Homemade vs. Takeaway BBQ Chicken

Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2019
Written by Live Life Get Active
Category: Nutrition

Did you know

That 1 serving size of a family takeaway BBQ chicken meal can have:

  • nearly DOUBLE the amount of the average Australian’s DAILY Kilojoule allowance
  • 6 times the amount of your DAILY limit of salt
  • up to 20 teaspoons of added sugar

Just in one meal!

It may feel as though your family is eating a wholesome meal when you buy a BBQ chicken with roast vegies, peas and gravy. However, the truth is, most takeaway outlets coat their chicken, vegies, chips and gravy with a tonne of sugar, vegetable oils (unhealthy fats) and chemicals!

For a truly wholesome meal, you don’t want the ingredients list to look like a science experiment! You want to use whole and fresh foods, herbs and spices that are delicious and nourishing.

So, What’s the Difference?

Check out the difference between one serving of our ‘Family One Pot Chicken Meal’ vs one serving of Red Rooster’s ‘Wholesome Family Meal’ which has a whole BBQ chicken, chips, peas, gravy and corn cobs.


When trying to lose or maintain weight a meal should be around 2000kj.

Red Roosters meal:  15,380kj          Our chicken meal: 2,190kj

The verdict: The kilojoule allowance for an average Australian ins 8,700kj. The Red Rooster serving has nearly double that! All the added fats and sugars, plus the large serving size, account for this extremely large amount of energy!


For weight maintenance, muscle maintenance and to keep you full between meals, a meal should have at least 20g protein. 

Red Rooster meal:  241.4g               Our chicken meal: 55g

The Verdict: Lean chicken is a great source of protein. However, we don’t need such a large portion size. One serving size of meat should be about the size of your palm.


For weight maintenance and lower risk of heart disease, fat should be kept under 20g per meal (remember the quality of fat is just as important as the quantity).

Red Rooster meal:  145g                  Our chicken meal: 19.5g

The Verdict: The Red Rooster meal has over the 7 times the amount of recommended fat per meal. Plus, these fats come from unhealthy, highly processed vegetable oils!

The fat from our meal comes purely from the natural juices in the chicken, plus the small amount of olive oil used. Our potatoes have been cooked with the natural fats from the chicken rather than deep fried in unhealthy vegetable oils!


For weight management, lower risk of diabetes, stable energy levels and good mood, one meal should have less than 10g of added sugar.

Red Rooster meal:  79.8g                 Our chicken meal: 0.2g

The Verdict: There are 20 teaspoons of added sugar in the Red Rooster serving! Takeaway outlets add sugar to almost everything including all seasonings for chicken, vegies and chips and in the gravy. A meal like this does not require any added sugar as you get beautiful flavours from fresh ingredients. 


To keep your blood pressure stable and lower your risk of chronic disease, salt, or sodium should be less than 500mg per meal and less than 2,000mg per day

Red Rooster meal:  11,801mg                       Our chicken meal: 200mg

The Verdict: The red rooster meal has 23 times the amount of the recommended meal allowance and 6 times the amount of the daily limit. This is far too much salt for your body. Again, fresh foods and herbs create their own beautiful flavours.

Weekly Recipe

Check out this week’s wholesome one pot chicken meal for the family for a healthy and delicious alternative to take away BBQ chicken meals.

Serves: 6 Time: 90mins (prep 10mins, cooking 1 hour) Cost: $15.50 approx. ($2.58/serve)


  • 1 whole chicken (1.6 – 1.8kg)
  • 500g baby potatoes, whole
  • 4 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups peas
  • 6 garlic cloves, skins removed
  • 5 fresh rosemary twigs
  • ½ cup chicken stock – salt reduced
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1-2 TBSP cornflour
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200oC (fan forced).
  2. Pat dry chicken with a paper towel.
  3. Drizzle about 1 TBSP oil and ¼ tsp salt on pepper on one side of chicken.
  4. Heat a pot on medium to high heat and cook the side of the chicken covered in oil for a couple of minutes until skin is brown.
  5. Drizzle about 1 TBSP oil and ¼ tsp salt & pepper on the other side of the chicken that’s facing up in the pot.
  6. Flip chicken and brown the other side for a couple of minutes.
  7. Turn off heat, add chopped carrots, onion, whole garlic cloves, potatoes, chicken stock, rosemary and vinegar to the pot.
  8. Cook for 50mins (you can cook for an extra half an hour for an extra succulent chicken). Add peas, cook for further 10mins.
  9. Remove chicken from oven, for gravy: strain the juices from the pot into a small saucepan, add to a low heat and stir in 1-2 TBSP cornflour until gravy thickens.


Live Life Get Active is building a fitter, healthier and happier Australia and we want people to have fun along the way. With the help of Local Government and Corporate Australia we provide FREE health, fitness and nutritional education both online and in the parks, suburbs and cities of Australia.