Top 12 Recipes for Canned Chicken

Chicken Salad Sandwich
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Canned chicken is a staple you should always keep on hand for quick family lunches and dinners. A can of chicken can be a lifesaver on a busy day. Add chopped canned chicken to your favorite pasta salad or baked macaroni and cheese, or sprinkle chunks over a tossed green salad. 

Canned chicken is an excellent choice if you are concerned about food safety or if you just don't like handling fresh raw chicken. Many started using canned chicken back in the 1980s when food professionals started focusing on the food poisoning risk of mishandled or under cooked raw chicken.

It is also a great product to use when it's hot outside and you just can't stand the thought of heating up the kitchen by cooking chicken. You can, of course, substitute cooked and shredded or cubed chicken for the canned chicken in these recipes. The precooked packaged chicken strips found in the refrigerator section of the market are excellent options as well, and they can be frozen for future use.

Choose a dark and light meat chicken combination if possible. It's cheaper and offers more flavor than the milder chicken breast meat. And feel free to substitute your own favorite ingredients to suit your family's tastes.

If you are unable to get to the store or have a super tight schedule, these recipes will come to the rescue.

  • 01 of 12

    Grilled Chicken and Apple Sandwiches

    chicken sandwich
    Andrew Cebulka/Stocksy United

    This sandwich filling can be a lifesaver for those hungry kids after school. The chopped apple and Swiss cheese add a unique flavor that's sure to please. The sandwiches are also wonderful served with a simple soup for a hearty lunch or dinner.

  • 02 of 12

    Easy Tuna or Chicken Carbonara

    Shenghung Lin Photos / Getty Images

    Canned chicken, tuna, or salmon add protein and flavor to this deliciously easy spaghetti dish. Cooked bacon adds the traditional pork flavor while the canned chicken—or other protein—makes it a satisfying main dish. Add a tossed salad and some garlic bread or crusty Italian bread for a fabulous family dinner.

  • 03 of 12

    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    Homemade Buffalo Chicken Dip
    bhofack2 / Getty Images

    Serve this spicy dip to friends and family and be prepared for recipe requests. The combination of ingredients typically found in Buffalo wings—hot wing sauce, blue cheese, and chicken—makes for a fantastic dip. Serve the dip with celery sticks, crackers, or sturdy chips.

  • 04 of 12

    Chicken Fried Rice

    chicken fried rice
    Jowena Chua/Moment/Getty Images

    If you need a last-minute meal, this quick dish is the perfect solution! Colorful vegetables from a frozen stir-fry mixture pair with the chicken for amazing flavor, and it's a snap to fix with canned or cooked chicken, a few eggs, and some cold cooked rice

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Buffalo Chicken Roll Ups

    buffalo chicken tortilla roll ups
    Leah Maroney

    These party-ready tortilla roll-ups are a tasty way to enjoy Buffalo chicken flavors. A combination of cream cheese, blue cheese, hot sauce, scallions, and canned or rotisserie chicken make up the filling. Just spread the mixture over the tortillas, roll them up, and slice into bite-sized appetizers!

  • 06 of 12

    Ziti Chicken Casserole

    Ziti chicken casserole in a dish.
    LauriPatterson / Getty Images

    This casserole is true, basic comfort food made with canned chicken, pasta, cheese, and a can of condensed soup. If you like, add some thawed and drained frozen vegetables to add color and more nutrition.

  • 07 of 12

    Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

    chicken pasta and pesto salad
    Linda Larsen

    A dressing of pesto, yogurt, and mayonnaise livens this chicken and pasta salad up with vibrant green color and rich basil and garlic flavor. It's a hearty, satisfying salad, packed with fresh vegetables, cheese, and chicken.

  • 08 of 12

    Chicken Waldorf Sandwiches

    chicken waldorf sandwiches
    Linda Larsen

    Canned chicken and classic Waldorf salad ingredients make a delicious sandwich filling. The chicken salad contains chopped apples, walnuts, celery, dried cranberries, and a tangy mayonnaise dressing. 

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Crock Pot Chicken or Tuna Casserole

    tuna or chicken casserole
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    Choose canned chicken or tuna as the protein in the easy casserole. The slow cooker makes the dish especially convenient if you have errands to run or afternoon events. Just throw it together in the crock pot and come back home to a fully cooked meal.

  • 10 of 12

    Russian Chicken Pie

    chicken pie
    diane555 / Getty Images

    The filling for this Russian chicken pie—kurnik—is made with layers of rice, creamy chicken and mushrooms, and hard-cooked eggs. The cream cheese pastry topping tops the pie mixture perfectly.

  • 11 of 12

    Zesty Chicken Salad

    chicken salad
    Paul Poplis / Getty Images

    A combination of ranch dressing, Dijon mustard, and cream cheese gives this chicken salad zesty flavor. Sweet pickle relish, roasted red pepper, and fresh chopped chives add extra flavor and color. Chop the chicken finely or coarsely, depending on how you will be using it. The salad makes an excellent filling or spread for sandwiches or buns, or use it to stuff tomatoes.

  • 12 of 12

    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Spinach

    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Spinach
    Diana Rattray

    A main dish salad makes a fabulous family dinner on a hot summer day. This chicken and pasta salad is packed with flavor, and the variety of fresh vegetables add appealing color. It's a great picnic salad as well, or take it along to a potluck dinner.