Recipes Using Canned Chicken Breast – What to Do with Canned Chicken

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Knowing how to use canned chicken can save you time in the kitchen. Take a look at these recipes that use canned chicken as a main ingredient.

What's so special about Chicken Crunch Casserole? Diced chicken and soft egg noodles are combined with water chestnuts, almonds and celery.  Topped with crushed potato chips, this chicken water chestnut casserole is a perfect option to serve the whole family. 

Recipes Using Canned Chicken Breast

Canned chicken tops our list of go-to ingredients when we need to get a meal on the table quickly or didn’t plan ahead to pull something from the freezer before work. From salads to soups to sandwiches, you can use canned chicken in almost any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.

Substitute canned chicken breast into any recipe that calls for diced, cooked chicken. One 12 ounce can of chicken breast is approximately 1 1/2 cups, so you may need more than one can of chicken breast depending on how much the recipe calls for.

Kirkland Canned Chicken (Costco Brand)

Let’s face it, sometimes when it comes to cooking, we need convenience. And sometimes, we need cheap staples. There’s no reason to sugar-coat it, it’s just the way it is. One of the most versatile ingredients that fits both bills is canned chicken breast. I often buy a large quantity of Kirkland canned chicken from Costco.

Canned chicken breast takes out the step of cooking the chicken which is a huge time saver. For most recipes, be sure to drain off the excess liquid from the chicken before adding to a recipe.

We keep multiple cans of chicken in our pantry to have on hand when we need a quick meal or even snack – our 3-ingredient chicken salad made a great snack with crackers. Check out all of our pantry essentials on our Amazon Store (we do earn on qualifying purchases).

Our version of homemade Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole (with egg noodles) is without canned soup, sour cream and cream. Instead, the cheesy sauce is made from milk, chicken broth and shredded Parmesan. This Chicken Tetrazzini with homemade sauce is just like Grandma might make back in her day.

Is canned chicken cooked?

Yes, as a rule of thumb, any food that comes in a can is already cooked. During the canning process, foods are subjected to a high temperature to kill microorganisms. This makes canned foods safe to eat and also cooks the foods at the same time.  Essentially, you could eat any canned foods straight out of the cans cold, and they would be safe to eat.

Should you cook canned chicken breast?

Canned chicken breast is already cooked, meaning it can be eaten straight from the can. However, it is the perfect ingredient in cooked dishes such as casseroles and soups.

What does canned chicken taste like?

Canned chicken breast has the texture and taste of poached chicken. It’s moist and has a pretty bland flavor, since it’s only seasoned with salt.  This makes it a good base to add to recipes.

This classic chicken noodle casserole with a crunchy potato chip topping will take you right back to your childhood.  Easy Chicken Noodle Casserole with Potato Chips is quick and simple, and your family will give it two thumbs up.

What can I make with canned chicken?

Almost any recipe or dish that calls for cooked chicken can be made using canned chicken. Below we are sharing links to a variety of recipes that either already feature canned chicken OR that can easily be made with it instead of poached, rotisserie or roasted chicken.

What can I substitute for canned chicken breast?

Most cans of chicken breast contain 12 ounces which would be the equivalent of 1 1/2 cups of diced or shredded chicken, Substitute leftover grilled chicken, poached chicken, or rotisserie chicken.

Grandma Betty's Chicken Salad Recipe in my opinion is the best Chicken Salad ever!  With green grapes and pineapple for sweetness and celery and slivered almonds for crunchiness, you'll jazz up a rotisserie chicken in the most delicious way possible.

Chicken Salad Recipes with Canned Chicken

Chicken salad is a great option for a quick lunch or even afternoon snack. We love putting together a bowl of chicken salad to use for our workday lunches. The first two recipes below call specifically for chicken in a can and the third can easily be adapted to use it too.

3 Ingredient Chicken Salad

Can of white chicken, Mayonnaise with olive oil and hard boiled eggs is all it takes for a quick meal. I love it on a simple bun, croissants or served with crackers.

