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How to Freeze Rotisserie Chicken: Step-by-Step Guide

Do you need help with how to freeze rotisserie chicken? Whether you have leftover rotisserie chicken or pick one up specifically for future meals, freezing is a great option. 

Freezing rotisserie chicken can save so much time and money by having pre-cooked chicken ready to use for quick meals whenever you need it. 

knife cutting into a rotisserie chicken

In this post, I’ll go through the steps to properly freeze rotisserie chicken for optimal taste and texture. Doing this properly extends the shelf life of the meat.

Purchase and Prepare the Rotisserie Chicken

Before you can freeze your rotisserie chicken, you’ll need to purchase and prepare it. Start by selecting a high-quality rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store or deli. My favorite is a Costco rotisserie chicken.

Make sure the chicken is fully cooked and still warm when you purchase it. You don’t want to mix raw chicken with cooked when freezing it. Most stores that sell cooked rotisserie chicken know what they’re doing, so you should be fine.

rotisserie chicken on a white plate

Once you bring it home, remove any packaging and discard all excess skin or bones. You can also shred or chop the chicken into smaller pieces if desired. 

By properly preparing the rotisserie chicken, you’ll ensure that it freezes well and keeps its yummy flavor and texture when thawed.

I’ve also frozen homemade rotisserie chicken as well as air fried chicken breasts, and the directions are the same. If the chicken is seasoned the way you like it, it’s a great way to have delicious flavor in every dish you put it in.

Let the Chicken Cool Completely

After bring home your rotisserie chicken, it’s important to let it completely cool before you freeze it. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria and make sure that the chicken stays fresh and safe to eat. 

Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour. Once it has cooled, you can move forward with the freezing preparation.

Remove the Meat from the Bones

To freeze rotisserie chicken, start by removing the meat from the bones. Do this by pulling the meat off with your hands or using a fork to separate it. Make sure to remove any skin or excess fat as well. 

cut and shredded chicken on a cutting board

Once the meat is separated, you can choose to leave it in larger pieces or shred it for easier use in future meals. Put the meat in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. 

Label the container with the date and contents, and then place it in the freezer. Now you have convenient, ready-to-use rotisserie chicken for future meals! 

Even though you’ll be using store-bought rotisserie chicken, the dishes you make are still yours. You can make a delicious meal or two … or three from a single chicken.

Portion the Chicken for Freezing

After removing the meat from the bones, it’s important to portion the chicken for freezing. This will make it easier to thaw and use in future meals. 

You can leave the meat in larger pieces if that’s what you want. But I recommend shredding or chopping the chicken into smaller portions. This will allow for more versatility in using the chicken in different recipes. 

I normally divide the entire rotisserie chicken as soon as I get it home. I save some of it for that night’s supper and freeze the rest.

Divide the chicken into individual or family-sized portions, depending on your needs. Since I’m just cooking for my husband and myself, I usually divide the chicken into small portions.

Place each portion in a separate freezer-safe container or bag. Make sure that they are sealed tightly to prevent freezer burn. 

Now you have perfectly portioned rotisserie chicken ready to be used whenever you need it!

Wrap and Label the Chicken for Freezing

After you have divided the rotisserie chicken into portions, it’s important to wrap and label it properly before placing it in the freezer. 

I use a Sharpie or whatever permanent market I have on hand. This will help you easily identify and use the chicken in the future. 

Start by wrapping each portion tightly in cling wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Then, place the wrapped portions in freezer-safe bags or containers. 

I always pick up plastic freezer bags when they go on sale. So next time I need to freeze something, I don’t have to take time out to run to the store.

Make sure to squeeze out any excess air before sealing the bags or containers to further prevent freezer burn. Or you can use a vacuum sealer if you have one.

Finally, don’t forget to label each bag or container with the date and contents. Use either or both the date you froze it and the expiration date.

This lets you know how long the chicken has been frozen and what it is when you go to use it. 

Now you can store your rotisserie chicken in the freezer, knowing that it will be easy to thaw and use in future meals.

