that is thrown away.

Each recipe idea uses the left over ingredients from the previous recipe, saving your family time and money.

Roast chicken and vegetables

A cooked chicken either baked at home or purchased on the way home is definitely a family favourite. Peel and cut up a selection of vegetables e.g. potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and onion and bake them in the oven coated in a little olive oil. Don’t forget to keep the peels from your roast vegetables and freeze them to use later in the week.

Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour leftover chicken stirfry is a delicious way to reinvent the leftover chicken. By utilising everyday kitchen items such as pineapple chunks and some frozen vegetables, you’ll be able to satisfy the troops.


A toasted sandwich is a great way to use some of the leftover chicken from the roasted chicken and vegetable meal above. If you're game, some of the leftover pineapple from the sweet and sour chicken will give the toasted sandwich a bit of extra zing. A toasted sandwich can be a great snack or relaxed dinner option.

Potato peel soup

With the roast chicken finished a few days earlier it is time to get out the peels from the freezer which will help make the delicious potato peel soup. Add the last of your leftover chicken and if you are keen add the carcass of the chicken and remove it before using the stick blender. It will give the finished soup a more complex taste.


The last stage is the gift that will keep on giving – homemade chicken stock. It is very simple to have this staple on-hand anytime of the year.

Using the leftover carcass of the chicken and combining with any frozen vegetable peels from your roast chicken and vegetables recipe, cover with water and gently simmer for three hours stirring every 30 minutes.

Add seasonings and herbs to taste.

Allow the stock to cool for two hours. Strain it into a large bowl and refrigerate overnight. After removing the fat from the top of the stock, freeze to be used later as a base for soup or risotto.

Got your own ideas? Share your food reuse story with us to feature in a future newsletter. 

Date posted:
Last updated:24 October 2019
Topics: blog green