Use-It-Up Meal Plan! Chicken, Smoked Salmon & Pine Nuts

Need a little help using up leftover ingredients? This meal plan is all about creating tomorrow's inspiring meals from the remains of last night's masterpiece! This week, we're focusing on recipes with chicken, smoked salmon, and pine nuts.

My goal with this meal plan is to help expand your cooking repertoire and learn a few ways to use up ingredients from last night’s dinner in tomorrow night’s dinner without feeling like you’re eating the same thing every day. This way you won’t get bored, but you’ll still make the best out of what you have on hand.


This week, I picked the following three ingredients to focus on – chicken, smoked salmon, and pine nuts. All of these ingredients can be workhorses in the kitchen, but smoked salmon and pine nuts are expensive. If I’m going to buy them, I want to know my money, my time and my food aren’t going to waste. This is my plan to use them up!

Whole Roast Chicken

Yes, I know you’ve made chicken before, but roasting a whole chicken can be intimidating to first timers. But once you’ve done it, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

I have nothing against boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you get a lot more out of your shopping budget and time spent at the stovetop when you know how to roast a whole bird: meat for dinner on night one, leftovers for salad the next day, and bones for stock to save for a rainy day.

Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon always seems like a luxury to me. It’s an unexpected ingredient that can make a dish go from pedestrian to sensational! Maybe you’ve never used smoked salmon before, and you’re not sure how to use the leftovers in other dishes. Or the recipe only calls for 4 ounces, but the store only sells it in 8-ounce packages.

Never fear, we give you two recipes that call for smoked salmon. Hopefully, you’ll like them both, and you’ll use up that whole 8-ounce package.

Pine Nuts

When most people think of pine nuts, pesto is the first dish that comes to mind. Though delicious in a sauce rich with herbs, these creamy, crunchy nuts are also a wonderful way to add texture and flavor to things like pasta and wilted spinach.

Pine nuts are expensive. They aren’t something you want to relegate to a single use recipe. If, for some reason, you bought enough pine nuts to make it through a Zombie apocalypse, keep your pine nuts (and all other nuts) in your refrigerator. Nuts are high in fat, which means they can go rancid. Refrigeration slows this process.


Obviously, you aren’t going to use up every ingredient in every dish. This is a just a little menu guide to help you think about using up these three key ingredients in a couple of different ways!

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Puffy Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe with Whole Wheat Flour

This simple supper is topped with smoked salmon and a fried egg. It only takes 10 minutes to put everything together and 20 minutes in the oven, but it looks like you worked on it all day!

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Smoked Salmon Pasta

Use the leftover salmon from your Dutch Baby and toss it into this creamy lemon garlic pasta recipe with pine nuts. Squeeze the whole lemon and save the juice for chicken later in the week.

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Honey Glazed Lemon Roast Chicken

Serve the chicken alongside Sautéed Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins, where you can use the leftover pine nuts from your pasta dinner the night before!

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Chicken Salad with celery and bell pepper in a serving bowl

Chicken salad is one of the best ways to use up leftover cooked chicken. Don’t worry about the lemon honey glaze from the roasted chicken, it only makes this salad better.

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Summer Miller

Summer Miller is the Senior Editor for Simply Recipes based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015).

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No ImageUse-It-Up Meal Plan! Chicken, Smoked Salmon & Pine Nuts

  1. Paul

    I’m going to have a problem with the Dutch baby AKA in UK. I’ll have to buy bacon because I’ll never keep the Salmon in the fridge long enough!!

  2. Sally K

    The only problem with roasting a whole chicken is dark meat. Since I was a kid (and I’m 70 now) I have very much disliked dark meat. I deal with this by roasting 4 skin on, bone in chicken breasts.

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