6 Easy Ideas for Rotisserie Chicken

Article posted in: Nutrition
Rotisserie Chicken with Herbs and lemons

We already know “nose hunger” is a real thing. Jan Chozen Bays M.D. talks about it in her book, Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food. It’s just one of seven kinds of hunger we experience on a daily basis, she says. If we’re not cognizant of it, nose hunger can drive us to make poor eating decisions. (Beware the freshly baked cookie stand!)

However, there’s one popular smell you encounter almost every time you pass the deli at the supermarket: Rotisserie chicken. And with this delicious food, you can let your nose win. Rotisserie chicken is just chicken. Sure, it’s been roasted on a spit for about two hours and the wonderful juices are distributed throughout the bird during every rotation. But it’s still rich in protein and essential vitamins, making it South Beach Diet-approved!

What makes a rotisserie chicken less healthy are sugar-based rubs, sauces or injections. Ask the deli staff how they prepare their chicken. Spices are okay. Lemon-pepper is okay. Barbecue sauce or butter-flavored injections are not.

Remove rotisserie chicken skin before enjoying and remember that three ounces of meat is one serving. That’s about the size of a deck of cards. Now, let’s put that delicious chicken to use!

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1. Chicken Salads

bowl of rotisserie chicken salad with arugula and lemon

There’s no wrong way to make chicken salad. And talk about a terrific make-ahead meal! Shredded rotisserie chicken makes it even easier to prepare in a snap.

If you’re a purist, you might just like mayo and chicken—and that’s just fine with us as long as you use olive oil-based mayo without any added sugars. You could also maintain that “purist” mentality and use an avocado instead of the mayo! The taste and texture is surprisingly similar but you might find the avocado adds even more of a buttery flavor (and serves up a plethora of vitamins and minerals like omega-3 fatty acids).

If you’re more adventurous, bring on the add-ins: Think celery, carrots, onions, buffalo sauce, pickles, apples, nuts… the sky is the limit! Watch out for dried fruit like raisins because of the high sugar content. And while bacon and cheese would be wonderful with onions, pickles and buffalo sauce, watch your portions. You don’t want to eat too many proteins or healthy fats in a serving.

2. Pizzas

cauliflower crust pizza

New on the low-carb diet scene? Then you may not know that pizza is back on the menu. Believe it or not, cauliflower, meat, cheese and almond flour can all be turned into low-carb pizza crust with a little TLC. You can even get creative by making a pizza boat with a hollowed out zucchini half!

So now that you can have pizza, calzones and Stromboli, why not make a Mexican pizza with rotisserie chicken, onions, peppers and queso? Try a Thai pizza with chicken, scallions, sugar-free duck sauce, peppers and bean sprouts. Make a calzone stuffed with shredded chicken, spinach and artichokes. Picture your favorite rotisserie chicken dish and recreate it on or in a crust!

Add some rotisserie chicken to these other crave-worthy, low-carb pizzas and calzones:

3. Power Bowls and Salads

rotisserie chicken salad with orange slices and greens

You frequently order a power bowl or fresh green salad at your favorite restaurant. Rotisserie chicken makes a great addition to both options!

When it comes to power bowls first, think about what flavors you’re going for. If you’re craving a Mexican-inspired bowl, grab onions, peppers, chili powder, cumin and avocado. If you’re craving Mediterranean, use this recipe as your guide. In general, cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash mixed with a little lettuce makes a great base. Next, add your veggies. Use at least three so you have a nice variety of flavors. Last, add the toppings like bean sprouts, cheese, fresh cilantro or even nuts. Use an olive-oil based dressing on top. Remember: one serving is 1 Tbsp.

If you’re craving a fresh salad, fill up a bowl with your favorite dark leafy greens. We love kale, spinach, arugula or romaine. You could even do a mix of all four! Throw on some shredded rotisserie chicken and a drizzle of homemade dressing. Again, use a serving of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice as a simple salad dressing. Apple cider vinegar can add a blast of low-calorie flavor! Finally, finish with some healthy toppings. Get inspired by these 10 salad toppings for more craveable creations! >

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4. Casseroles

chicken enchilada casserole

Nothing says comfort food quite like a casserole. They’re hot, cheesy, easy and hearty. While a low-carb menu will likely change your go-to casseroles, you can still enjoy cheese, veggies and a meat (like rotisserie chicken!) all wrapped up in a tasty package.

Try a chicken-broccoli-cheese or chicken-cheeseburger casserole. A good casserole rule of thumb is to remove excess moisture whenever possible—squeeze the wilted spinach dry. Don’t use frozen vegetables; thaw them first. Most casseroles can be made-ahead, refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for when company comes or a rainy day. Try our Zucchini Chicken Enchiladas recipe! >

5. Soups

tomato soup with chicken

Onions, celery, carrots, chicken broth. That’s the base for a dozen or more soups. All you need is rotisserie chicken and a friend. That “friend” could be anything from cauliflower rice or lentils to leeks and kale. It just depends on what you have on hand!

No matter what soup you pick, don’t add your rotisserie chicken early or it’ll dry out. Remember: the chicken is already cooked—it just needs to warm through.

Spending the day at home? Save the bones from your rotisserie chicken to make bone broth. Simply add the bones to a large pot, cover with water, add salt plus a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar (to break down the collagen in the bones). Cook for about 10 to 12 hours. Have a slow cooker? Set it overnight or before you leave for work.

Swap in or add rotisserie chicken to these terrific low-carb soup recipes:

6. Quiche and Frittatas

healthy frittata

You can even eat rotisserie chicken for breakfast! Try preparing a hearty quiche or frittata for a delicious way to start your day. A chicken and pepper jack quiche sounds delicious. Or how about chicken, mozzarella and black olives? Chicken, mushrooms and Swiss? Yum.

You can make a crust for your quiche out of thinly sliced sweet potatoes or make a dough out of whole wheat flour. We created this Quiche with Swiss Cheese and Fennel with a whole wheat flour crust that you can use with virtually every quiche you make. Try recreating the recipe with some shredded rotisserie chicken! Watching your carbs? You can forgo the crust entirely and make mini quiches in a muffin tin. Just use cupcake liners or grease the pan well before adding your filling.