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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
This is one of those chicken salad recipes where everything but the kitchen sink goes it. But it is worth the effort.
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
- Mustard (Dijon, German, Yellow, etc.)
- Fried Bacon Pieces
- Garlic powder or onion powder
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.
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.
Refrigerated biscuits are rolled out and stuffed with chicken mixture; then canned enchilada sauce gets poured right over top before baking. Serve with corn.
A perfect summer dinner or holiday appetizer, veggie pizza gets jazzed up with canned chicken and Ranch dressing.
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!
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.
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.
The crunch comes from a combination of water chestnuts, slivered almonds and potato chips. Using canned chicken breast is a real time saver.
Cashews in a casserole? Salty cashews compliment chicken in this vintage casserole. My kids love the added crunch.
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.
Chunks of cornbread get mixed with chicken and cream soup for pretty much the tastiest meal ever.
Pasta Recipes with Canned Chicken
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.
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.
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.
Soup Recipes Using Canned Chicken
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.
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.
Chicken Corn Chowder is yet another fix it or forget it recipe that will feed a crowd.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.