How to Get Five Meals from One Chicken

How to get five meals from one chicken on

 © Liv Friis-larsen / Dollar Photo Club


  Making a whole chicken last for several meals is probably something my grandmother knew a lot about. My generation however, may be lacking in this skill since it’s easier and more convenient to buy a bag of chicken breasts and move on with life. So why should you consider buying a whole bird? Well, you can normally find them on sale for less than $1 per lb. which is a steal compared to the chicken breasts that are usually priced for double or triple that price. Plus, you can make stock from the leftovers and dealing with the whole bird is a stark reminder that life was lost at the expense of the meal. So today I thought I’d show you how to get several meals from one bird in order to make the most of your money. These recipes should feed 4 comfortably with some leftovers.


How to Get Five Meals from One Chicken


Recipe #1 – Slow Cooker Chicken

Whole Chicken, Thawed

3 Carrots, chopped

1 Onion, chopped

3 Medium Potatoes, chopped

Seasoning of choice for skin


Step 1: Place veggies in slow cooker.

Step 3: Remove plastic and organs. Place bird on top of the veggies.

Step 4: Add salt and seasoning of your choice.

Step 5: Set slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.

Step 6: Remove chicken and shred meat. *Do not throw out liquid or bones!

Step 7: Serve small portion of chicken with veggies and bread.


*To make stock for next recipe, add uncooked veggies (carrots, onions, celery, garlic, etc) to leftover over chicken carcass in slow cooker. Cover with water and cook on low overnight. In the morning, strain the broth and discard remains. At this point you can let the broth cool down in the fridge and remove the hardened fat or you can use it as is in the next recipe. If you don’t remove the fat then it will be greasy.


Recipe #2 Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Broth (salt to taste)

1-2 cups shredded chicken

3 carrots, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 celery stocks, chopped

2-3 cups dry pasta


Step 1: Add all ingredients except pasta to slow cooker.

Step 2: Cook on low 6-8 hours or until veggies are tender.

Step 3: Cook pasta and add to soup. Serve with bread.


Recipe #3 Easy Chicken Salad Sandwiches

1-2 cups shredded chicken

4-6 eggs, boiled, peeled and diced

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

1/2 cup mayo

salt to taste

sliced bread


Step 1: Mix all ingredients in bowl and let refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Step 2: Layer mixture between bread and serve with chips.


Recipe #4 Southwest Chicken Casserole

Recipe #5 Super Simple Beans and Rice


I hope you enjoy these recipes!


See how I got five meals from one chicken!


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Other posts you might enjoy:

How to Feed Your Family on a Tight Budget on gracefullittlehoneybee.com35 Frugal Recipes to Make When You're Broke on

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  1. I love this post. I generally do this with a rotesserie chicken from the store and I love that I can get multiple meals out of one chicken. I am looking forward to trying the simple rice and bean recipe. Shared via Facebook! :)
  2. What timing! I made a chicken in the crockpot yesterday and we do the same thing! Chicken one day, chicken fajitas the next (with a lot of green peppers and onions to make the chicken stretch), BBQ chicken sandwiches, loaded chicken salads and sometimes chicken parm. Hubby likes to use the stock to make flavorful rice. I get the whole chickens from Aldi's for $0.95/lb. Can't beat it! :-)
      1. Wish there were Aldi's in AZ. That's the ONE store I really truly miss During our winter months boondocking in the middle of the desert.
  3. Hi! I found you on the mom2mom link up :) What a great post! I love that you're using the slow cooker for most of these recipes - so great to know that supper is ready to go at the end of the day when your energy is running low. Blessings!
  4. Hi, I am visiting from the Frugal Friday Link Up Party! We use a lot of chicken in my house! I am going to try all of these recipes in the near future. Thanks for sharing!
  5. Thanks for posting this. Being a Pre-K teacher, I am always looking for crockpot ideas to assist me in quick meal preparation! Fantastic ideas. Thanks!!
  6. WOuld you be willing to share this over at Country Fair Blog party? It is a once a month link up and this would really be a post that will resonate wtih the hard working, budget stretching bloggers and readers! We'd love to have you! Jan @Tip Garden
  7. Hi. I love your site and would love to print some of the recipes and ideas, but I can't get them to print. Am I doing something wrong? Can't wait to go home and cook a chicken now. Thanks!
    1. Have you tried the print button below the article next to the sharing buttons? Let me know if that works! Otherwise you could copy and paste the recipe into Microsoft Word and print that way. Sorry you are having trouble!
  8. Wow! I try to be frugal, but you took it to a whole new level, and I'm gonna try it out! I love cooking the whole bird, but we usually end up getting two, maybe three, meals out of it, and throwing the rest out when I clean out the fridge. This way, I can shred the chicken and portion it out, plus any leftover stock, which I love to save, and freeze, so we don't get burnt out on chicken, but maximize what we get for our money! Thanks! :D
  9. Just wondering why you need to discard the veggies that have been cooking with the stock? Couldn't they be pureed with some of the stock to make a soup?
  10. I love doing this with a chicken. Another house favorite is take about 2 cups shredded chicken and bottle of bbq sauce and make bbq chick sliders... Yum!
  11. Been doing this for years! I don't have a slow cooker, so mine is roasted in the oven. I usually make gravy and have leftovers of that as well. A couple more ideas for variety: - use about a cup of leftover chicken, some of the gravy and some veggies. Put it in a pie plate. I either use pie crusts or just top it with biscuits. Bake and enjoy. - make a chcken corn chowder. I use creamed corrn along with some regular corn, potatoes, broth, milk and spices (favorites are paprika and a dash of cayenne).
  12. I can't figure out how you can feed 4 people from the first chicken then get enough shredded chicken for the other recipes. Is it just me or is it 5 single-serve meals from one chicken. Which seems more likely.
    1. I can get 5 full meals that feed four people. (Two adults and two toddlers) I only serve about 1/4 or 1/2 cup shredded chicken per person for the first meal and then portion what's leftover between the other meals which is normally between 1-2 cups per meal. If you have a large family or a family of big eaters you may need two chickens for this to work.
      1. How big is this chicken and how big is your crock pot.? I could never get a big chjicken in my crock pot.
        1. I didn't record how large the chicken was when I wrote this out, but I'm going to guess it was around 5 pounds as that seems to be the average size in our local grocery store. My slow cooker is between 7 and 8 quarts. I'd say it's a medium sized slow cooker compared to what you can find on the market.
  13. These are kind of recipes im looking for... Im single and on SUPER tight food budget, but if I do a meal plan and freeze leftovers I should be able to have more options for dinner. Thank you.
  14. I guess it depends on your family but i feel like the chicken probably wouldnt last past the 3rd recipe in my house. But i LOVE LOVE this idea all the same and i will have to give it a try.
  15. I do something like this with roast chicken too! First night is the roast chicken with some sides like potatoes and veggie. Second night is chicken enchilada casserole. Third night is leftover casserole. Fourth night is chicken salad. Fifth night is chicken noodle soup. We usually still have leftovers of enchiladas and chicken salad for lunches, as it's just me and my husband. He calls it "the chicken cycle." As in, "Will you make a roast chicken for Sunday? We can start the chicken cycle!" Haha. :)
  16. I love your ideas for 5 meals out of one chicken. I would add chicken tacos with lettuce, tomato, and avocado in the taco on top of the meat.

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