15 Canned Chicken Recipes

Affordable, delicious, convenient, and easy to stack and store, canned chicken is a staple in my pantry. As a high protein, gluten-free, low-calorie snack, canned chicken is a guilt-free meat treat. Low in fat, a 2-ounce serving of canned chicken provides 15 grams of protein and 100 calories. And when it comes to nutrition, canned chicken is comparable to fresh-cooked because the protein is not reduced in the canning process. 

Moist and flavorful, canned chicken is skinless, boneless, 100 percent natural, and ready to eat right out of the can. It’s great served either hot in a noodle bowl or cold with crackers. With a texture similar to canned chunk albacore tuna, canned chicken is ideal for wraps, dips, sandwiches, and salads.

Making many of my family’s favorite chicken dishes from scratch takes a lot of time and effort. From savory and spicy chicken taco soup to cool and refreshing chilled chicken salad, pre-cooked, canned chicken cuts meal prep time by half. These easy-to-make canned chicken recipes eliminate many of the time-consuming, tedious steps and produce savory snacks or delicious dinner options.

Creamy Canned Chicken, Pecan, And Spinach Enchiladas

Quick and easy-to-make, these spicy chicken enchiladas smothered in a creamy cheese sauce, are sure to become a favorite potluck, grab-and-go dish for any casual friend or family get-together. This recipe serves six.


  • Three 5-ounce cans of boneless canned chicken, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 sweet white onion, finely minced
  • 1 medium clove fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup diced sweet red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • diced canned green chilies, drained (two 4-ounce cans, either mild or hot)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil 
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 12 large flour tortillas


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Saute pecans, onions, bell peppers, celery, onion, and garlic until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add the green chilies, canned chicken, spices, and spinach. Toss gently to combine ingredients. 
  4. Spoon the mixture into tortillas. Roll up, placing seam-side down in a 2-quart glass baking dish. 
  5. Combine cream cheese, milk, sour cream, and one can of the green chilies in a blender. Mix well. 
  6. Pour mixture over tortillas and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. 
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  
  8. Remove foil from the baking dish and sprinkle the enchiladas with grated pepper jack cheese. 
  9. Return enchiladas to the oven uncovered and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and starts to brown.
  10. Serve immediately, complemented by a side salad of fresh spring greens or seasonal fruit. 

Fast And Flavorful Chicken Cheesy Quesadillas

chicken quesadilla
Raduz / Pexels


  • Two 3-ounce cans of solid white chicken meat, drained
  • 1/2 cup mild, medium, or hot green salsa
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2-ounce can of diced green chilies
  • 8 large corn tortillas
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil


  1. In a small bowl, blend one-quarter cup of the green salsa, cheese, green chilies, and drained canned chicken. 
  2. To prepare four quesadillas, layer four tortillas with equal portions of the chicken mixture and top them with another tortilla.
  3. Preheat a heavy bottom cast iron skillet.
  4. Using 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per quesadilla, cook each quesadilla, uncovered, over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until the tortilla is thoroughly heated and both sides are golden brown.
  5. Cut quesadillas in wedges and serve garnished with a generous dollop of sour cream, fresh diced tomatoes, the remaining green salsa, and a sprinkle of minced fresh cilantro. 

Chicken And Bacon Bagels

chicken and bacon bagel
Christian Kaindl / Unsplash

Great for brunch or to pack for a picnic, the filling for these nutritious and easy to make bagel sandwiches can be made in advance and refrigerated. This recipe serves six.


  • 6 multiseed bagels, split
  • Two 3-ounce cans of canned chicken, drained 
  • 1/2 cup of dehydrated bacon crumbles
  • 3 finely chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 unpeeled cucumber, thinly sliced


  1. In a medium-size bowl, toss canned chicken, bacon, green onion, celery, black olives, garlic salt, parsley, yogurt, and mayonnaise.
  2. Spread the savory mixture on the bottom half of a bagel, top with cucumber slices, and cover with the top half of the bagel. 

Sweet And Savory Macadamia Nut, Grape, Chicken Salad Roll-ups

A stellar choice for picnics or parties, this quick and easy chicken salad can be tossed together on short notice, then rolled in sweet and crunchy lettuce leaves for ease of serving.