This 3 Ingredient Chicken Salad is a great option for an easy workday lunch to fix as a sandwich or put on crackers. You will not be able to stop eating this simple salad with canned chicken, hard boiled eggs and mayonnaise.

Lemon Chicken Salad (Low Carb)

Fresh lemon juice shines through for this low carb favorite.  Instead of mayo or Miracle whip, olive oil is used as the base of the simple dressing. No bread required!

Sometimes eating healthier really is easy, like with this 5-Minute Low Carb Lemon Chicken Salad which is perfect served on your favorite type of lettuce. By using canned chicken, you can whip this dish up in no time.

Fancy Chicken Salad

This is one of those chicken salad recipes where everything but the kitchen sink goes it. But it is worth the effort.

This Fancy Chicken Salad is extra special with a touch of crunch from pecans, sweet pickles and celery and a hint of sweetness from canned cherries.  The ingredients are surprising, and the flavor is delicious. 

What do you put in a chicken salad?

Chicken salad is one of the most versatile meals around; you can practically put anything but the kitchen sink in it.  Look in your refrigerator and pantry and be creative.  Start with a base to make it creamy, and then pick your add-ins.  Love a sweet bite? Try some fruit or dried fruit.  Like a tang?  Mustard is a great way to add a little bite.  Check out our list of ideas below.

  • Mayonnaise, Miracle Whip or Greek yogurt
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Chopped Celery
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Peas
  • Mustard (Dijon, German, Yellow, etc.)
  • Fried Bacon Pieces
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Garlic powder or onion powder
Sometimes eating healthier really is easy, like with this Low Carb Chicken Salad (no mayo).  This Lemon Chicken Salad with Canned Chicken Recipe only takes 5 minute to prepare, and is perfect served on your favorite type of lettuce. By using canned chicken, you can whip this dish up in no time.

Canned Chicken Recipes with Crescent Rolls

Canned, refrigerated crescent rolls or biscuits are a great ingredient to use “outside the box.”  You can essentially roll out the dough, and stuff it with almost anything. Another option would be to roll out the crescent dough into one big sheet or purchase crescent roll dough sheets to use as a crust for appetizers or even pizza.

Check out our favorite combinations of refrigerated biscuits and canned chicken breast.

Chicken Crescent Bake

This recipe never gets old. Stuff refrigerated crescent rolls with a mixture of drained, canned chicken and cheese, and them make a simple sauce with cream of chicken and milk. The crescents puff up during baking. Serve with something green like green beans or a simple salad.

Chicken Crescent Bake is a casserole that can be made using canned chicken or leftover shredded chicken.

Chicken Enchilada Bake

Refrigerated biscuits are rolled out and stuffed with chicken mixture; then canned enchilada sauce gets poured right over top before baking. Serve with corn.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Biscuit Bake is the perfect dinner for a busy weeknight. Chicken, black beans and cheese are stuffed into canned, refrigerated biscuits and then baked in a combination of enchilada sauce and cream of chicken soup. The result will have your family licking their plates and begging for more.

Ranch Chicken Veggie Pizza

A perfect summer dinner or holiday appetizer, veggie pizza gets jazzed up with canned chicken and Ranch dressing.

Adding grilled chicken turns the classic cream cheese vegetable bars with a crescent roll crust into this delicious Chicken Ranch Vegetable Pizza.

Canned Chicken Casserole Recipes

Casseroles are a perfect way to use this go-to ingredient! Below are a few of our favorites…although our go-to casserole is still our Mom’s Tuna Casserole using canned tuna!

Grandma’s Chicken and Rice Casserole

Old fashioned casseroles are tried and true, and this chicken and rice casserole is a prime example. Grandma outdid herself when she created this recipe.

Grandma's Chicken and Rice Casserole is one of those dishes the entire family will eat. This casserole is a perfect way to take leftover chicken, rice - and even hard-boiled eggs - and turn them into a whole new dish.

Easy Chicken Noodle Casserole with Potato Chips

Our favorite old school recipe. Similar to tuna casserole, this chicken casserole gets topped with potato chips before baking. This classic is a staple on tables across the United States.

