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Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell; Design: The Kitchn
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5 Quick Family Dinners That Start with Rotisserie Chicken

updated Mar 27, 2024
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Rotisserie chicken is a weeknight hero, riding in to save the day by helping you make quick work of dinner. The pre-cooked, pre-seasoned chicken can be added to soups, pastas, rice dishes, and more to create delicious, protein-based dinners with ease.

This snapshot will give you five quick chicken dinners that are guaranteed to become instant family favorites.

5 Snapshot Recipes That Start with Rotisserie Chicken

The chicken: Each recipe uses half of a rotisserie chicken (about 14 ounces), which equals 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded meat. Use one half for one recipe, then save the shredded meat for dinner #2 in an airtight container in the fridge. You can use any rotisserie chicken you like, whether it’s the budget-friendly Costco bird or an herb-roasted one from Whole Foods.

The remaining ingredients: Each of these recipes clock in at five ingredients, not including oil, salt, pepper, and optional garnishes. They’re primarily made with pantry staples like rice, pasta, and canned goods, so you’ll likely only need to pick up some greens and cheese to make them.

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell; Design: The Kitchn

One-Pot Coconut-Cilantro Rice with Chicken

Place 1 cup basmati rice, 1 cup water, and 1 (about 13-ounce) can coconut milk in a large saucepan. Season with salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to maintain an active simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and keep the heat low so the rice doesn’t burn.

During the last few minutes of cooking, stir in 2 cups trimmed snow peas. When the rice is ready, stir in 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken. Cook uncovered until warmed through, 2 minutes more. Divide between plates; top with 1/2 cup torn fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems. Serve with lime wedges, if desired. 

Get the full recipe: One-Pot Coconut-Cilantro Rice with Chicken

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell; Design: The Kitchn

French Bistro Salad with Rotisserie Chicken

Whisk 2 tablespoons each Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar in a large bowl. While whisking, drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil. Continue whisking until thick and emulsified. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 1/2 cups chopped asparagus, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and charred in spots, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken and cook until just warmed through, about 1 minute. 

Add chicken, cooked asparagus, and 1/2 cup chopped raw asparagus to the dressing and toss to combine. Add leaves from 2 heads butter lettuce, gently toss to combine. Grind fresh black pepper over top and serve immediately. 

Get the full recipe: French Bistro Salad with Rotisserie Chicken

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell; Design: The Kitchn

Chicken, Tomato, and White Bean Soup

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 thinly sliced shallot, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften but not brown, about 4 minutes. Pour in 1 (about 24-ounce) jar passata or tomato purée and 2 cups water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the raw tomato taste cooks off, about 10 minutes.

Stir in 1 bunch chopped kale leaves, 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed white beans, and 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded chicken. Cook until kale is just softened and beans are warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 

Get the full recipe: Chicken, Tomato, and White Bean Soup

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell; Design: The Kitchn

Baked Skillet Pasta with Chicken, Artichokes, and Lemon

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add 1 pound penne pasta and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Meanwhile, cut half of 1 medium lemon into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, then cut each round into 1/4-inch strips. Set remaining half aside. 

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add lemon strips and 1 (14-ounce) can drained, rinsed, and quartered artichokes hearts, spreading them around the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every minute, until beginning to brown in spots, about 5 minutes total.

When pasta is ready, reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, then drain the pasta. Add pasta, pasta water, 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken, and juice of remaining half lemon to skillet. Stir to combine. Top with 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese. Broil until artichokes are browned slightly and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, and 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves.

Get the full recipe: Baked Skillet Pasta with Chicken, Artichokes, and Lemon

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell; Design: The Kitchn

Cheesy Chicken and Orzo Pasta with Spinach 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 pound dried orzo, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring, until toasted, 1 minute. Add 4 cups water, season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until orzo is al dente and most of the water is absorbed, about 7 minutes. 

Reduce heat to medium and stir in 1 pint halved grape tomatoes, 4 cups baby spinach, 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded chicken, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted, chicken is warmed through, and cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. A creamy, cheesy sauce should have formed, but If it looks dry at any point, add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. 

Get the full recipe: One-Pot Creamy Chicken Orzo

This post originally ran on The Kitchn. See it there: 5 Quick Dinners That Start with Rotisserie Chicken