18 Shredded Chicken Recipes To Whip Up Tonight

Even for those of us who love cooking, coming up with new and exciting dishes night after night can be a challenge. Recipe fatigue sets in, and soon, instead of flipping through our favorite cookbooks, logging on to our favorite recipe blogs, or even just browsing the grocery store aisles for inspiration, we go into autopilot, preparing the same old lasagna or beef stew we could cook in our sleep.

That's why we're excited to share this roundup of shredded chicken recipes with you. Here, all in one place, you can find delicious new ideas for dinner tonight, whether you love hearty chicken and dumplings or spicy enchiladas. We love the versatility of shredded chicken, plus the fact that it's an affordable protein, and we're confident that each of these 18 recipes will bring tastiness and heartiness to your dinner table. So snap out of autopilot and try something new: your dinner companions will thank you.

1. Cheesy Burrito Casserole

Is there anything more comforting than a casserole? Basically, an assemblage of veggies and protein that gets folded together, slid into a casserole dish, and, usually, topped with a mountain of cheese, casseroles go into a hot oven, where they turn browned and bubbly. In this case, the casserole is like a deconstructed chicken burrito, featuring the Mexican flavors of corn, black beans, salsa verde, and plenty of shredded cheese. We love the end result: a big burrito you can cut into and share with your friends. Pass the hot sauce, please!

Recipe: Cheesy Burrito Casserole That'll Be Your New Weeknight Meal

2. Copycat Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Ah, the Olive Garden. While some people love to hate the international Italian-inspired chain restaurant, we love to love it, occasionally indulging in its hot, fluffy breadsticks, its Tuscan sausage soup, and its creamy alfredo pasta. We also like to whip up copycat recipes at home, our favorite of which just might be this chicken and gnocchi soup. A mild, creamy base that's then loaded with shredded chicken and pillowy prepared gnocchi, this is a hearty soup that will transport you — if not to Italy, then at least to the nearest Olive Garden.

Recipe: Copycat Olive Garden Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

3. Enchilada Soup

Are you in the mood for Mexican flavors but don't want to turn on your oven? We've got the answer for you: this enchilada soup that's hearty with enchilada sauce, corn kernels, diced green chiles, black beans, bell peppers, and plenty of flavor in the form of chili powder and cumin. With the addition of shredded chicken and some veggie broth, this mixture comes together as a solid, balanced soup in just about 10 minutes. When you bring it to the table, you can serve it with any extras you like, such as sliced avocado, sour cream, and fresh cilantro. 

Recipe: The Best Enchilada Soup You've Ever Tried

4. Creamy Jerk Rasta Pasta

Just the name of this dish makes our mouths water. An unusual combination of flavors, this jerk rasta pasta takes al dente ziti and bathes it in a creamy, richly seasoned sauce that's based on heavy cream and spiced with jerk flavors, including cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Along with garlic and sweet bell peppers, tender shredded chicken joins the party, ultimately creating a fusion Italian-Jamaican dish that will appeal to a wide variety of palates.

Recipe: Creamy Jerk Rasta Pasta That Goes Well With Grilled Veggies

5. Brunswick Stew

Have you ever heard of Brunswick stew? If not, you're going to want to run — not walk — to your stove to simmer up a pot of this Southern-style classic that's loaded with shredded chicken, pulled pork, and tasty, healthy veggies including okra, corn, and lima beans. Barbecue sauce and Worcestershire sauce bring plenty of seasoning to the party, and the finished dish is perfectly complemented by the traditional accompaniments of hot sauce and Saltine crackers. 

Recipe: Brunswick Stew That's Perfect to Warm up Your Weekday

6. Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas

We just can't get enough enchiladas — corn tortillas rolled around a filling of stewed meats such as chicken, piled into a casserole dish, and baked with red or green salsa. However, making enchiladas from scratch can be a bit time-consuming for a weeknight meal. That's why we love this slow cooker compromise, which comes together much faster since the ingredients aren't rolled into the tortillas, but rather layered with them. The enchiladas take some time to cook — about an hour — but almost all of that time is hands-off, leaving you free to pour yourself a cold Corona or two as you wait. 

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas That Are Perfect for Weeknights

7. Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip

Whether it's game day or just another night around the dining room table, it's hard to go wrong with buffalo chicken dip — basically, a hot pan of shredded chicken folded together with spicy hot wing sauce and tangy cream cheese. These ingredients come together in a smooth dip, which tastes great slathered on crackers, scooped up with celery, or even spread across bread for a hearty sandwich. To serve it for dinner, you can fill out your plate with additional sliced veggies or even pile it on top of a hot baked potato. 

Recipe: Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip You Need at Your Next Party

8. Easy Taquitos

Taquitos, as you may have guessed, mean "little tacos," and generally refers to hard tacos that are rolled around a filling and then fried. For an easy weeknight meal, however, no one wants to mess around with a pan full of hot oil. That's why we love this easy taquitos recipe, which calls for assembling a bunch of the shredded chicken-filled cylinders and baking them up in the oven. Enlivened with green chiles, fresh herbs, and dried spices, these tasty taquitos are wonderful served with rice, sour cream, and salsa.

