Adulting is hard and making nutritious meals isn’t always our top priority due to time and money. Luckily, store-bought rotisserie chicken can help with both of those problems. Not only is it cheap (about $7), it saves time because you don’t have to cook anything. You do have to hack it apart, but you don’t necessarily have to make it pretty when you are cooking for yourself, so no advanced knife skills are required.


Photo courtesy of @cowboychickenlincoln on Instagram

Making a homemade roast chicken may be a feat some want to conquer, but for college students it isn’t something we have the time or the resources for. The grocery store makes creating a healthy meal easy by providing a warm, freshly roasted chicken on the daily for anyone to buy. If you already bought said rotisserie chicken and don’t know what to do with it, let me lead the way.

1. Add it to pasta to give yourself a break from meatballs


Photo by Parisa Soraya

Compared to the classic proteins people usually put in pasta (meatballs or sausage), roasted chicken is definitely a healthier and quicker option. Instead of having to sear the meatballs then let them sit in the sauce, all you have to do is cut up some chicken and throw it in. My personal favorite pasta dish to add rotisserie chicken to is pesto pasta. The juicy chicken gets coated in the pesto and it adds a different texture and flavor to the dish.

2. Mix it into a salad for some extra protein


Photo by AmiLin McClure

For non-vegetarians like myself, oftentimes a salad without meat is not substantial enough. If you are having the same problem, buy a rotisserie chicken and use it to bulk up your salad. Add a little bit or a lot, but either way you can get multiple meals out of one chicken, so you save a lot of money. Rotisserie chicken would fit seamlessly in a chicken fajita salad (pictured above). Instead of using up your time cooking the chicken, you can focus on making the other parts of the salad even more delicious.

3. Wrap it up with some veggies for lunch on the go


Photo by Morgan Willie

Everyone loves a good wrap and rotisserie chicken is the perfect main ingredient to wrap up. The chicken is juicy, but it is not going to make your wrap soggy. While you are running out the door, it only takes a few minutes to put together. Start with the chicken on the bottom, then I like to add lettuce followed by my favorite salad dressing. It is filling, healthy, and simple. What more could you want? Check out these wraps made by some of your favorite rappers if you need more inspiration. The rotisserie chicken would go great in Wiz Khalifa’s Tikka Masala Wrap, pictured above.

4. Make homemade chicken salad in half the time


Photo by Ashleigh De Simone

There are a lot of different variations on chicken salad, but I think everyone has a different opinion on how it should be made. Some people like shredded chicken, others like big chunks. Some do not like a lot of mayonnaise and others put the whole bottle in there. If you know you like it a certain way, why not make it yourself? If you do not know how to make it yourself, check out these recipes. The recipes range from the classic chicken salad to curry chicken salad, so the possibilities are endless.

5. Make a BBQ sandwich without the smoker


Photo by Sarah Silbiger

It is hard to make a barbecue sandwich that rivals the ones from the best barbecue joints in America, but if you are looking for a quick barbecue fix, turn to your rotisserie chicken. All you have to do is chop some up and mix it with your favorite barbecue sauce. From there, grab the hamburger buns you have laying around and add whatever toppings you like. The traditional topping would be fresh cole slaw, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

6. Serve it up with potatoes and veggies for a quick week night dinner


Photo by Elise DeVoe

Let’s be honest, no one has the time to make everything homemade every night. Save yourself some time and just cook up some quick sides to make yourself a balanced meal. You can make a balanced meal by incorporating a protein, vegetable, and a starch. Feel free to take inspiration from the first meal I had in Italy (pictured above), they know what they are doing.

#SpoonTip: To make the process even faster, use microwavable potatoes and frozen veggies.

7. Add it to Ramen or Mac and Cheese to make it more substantial


Photo by Kirby Barth

Ramen and mac and cheese are the staples of every college diet, but if you are eating that for every meal, you are probably look for ways to switch it up. Ramen already comes flavored like chicken, so you might as well add some actual chicken to feel a little bit better about what you are eating. I recently discovered adding chicken to mac and cheese and it adds a whole other dimension. The chicken gets coated in the sauce and it is the perfect compliment to the noodles. If you want to know some other ways to add more substance to your ramen, check out this article.