These easy dinner ideas for rotisserie chicken are life-savers on busy weeknights. It’s more than OK to take a few shortcuts when making your semi-home-cooked meal. 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 and things are hectic. A rotisserie chicken is your best 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.
Of course, you can also use a homemade roasted chicken for these same recipes, if you’re the type who actually manages to plan ahead.
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.
Instead of chicken thighs, use the whole rotisserie chicken to make this meal that can last all week for lunch and dinner leftovers. Start the slow cooker before you head to work (with all the ingredients except the meat), then add the shredded chicken when you get home. Get our Slow Cooker Chipotle Chili recipe. (And save the rotisserie chicken carcass to make Crock Pot chicken stock!)
Related Reading: 11 Crock Pot Chicken Recipes to Rely On
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.
Stonewall Kitchen Maple Bacon Onion Jam, $9.95 at Sur La Table
Or use a store-bought substitute that's equally interesting.
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.
Related Reading: 9 Non-Boring Chicken Salad Recipes
Traditional pho takes several hours to simmer, but here, 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. (And if you’re a purist who can’t bring yourself to call it pho, just call it chicken noodle soup.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. These are perfect for eating on the couch in front of Netflix. Get our Chicken, Guacamole, and Bean Nachos recipe.
Along the same lines, if you don’t have chips but are well stocked with soft tortillas, make loaded chicken quesadillas. Add in whatever leftover veggies you like or have on hand, but definitely top off with guac if at all possible. Get the Leftover Chicken Quesadilla recipe.
“Chinese chicken salad” was big in the ’80s, but this is an updated version you’ll actually still want to eat. Crunchy cabbage, bell peppers, and tender chicken get tossed with a tangy, sweet, and spicy dressing, plus slivered almonds. Get our Chinese-y Chicken Salad recipe.
14. Chicken Pad Thai
True, the chicken-cooking portion of this easy recipe only takes 2-3 minutes if you start with raw poultry, but if you already shredded leftover rotisserie chicken the night before, it’s even faster to throw this together. And no, it’s not authentic, but it is delicious. Get our Chicken Pad Thai recipe.
Should dip count as dinner? We say yes, at least on occasion. Our Spicy Chicken and Chile Taco Dip recipe is packed with peppers, onion, tomato, beans, and cheese in addition to the chicken, but you can also use your rotisserie bird in our Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe. Add a salad if you feel like that helps legitimize it as a meal.
Check out more recipes for using leftover chicken and peruse all our chicken recipes, articles, galleries, and videos.