Is Rotisserie Chicken Good for You? 5 Ways to Make It Healthier

Plus, "The Dish" crew tackles 99 ways to use rotisserie chicken.

By Melanie Haid
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Use This Rotisserie Chicken Buying Guide the Next Time You Go to the Grocery Store (2:56)

Grabbing a rotisserie chicken is an easy way to feed a family for dinner without putting in much work, but is rotisserie chicken good for you? Typically, quick and cheap mealtime solutions seem too good to be true, and at under $10 per bird, there are lots of questions surrounding this dinner staple.

To find out more, "The Dish" crew devoted this week’s episode to the popular grocery store bird.  They served up 99 ways to use rotisserie chicken, including keto buffalo chicken dip and pasta pie, and broke down some of your most pressing questions about rotisserie. There may be endless ways to use chicken in recipes, but is it healthy enough that you’d want to?

Is Rotisserie Chicken Healthy?

Dr. Oz says rotisserie chicken is actually relatively healthy, if you aim for the plainest one on the shelf — aka not dressed up in added spices or flavorings. Chicken is very high in protein and contains B vitamins like B6 and niacin, which give you energy that helps build lean muscle

Make sure to always read the label of the chicken you’re buying. Most store-bought birds are highly seasoned, unless of course you opt for the unseasoned version. Don’t buy rotisserie chickens that contain things like MSG, yeast extract, and the ever miscellaneous “flavorings” label. The skin found on rotisserie chickens can often be high in sodium and saturated fat, which are also found on the nutrition labels. If consumed too frequently or at high rates, this can have a negative effect on your health, including raising your cholesterol. Avoid or cut down on eating the skin when you have rotisserie chicken.

Here are a few more ways to make rotisserie chicken healthier:

Aim for White Meat

Supermarket rotisserie chicken contains both white and dark meat. Dark meat is typically higher in fat. Choose white meat in the breast of the chicken for the healthiest option. 

Is it Organic?

More ethically treated chicken isn’t guaranteed to taste better, but it does mean that the chicken lived a better life and was likely not raised with antibiotics. For the healthiest chicken, try to avoid any additives, including antibiotics. If you can’t pronounce something when you’re looking at the nutrition label, chances are it’s a preservative or additive that makes the chicken less healthy. If the label includes names like bromelain, ficin, monosodium glutamate or papin, try looking for a USDA-certified organic bird instead. 

Add to It Later

One way to make chicken healthy and better for you is to eat it with other food packed with vitamins and nutrients. Cut up your rotisserie chicken and add it to a soup, or dice it into smaller pieces and add it into a power bowl filled with rice, lettuce and other greens.

Watch Portion Size

The American Heart Association recommends eating 6 ounces of protein a day total, and half of a chicken breast typically contains 3 ounces of protein already. While chicken is good for you, anything in excess is not beneficial.

Ways to Eat Rotisserie Chicken

If you’re aiming to keep out the unhealthy sugars but are craving something savory, try Jamika Pessoa’s Keto Buffalo Chicken Dip. Using the chicken you got from the store, mix in ingredients like hot sauce, sour cream, cheese, and lemon. For an even better way to keep this delicious diet food Keto, swap out the bread and dunk vegetables into this dip.

Pasta can also be a great focus for your chicken dish that will make it anything but boring. Daphne Oz makes this chicken, mushroom, and kale pasta, topped off with delectable flavors including lemon zest, onions, and garlic.

If you want to take this one step further, Gail Simmons turned Daphne’s pasta recipe into a whole new form: pasta pie. By adding egg, milk, and cheese to this recipe and placing it into a springform pan to bake, you’ve got a whole other medium to enjoy this chicken dish.  

As "The Dish" crew demonstrated, rotisserie chicken is extremely versatile. For more inspiration, find additional ways to use it here

Related:

Fight Your Cold With The Oz Family’s Chicken Soup 

How to Read Store Chicken Labels 

How to Pick the Best Chicken When Shopping 

Article written by Melanie Haid