We’ve all had those nights when we don’t have a lot of energy, but we’re tired of takeout and want a homemade meal. Enter the rotisserie chicken.
This versatile ingredient is the perfect base for countless dinners, from tacos and pastas to soups and salads. It takes just a little work to pick all the meat off the carcass, but then you’ve got a pile of chicken ready to be added to whatever you feel like making. It saves the time of roasting a bird yourself, allowing you to make a satisfying homemade meal quickly.
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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.
Here are some ways to make rotisserie chicken work for you.
Soups to Make with Rotisserie Chicken
This recipe is a fresh spin on chili, pairing the familiar chili spices with buffalo flavor and all the things that go well with it: celery, blue cheese, and chicken.
Buffalo Chicken ChiliBuffalo chicken and chili are both crowd-pleasers, so combining them is a no-brainer.
Chicken and Rice Soup with Ginger and ScallionsWe use rotisserie chicken for convenience and punch up the flavors with cilantro and grated fresh ginger.
When you’re seeking something bright and fresh but still ultracomforting, this Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup is the way to go. The egg yolk–thickened broth provides the comfort while the lemon, chives, and thyme add the freshness.
Lemon Chicken and Orzo SoupWe use fresh lemon juice, chives, and sprigs of thyme to create this bright dish from leftover chicken.
Spicy Coconut Chicken Noodle SoupA few robust pantry ingredients help transform rotisserie chicken into a delicious and fragrant soup.
Salads Featuring Rotisserie Chicken
Apricots, basil, and lemon juice add bright notes to this colorful chicken salad. Stirring them together with some mayonnaise and Dijon mustard creates a dressing that clings to the chicken. A bed of Bibb lettuce is the perfect way to serve it all up.
Apricot-Basil Chicken SaladFor a fresh take on chicken salad, we added apricots and basil. Lemon juice and Dijon mustard provide brightness and complexity.
Carrots and cucumber quickly pickled in vinegar and tossed with a soy dressing add a fresh vibe and a welcome crunch to this easy salad of cellophane noodles and rotisserie chicken.
Chicken and Cellophane Noodle SaladQuick-pickled veggies and store-bought rotisserie chicken make this weeknight meal quick and easy without sacrificing flavor.
Yes, you can absolutely grab a bag of salad mix and a rotisserie chicken and toss them together with some dressing, but if you pick up a few other things and spend just a few extra minutes, you can have a truly excellent salad. This one features tender-crisp sugar snap peas and juicy red grapes tossed with the chicken, lettuce, and a quick whisk-together mustard dressing.
Whole-Grain Mustard Chicken SaladFresh lemon juice brightens this light and summery version of chicken salad, while sugar snap peas and red grapes add a juicy crunch.
Pasta and Rice Dishes with Rotisserie Chicken
Chicken Parmesan is undeniably a great dinner choice, but pounding and breading chicken and then frying it is time-consuming. This casserole takes the components of the dish—the chicken, the crumbs, the sauce, and the cheese, plus the side of pasta—and turns it all into a no-fuss one-pan meal.
Chicken Parmesan Pasta BakeFastest Chicken Parm Ever.
Risotto calls stirring to mind. Lots of standing over the stove and stirring. But here, the rice gets a head start in the microwave, so the labor is greatly reduced. While the rice cooks, you simply sauté onions and garlic in butter and add chicken broth. Then the hot rice goes in and only needs 5 minutes of cooking and stirring. And the chicken gets added at the end to warm through for a minute. Once the rice is done, all it needs is some basil, lemon zest and juice, and Parmesan to finish it off.
Risotto with Chicken, Lemon, and BasilThis simple rice dish uses minimal ingredients for maximum flavor and makes a perfect dinner for even busy weeknights.
A weeknight meal that’s packed with chicken, vegetables, rice, and cheese? Sign me up. This casserole gets its creamy consistency from shredded zucchini, which cooks down a bit before the chicken and broth get added. A few minutes later, in go cooked rice and cheddar. Everything gets topped with a snowstorm of grated Parmesan and popped under the broiler to brown. Yum.
Skillet Chicken, Zucchini, and Cheesy RiceA layer of broiled Parmesan cheese ties chicken, rice, and zucchini together.
Sandwiches, Tacos, and Other Handhelds Filled with Rotisserie Chicken
Store-bought pizza dough plus rotisserie chicken is a perfect match in these Buffalo Chicken Calzones. Just be sure to have some Franks’ Redhot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce and plenty of mozzarella cheese on hand to make the filling.
Buffalo Chicken CalzonesCalzones don’t have to be a half-day project. Two clever shortcuts make this crowd-pleasing dinner weeknight‑friendly.
Avocado replaces mayo here to make a light fresh chicken salad. Simply mix up the avocado with buttermilk, olive oil, lime juice, and salt and pepper to make a lively dressing. Stir in the chicken and then spoon it over some toast. Top with lettuce, tomato, and another piece of toast and enjoy this fast, fresh dinner.
Chicken-Avocado Salad SandwichesFor a twist on chicken salad, we combine tangy buttermilk, mashed avocado, and a lime vinaigrette to act as the “mayonnaise” in this quick, weeknight meal.
Whenever I’m thinking of a quick dinner, tacos come to mind. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. These easy Chicken and Salsa Tacos trend toward simple, using store-bought salsa plus some seasonings to flavor the chicken. A topping of lettuce, cheese, and a quick sour cream–based sauce is all they need.
Easy Chicken and Salsa TacosBy using rotisserie chicken and jarred salsa, you can put this satisfying supper together in minutes.
For this recipe, rotisserie chicken gets mixed with feta, yogurt, olives, roasted red peppers, and a few other ingredients to make a Mediterranean flavor–inspired chicken salad. Then the chicken salad gets layered on top of a bed of arugula that’s arranged on top of a flour tortilla, and everything gets rolled up together into a mouthwatering wrap.
Mediterranean Chicken WrapsThese wraps combine deep, Mediterranean flavors along with storebought rotisserie chicken for a quick and satisfying weeknight meal.
Yes, you can make barbecue pulled chicken sandwiches on a weeknight. You just need to turn to the trusty rotisserie chicken. Shred it and toss it in a quick vinegar-based sauce, layer it on some buns, and top it with an easy cabbage slaw. Done.
Quick Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Red Cabbage SlawWith tender shreds of chicken, a sweet-tangy sauce, and a crunchy slaw, these weeknight barbecue sandwiches aren't just achievable, they're awesome.
For a crunchy, satisfying dinner, you can build these tostadas in just 30 minutes. Simply cook an onion, add store-bought tomatillo salsa, and stir in the chicken to heat through. Then microwave some refried beans and layer the beans and chicken on the tostadas. Top with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and cilantro, or your favorite toppings. Simple and delicious.
Tomatillo Chicken TostadasBy using jarred tomatillo (green) salsa, you can put this satisfying supper together in minutes.
Be sure to save this list and keep it handy for the next time you feel short on energy to make dinner. As long as you’ve got a rotisserie chicken and a few other ingredients on hand, you’ll be able to put together a dinner that will make you (and your stomach) happy in no time.