This classic chicken noodle casserole with a crunchy potato chip topping will take you right back to your childhood.  Easy Chicken Noodle Casserole with Potato Chips is quick and simple, and your family will give it two thumbs up.

Chicken Crunch Casserole

The crunch comes from a combination of water chestnuts, slivered almonds and potato chips. Using canned chicken breast is a real time saver.

What's special about Chicken Crunch Casserole? The crunchy texture comes from water chestnuts, almonds and celery and a topping of crushed potato chips.

Cashew Chicken Casserole

Cashews in a casserole? Salty cashews compliment chicken in this vintage casserole. My kids love the added crunch.

Cashew Chicken Casserole is a humble recipe with great flavor and texture. Fresh lemon juice perks up the flavor while cashews bring a bit of crunch.  Save that leftover chicken, and turn it into your next meal with this easy recipe.

Chicken Ole Casserole

Chicken Ole Casserole has a tasty sauce made with canned green chilies, sour cream and cream of chicken soup. This one is great to make for hungry families.

Chicken Ole Casserole (with cream of chicken soup) is a wide egg noodles and chicken casserole with the perfect amount of spice.  This easy chicken casserole recipes for dinner is a winner with the whole family. 

Crock Pot Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

Chunks of cornbread get mixed with chicken and cream soup for pretty much the tastiest meal ever.

Be prepared to add Crockpot Chicken Cornbread Stuffing Casserole to your regular rotation of dinners.  It tastes like the best of Thanksgiving dinner wrapped up into one easy meal. I promise your family will lick their plates clean and beg for more!

Pasta Recipes with Canned Chicken

10 Minute Lemon Chicken Pasta

Lemon chicken pasta is a 10 minute dinner. It’s tasty sauce is a combination of fresh lemon juice, heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese. The canned chicken keeps cooking time short, pretty much just the time it takes to cook spaghetti. Add peas for a well-balanced meal.

This 10-Minute Easy Lemon Chicken Pasta is the perfect weeknight meal. By using canned chicken, leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken, this meal an be on the table in just minutes.

Impossible Chicken Parmesan Pie

Impossible Chicken Parm Pie has all the flavors of lasagna with the cooking process consisting of magic. Bisquick is the star of this recipe making its own crust.

Impossible Chicken Parmesan Pie is impossibly easy to throw together for a quick weeknight meal.  Three layers of cheesy goodness combine to form a pizza pie that the whole family will love. 

Chicken Bowtie Pasta Salad

Chicken Bow tie Pasta is the perfect for a hot summer day.  Using fresh peppers and tomatoes compliments the canned chicken. Plus, the dressing is simple, being made with Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese.

Served warm or cold, this Chicken Bow-Tie Pasta Salad is easy to double or triple for a crowd. With fresh vegetables and chunks of chicken, it is perfect to make ahead and enjoy all week long.

Soup Recipes Using Canned Chicken

Creamy Chicken Chili

Creamy chicken chili is packed with flavor from onions, chicken broth, green chilis, cumin, corn, garlic, cayenne, cilantro and cream cheese. All these flavors jazz up simple canned chicken.

Creamy Chicken Chili is a versatile recipe that can be made on the stove top or in the Crock Pot.

Crock Pot Chicken Chili

Crock pot chicken chili packs a punch of heat from salsa and Monterrey Jack cheese. It’s quick to make, and uses pantry staples such as canned beans.

This Easy Crock Pot Chicken Chili is made with four ingredients and can be customized to fit your family's tastes, including how much heat is preferred.

Crock Pot Chicken Corn Chowder

Chicken Corn Chowder is yet another fix it or forget it recipe that will feed a crowd.

This Crock Pot Chicken Corn Chowder is made using ingredients that most of us on hand in our pantry and is a dish your entire family will love.

Mom’s Wild Rice and Broccoli Soup

Mom’s Wild Rice Soup is a creamy soup from the past. I love the bits of broccoli and carrots. Plus, this recipe uses an Uncle Ben’s wild rice mix to speed things up.

