Store-bought rotisserie chickens are the busy cook’s secret weapon. Pick up a precooked bird on your post-work grocery run and a world of meal possibilities opens up. Pairing the meat with a simple salad or some steamed vegetables is the most obvious option, and it’s easy enough to turn leftovers into chicken salad or toss them into a pot of soup. (You get about 4 cups of chicken per bird.) But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this ready-made ingredient. Here are five time-saving — yet still delicious — dinner recipes you can make with a rotisserie chicken.
1. Easy Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Grab a package of pizza dough and barbecue sauce when you’re picking up your chicken and you’ll have nearly all the ingredients you need to prepare this simple barbecue chicken pizza from Just a Taste. Because it takes just 15 minutes to prepare and another 10 minutes to cook, a piping hot slice will land on your plate faster than if you called for delivery.
- 1 pound store-bought pizza dough
- Cornmeal for dusting
- ½ cup store-bought barbecue sauce, divided
- 1 cup diced rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onions
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions: Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Place pizza dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 12-inch disc, ¼-inch thick. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and transfer pizza dough to pan.
Combine the chicken with ¼ cup of the barbecue sauce in a medium bowl. Spread the remaining ¼ cup of sauce on the pizza dough, leaving a border of about ½ inch around the edges.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the sauce, then top with the chicken. Scatter the red onions over the pizza.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking, until crust is golden brown in color and cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Remove pizza from oven, transfer to a cutting board, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Slice and serve.
2. Sesame Peanut Noodles
Aside from the chicken and some fresh cilantro, red pepper, and cucumber, you probably have everything else you need to prepare this sesame peanut noodle dish in your pantry. This generous recipe from Delish makes six servings, so you should have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat
- 1 small red pepper
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 large Kirby (pickling) cucumber
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Sriracha, to taste
Directions: Heat large covered saucepot of salted water to boil on high heat.
In large bowl, gently whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and garlic. Add chicken and red pepper, tossing to combine. Set aside.
Cook pasta as label directs. While pasta cooks, cut cucumber in half lengthwise and thinly slice into half-moons.
Reserve ½ cup cooking water. Drain pasta. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Add pasta and cucumber to bowl with chicken mixture. Toss until well-coated. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with Sriracha, if desired.
3. Half-Hour Chicken Gumbo
Meat from a rotisserie chicken is combined with spicy andouille sausage, bell peppers, and spices for a tasty gumbo that’s ready in just 30 minutes. Pick up some cornbread while you’re at the store and you can enjoy a complete dinner with very little work. Recipe from Martha Stewart.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen, cut okra
- 8 ounces smoked (precooked) andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1 inch thick
- 1 rotisserie chicken (about 2½ pounds), skin and bones removed, meat shredded (about 4 cups)
- Store-bought or homemade cornbread, for serving (optional)
Directions: In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in bell peppers, onion, garlic, and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add 4 cups water; stir in okra and sausage. Bring to a boil. Stir in shredded chicken and warm through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; if desired, serve with cornbread.
4. Quick Chicken Tacos
Slightly spicy chicken tacos come together in a flash when you use the meat from an already-roasted chicken. All you have to do is warm the chicken in a pan with some garlic and cumin, then serve with your preferred taco toppings. Recipe from Chowhound.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound shredded rotisserie chicken
- ½ tablespoon ground cumin
- 6 corn tortillas
- ½ cup salsa
- 1 large jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, cut in 6 wedges
Directions: Warm the oil in a medium skillet or nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until it’s fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the shredded chicken, sprinkle in the cumin, and cook until the chicken is heated through, moving the pieces around with a pair of tongs, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Warm the tortillas by heating a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tortilla at a time, flipping to warm both sides, about 5 minutes total.
Pile some of the chicken in a warm tortilla, add a spoonful of salsa, and sprinkle with the sliced jalapeños, scallions, and cilantro. Finish with a squeeze of lime and serve.
5. Chicken Bánh Mì Sandwich with Sriracha Mayonnaise
Yes, you need to make your own pickles for this take on a Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Just pour the brine over sliced daikon and carrots, let sit for an hour, and you’ll have crisp, vinegary vegetables for your sandwich as well as future snacking. Recipe from Inquiring Chef.
- 3 cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Sriracha
- 4 sandwich rolls (or 1 baguette, cut into 4 even pieces)
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1 large bunch fresh cilantro
Directions: Whisk together the water, sugar, salt, and rice vinegar in a small bowl until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Pack the carrot and daikon tightly into a jar. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables, seal, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Pickles can be stored in the fridge for up to one month.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside.
Slice the rolls or baguettes and arrange cut-side up on a baking sheet. Transfer to oven and toast until crisp, about 5 minutes.
Spread Sriracha mayo on one half of each toasted sandwich roll. Top each with cucumber slices, ½ cup of shredded chicken, pickled carrot and daikon, and cilantro sprigs. Serve.
Follow Megan on Twitter @MeganE_CS