Rotisserie chicken is a quick and easy mealtime favorite that’s available at most grocery stores.

These fresh-cooked, seasoned, whole chickens are inexpensive and ready to eat. They’re cooked on a rotisserie, which rotates inside a hot oven to ensure all sides are crisp and fully cooked.

A dinner of rotisserie chicken can be on the table within minutes. Many people also use rotisserie chicken as a shortcut for recipes that call for cooked chicken, such as soups, casseroles, and chicken salad.

However, you may be wondering if rotisserie chicken is a healthy choice.

This article reviews its nutrition and ingredients, along with the potential benefits and downsides of rotisserie chicken.

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Andrew Cebulka/Stocksy United

Rotisserie chicken is nutritious, high in protein, and a significant source of several important nutrients.

The table below summarizes the nutrition information for a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of rotisserie chicken, both white meat and dark meat portions, with and without skin (1, 2, 3, 4).

Thigh, skin eatenThigh, skin not eaten Breast, skin eatenBreast, skin not eaten
Calories192165149122
Protein18 grams21 grams22 grams24 grams
Fat12 grams9 grams7 grams3 grams
Carbs0 grams0 grams0 grams0 grams
Niacin30% of the Daily Value (DV)30% of the DV50% of the DV51% of the DV
Riboflavin15% of the DV15% of the DV9% of the DV9% of the DV
Vitamin B1218% of the DV15% of the DV11% of the DV10% of the DV
Phosphorus15% of the DV15% of the DV17% of the DV17% of the DV
Selenium33% of the DV36% of the DV35% of the DV36% of the DV
Zinc15% of the DV15% of the DV7% of the DV7% of the DV

The rotisserie chicken thigh with skin is the highest in calories and fat, while the breast with no skin is the leanest, with the fewest calories and the most protein.

Chicken is a rich source of several vitamins and minerals, notably niacin and selenium. It also contains high amounts of riboflavin, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and zinc and smaller amounts of several other nutrients.

Summary

The nutrient content of rotisserie chicken depends on which piece you choose and whether you eat the skin. However, the chicken is rich in protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Most people buy rotisserie chicken precooked from the grocery store. Although you may think rotisserie chicken would have only seasonings on it, some brands add surprising additives to their seasoning blends.

For example, the Freshness Guaranteed Garlic-Flavored Fully Cooked Rotisserie Chicken from Walmart contains maltodextrin, sodium phosphates, and natural flavor in addition to seasonings and spices like salt, onion, garlic, and paprika.

Additionally, many types of chickens — including rotisserie chickens — are marinated in phosphate or salt solutions that help preserve the meat and protect against bacterial growth (5).

If you have concerns about these additives, keep in mind that they’re present in only small amounts and you can likely avoid most of them by not eating the skin.

If you have a rotisserie oven, you can make your own rotisserie chicken and fully control the ingredients. Just make sure to buy a chicken that has no solution added if you’re concerned about this.

Summary

The seasoning blends used in many store-bought rotisserie chickens contain some additives. If you’re concerned about these, you can avoid most of them by not eating the skin.

Rotisserie chicken has many benefits aside from its nutrient content. It’s inexpensive, convenient, and healthier than similar options such as fried chicken.

Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is precooked, so it’s very convenient. It’s also inexpensive, with most rotisserie chickens costing anywhere from $5–$7 each.

Because it’s oven-roasted instead of fried or deep-fried, rotisserie chicken is much lower in calories and fat than equally convenient options such as fast-food or restaurant fried chicken. Therefore, rotisserie chicken is a much healthier choice.

Also, you can easily manage your calorie, fat, and protein intake by choosing either light or dark meat and choosing whether to eat the skin.

Summary

Rotisserie chicken is inexpensive, convenient, and much healthier than some similar alternatives, such as fast-food fried chicken.

Rotisserie chicken has few potential downsides, attributed mostly to certain ingredients found in some store-bought rotisserie chickens.

Some ingredients could potentially cause health issues if eaten in large amounts. For instance, some research suggests that a high intake of phosphate additives in the diet may contribute to bone loss (6).

However, chicken and other proteins are a much more significant source of phosphorus than these additives are (7).

Most people don’t need to be too concerned about their phosphorus intake. If you have chronic kidney disease, you may need to limit your phosphorus intake as directed by your kidney specialist (8).

Fortunately, most rotisserie chickens don’t contain large amounts of these additives, and you can avoid most of them by not eating the skin.

If you’re concerned about additives, you might choose to make your own rotisserie chicken so you’ll have full control over the ingredients used.

Summary

Some rotisserie chickens contain small amounts of questionable ingredients. You can avoid most of these by removing the skin or making your own rotisserie chicken at home.

Yes, rotisserie chicken is a healthy choice.

Chicken is rich in protein and nutrients, and store-bought rotisserie chickens provide a convenient and inexpensive alternative to less-healthy fast-food options.

If you’re concerned about the ingredients in the seasoning blends used on store-bought rotisserie chickens, you can choose not to eat the skin, or you can make your own rotisserie chicken at home.

If you want to avoid chicken that has been treated with preservative solutions before cooking, make sure to read the ingredient labels. That way you can decide whether to pick a rotisserie chicken from a different supplier.

However, most available rotisserie chickens are completely fine to consume as they are.

Summary

Overall, rotisserie chicken is a healthy choice. It’s rich in protein and nutrients and is an inexpensive, convenient alternative to less-healthy fast-food options.

Rotisserie chickens are a popular grocery store item for a quick and easy meal or a shortcut to make other chicken recipes.

They’re inexpensive and convenient, and because they’re oven-roasted, they’re much healthier than some other options, such as fast-food fried chicken.

If you have any concerns about the ingredients used in store-bought rotisserie chickens, you can avoid those ingredients by not eating the skin, by buying chicken from a different store, or by making your own rotisserie chicken at home.