Recipe: Easy Taquitos You Can Whip Up Any Weeknight

9. Veggie-Packed Barbecue Chicken Casserole

If you love barbecue chicken, and you love casseroles, then this best-of-both-worlds dish should be on your kitchen table tonight. A hot, bubbly dish of shredded chicken, tangy barbecue sauce, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and onions, this casserole has a secret ingredient: cream cheese, which lends both creaminess and acidity to the sauce that binds all the ingredients together. Finished with a melty cap of shredded cheese, this is truly a one-pan dish that's just as easy to make as it is to enjoy. 

Recipe: Veggie-Packed Barbecue Chicken Casserole That's a Perfect Make-Ahead Dinner

10. Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is one of those classic comfort food dishes that we can't get enough of. A dish typical of the southern United States, chicken and dumplings consists of a creamy sauce flecked through with onion, celery, and carrots, then folded into plenty of tender shredded chicken. The pot o' stew is crowned with buttery dumpling dough, which is dropped into the hot liquid and cooks up nice and fluffy via the steam coming off the stew. It's a complete, one-pot dish your family and friends will love. 

Recipe: Chicken and Dumplings Your Whole Family Will Devour

11. 5-Ingredient Costco Tacos

We don't know about you, but we love Costco, and we love tacos, so our recipe developers combined our two passions in this one tasty dish. These five-ingredient tacos call for corn tortillas, a shredded rotisserie chicken, fresh pineapple, a ripe avocado, and, the pièce de résistance, a bottle of Robert Rothschild Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Sauce, available only at Costco, which we love for its combination of sweet fruit and spicy heat. Of course, if you want to whip these up and you're not anywhere near a Costco, feel free to sub in your favorite hot sauce. 

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Costco Tacos You Need to Try

12. Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Few dishes bring as much comfort as chicken noodle soup, and with the aid of a slow cooker, a pretty easy, hands-off dish becomes even easier. To make it, you'll fill your slow cooker with chicken breasts, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and chicken broth, then let the appliance take over. Six hours later, you can remove the tender chicken, shred it, and add it back to the pot along with some egg noodles. After 15 more minutes of cooking, you've got a rich, beautiful soup that needs little else aside from some good sourdough bread for dipping. 

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup That Requires Little Hands-on Time

13. Flavorful Cassoulet

If you've ever spent time in southern France, you've likely come across cassoulet, a famed dish from that region that combines tender white beans with a variety of fresh and cured meats such as pork belly and sausage. This is not a 20-minute meal — in fact, it will take you a couple of days to prepare it, since you need to brine the chicken and soak the beans ahead of time. Rather, it's a special-occasion dish that is sure to wow anyone you invite to your table to enjoy this fragrant, meaty stew accompanied by a simple green salad and some crusty baguette.

Recipe: Hearty, Flavorful Cassoulet

14. Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Want to utilize your slow cooker, but you're more in the mood for Mexican? We have the answer for you, in the form of these easy-peasy slow cooker chicken tacos. Into the slow cooker go chicken breast, jarred salsa, diced onion, and plenty of dried spices; four hours later, out comes moist, shreddable chicken bathed in a fragrant sauce. Pile the pulled chicken into corn tortillas, top it with shredded cabbage and shredded cheddar, and you've got dinner. You can set out optional add-ons such as guac, sour cream, and hot sauce. 

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos Perfect for Taco Tuesday

15. Quick Chicken Enchiladas

Can you tell we love enchiladas? When you've got shredded meat on hand, they are such an easy and satisfying dish to whip up. This version utilizes a simple but flavorful homemade red enchilada sauce loaded with chile powder, garlic, cumin, and oregano, which gets rolled, along with chicken, onion, and cilantro inside corn tortillas. Piled into a casserole dish, slathered with more enchilada sauce, and topped with a mountain of shredded cheese, the enchiladas take a quick trip to a hot oven, emerging 25 minutes later all browned and bubbly. Mix up a cold margarita or michelada before sitting down to eat, and you might just feel like you're on a Mexican vacation. 

Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas Everyone Will Love

16. Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

The slow cooker is perfect for those nights when you want to just set it and forget it, as you can do with this simple and tasty recipe for pulled BBQ chicken. To make it, just simmer some homemade BBQ sauce made of ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and dried spices, then toss chicken breasts into the slow cooker along with your sauce. In four hours, you can take out the tender chicken, shred it, fold it back into the sauce, then serve it piled on buns for delicious pulled chicken sandwiches, or over rice for a more complete meal. 

Recipe: Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Your Guests Will Be Asking About

17. Tasty Pulled Chicken

This recipe for pulled chicken couldn't get any easier: To make it, you simply poach some seasoned chicken breasts in water until tender. Then, you shred the tender meat, adding garlic powder and paprika for some additional flavor. The result is an incredibly versatile protein: toss the chicken into a salad for a healthy dinner; pile it into tacos or roll it into a wrap; or stir into soup for some added heartiness. 

Recipe: Pulled Chicken That Will Give You a World of Tasty Options

18. Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Making chicken and dumplings, the beloved southern comfort food dish, can be a bit of a labor of love. Thankfully, this slow cooker recipe takes out much of the labor and leaves all of the love. To make the classically creamy chicken stew, you'll cook the chicken, some veggies, and plenty of aromatics in the slow cooker for a few hours, shred the chicken and return it to the slow cooker, and then — and here's the part we love — use a refrigerated biscuit dough to plop the dumplings on top of the dish. No floury cutting board, no sticky fingers, just warm, filling chicken and dumplings to feed a crowd. 

Recipe: Amazingly Easy Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings