Get ready for the knowledge bomb of the season when it comes to solving your dinnertime rush and what to make for dinner. It's roast chicken to the rescue, and here are four reasons it's the easiest dinner you'll ever make!

By Gigi Stewart, M.A.

Of course it takes a bit of time to roast a chicken, but after a few minutes of prep work, your job is done until it's time to eat. It's seriously easy. There are no fancy steps or prebrowning or post-waiting. Prep, roast, eat. That's it!

#2: You get more than one meal from a single roast chicken.

For an average family of four, a 3-4 pound chicken easily provides two meals. So for 20 minutes of active work in the kitchen, you knock out the healthy protein portion of two meals. You only need to add a couple of simple sides, and voila -- dinner is served!

If you want to cook your sides at the same time, try this recipe for Perfect Roast Chicken with Potatoes.

#3: Chicken is a super-affordable healthy protein.

Buying a whole chicken could be less than half the cost of buying precut parts, especially if you typically buy boneless and skinless chicken. The beauty of roasting a chicken is that the bones and skin help retain moisture and add flavor. Once roasted, you can peel away the skin if you don't eat it, and the meat will be so tender it comes right off the bones.

#4: Roast chicken is versatile!

Leftover roast chicken can be transformed into so many yummy, 20-minute meals! Here are a few favorites:

  • Tacos: Shred chicken, stuff in tortillas, and add your favorite toppings. This recipe for Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Roasted Onions is already spiced and ready for this tasty leftovers dish!
  • Chicken Salad: Chop chicken and mix with diced celery, chopped pecans, salt and pepper, and enough mayo to moisten.
  • Tortilla Soup: Shred chicken and combine with sauteed onions, a 14-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes, a 14-ounce can of black beans, a few cups of store-bought chicken stock, some ground cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Warm to nearly boiling, then ladle into a bowl lined with your favorite tortilla chips. Garnish with guacamole and sour cream.
  • Easy Chicken Enchiladas: Everyone will love this dish for the taste, and they'll never guess how easy it was to make! Grab the recipe here.
  • Pulled Chicken BBQ: Add shredded leftover chicken to a skillet with your favorite barbecue sauce and heat through. Serve as is with your favorite sides, or load up a bun for sandwiches! The sweetness of apple glaze on this roast chicken lends itself perfectly to barbecue leftovers.
  • Italian Chicken Pasta Salad: Combine chopped chicken with cooked, cooled pasta and add a mixture of diced roasted red pepper, sliced olives, diced tomatoes, fresh basil, and diced mozzarella. Drizzle with your favorite Italian dressing, or better yet, whisk up a good olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing yourself.

Still looking for tasty ideas? Check out all seven seasoning options for this basic Roast Chicken recipe!


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