8 Ways to Use a Rotisserie Chicken for Easy Weeknight Meals
In this post we're walking you through our favorite ways to use leftover rotisserie chicken in your meals throughout the week, plus giving you 30 of our best chicken recipes!
After writing Cook Once, Eat All Week, we joked more than once that if we were to compete on Chopped: Rotisserie Chicken Edition, we'd definitely win after coming up with so many different ways to use this tasty convenience food. These days, rotisserie chicken is a weekly staple in my house, and anything that isn't eaten is shredded and frozen for emergency dinners.
Why Rotisserie Chicken Makes the Best Leftovers
When we were writing Cook Once, Eat All Week, we wanted to get as much variety as possible into the 26 weeks. One way we did that was by calling for whole roasted chicken vs. shredded chicken, and we found ourselves favoring rotisserie chicken over shredded chicken more often than not for the below reasons:
- Using rotisserie chickens gave us more options than shredded chicken. Yes, you have the option to shred the chicken and remove it from the bone, but there's also a ton of possibilities for using the legs and thighs.
- It reheats better. We consistently found that rotisserie chicken reheated better and retained more moisture throughout the week.
- It's more flavorful. With a mix of dark meat and light meat, and the flavor that the skin provides the chicken while roasting, we found the flavor of rotisserie chicken to be our favorite too!
- It's cheap. Using a whole chicken vs. boneless, skinless breasts or thighs is almost always going to be the more affordable option.
- It's easy. Whether you buy a rotisserie chicken at the store, or roast your own, a chicken or two gives you many meals worth of protein for minimal effort!
Our Favorite Ways to Use Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
There are SO many great ways to use rotisserie chickens, below we'll walk you through our favorite methods and recipes!
#1: Use Shredded Chicken in a Casserole
You know we LOVE a good casserole, and having already-cooked protein on hand makes these already-easy recipes even faster. Our favorite chicken casserole recipes:
#2: Use the Leg Quarters to make a Sheet Pan Dinner
One of our biggest revelations from testing for Cook Once, Eat All Week was that you can give your rotisserie chicken a new life by seasoning it or dipping it in a sauce then baking it up again until crisp alongside some vegetables! We recommend baking the vegetables first then adding the dark meat chicken leg quarters to the baking sheet in the last 15 minutes for the best results. Here are some sheet pan dinner recipes to get you inspired, just swap out the protein for chicken leg quarters!
#3: Make a Stir Fry or Curry
Shredded chicken is the perfect protein for stir-frying, or making fried rice! All you need to do is cook up some vegetables, add your chicken, add sauce, then serve over rice or cauliflower rice and you've got a killer 15 minute dinner.
#4: Cube or Shred the Chicken to use in a Salad
Shredded chicken is the perfect protein for salads because it can be eaten cold!
#5: Shred the Chicken and make Tacos
Leftover rotisserie chicken = EASY taco night! To make your chicken into tacos, all you need to do is saute it with some Mexican spices or salsa. From there you can add it to a taco along with sauteed onions and peppers, or you can add a slaw on top for some extra veggies! You can also easily turn these into burrito bowls with cauliflower rice and a big serving of guacamole.
#6: Add your Leftover Shredded Chicken to Soup
Adding leftover chicken to soup greatly speeds up the cooking process, especially when you've already got broth on hand. If you're making soup in the Instant Pot or slow cooker, cook it for just long enough to cook the vegetables through, then stir in your chicken at the end and cook a few minutes until it is heated up. This ensures that you don't wind up with dried out chicken!
#7: Stuff a Veggie with Shredded Chicken
Shredded rotisserie chicken makes an easy filling for stuffing potatoes, peppers, and even avocados! In the below recipes, simply substitute shredded chicken for the filling and you're good to go.
#8: Add Cubed Rotisserie Chicken to Pasta
There's probably no easier way to use your leftover rotisserie chicken than by adding it to pasta or spaghetti squash! Just use chicken in place of the protein in the below recipes and you've got a quick pasta ready in no time.
There you have it, 8 foolproof ways to use a rotisserie chicken! We hope that this guide helps you get dinner on the table a little bit faster each week. If you're looking for more easy meal prep recipes, you can pre-order our latest book with 26 weeks worth of recipes, Cook Once, Eat All Week here!