Give yourself a break on your busy weeknights. It's alright to take a few shortcuts when making your home-cooked dinner. Yes, you are proud of your from-scratch values, yet you don't have to be 100-percent dedicated to it if time is short. A rotisserie chicken is your friend when it comes to easing up on the work involved in your mealtime prep. Cultivate that relationship once in awhile and breathe a little easier with the added support.
Buy a whole, cooked chicken (or two) from your grocery store's deli section and rip off that meat to make whatever you want. It's a trick that saves a lot of time, while still providing the benefits and enjoyment of a homemade meal. Check out more recipes for using leftover chicken and peruse all our chicken recipes, articles, galleries, and videos — such as this tomato-braised Tunisian chicken video starring two Los Angeles chefs.
1. Quick Chicken Tacos
This is our go-to idea for rotisserie chicken. Do it on Taco Tuesday or any day. A few spices, herbs, and other add-ins make this a satisfying meal that's not boring, especially with some good salsa. Make sure to get corn, not flour, tortillas because it's just better that way. Get our Quick Chicken Tacos recipe.
2. BBQ Chicken Pizza
Buy ready-made pizza crust or the dough, along with the rotisserie chicken, to save even more time for this pizza with a barbecue twist. Get our BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe.
3. Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Chili
Instead of chicken thighs, use the whole rotisserie chicken to make this meal that can last all week for lunch and dinner leftovers. It takes 10 minutes or so to prepare, and around five hours to cook in the slow cooker. Get our Slow Cooker Chipotle Chili recipe.
4. Chicken and Shallot Jam on Pain au Levain
You can skip the chicken-poaching part and get right to the sandwich-making. Consider making the shallot jam ahead of time if you know you're going to be rushed on the evening you want to eat this French sandwich, which is made special with the flavorful shallot-tarragon jam. Get our Chicken and Shallot Jam on Pain au Levain recipe.
5. Chicken and Greens Salad with Tahini Dressing
Gather and prepare six ingredients and throw it all in a big salad bowl for a one-dish meal that is filling because it has 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken in it, plus nutty, rich tahini dressing, made from sesame seed paste, garlic, and lemon juice. You might be able to do it all in under 15 minutes. Get our Chicken and Greens Salad with Tahini Dressing recipe.
6. Easy Chicken Pho
All you need is half cup of shredded rotisserie chicken, some noodles, vegetables, and broth to get this meal on the table in 15 minutes. Or if you cut a little slowly, 20-ish minutes. Get our Easy Chicken Pho recipe.
7. Chicken Pot Pie
This comfort-food dish is perfect in the winter or fall. Make some creamed chicken with three cups of cooked chicken pulled off your rotisserie bird, and then add the vegetables, herbs and either a store-bought puff pastry or pie crust top layer. Get our Chicken Pot Pie recipe.
8. Chicken Taco Soup
Use your rotisserie chicken meat for this soup version of one of our favorite Mexican meals, tacos. You'll need a can of tomatoes and black beans, spices, onion, and chicken broth, along with delicious toppings. Get our Chicken Taco Soup recipe.
9. Tarragon Chicken Salad
A contrast to uninspired, ho-hum chicken salad, this version has tart Granny Smith apples, celery, tarragon, and diced red onion mellowed by Champagne vinegar. Pair it with crisp greens, a hearty country wheat bread, or buttery croissant. Get our Tarragon Chicken Salad recipe.
10. Easy Chicken Noodle Soup from a Leftover Roasted Chicken
Tear off any remaining meat you can find on that rotisserie chicken, and then make a stock with the carcass for a soup with some depth of flavor. It tastes so much better than store-bought chicken broth and since you have the carcass anyway, you might as well use it. Get our Easy Chicken Noodle Soup from a Leftover Roasted Chicken recipe.
11. Chicken, Guacamole, and Bean Nachos
This is a ridiculously easy way to use up your chicken, possibly even easier than making tacos. Ten minutes are all you need when you have chicken already cooked. If you want to add more vegetables, do a salsa, diced peppers, or shredded lettuce. Get our Chicken, Guacamole, and Bean Nachos recipe.
Amy Sowder is the assistant editor at Chowhound in New York City. She loves cheesy things, especially toasties and puns. She's trying to like mushrooms. Her running habit is the excuse for her gelato passion. Or is it the other way around? Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and her blog, What Do I Eat Now. Learn more at AmySowder.com.