Why the Rotisserie Chicken Is This R.D.'s Favorite Shortcut

The rotisserie chicken is to modern life as the T.V. dinner was to families in the '50s: a staple. In a world full of busy work schedules, unending errands and robust social calendars, the hot, ready-to-eat, pre-flavored chicken cooked on a rotating spit helps simplify meal planning and decrease your time spent sweating over a hot stove.

And yet, many still scoff at the concept of picking up a rotisserie chicken for one reason or another. Before you turn your nose up at this shortcut, take some tips from "The Best Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook" and start embracing this grocery item for the delicious, budget-friendly, meal-prep superstar that it is!

Winner, Winner, Rotisserie Chicken Dinner Is Served

1. Chicken and Cheese Pizza

Using store-bought whole-wheat pizza dough, sprinkle part-skim mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and chopped rotisserie chicken. Bake at 450°F for 15 to 20 minutes, keeping in mind that store-bought crusts may require less time so follow instructions on the packages for specific cooking times.

2. Chicken Wrap

Use shredded rotisserie chicken in a whole-wheat wrap with ketchup or barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and your favorite shredded cheese. 

3. Chicken Pasta

Add some protein to your pasta dishes by throwing in some chopped rotisserie chicken. Use it in your favorite macaroni, pasta primavera or pesto pasta recipe.

4. Avocado Toast

Scoop out the flesh from half of an avocado and spread it over a slice of toasted whole-wheat bread. After mashing the avocado slightly, top each slice of bread with shredded rotisserie chicken, four cherry tomato slices, a teaspoon of cilantro, Thai chili sauce, a pinch of salt and juice from one lime wedge.

Makes 2 avocado toasts

1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
2 slices 100% whole-wheat bread, toasted
1/4 cup finely chopped rotisserie chicken
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp Thai chili sauce (such as sriracha)
1/8 tsp salt
2 lime wedges
  1. Scoop out the flesh from each avocado half onto a slice of toasted bread. Mash the avocado with a fork until it is flattened.
  2. Top each slice of bread with half the chicken, 4 tomato slices, half the cilantro, Thai chili sauce, and salt. Spritz a lime wedge over the toast immediately before eating. 
5. Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Salad

1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
4 cups baby kale
1 1/2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
14-ounce can reduced-sodium cannellinie beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup lemon-herb vinaigrette

Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Juice of 3 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Heat walnuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until lightly toasted, about three minutes, then set aside to cool. 
  2. In a large bowl, add the kale, chicken, beans and walnuts. Drizzle the lemon-herb vinaigrette and toss to evenly coat. 
  3. For the lemon-herb vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, brown sugar, parsley, salt and pepper. While whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in the oil until combined.