Is Rotisserie Chicken Healthy?

You want to keep to your diet, but wonder, is rotisserie chicken healthy? This deliciously tender and juicy chicken sits tantalizingly near the checkout stands at most grocery stores begging you to take it home. It smells so good but you want to stay healthy. Should you pick one up for dinner tonight? The answer is, yes!   

healthy rotisserie chicken

What is Rotisserie Chicken?  

These whole chickens are seasoned and ready-to-eat meals that you can buy at the grocery store. They cook on a spinning arm (rotisserie) in an oven while they roast to perfect tenderness. 

This chicken is relatively inexpensive and you can eat them whole for dinner or tear them into pieces and use them in casseroles, soup, salads, and many other dishes. They are also delicious when homemade as well if you have the equipment to do so. The question is, is rotisserie chicken healthy?

Rotisserie Chicken Ingredients  

There are a few additives and preservatives in the spice mixture rubbed on rotisserie chicken, but overall, it’s not nearly as much as buying premade chicken in the freezer section of the grocery store or from a restaurant. 

The ingredients include sodium phosphate, maltodextrin, “natural flavors”, herbs and spices. 

You can always buy a rotisserie spit and cook it at home if you don’t want to eat the additives and preservatives but in the grand scheme of things, it may be worth it for a quick, easy, and delicious meal. 

is rotisserie chicken healthy?

Nutrition of Rotisserie Chicken

Chicken is high in protein, nutrients, and vitamins. Here is a chart with more information on the calories, protein, and fat, for chicken thighs and breasts at 3 ounces (85 grams) (1).

Thigh, with skinThigh, skinless Breast, with skinBreast, skinless 
Calories192165149122
Protein18 grams21 grams22 grams24 grams
Fat12 grams9 grams7 grams3 grams

Other Healthy Benefits

Chicken is high in protein, but that’s not all. It contains many vitamins and minerals that help you stay healthy. 

The nutrients include niacin, selenium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, phosphorus, zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin A, Pantothenic acid, Phosphorus, Vitamin B6, potassium, zinc, Vitamin C, and magnesium.

Other benefits of eating rotisserie chicken are that it’s baked, not fried, lower in fat and calories than other meats, and healthier if you don’t eat the skin.   

It’s great for weight loss, bodybuilding, and diabetics as well as heart-healthy.  

whole rotisserie chicken on a wooden platter

What to Watch Out For

While rotisserie chicken has some great health benefits, you should watch out for the sodium content. Depending on how it’s prepared, it can contain up to 35% of the daily recommended value. 

Chicken is often injected with a saline solution by the sellers to make the chicken moister, heavier, and plumper so they can make more money on cost per pound. The label will tell you if it has been injected with a saline mixture.  

This is especially important if you have high blood pressure.

How to Serve Rotisserie Chicken

Once you get the rotisserie chicken home from the grocery store, you may wonder how to serve it. While you can always tear it from the bone and serve it with a side of rolls, there are so many other ways to prepare it. 

You can serve it with some healthy sides like roasted or steamed vegetables, soup, mashed potatoes, cornbread, white crusty bread, rice, couscous, fruit salad, or a crunchy green salad. 

Leftover rotisserie chicken can be used in healthy dishes like chicken salad and other meals. 

Here are some ideas on how to use the chicken in other dishes to get you started: 

 11 Rotisserie Chicken Recipes to Get Dinner on the Table ASAP 

pilaf salad in a brown bowl with chicken

Where Can I Buy Rotisserie Chicken?  

Most grocery stores and supermarkets sell rotisserie chicken in the deli or near the checkout stands. Just follow your nose and you’ll find them. Some places that typically sell them are: 

  • Walmart
  • Publix 
  • Albertsons
  • Whole Foods 
  • Sprouts 
  • Costco
  • Sam’s Club 
  • Kroger 

How to Store Cooked Rotisserie Chicken

Once the chicken is cooked, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container or bag in the refrigerator for up to five days. Be sure to eat it cold or heat it up to 165°F to avoid the temperature danger zone of 40° – 140°F. 

You can also freeze the chicken in an airtight container for up to three months. This is great to pull out and use in other dishes when you need to throw together a quick meal. Be sure to label the container so you remember what you’ve saved later.  

chicken on a plate next to a glass of wine

Yes, It’s Healthy!

So is rotisserie chicken actually healthy? The answer is, yes! It is high in protein and nutrients and low in fat (if you stay away from the skin), just watch out for the sodium and adjust accordingly. You can buy it at your local grocery store and serve it with rolls, salads, soups, or rice. 

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