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Canned Chicken Salad


Delicious canned chicken salad made with simple ingredients you can find in your pantry! Flavorful, filling and full of protein. This is a great basic chicken salad you can make ahead as part of your meal prep or when short on time!

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serving bowl with indigo-color trim filled with creamy salad with chopped celery and dried berries

This simplified chicken salad recipe skips all the extra work and extra steps that usually comes when making classic chicken salad from scratch since we are using canned chicken instead of real cooked chicken.

All you need to do is gather the ingredients that you most likely already have and mix this chicken salad up. Not only is this recipe quick, but it tastes great too.

why you should make this recipe

  • Simple chicken salad recipe made with minimal prep time and no cooking is required.
  • You will need only a few ingredients to make this easy recipe.
  • Recipe made with pantry ingredients, perfect when you are out of ideas what to cook or when short on time.
  • This easy chicken salad with made without any eggs.
  • The salad is gluten-free, refined-sugar free and loaded with protein.
  • Picky-eater friendly recipe, kids just love it!

Key Ingredients

Canned chicken.

Celery-I like to buy celery stalks with leaves on.

Onion. For mild flavor use sweet onion, shallots or red onion will work too.

Dried cranberries.

Sliced almonds.

Mayonnaise.

Yogurt-whole milk, unsweetened. Greek yogurt will work perfectly.

Dijon mustard-use coarse ground for best flavor.

tabletop with ingredients to make salad with canned chicken

How to Make canned chicken salad recipe

Step 1. Gather the ingredients. Open canned chicken and drain the juices really well. Add chicken chunks to the medium bowl, use fork to mince.

white dish with minced canned chicken

Step 2. Rinse celery stalks, use paper towel to pat dry, trim the ends. Dice small onion and celery.

wooden cutting board with diced celery and diced onion

Step 3. To the bowl with chicken add diced celery, diced onions, chopped almonds and dried cranberries.

white dish with canned chicken chunks, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, diced celery and onion

Step 4. Make the dressing. In the measuring cup combine dressing ingredients and mix till well blended.

measuring cup with white dressing

Step 5. Add salad dressing to the bowl with salad and stir together to combine. Taste and adjust the flavor based on your taste buds: add more salt, pepper or dijon mustard if needed.

navy-colored bowl with creamy white salad

Recipe Tips

Make sure to drain canned chicken breast well so no chicken juice will get into the salad and it does not become watery when combined with the other ingredients.

Use quality mayo, thick kind, something you tried and liked before. I used mayo made with avocado oil.

For best flavor ensure it has elements of crunch: celery and onions. In some chicken salad variations crunchy sweet pickles, dill pickles or sweet relish will do the trick!

If time allows toast the almonds in the oven before adding to the salad.

This salad tastes even better when chilled. Place in the airtight container and put in fridge for 2-3 hours before serving so flavors can mix together.

Serving Tips

Eat chicken salad as sandwich filling in chicken salad sandwich recipe.

Serve with mini croissants sandwiches.

Top a sourdough toast with this mixture or make a sandwich roll up.

Serve as dip with your favorite crackers

For low-carb serving ideas: serve inside the lettuce cups, top the chopped butter lettuce salad, serve on top of sliced tomatoes.

variations

This chicken salad recipe with canned chicken is very versatile and can be used as the basis for lots of different variations:

Use leftover rotisserie chicken to make this chicken salad , chop into smaller bites before adding chicken to the salad.

Instead of using dried cranberries, make this chicken salad with grapes. When black grapes are in season, this salad is delicious!

For fresh flavor, use green apple, peel and dice it small before adding to the salad.

Instead of almonds, use roasted walnuts, pecans or toasted pine nuts.

If using other dried fruit, i recommend soaking in hot water for 5 minutes or more.

You can substitute yogurt with sour cream instead.

Spice up the dressing: add some onion powder, fresh herbs. Adding dill or parsley will bring up the fresh flavor notes.

Agg more protein-hard boiled eggs!

Add more veggies-sweet bell peppers will make a perfect addition!

plate with two lettuce leaves filled with creamy salad topped with dried cranberries

More 15-minute Recipes

Did you try this recipe? I love hearing from you! Don’t forget to rate and leave a comment below.

serving bowl with indigo-color trim filled with creamy salad with chopped celery and dried berries

Canned Chicken Salad

Natalia-Flavorful Home
Delicious canned chicken salad made with simple ingredients you can find in your pantry! Flavorful, filling and full of protein. This is a great basic chicken salad you can make ahead as part of your meal prep or when short on time!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 15 oz canned chicken or 3 cans (5 oz each), no salt added
  • 3 stalks of celery preferable with leaves
  • 1/2 swee onion medium size
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or 4 oz
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup yogurt whole milk, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard coarse ground
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Gather the ingredients. Open canned chicken and drain the juices really well. Add chicken chunks to the medium bowl, use fork to mince.
  • Dice vegetables. Rinse celery stalks, use paper towel to pat dry, trim the ends. Dice small onion and celery.
  • Add the rest. To the bowl with chicken add diced celery, diced onions, chopped almonds and dried cranberries.
  • Make the dressing. In the measuring cup combine dressing ingredients and mix till well blended.
  • Combine. Add salad dressing to the bowl with salad and stir together to combine. Taste and adjust the flavor based on your taste buds: add more salt, pepper or dijon mustard if needed.

Notes

Make sure to drain canned chicken breast well so no chicken juice will get into the salad and it does not become watery when combined with the other ingredients.
Use quality mayo, thick kind, something you tried and liked before. I used mayo made with avocado oil.
For best flavor ensure the salad has elements of crunch: celery and onions. In some chicken salad variations crunchy sweet pickles, dill pickles or sweet relish will do the trick!
If time allows toast the almonds in the oven before adding to the salad.
This salad tastes even better when chilled. Place in the airtight container and put in fridge for 2-3 hours before serving so flavors can mix together.

Nutrition

Calories: 427kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 23gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 531mgPotassium: 332mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 171IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 2mg
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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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