How to Thaw Frozen Rotisserie Chicken

There are several ways to thaw frozen cooked chicken. If you have enough time, simply put it in the refrigerator for several hours. I like to do this a day ahead and leave it overnight. 

This thawing process is my favorite method because it delivers the best results. It’s also the best way to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken stays at a safe level.

Another way to thaw it is with the cold water method. Put the chicken in a plastic bag and then put it in a bowl of cold water. It should only take an hour or two to fully thaw.

The last way to thaw frozen chicken is to put it in the microwave and run it at 20% power for a couple of minutes. 

This is my least favorite way to thaw frozen rotisserie chicken because it often results in some of the chicken being cooked again, leaving it dry around the edges.

Always be aware of food safety when thawing rotisserie chicken. Instead of freezing a whole rotisserie chicken in one bag, 

I prefer dividing it into several servings and put each one in a ziplock bag. It’s a great way to have a quick meal without having to cook the chicken first.

Questions You May Have About Freezing Rotisserie Chicken

Even after you cut, divide, wrap, and freeze the chicken, you may still have some questions. Here are some common questions with answers.

How Long Does Frozen Rotisserie Chicken Last?

Rotisserie chicken should last up to 4 months if packaged carefully. So only purchase as much chicken as you know you and your family can eat in that amount of time.

Can You Freeze Leftovers of Dishes Made with Pre-Frozen Rotisserie Chicken?

Yes, you can freeze leftover meals made from rotisserie chicken. Some of the ingredients may have a different texture, but they are safe to eat.

Can You Freeze a Rotisserie Chicken on the Bone?

If you don’t have time or simply want to keep the whole chicken intact, you can freeze your rotisserie chicken while it still has the bones. However, please keep in mind that you’ll need a larger space in your freezer if you do this.

You’ll need to find a container or freezer bag big enough to accommodate the whole chicken (or parts if you separate them). Also make sure you get as much air out of the container as possible to prevent freezer burn.

It will also take more time to thaw the chicken if it’s frozen on the bone. Leaving it in the refrigerator overnight should be enough time.

Delicious Dishes to Cook with Rotisserie Chicken

All of these meals can be made with thawed rotisserie chicken, even if the recipe calls for starting with chicken parts or any type of raw chicken. All of these are easy meals made from chicken pieces you’ve frozen and thawed. 

Chicken and Gravy Over Mashed Potatoes – When you want a comfort food, pull out a few portions of frozen chicken and use it in this recipe. So delicious!

Chicken and gravy with a side of peas and carrots
Chicken and Gravy

Chicken Salad – I like to make a bowl of chicken salad for sandwiches or to put on crackers. It usually disappears quickly!

Chicken salad in a bowl
Chicken Salad

Chicken Pot Pie – This is a little bit different from most chicken pot pie recipes. It’s gluten-free and absolutely delicious! Even people who can eat gluten often prefer this recipe.

fork with a bite of chicken pot pie
Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Noodle Casserole – Here’s another comfort food that the family will love. I make this one often because it’s a favorite pasta dish at our house.

pan and plate of chicken noodle casserole
Chicken Noodle Casserole

Southern Chicken and Dumplings – This delicious southern staple from Back to My Southern Roots will warm the hearts and tummies of everyone at the table!

Improve Taste of Jar Alfredo Sauce – Add some chopped rotisserie chicken to this newly delicious jar Alfredo sauce, and everyone will think you’re the best cook in town!

Italian Chicken Casserole – Made with chicken, zucchini, and lots of delicious Italian flavors, this one-pan meal will be requested often.

Italian chicken zucchini casserole
Italian Chicken Zucchini Casserole

Chicken and Rice Casserole – This traditional casserole satisfies on so many levels. And it’s super easy to make!

chicken and rice casserole on a plate with steamed broccoli
Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken Creole – If you like cajun food, you’ll love this deliciously spicy dish!

plate with chicken creole, rice, and green beans
Chicken Creole and Rice

Rotisserie Chicken Saves Time

Next time you go to the grocery store, pick up a rotisserie chicken. Then take it home, prepare it, and put it in the freezer. That way, next time you need a quick meal, you’ll be able to cut meal prep in half.

Please feel free to share!