If you’re like me, you’re always looking for easy weeknight dinner options. I love to cook, but not on weeknights. Between wrangling a toddler, a job, and all the stuff in between, weeknight dinners have to be fast, easy, and healthy.
Chicken is a dinner staple, but making it from scratch is time-consuming and messy and it doesn’t always turn out very good. In the bleary-eyed weeks after having a baby, I remember thinking “there must be a better way to have a fast, healthy, and easy weeknight dinner without all the hassle.”
Well, my friends, there is: the answer is store-bought rotisserie chicken. It is moist and delicious and perfectly cooked every time without the mess. You can find it for around six bucks at Costco and a few other grocery stores.
“But I can’t eat rotisserie chicken every week” you say. Of course, rotisserie chicken on its own every night would probably get boring. But you can turn a simple rotisserie chicken into dozens of different meals in under 30 minutes.
Here are three of my family’s favorites:
- Chicken Caesar Salad – Slice up the chicken breasts and make a salad with the best Caesar dressing. This dressing is made with hard-boiled egg yolk instead of raw, so it’s safe for kiddos and pregnant mamas alike. Skip the cheese and croutons for a healthier option. If you get your lettuce off the salad bar or in a clam shell, you don’t have to chop it!
- Chicken Fajitas – Pull apart the meat. Sautee a sliced onion and red/green bell peppers with some of this easy taco seasoning (make a big batch and store in a mason jar and you won’t have to worry about preservatives and sodium in the store-bought packets). After your veggies are cooked, add the chicken to the pan and toss it all together. Serve with fajita fixins’ like lettuce (salad bar! no chopping!), avocado, shredded cheese, salsa and tortillas. If you’ve got extra time and want to get fancy, empty a can or two of black beans into a saucepan, add one or two whole garlic cloves and a few stems of fresh cilantro and let it simmer while you’re preparing everything else.
- Rainbow Bowls – Pull apart or slice the meat. Make a pot of quinoa (you can do this ahead). Put a big serving of quinoa in your bowl and add whatever your heart desires—and that you have in your refrigerator. Random veggies? Roast ‘em and throw ‘em in the bowl! Leftover salad greens? Great, chop ‘em up and throw ‘em in! Add chicken and top with whatever you like: a scoop of hummos, sliced avocado, salsa, hot sauce, barbeque sauce… the sky is the limit. If your bowls are too small or your husband doesn’t consider this a real meal (speaking from experience), put it all on a plate and add more chicken. This doubles as a great take-to-work lunch, since it’s yummy hot or cold. You can also make it more appealing to the younger crowd in your house by offering veggies and toppings they like and letting them assemble their own bowls.
So there you have it. Three easy weeknight dinner options all using a rotisserie chicken. They’re so delicious you’ll forget you’re eating a store-bought rotisserie chicken again.
Do you have creative ways of serving rotisserie chicken? Tell us about them!