7 Brilliant Ways to Use Costco's Rotisserie Chicken

These Tender, Juicy Birds Are Our Dinnertime Cheat Code

Chicken Alfredo Pie

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Rotisserie chicken has become so commonplace as to often be overlooked and under-appreciated and that’s a shame! What other supermarket shortcut is as reliable in taste, texture, and availability? It doesn’t even require reheating—rotisserie chicken can be devoured straight from its plastic carrier in the front seat of your car. Of course, it can also be dressed up and turned into a more satisfying meal. I mean, look, you get a whole dang roast chicken without even having to turn on the oven! That's something to get excited about.

Maybe rotisserie chicken has always seemed suspiciously cheap (they’re less than $10 at most supermarkets, even less if you’ve got a Costco close by), or maybe you’ve shied away from the sometimes-sweaty bag they come in. But if you are a busy home cook, I must implore you: buy the rotisserie chicken. There are dozens of reasons to love these inexpensive, delicious, and always-juicy chickens and hundreds of ways to use them. Here are some of my favorite ways to make the most out of rotisserie chicken.

Make Meal Prep Magic

Roasting a whole chicken takes an hour or more and while most of that time is hands-off, on the busiest weekends you don’t have an extra 30 minutes to spare. Grabbing a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store means you can prepare meals for the week faster, including lunches for the office or school or longer-cooking weeknight meals, too.

Build a Better Lunch Box

No more tired turkey sandwiches! Instead grab a rotisserie chicken and you can make creamy chicken salad or prepare hearty chopped salads for midday meals. Homemade instant noodle cups are one of my family’s favorite quick lunches.

Turbo Charge Your Taco Tuesdays

Rotisserie chicken makes almost any Tuesday night dinner faster, not just tacos. I’m a big fan of using shredded breasts for tostadas or using a mix of light and dark meat for air-fryer or oven-baked taquitos. You can also use rotisserie chicken for quesadillas, nachos, and enchiladas.

Cook Up Casseroles Any Night of the Week

Speaking of enchiladas and other casseroles that call for cooked chicken, rotisserie chicken is my favorite to use for these. Already-cooked tender, juicy chicken makes weeknight chicken pot pie possible as well as classic chicken and rice or a comforting chicken and macaroni casserole that my kids love.

Simmer up Speedier Soups

One bonus to buying a rotisserie chicken is that once you pull all the meat from the bones, you can use the bones to make a pretty decent broth. I love the Instant Pot for this, but even a quick simmer on the stove with a carrot, celery rib, and quartered onion makes for a savory broth that can be used right away. I regularly buy rotisserie chicken to make my daughter’s favorite chicken noodle soup (using both the chicken breast and the bones for broth) as well as chicken chili, chicken tortilla soup, and avgolemono soup.

Pack in More Protein at Every Meal

If protein is a priority for you, consider the rotisserie your new favorite sidekick. You can hide it in breakfasts like quiche or egg cups or give it the spotlight in savory oats or congee,  then tuck it into a quick wrap or sandwich for lunch.

Get Your Kids (or Partner) Cooking

If you’re the primary cook in your house, rotisserie chicken is a wonderful tool for getting your partner or kids to cook. You can use some of the easy-to-cook meals already mentioned (my 11-year-old loves to make us nachos or chicken salad melts) or you can grab a rotisserie chicken and a few other shortcuts for no-recipe-needed meals anyone can fix. Some off-the-cuff ideas: barbecue chicken sandwiches, bagged caesar salad and tortillas for chicken ceasar wraps, hummus and a deli salad for quick mezze-style bowls, or bread, giardiniera, chicken, and cheese for pressed paninis.

Bonus Tip: Two Are Better Than One

My neighbor often buys two rotisserie chickens on her monthly Costco run, one for eating right away and another gets shredded, portioned, and stashed in the freezer for quick weeknight dinners in the future. You really should be buying one rotisserie chicken on every grocery run, not just to save time and money, but because a chicken that you didn’t have to roast and still tastes great is a dinnertime game changer.