Can You Eat Cold Chicken?

We have all been there, after cooking up a whole chicken for a delicious roast dinner there is always a lot of meat left. Obviously, you don’t want to waste it but what do you do with it? You can always freeze it for use later, or pop it into the fridge to reheat if you are careful but can you eat cold chicken too?

The Quick Answer

Can You Eat Cold Chicken?

You can eat cold chicken as long as it has been cooked first. Just make sure you keep any cold cooked chicken in the fridge and only bring it out when you plan to eat it.

Cold chicken can be eaten, but you do need to take care with any meats. When it has cooked you need to allow the meat to cool down completely, then pop it into a container with a lid. Put this in the fridge for two to three days. Don’t risk leaving it in the fridge longer than this or you could end up sick from the bacteria growth and spoiled chicken.

When you store your cold cooked chicken in the fridge, make sure you keep it away from any raw meats to avoid contamination. Keep your cooked meats in well wrapped and sealed containers on the top shelf and any raw meats on the bottom shelf.

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What Does Cold Chicken Taste Like?

Cold chicken is delicious. It tastes like any cooked chicken, but when you eat it cold, it has a slightly firmer texture which is perfect for an addition to a sandwich or just to eat as a snack. 

You might even find that the flavour of the chicken is even better cold! This is because putting food in the fridge can allow the seasonings and flavourings to really develop over time.

How to Eat Cold Chicken

If you don’t want to reheat your chicken leftovers then no need to worry, there are plenty of ways to eat your chicken cold. Here are a few for you to try.

Eat Cold Chicken as a Snack

Sometimes keeping things simple is the best option and if you find you are hungry part way through the morning or afternoon then instead of reaching for your usual unhealthy snacks why not try and nibble on some chicken? Pop some on to a plate and just eat it as you would crisps or nuts.

It’s full of protein and nutrition, and it will help keep you full until lunch.

Have a Chicken Salad

Cold chicken works wonderfully in a salad. It’s the perfect addition. It’s easy, nutritious, and it tastes great. Make up your salad using a good mix of different salad leaves and other salad veggies. Add the chicken and your favourite dressing, and you have a delicious lunch!

If you want to add something a little extra, you can grate a little cheese over the top too.

Cold Chicken Salad

Make Chicken Sandwiches

Everyone loves a sandwich at lunchtime. It’s the perfect meal. Easy to eat, and you can add whatever ingredients you want. Cold chicken makes fantastic sandwiches, and you can be sure you don’t waste any of that delicious leftover chicken.

Shred Over Nachos

Another way to use your chicken up is to add it as a topping to nachos. Just shred the meat and sprinkle it over your nachos with the rest of your sauces and salsas.

Benefits of Eating Cold Chicken

When you eat your cold chicken, you are getting all the same benefits you got when it was cooked freshly. Chicken is a high protein meat which is important for any healthy diet to ensure your muscles are working correctly and can recover.

Chicken is a lean meat so you can eat it without worrying too much about the calories. On top of this, it can help promote bone and heart health.

The added benefit of eating your chicken cold is that you aren’t letting any of those nutritious leftovers to go to waste.

Should You Eat Cold Chicken?

If you have leftover chicken, then there is no reason not to eat it cold. It makes it easy to eat, and you can easily add it to meals or just snack on it when you get peckish. Just be careful to keep your cold chicken in the fridge at all times. If you let it sit at room temperature, then this is when it has the most opportunity for bacteria to grow, which can make you sick.

You also need to ensure you store it well. Keep it covered and on the top shelf of the fridge and keep it well away from any raw meats to avoid cross-contamination.

Other Questions about Eating Cold Chicken

Below are some other questions people often ask when it comes to eating cold chicken. If you do find yourself with further questions, however, then please do ask in the comments area at the bottom of this page:

Is Cold Chicken Safe?

Eating cold chicken is perfectly safe. The main concern should be over how you store it. Once the chicken has cooled to room temperature, you should cover it and place it straight into the fridge. Do not leave it out on the worktop for too long.

Can You Eat Cold Rotisserie Chicken?

Like any cooked chicken, cold rotisserie chicken can be eaten the next day. It makes particularly delicious sandwiches!