Looking for Rotisserie Chicken recipes and meal ideas? This 101 guide with a curated roundup is for YOU! Rotisserie chicken is my favourite grocery store item to pick up on the way home for a quick and easy dinner. It’s a healthy food with big potential to rework into all sorts of meals and the leftovers are always fun to use up.
Rotisserie chicken is often used to describe chicken cooked by a particular method. The rotisserie method – or spit-roasting – holds the bird in place and cooks it evenly on all sides, in direct heat. Many people use the term Rotisserie chicken to describe good old roast chicken!
You can usually find Rotisserie chicken already prepared at grocery stores and bigger supermarkets. It’s sold both hot and cold, usually in a plastic or paper bag to keep all the juices in. In Australia, you would find it near the deli section at Coles and Woolworths or from a local chicken shop.
As food or an ingredient for your next meal, it’s relatively inexpensive and is usually cooked to perfection. It is often more cost-effective than roasting your own whole chicken when you take into account the prep and cooking time and the oven usage.
You can also stretch one bird into a couple of meals, with many leftover Rotisserie chicken recipes to choose from.
IS ROTISSERIE CHICKEN HEALTHY?
The short answer is: YES.
After all, rotisserie chicken is just a way to cook a whole chicken! Not only is the chicken itself a healthy protein option, but cooking with the whole animal has many added benefits. You can cook the organ meats and use the bones for broth which means even more healthy food options versus buying only breasts or thighs. Chicken is high in B-vitamins, many minerals and iron.
Make sure to get free-range chicken, and organic chicken whenever possible! It’s not only healthier but tastes much better too.
HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN ROTISSERIE CHICKEN?
Determining the calories in a rotisserie chicken takes into account the cooking method, how much light meat and dark meat are on the bird, and whether or not you eat the skin. Typically, you can get the accurate calories by measuring your serving of actual shredded chicken which is simple to calculate.
A whole bird consists of approximately 350 g/ 12 oz. of light meat and 250 g / 8-9 oz. of dark meat (think thighs/legs). If you don’t count the skin, this comes out to around 1,000 calories for the entire chicken.
Of course, this will vary quite vastly with the size of your chicken. Measuring or weighing individual portions is the most reliable source of calories in a rotisserie chicken, but here are some ballpark figures:
- 115 g / 4 oz. serving of chicken breast without skin: 162 calories
- 115 g / 4 oz. serving of chicken thigh without skin: 220 calories
Adding skin will add some calories from fat.
- 115 g / 4 oz. serving of chicken breast with skin: 198 calories
- 115 g / 4 oz. serving of chicken thigh with skin: 256 calories
HOW TO CUT A ROTISSERIE CHICKEN
- On a large cutting board, place the chicken breast side up. Prepare to cut the chicken with a boning knife or a serrated knife. If you don’t have either, a sharp, long knife is preferable. You can also use kitchen scissors.
- First, cut the legs. Pull the leg away from the rest of the chicken and using a sharp knife cut through the connective tissue. Repeat on the opposite side. You may come into some bony sections during this part and others. You can move around the bone and cut closer to the joints if that’s the case. Remove the thighs from the drumsticks and set them aside.
- Next, you’ll carve the breast. You can remove the whole breast by cutting it horizontally and then slicing it. You can also use a very sharp knife to directly cut the breast into slices after making a vertical cut down the centre.
- Remove any additional meat from the exposed carcass to clean and snack on. You can also leave the meat to add flavour to bone broth later.
- Serve and enjoy.
WHAT TO EAT WITH ROTISSERIE CHICKEN
Let’s make a meal of it! The rotisserie chicken is the perfect protein option – now what? There are so many ways to serve up this grocery store staple at home whether you want something quick and easy or ultra-impressive without all the work.
- With roast veggies. This is an especially good option if you are making your own rotisserie chicken at home and cooking everything together. Simply toss your favourite veggies in some oil and bake sheet pan style for a nutritious and tasty meal.
- With mashed veggies & gravy. Potatoes, cauliflower, whatever you prefer. Mashed veggies with some delicious butter and salt make for the perfect hearty companion to a rotisserie chicken. I love this super easy and quick gravy recipe from Recipe Tin Eats using stock cubes that requires no drippings.