If you need an easy dinner option, give Mom's Wild Rice and Broccoli Soup a try. It is full of flavor and quick to put together for a family-pleasing meal.

Chicken Velvet Soup 

Chicken Velvet Soup is smooth soup that became famous at LS Ayres.  It’s a basic soup that will warm you up. Serve it along side a sandwich or salad.

Chicken Velvet Soup is a creamy, easy soup recipe with Rotisserie Chicken.  This vintage recipe comes from the LS Ayres Tea Room back in the day.  A bite of this hot soup is the perfect touch to a cool day.

Old Fashioned Chicken Recipes

Here are some more great chicken recipes you can try that you could easily swap in canned chicken breast for cooked chicken in the ingredients. Remember that one 12 ounce can of chicken breast is approximately 1 1/2 cups!

Crust-less Chicken Pot Pie

Crustless Chicken Pot Pie is a hearty meal to warm you up on a cold winter night. You’ll walk away from the table feeling warm and content from a full belly.

Debbie's Chicken Goop is a crustless chicken pot pie stew that gets served along side of biscuits. It's a hearty chicken dinner that will become a requested staple in your house.

Homemade Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini is a blast from the past. The homemade sauce is easy to make and perfectly coats wide egg noodles. The crunchy bread crumb topping is a homerun.

Our version of homemade Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole is without canned soup, sour cream and cream.  Instead, the cheesy sauce is made from milk, chicken broth, and shredded Parmesan.  I guess you could say this is just like Grandma would make back in her day.

Pin This Post for Later

This post is a great resources of all things chicken so be sure to save if for later so you can come back when you need inspiration!

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What can I do with a can of white chicken?

Aside from using it in a thousand different recipes, you can also use a can of white chicken in simple yet delicious ways.

  • Mix the drained chicken with ranch dressing and bacon bits.
  • Serve over top of any salad including a Caesar salad.
  • Make chicken salad.
  • Season with salt and pepper, or any other seasoning blends.  Serve with crackers.
  • Make a rice bowl by serving over cooked white or brown rice. Add your favorite cooked veggies.
  • Use the drained chicken in a wrap with cheese and veggies.
  • Take a fresh tomato and fresh basil; top with shredded chicken, salt and pepper.
  • Lettuce wraps are simple when you add canned chicken.
  • Add it to your favorite chili recipe.  Be sure to add lots of beans.
  • Make nachos by adding shredded chicken to the top of tortilla chips with melted cheese, beans, corn, olives, or avocado and any other nacho ingredient.
  • Combine softened cream cheese, canned chicken and Buffalo sauce for a simple buffalo chicken dip.

Chicken Ole Casserole is a chicken casserole recipe with green chilies, egg noodles, chicken, cream of chicken soup, and shredded cheese. This easy chicken casserole recipe has the perfect amount of spice to be a winner with the whole family.

More Chicken Recipes

Chicken is such a versatile protein and we love using fresh bone-in chicken in recipes too. Our 4-ingredient baked chicken legs are so simple to make but are always a hit with the kids.

4-Ingredient Chicken Legs

Need a quick and easy way to make your family happy? These 4-Ingredient Baked Chicken Legs are extremely easy to make and turn out tender and juicy every time.

Hawaiian Glazed Chicken 

Hawaiian Glazed Chicken is an easy oven-baked recipe using minimal ingredients.  Use this sweet, sticky sauce on chicken wings or legs for a family-pleasing meal. 

Spanish Chicken and Rice

Spanish Chicken and Rice is a new spin on classic baked chicken and rice casserole.  This new and improved version contains peppers and tomatoes and is seasoned up with chili powder for some mild spice.  This one dish dinner will be a new favorite in your weeknight rotation.

“Fried” Chicken in the Crock Pot

Do you love fried chicken but hate making it? Try our Crock Pot Mock Fried Chicken for all of the taste but none of the mess!

Aunt Peggy’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Aunt Peggy's Chicken Noodle Soup is a from-scratch recipe that starts with a whole chicken. The flavors are authentic and old fashioned, and it's certainly good for your soul on a cold winter day.

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