Ditch the guilt, grab the chicken.
Just in case you think that buying a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store is "cheating," we're here to tell you it's not. Because while it may be true that you didn't lovingly stuff and roast that whole chicken yourself in that 1- or 2-hour window of time that just magically appeared, it is also true that using ready-cooked rotisserie chicken is an easy, smart, and super-quick way to get dinner on the table. And isn't that the most important thing?
So, just think of rotisserie chicken as a convenience food, in the best sense of the word.
With that in mind, here are 10 easy comfort-food dishes you can make with the ready-cooked convenience of rotisserie chicken, along with tips for how to buy the best rotisserie chicken at the market.
Get more ideas for using up leftover chicken in quick and satisfying dinners.
How to Buy the Best Rotisserie Chicken
- Check your ingredients. Some rotisserie chickens include tons of salt or flavorings and preservatives you may not want or need in your dish.
- Look for the plumpest bird. Rotisserie chickens dry out as they slowly roast on a spit, so you want to find a bird that still looks (and feels) plump and juicy.
- Ask for the freshest bird. If rotisserie chickens aren't on display (and even if they are), you might be lucky enough to get a batch straight out of the roaster.
- Buy early. We know. You're shopping for dinner, not lunch. But since you're repurposing that chicken for these recipes anyway, it's fine to buy a chicken in the morning and tuck it in your fridge until you're ready to get cooking.
10 Easy Comfort Food Dinners With Rotisserie Chicken
Many people have fond memories of eating Mom's chicken pot pie while growing up—but if you're the mom (or dad, or whoever!) in the kitchen, you'll appreciate recipe creator Pam's shortcut version, which features leftover chicken, which she says "helps on the ease of preparation of this fabulous comfort-style dinner."
Allrecipes home cook Caligyrl says, "Loved this recipe! I used rotisserie chicken, frozen carrots, chicken stock instead of broth and doubled the stock/flour/half and half mixture."
Lasagna may be the ultimate treat in the comfort-food category, but if your crew is growing tired of the typical beef/pork-and-red-sauce kind, swap things up by introducing this white-cheese lasagna into the fray. Make it even easier by using a rotisserie chicken.
MickeyRenee offers this helpful tip: "If you are using no boil-lasagna noodles, add 1/2 cup more milk to the sauce."
You'll probably use up a whole rotisserie chicken for this dish (it's scaled to serve 20) but it's well worth it. And even if you don't have to feed hordes of people tonight, recipe developer Lois Shaw suggests making two casseroles so you can eat one and freeze the other for later.
Kay V. says, "My kids really enjoyed this dinner and it was really easy to make. I used leftover rotisserie chicken meat and it was simple to shred and was really juicy."
If you've spent much time in the South, you might already be familiar with this particular brand of comfort food; as recipe creator Chef John notes, he hears that it might be "impossible to go to any sort of potluck in Texas and not see one of these."
However, as Allrecipes home cook margaux notes, "This is a pretty good version of a truly ubiquitous dish of Texas. Sort of an "inside joke"—the King Ranch is one of the biggest ranches in the world. They raise CATTLE, not CHICKENS! So it really has nothing to do with the King Ranch, per se." Margaux continues, saying: "Here's a tip. Don't worry about finding or using fresh corn tortillas. I always have those on hand, but King Ranch Casserole is best made with tortilla chips. They will soften up in the sauce and provide a good corn flavor. I've never, ever used actual tortillas."
Since margaux is from Texas, we'll take her advice on that one.
A dash of curry powder makes this chicken divan recipe a little something special. You can swap fresh mushrooms in for the canned, or poach your own chicken breasts—but if you're looking to save time and energy, don't hesitate to use a rotisserie chicken.
Home cook Kelli Silva says, " My family loves this flavorful recipe! It has become a regular in our fall/winter rotation. We are a family of 5, so I use a large rotisserie chicken and the family-size cream of chicken soup. Like many of the others here, I also add extra curry and lemon juice because that's what give it such a tasty and unique flavor."
Allrecipes recipe developer Joan Dredge offers a new spin on traditional tacos that features ranch dressing and a no-cook recipe using rotisserie chicken for a night when the only "cooking" you want to do is warming your tortillas.
SunnyV says this was "Very good! We used green chili instead of regular salsa, flour tortillas, and excluded the onions (because I forgot). My husband loved the ranch sauce and so did I."
While recipe creator Lisa Civitillo Blok notes that this enchiladas dish is "equally delicious with cooked pork or beef," a rotisserie chicken makes things even easier.
Allrecipes home cook naples34102 says, "I can't remember the last time I put so little effort into a dish and was so rewarded. This was just so delicious."
Okay, you do have to cook your rotisserie chicken a little bit to bring out the best in this recipe—but we think you'll agree it's worth it, as the simple step of browning cooked shredded chicken in butter adds a nice dash of flavor to this Southwestern-style lasagna dish.
And while you might have to dig a little deeper in the refrigerator case to find them, Allrecipes user DREGINEK recommends using the called-for corn tortillas, rather than swapping in flour tortillas (which DREGINEK says seem to turn out a little mushy).
Comfort food tastes even better when you only have one pot to wash when you're done prepping it.
As Allrecipes home cook Jillian notes, this is "easy to prepare, very simple, and tastes great—perfect for a quick weeknight meal! Plus it's a great way to use up leftover chicken."
A comforting bowl of chili on the table in 35 minutes! You can thank rotisserie chicken for that miracle.
If you feel like doctoring your recipe at all, take a hint from LRK, who says, "Chili was great! Thickening trick: Skip the corn starch and purée an additional can of beans in your mini chop or food processor to add to the pot. This gives it more of a restaurant feel, like it's been cooking all day. Also, I added a sprinkling of shredded sharp cheddar, dollop of sour cream and cilantro in each bowl before serving."
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