Almost every Sunday, I meal prep. And, by that, I mean I purchase a roasted chicken. If I’m feeling really ambitious, I make one of my own by following this recipe that calls for dijon mustard and thyme. Bonus: When I roast a chicken at home, the aroma fill my kitchen and my food-obsessed Boston Terrier licks the air. (Like mother, like son).
Throughout the week, the rotisserie chicken makes its way into all kinds of recipes and dishes that I put together. It’s the protein-packed base I need for sandwiches, wraps, salads, burrito bowls, tacos and more.
Meal prepping with a rotisserie chicken also helps me stick to my budget. I usually score a rotisserie chicken for $6.50 and incorporate it into five to seven meals throughout the week. Plus I kick some to my dog, too, adding some to his bowl of kibble or serving it with some leftover veggies. (Side note: I like to think every time I bring home a rotisserie chicken, he imagines that I was out hunting and gathering for him).
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use a rotisserie chicken throughout the week:
1. On a salad
Rotisserie chicken goes great on a Cobb salad with boiled eggs, bacon and avocado, or it could star in a Thai chopped chicken salad with peanuts, papaya, garlic, carrots and cabbage. I make one of my favorite lunch-time salads with mixed greens, raspberries, strawberries, blue or Gorgonzola cheese and then some glazed pecans that I get from Trader Joe’s. Pear or apple slices also punch up this salad. I like my berry salad drizzled with a raspberry vinaigrette.
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Writing about how I meal prep: Step 1, make or buy a rotisserie chicken. That's it. Throughout the week I toss it in salads, wraps, burrito bowls, my dog's bowl … This salad has candied pecans from Trader Joes and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. 😍 #foodwriters #saladsofinstagram #saladgoals #berries🍓 #healthyeats #chicken
2. In a burrito bowl
Pre-cooked pouches or bags of brown rice are a lazy kitchen hack I swear by. They save a few minutes, plus a pan, and that way I can whip up a burrito bowl in just a couple of minutes when I want a quick lunch or dinner. I mix together rotisserie chicken, the rice, corn, black beans, and heat up the bowl before topping it with salsa, shredded cheese and half of an avocado sliced up. Then I just top it with a pinch of salt and it’s a super-filling lunch packed with a good mix of veggies, protein and the good fat from the avocado.
3. In a gumbo
During the winter, I usually like to make a soup or a chili that I can enjoy for lunch or before dinner. I’ll sometimes make a white bean chili with tomatillos, peppers and rotisserie chicken.
But one of my go-tos is a chicken gumbo. I am a fan of this 15-minute gumbo recipe from Weight Watchers, which is loaded with veggies. I sometimes toss in shrimp and chicken sausages as well if I’m making a big batch.
Oh, and just for good measure, here’s my dog devouring his rotisserie chicken!
What are your favorite tricks for staying on budget in the kitchen?