Easy 30-Minute Dinners That Start With Rotisserie Chicken

Chef John's Cashew Chicken
Photo: Chef John

Did you know lots of us don't plan what's for dinner until we're on our way home from work? Thank goodness for ready-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. You can make a meal of it just the way it is, or you can turn it into any number of speedy dinners that don't require you to prep and cook the main ingredient. I've rounded up 14 quick and easy dinner recipes that start with rotisserie chicken — you simply add a little of this and customize it with that, and dinner's done in 30 minutes or even faster. Just think of all the time you'll free up for all those things you'd rather be doing.

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Cheater's Chicken Chili

You'll need only one pot to make this speedy chili with chicken, sautéed onion, salsa, black beans, and chili powder. Serve over rice and top with extras like sour cream or plain yogurt, green onions, shredded cheese, lime wedges, cilantro, and tortilla strips.

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Steve's Roasted Chicken Soft Tacos

Shredded rotisserie chicken gets a quick flavor boost from chili powder and cayenne pepper to make a zesty filler for soft tortillas. Put out bowls of toppers like pico de gallo, shredded cheese, lettuce, and sour cream so everyone can customize their own.

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Chicken, Tomato, and Spinach Quesadillas

Most reviewers went rogue with this easy recipe and skipped the step where you melt the cheese on the tortilla in the oven and went straight to the part where you stuff the tortilla and brown it in a skillet. It worked for them!

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Chicken Newburg

Chicken in a rich, lemony sauce flavored with tarragon and sherry, and served over toast. Diced avocado adds another level of creamy goodness to this comfort food meal.

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Angela's Oriental Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken, carrots, and bok choy turn a package of ramen noodles into a quick and nourishing meal for four, and a dash of sesame oil gives it an extra boost of Asian flavor.

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Crabless Chicken Cakes

chicken patty

Everything you love about crab cakes but with chicken. "Recipe was outstanding!" says Casey. "I used leftover rotisserie chicken and substituted Dijon mustard for tarter sauce to give it a little flavor." Amydoll squeezed lemon all over hers before serving.

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Cheesy Chicken Rolls

Chicken and cheese are rolled up in crescent roll dough and baked in an easy Cheddar cheese sauce, because sometimes you just need dinner to be this easy and comforting.

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Ranch Chicken Tacos

It's the spiced up ranch dressing that makes these easy chicken tacos stand out. "Very good! We used green chili instead of regular salsa, flour tortillas, and excluded the onions (because I forgot). My husband loved the ranch sauce and so did I," says SunnyV.

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Fabulous Fajitas

Sautéed onions, peppers, mushrooms, and chicken get a flavor boost from Italian seasoning (or you can use fajita seasoning for a more authentic taste). Serve in warm tortillas with all your favorite fixings.

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Sweet and Sour Chicken II

This take-out copycat features crunchy water chestnuts, celery, bell peppers, and chicken in a homemade sweet and sour pineapple sauce. "Delicious and easy to make. I left out the celery and used one green and one red pepper. It looked and tasted great," says Madcow68

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Chicken Pesto Pizza

chicken pesto pizza close up with fresh basil

Talk about quick and easy! A prebaked pizza shell, prepared pesto sauce, leftover chicken, and a jar of artichoke hearts get smothered in cheese and baked until hot and bubbly. You can add mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, or anything else your pizza-loving heart desires.

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Cha Cha's White Chicken Chili


As written, this 5-star white bean chili comes in on the spicy side — cut back on the jalapeños or just use mild green chilis if you need to calm things down. Top with onions, sour cream cheese, cilantro, or whatever else you like on your chili.

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Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Photo by SunnyDaysNora.

Sautéed onion, carrots, and celery give this top-rated soup a made-from-scratch flavor, while the rotisserie chicken and store-bought chicken broth make it possible to have a hearty soup on the table in 30 minutes.

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Chef John's Cashew Chicken

Chef John's Cashew Chicken
Chef John

Chef John starts his recipe with leftover grilled chicken, but you could certainly substitute leftover rotisserie chicken in this spicy Asian-style recipe. Some like it hot, but if that's not you, just cut back on the hot red chile pepper.

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Rotisserie Chicken Tortilla Soup

Rotisserie Chicken Tortilla Soup
Rotisserie Chicken Tortilla Soup. Tammy Lynn

A terrific quick dinner for chilly nights, this tasty tortilla soup combines chicken, broth, black beans, canned corn, and salsa in a pot. Add tortilla strips and cilantro at the end.

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More Ways to Use Up Leftover Rotisserie Chicken

Chicken Enchiladas II
Photo by Dianne.
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