- On a salad. Whether you make your own salad with all your favourite toppings or buy a bag salad from the store, rotisserie chicken is an amazing protein option.
- In a soup. Soup can be a great way to get a quick and healthy meal on the table, prepare to have leftovers, and use up some extra veggies and ingredients lying around – including a rotisserie chicken. Bonus: make your own bone broth with the carcass.
- In a sandwich/wrap/roll. Sliced or shredded roast chicken makes a very delicious sandwich. I love it with garlic aioli (mayo) or honey mustard, avocado and sun-dried tomatoes, or with creamy coleslaw.
On its own. Rotisserie chicken makes for a very satiating snack! Sometimes, you just need a protein boost when you’re feeling super peckish.
HOW TO KEEP ROTISSERIE CHICKEN WARM
At grocery stores, you’ll usually find the rotisserie chickens lined up under heat lamps to keep them warm. This is a great option for a ready-to-eat dinner if you’re ready to serve it right after shopping. Otherwise, keeping a chicken warm can be tough to do at home without drying it out.
You can add a shallow pan of water to your oven and place the chicken at a low temperature (250-350F, 121-176C). The water will create a steaming effect which will help to ensure your meat remains moist and tender. Alternatively, you can simply reheat the chicken in the oven or keep it in after buying it to ensure food safety standards. A short period of time likely won’t lead to overcooking and drying out.
You could also wrap an already-hot rotisserie chicken in tin foil to keep warmth in, which should work well for periods of time under an hour.
HOW LONG CAN ROTISSERIE CHICKEN SIT OUT
Food safety is critical for pre-heated foods. The temperature range at which cooked foods produce bacteria rapidly is 4°F-140°F / 4°C-60°C (the fastest rate of growth is at around 37°C). You can safely keep food here for up to four hours if the food was kept at the higher end of the scale previously (say when it was kept at over 60 C at the grocery store).
If you plan to keep your chicken out for longer, you will need to refrigerate it or keep it above 60 C / 140F. This practice will help you to prevent foodborne illnesses.
HOW LONG DOES ROTISSERIE CHICKEN LAST?
A rotisserie chicken can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days as a rule of thumb. You may have some flexibility before it goes off, but you can simply freeze the chicken in case you don’t get around to having it quickly enough.
HOW TO FREEZE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN
I recommend carving the chicken and freezing it shredded or sliced. This makes it simple to use later by simply reheating the meat or adding it to something like soup when it’s still frozen.
Avoid the microwave if you want to retain optimal taste and texture. Lastly, don’t defrost chicken at room temperature to ensure safety, do it in the fridge overnight.
Make sure to remove the skin and all cartilage and bones before freezing the chicken. I store them in a separate bag or container to make chicken broth with.
You can store rotisserie chicken in containers or Ziploc bags. I will often store individual portions of shredded or diced meat, including smaller ones for my toddler daughter.
It’s best to lay the meat relatively flat in Ziploc bags for easier stacking in the freezer. You can also store layers of shredded chicken between pieces of parchment paper in a larger container.
ROTISSERIE CHICKEN SALAD
This variation on the classic uses similar ingredients to the traditional Hawaiian poke bowl with some easier-to-find substitutes. The toppings are inspiring, suggesting some edamame and mango for some sweet and salty contrast. From my blog here.
SUMMER CHICKEN SALAD
This summer rotisserie chicken salad with corn and avocado is loaded with flavour and crunch and drizzled with hot bacon dressing. Super satisfying and lots of sweet & savoury in this bowl! From How Sweet Eats.
CREAMY CHICKEN MUSHROOM SALAD
This delicious, creamy chicken mushroom salad is inspired by a recipe called ‘Salat Sherlock’ and can be enjoyed over shredded lettuce and favourite veggies or as a filling in a wrap or a sandwich. This chicken salad recipe is gluten-free paleo, Whole30 and keto-friendly. From my blog here.
