Easy dinner recipes: Rotisserie chicken comes to the rescue

It's Friday. When you're looking to keep dinner simple, you can't go wrong with store-bought rotisserie or roasted chicken. Check out these suggestions.

Mixed greens with chicken, goat cheese and pecans: Sometimes you can't get any simpler than a salad for dinner. Take some greens, add a little of this or that, and get creative. You can pick up a few ingredients, like a roast or rotisserie chicken, from the store, or find ways to use the leftovers in the fridge. For a quick dinner salad that's saved me on many a weeknight, I've tossed together chicken, goat cheese, pecans, olives, red onions and spinach drizzled with a quick sherry vinaigrette.


Chicken, chorizo and green chile hash: When you're looking for a dinner idea with a little more substance, but still want to put food on the table fast, you can't go wrong with hash. It's one-pan comfort food -- simple and no fuss. For this recipe, bring some rotisserie chicken from the store on your way home (or use those leftovers) and cook it up with some cubed potatoes, crumbled chorizo and roasted green chiles. You can put dinner on the table in less than an hour.

Roasted chicken curry sandwich: It's a perfect use for rotisserie or leftover chicken. Shred the meat and toss it in a bowl along with celery, yogurt, sour cream, tangy lemon juice and curry spice for a quick salad. Stuff the chicken into a halved pita and your meal is ready in minutes.

You can find the recipes below.

For more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at


Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 8

1 cup pecans
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 prepared rotisserie chicken, warm or at room temperature
9 cups loosely packed spinach
6 cups arugula
3 cups torn dandelion greens
1/2 red onion, sliced lengthwise into very thin strips
1 cup brined olives, such as nicoise or kalamata
1/3 cup capers
1/2 pound fresh goat cheese

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the pecans with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 10 to 14 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.

2. While the nuts are toasting, prepare the dressing: In a medium bowl, place the remaining one-half cup oil. Whisk in the sherry vinegar, then the mustard. Whisk in the thyme, oregano, one-half teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Taste and adjust as desired. This makes about 1 cup vinaigrette.

3. Remove the legs and breasts from the chicken. Chop the chicken into coarse cubes and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, arugula and dandelion greens. Toss in the red onion, olives and capers, then dress with one-half cup of dressing. Toss the salad, adding additional dressing as desired. Toss in the cubed chicken.

5. Divide the salad between 4 plates. Crumble the goat cheese in large chunks over the salads, then sprinkle over the pecans. Serve immediately.

Each of 8 servings: 469 calories; 30 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 37 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 81 mg. cholesterol; 697 mg. sodium.


Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 6

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pound Mexican chorizo, squeezed from casing and crumbled
1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chopped roasted green chiles
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 green onions, chopped

1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and chicken, and cook until the chicken is almost warmed through, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.

2. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the potatoes, cover and cook without stirring until browned and beginning to crisp around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the chiles, stirring them into the potatoes, then re-cover and cook until the potatoes are well browned, about 4 minutes longer. Stir the chicken and chorizo mixture into the skillet, then drizzle over the cream, paprika and oregano. Stir to combine, scraping up any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped green onions and serve.

Each serving: 611 calories; 46 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 39 grams fat; 16 grams saturated fat; 164 mg. cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 934 mg. sodium.


Active work and total preparation time: 15 minutes | Serves 1 to 2

Note: You can also serve this as a salad over a bed of greens; add diced fruit or toasted nuts to the chicken mixture for different texture and flavor.

1 3/4 cups shredded roasted chicken
2 tablespoons minced celery
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/8 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt, pepper
1 pita bread
4 leaves red leaf lettuce

1. Place the chicken and celery in a mixing bowl.

2. Mix together the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, curry powder and cumin in a small bowl, then add to the chicken and celery. Stir well, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Cut the pita in half to form two pockets. Line each pocket with 2 lettuce leaves. Spoon the chicken mixture into the pita halves, dividing evenly.

Each of 2 servings: 420 calories; 418 mg sodium; 110 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 41 grams protein; 1.51 grams fiber.