Related Post: 15 Of The Healthiest Meats You Should Add To Your Diet

With a generous amount of macadamia nuts and canned chicken for protein, celery for crunch, grapes for freshness and flavor, and a touch of honey for sweetness, this savory salad is sure to please every palate.


  • 2 cups table grapes
  • 12 ounces of canned chicken
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup organic honey
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of chopped macadamia nuts
  • Bibb lettuce leaves


  1. Rinse Bibb lettuce, blot dry with a paper towel, and set aside.
  2. Rinse grapes, remove from stems, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Cut grapes in half lengthways.
  4. Toss sliced grapes, chicken, onion, lemon juice, honey, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and walnuts together in a large bowl and blend gently.
  5. Chill thoroughly.
  6. Ladle a generous scoop of salad mixture on a lettuce leaf and roll-up.
  7. Present lettuce roll-ups seam side down, on a prechilled salad plate garnished with sprigs of fresh rosemary and basil leaves.

Zesty Barbeque Chicken Sandwiches


  • 12 ounces of canned chicken
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 sandwich buns


  1. Place canned chicken, diced onion, barbeque sauce, and seasonings in a glass bowl. Mix well.
  2. Microwave the mixture for a minute, stir, and microwave again for another 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated.
  3. Top toasted sandwich buns with chicken mixture and shredded lettuce. Serve hot.

More Canned Chicken Recipes

When it comes to creative ways of incorporating canned chicken into your family’s meal plans, use canned chicken for most any recipe that calls for boneless baked or broiled chicken meat as a primary ingredient.

Canned chicken is typically packed with little or no additional seasoning, so use your imagination and culinary preferences to adapt canned chicken to your favorite cook-from-scratch poultry recipes. For more yummy canned chicken recipes, check out some of our favorites.

Chicken Artichoke Dip

Simple and easy to prepare, Chicken Artichoke Dip is a tasty treat served hot or cold.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

buffalo chicken dip
Image courtesy of The Crumby Kitchen

For a dip with a little more heat, consider this buffalo-style cheesy chicken dip.

Ultimate Chicken Pot Pie And Chicken Stew

Turn canned chicken into the Ultimate Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken Stew. Dinner guests will love these classic comfort foods.

Persian Chicken Stew

For a delightful new taste twist with pomegranate and exotic spices, try Persian Chicken Stew substituting canned chicken for its fresh counterpart. 

Chicken Cakes And Remoulade Sauce

chicken cakes and remoulade sauce
Image courtesy of Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen

For the poultry version of crab cakes, check out this recipe for chicken cakes with remoulade sauce. They work as a main entree or would be a great appetizer for a larger meal.

Cold Chicken Salad

Fabulous flavor and creamy texture make Hawaiian Chicken Salad and Tortellini Chicken Salad perfect choices for a light summer luncheon.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Skillet

cheesy chicken pasta skillet
Image courtesy of Inside BruCrew Life

For a warm and hearty dish for cold days, consider this cheesy chicken pasta skillet. It will feed the whole family and canned chicken makes it an easy weeknight dinner.

Quick And Easy Chicken Flautas

Chicken flautas are easy to make and come together in under a half-hour. Customize these with pepper jack cheese or diced jalapenos to add some more heat if you like it spicy.

4-Can Mexican Chicken Casserole

4 can mexican chicken casserole
Image courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

If you’ve got a big stockpile of canned foods on your hands, consider this recipe for Mexican chicken casserole. It utilizes canned chicken, canned corn, canned taco sauce, and canned green chilies, making it an easy dish that clears out your pantry at the same time.

Thai Chicken Salad

Canned chicken, coleslaw mix, and soy sauce come together to make this flavorful salad that’s low in calories and carbs.


Written by Marlene Affeld

β€œA passionate writer for more than 30 years, Marlene Affeld writes of her love of nature and all things natural. Specializing in Eco-Travel, Science, Environmental Health, Conservation, The Beauty of Nature, Sustainability, Green Issues, and Wildlife, Affeld’s passion for the environment inspires her to write informative articles to assist others in living a green lifestyle.”

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