APRICOT CHICKEN SALAD WITH CURRY DRESSING
Want to dine like a royal in less than 15 minutes? This Coronation chicken inspired salad with curry mayo dressing is the ultimate lazy yet healthy meal. It’s paleo, gluten-free and Whole30 friendly. From my blog here.
BUFFALO CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
Bold buffalo flavour, protein-packed chicken, and fresh veggies make these healthy buffalo chicken wraps perfect for quick weeknight dinners, meal prep, game day, and more. Flexible gluten-free, keto, and Whole30 options offer something for everyone! From Our Salty Kitchen.
CHICKEN AVOCADO SALAD
Avocado is a great stand-in for a mayo-based sauce making this salad both egg-free and dairy-free. This would be great on its own, in lettuce or low-carb wrap, or in a sandwich. From Gimme Delicious.
INSTANT POT CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
15 minutes of ingredient prep? Say no more. “Rotisserie chicken” and “Instant Pot” in the same sentence is music to my ears knowing things are about to be easy. This chicken noodle soup can easily be adapted to stove top too. From Well Plated.
PALEO CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
This Whole30 and paleo chicken tortilla soup only takes 20-25 minutes and comes with added kale for extra nutrients. This Mexican favourite doesn’t have any tortilla chips but the pumpkin seeds provide extra crunch . From my blog here.
ROTISSERIE CHICKEN POT PIE SOUP
This recipe is a great blend between soup and pie which makes for the ultimate comfort food. You can use leftover chicken or turkey in this dish, it’s Whole30 and paleo-friendly, and the leftovers will be a hit. From Nyssa’s Kitchen.
CREAMY CHICKEN MUSHROOM SOUP
This creamy chicken mushroom soup with spinach is pure comfort in a bowl. Using rotisserie chicken makes this a simple, 20-minute weeknight dinner. It’s low-carb and gluten-free. From Simply Delicious Food.
ROTISSERIE CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
Enchiladas are an easy meal to put together when the chicken is already cooked. It’s a great family meal or a large batch meal to make for leftovers. Plus, who can deny the cheesy goodness of this classic Mexican comfort food. Recipe from Simply Delicious Food.
ROTISSERIE CHICKEN CASSEROLE
If you love one-dish meals for their ease, then there’s, even more, to love when using a rotisserie chicken to whip up a casserole. This one is hearty with some traditional meat and potatoes energy to bring to the table. Whole30 & Gluten-Free. From Paleo Running Momma.
CHICKEN CURRY IN A HURRY
Well, dinner meals don’t get simpler and quicker than this cheat’s tomato and coconut chicken curry. Get in on the table in 15 minutes using simple ingredients and clever tricks. This Indian-inspired curry is gluten-free, paleo, and Whole30 friendly. From my blog here.
GREEN CHILE CHICKEN DIP (DAIRY-FREE)
This creamy leftover chicken dip is perfect for game day eating and parties. It’s so easy to make and includes zero dairy! From The Whole Cook.
KETO ROTISSERIE CHICKEN BAKE
This low-carb chicken bake is loaded with tender pieces of chicken, mushrooms, bacon and spinach in a decadent creamy, cheesy sauce. From A Family Feast.
GREEN CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
Salsa verde, green chiles, leftover rotisserie chicken and Monterey Jack cheese make for the best weeknight enchiladas ever! Use low-carb tortillas for a lighter twist. From Damn Delicious.
HEALTHY ONE-POT CHICKEN CHILI
This healthy chicken chili takes only 30 minutes to cook, uses only one pot, and tastes like a cosy comfort in a bowl. It’s ideal for busy weeknights and meal prep. From Chew Out Loud.
ROTISSERIE CHICKEN TACOS MEAT
Easy tacos with saucy, taco-seasoned chicken meat, crispy corn tortilla shells, and all your favourite taco toppings! Serve as a salad bowl for Paleo & Whole30. From Chelsey’s Messy Apron.
MORE LEFTOVER ROTISSERIE CHICKEN RECIPES
Do you have a favourite way to serve rotisserie chicken? Any go-to meals or recipes? Or, if there is something else you’d like to ask about using rotisserie chicken, let me know in the comments.