Planning quick, healthy meals can be a major challenge for busy families. It seems as though the biggest struggle is finding a protein food that is ready within minutes. Rotisserie chicken is the perfect solution to your mealtime dilemma. No need for defrosting and cooking.
Stop by your Hy-Vee Kitchen on the way home from work for a hot, fresh chicken right off the rotisserie. When you get home, separate the meat from the bones while the chicken is still warm. Discard the skin to remove excess fat, then chop the meat into bite-sized pieces.
Here are 10 quick and easy meal ideas using rotisserie chicken:
1. Asian chicken salad. Make a cheaper, healthier version of this restaurant salad with a bag of coleslaw mix, fresh cilantro, red bell pepper, mandarin oranges, slivered almonds and shredded rotisserie chicken. Top with Kraft Light Asian Toasted Sesame dressing.
2. Go Greek. Stuff a whole grain pita pocket with green leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, shredded rotisserie chicken and a drizzle of Greek vinaigrette dressing.
3. Pasta primavera. Heat up a healthy sauce of spinach, broccoli, carrots, red bell peppers, light Alfredo sauce and chopped rotisserie chicken. Serve over whole grain pasta.
4. Mix up Mexican. Build a chicken taco salad with lettuce, chopped rotisserie chicken, shredded cheese, black bean and corn salsa, and sliced avocado. Serve with Food Should Taste Good multigrain tortilla chips.
5. (Semi-)Homemade chicken noodle soup. Fool your family with this soul-warming fall soup. Fill your crockpot with chopped rotisserie chicken, celery, carrots, onion, one carton of low-sodium chicken stock, two cups water, a bay leaf and a teaspoon of thyme. When you get home from work, stir in half a bag of Healthy Harvest whole wheat egg noodles. Twenty minutes later, you will be able to savor a warm bowl of (semi-) homemade soup.
6. Uncomplicated casserole. Mix together chopped rotisserie chicken, cooked brown rice and steamed broccoli. Top with shredded cheese.
7. Barbecue sandwich. Top a whole grain hamburger bun with a mixture of warm, shredded rotisserie chicken and your favorite barbecue sauce. Fill the other half of your plate with fruits and veggies.
8. Pot pie. Mix together chopped rotisserie chicken, one can 98 percent fat-free cream of celery soup, one bag of frozen mixed veggies and 1/2 cup water. Pour mixture into pie pan and top with one ready-to-use refrigerated pie crust. Seal and flute edge. Cut slits in crust to allow steam to escape. Bake for 40 minutes in 400-degree oven or until golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
9. Fruity chicken salad. Mix together chopped rotisserie chicken, chopped celery, dried cranberries, slivered almonds and light mayonnaise. Serve on whole grain bread with lettuce leaves.
10. Quick comfort food. Mix up a packet of reduced-sodium gravy mix to pour over rotisserie chicken and mashed potatoes. Serve with a side of your favorite steamed veggies.
Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the Marshall Hy-Vee Food Store.