A close up of a turkey on a plate

Is Rotisserie Chicken a Good Idea?

Is the go-to dinner grab a quality nourishing meal idea?
After listening to a podcast about how rotisserie chicken is inflation-proof and prices for rotisserie chicken have stayed stable compared to lots of recent food price rises, I started thinking about the quality of the rotisserie chicken. Costco has kept their chickens to $4.99 and sell millions of birds a year. Other big box stores have followed.

According to the podcast, rotisserie chickens are considered a ‘lost leader’ at the grocery store, meaning that grocers are sometimes losing money on this product to get you in the store, assuming you’ll buy other higher-priced products during the same trip. It has stayed cost effective.

But is it REALLY a good quality nourishing dinner idea?

Being honest, and before looking into the nutrition detail, I would have said YES! Pick up that chicken and bagged salad! Because I was comparing it to other less nourishing dinners including fast food and takeout. Since the rise of the chicken in the ’80s, rotisserie chicken has been a quick and easy mealtime favorite for lots of American working families. It is whole food. And it’s tasty.

Since the chicken has white meat, dark meat and the skin, depending on WHAT part of the chicken you eat, the dinner’s nutrition detail will be different.

A table with the numbers of different body parts.

The Pros:
The chicken breast without skin has the most protein and fewest calories (122/3). The thigh with skin has the most fat and calories (192/12). The breast gives you the most protein (3 ounce serving-24g). Chicken is a great source of some B vitamins and a decent about of minerals-esp selenium. Not too shabby for a quick dinner choice.

The Cons:
It is possible that the seasoning on rotisserie chickens has some additives, especially MSG, which causes drowsiness and digestive distress and more. Be mindful to look at the label and ingredient details. Buying organic ensures that the feed the chickens are fed is better than non-organic, which is better for our bodies. The chickens may not be ‘happy’ chickens. Super Easy + Very Fast Lunch or Dinners with Rotisserie Chicken.

Absolute Speediest
Open a bagged salad (discard dressing), top with chopped rotisserie chicken and add 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil and 2 to 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, salt and fresh cracked pepper. It’s quick, easy and always delicious.

Grab-and-Go Lunch
Chicken Wrap (use burritos and or GF almond flour or casava flour wraps) 1 wrap Chicken ½ avocado spread and or mayo 1 handful of arugula (or other green) 1 roasted red pepper (from the jar) Add ingredients and wrap tightly. Enjoy.

Big Salad or Bowl
Chicken Avocado Red onion Cucumber Romaine Tomato Kalamata olives 1 big scoop of garbanzo beans Chopped basil (can add or sub brown rice or quinoa) Put all ingredients in a bowl. Top with your favorite vinaigrette. Enjoy.

Five-minute Tacos
Chicken Salsa verde Green chilis (in the can) 1 slice red onion, slivered or 2 scallions, chopped 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped Thinly sliced purple cabbage Organic corn tortillas or other gf tortillas, headed in a dry pan Toppers: avocado/guac and squeezed lime to finish Combine chicken, salsa, green chilis, chopped red onion, cilantro. Fill tacos and add toppers to taste. Enjoy.

White Chili
Chicken-a couple of chopped handfuls White beans-1/2 can, drained and rinsed 1 medium onion, chopped 2 boxes of organic chicken broth Handful of chopped cilantro ½ cup organic corn, optional ½ tsp cumin ½ tsp oregano Juice of 1 lime Simmer for 20 min. Combine all ingredients. Add toppers: avocado slices, squeezed lime. Done. Yummy.

Final Word:
Yes, pick up the rotisserie chicken and try to buy the organic version. Serve it with vegetables—either the bagged salad, cut up raw veggies, or roasted veggies. After looking at the details, it’s still a solid family dinner option. Save the leftovers, if there are leftovers, and use them as part of lunch or dinner the next day.

For more healthy tips and recipes, visit healthynestnutrition.com/blog/. Need a hand finding your personalized nutrition plan? Book a free 20-minute consultation with Healthy Nest Nutrition owner Robin Hutchinson to see if our programs are right for you.