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How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last? [Shelf Life Guide]

The meal that involves chicken is, undeniably, the most desirable dish one will ever opt for.

Cooked (or roasted) chicken is a staple meal that is devoured in almost every house.  

Whole chicken, including meat and skin, comes with amazing nutrition facts. It is a protein-rich food item, which aids in bone development and growth.

With this, chicken is enriched in vitamin B12, which promotes brain development and improves the nervous system, especially of kids and adults.

Interestingly, chicken helps in weight-loss, so nutritionists suggest adding cooked white meat in the diet recipes without spices.

Note: You can use roasted and frozen chicken in a Keto diet like salads and sandwiches, etc. Chicken, when cooked, contains 200+ calories. Thus, it’s a complete meal.

However, chicken, despite its other health benefits, has a high risk of bacterial contamination. That’s why you are advised to preserve the chicken once done with cooking.

Do you know? Chicken is a primary ingredient of most dishes, for example, you make Chinese food with a chicken, or you might have heard about a dish, that is stuffed chicken with pineapple sauce.  

Over time, we came across many questions regarding Chinese food preservation and pineapple storage (which we answered previously!)

Likewise, many others ask us how long does roasted chicken last in the fridge (or in the freezer)?

Well, apart from mastering the tricks of frying, baking, and broiling, having gadgets to fire up kitchen skills, you must also be well-versed in preserving food, either it is about leftover cooked meals or shelf-stored food items.

In this article, we have tried to cover all your related queries regarding cooked-chicken freezing and storing.

Let’s check it out!

How to Store Cooked Chicken Properly?

cooked chicken shelf life

Are you left with the remaining cooked chicken in the kitchen and have not found any clue to store it for several days? Don’t worry!

Here, we will guide you on how to store the cooked chicken for long?

To Store: 

After cooking the chicken, let it cool down at room temperature for about 2 hours. Later, wrap it with cling transparent paper and place it in an airtight container or sealed bag.

Make sure to keep it on the top shelf of the fridge (or freezer).

Keep cooked chicken and raw meat in separate plastic bags or boxes, so the prepared chicken doesn’t get its smell.

One another way of storing chicken is to freeze it in its own broth. When required, defrost it and use the chicken (or its broth) in the recipes like the one mentioned above.

Tip: When your cooked chicken is packed, don’t forget to label it with a date before placing it in the fridge.

How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last? Does Cooked Chicken Go Bad?

It depends on where you are storing cooked chicken. According to the study:

If you have placed the cooked chicken in the fridge, then it might last for 3-4 days—no matter in what form it is being stored.

But, if you’re placing your prepared chicken in the freezer, then it might go well for 2-6 months.

Additionally, when you store chicken in the fridge, it helps in slowing down the bacterial growth (specifically Salmonella that occurs on such food items frequently) because the bacterias tend to grow slower below 4°C (40°F).

Eventually, to preserve cooked chicken for a longer period, it med in the freezer.

Keep this in mind that the storage of heated chicken in the freezer for a prolonged time may deteriorate the flavor and texture.

Tip: Reheating frozen but cooked chicken on the stove is more beneficial than microwaving it.

Microwave reheating can dry up your cooked meat. So, place the frozen meat in the fridge to get thawed the night before you cook.

How To Tell If Cooked Chicken Is Bad? Cooked Chicken Shelf Life

Let’s suppose you have forgotten to remove the cooked chicken from the fridge even after 3-4 days. Be prepared for the scenario! Your chicken might have gone bad.

Keep reading for more information.

Color: When the cooked chicken starts changing its color, then it means it has gone bad. For ease, check if the chicken has turned from grey-to-green color (which is called fungus).

These spots indicate the growth of bacteria.

Texture: Cooked chicken, if it gets a slimy texture, needs to be discarded as soon as possible. Don’t wash it as it will not remove bacteria. Instead, it may aid in spreading the germs to other things like utensils or food items.

Smell: Sometimes, the chicken is marinated and cooked with spices, so it isn’t easy to find out if the chicken has gone bad or not by smelling it.

Usually, the cooked chicken gets an acidic smell (like ammonia) when it is expired.

Tip: Don’t taste the meat to check if it has gone bad or not.


How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last in the Fridge? Does Cooked Chicken Go Bad?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Cooked chicken
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

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