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This Canned Chicken Salad recipe is easy to make in less than 10 minutes! It’s creamy like tuna salad and seasoned simply with seasoned salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. This version is healthier than most and replaces most of the mayo with Greek yogurt!

Canned Chicken Salad Recipe in Mini Pita Breads

I remember my mom having her friends over for ladies’ luncheons when I was a kid.

She’d make mint-flavored iced tea or lemonade to drink and fruit salad for dessert. She’d usually serve one of two things for lunch: a pretty arranged salad on a bed of greens along with a couple of sides (one of which was always cottage cheese with chives, which was her favorite), or tuna salad sandwiches.

My sister and I always felt so grown up at those lunches. And to this day, tuna salad sandwiches are a favorite of mine!

This chicken salad is based on classic tuna salad, but with chicken instead of tuna and some of the mayo replaced with Greek yogurt. It’s incredibly simple, but always a favorite.

easy canned chicken salad with description

The Best Healthy Canned Chicken Salad Recipe

This recipe is healthier than most because of a few easy swaps!

  1. I replace 2/3 of the mayo with Greek yogurt to lower the fat and bump up the protein.
  2. I add a bit of celery to increase the fiber and fullness factor a bit.
  3. Look for chunk chicken breast in water. Some brands have no-salt-added, which will help reduce the sodium if that’s a concern!


  • Canned chunk chicken breast in water: Or you can use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken if you prefer.
  • Onion: You can substitute with scallion if you like.
  • Celery: This adds delicious crunch!
  • Greek yogurt: Adds protein and creamy texture with less fat than mayo.
  • Mayo: We reduced the mayo, but still kept some for flavor.
  • Seasonings: Here we keep the seasonings simple with seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Overhead View of Table Set with Canned Chicken Salad Pita Sandwiches

Step-by-Step Instructions

For this easy salad, you literally just mix everything together in a bowl. It’s good to go!


You can store this covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. It’s great for lunches during the week!

Creamy Chicken Salad in Mini Pitas on White Plate on White Table

Canned Chicken FAQs

Is Canned Chicken Cooked?

Yes! Canned chicken is fully cooked.

Should Canned Chicken be Rinsed?

No, canned chicken doesn’t need to be rinsed. Simply drain out the liquid and it’s ready to use!

How Do You Serve Chicken Salad?

This salad is served cold. Here are a few ideas on how to serve it:

  • Sandwiched between two slices of bread
  • In a pita pocket
  • As a wrap
  • Made into a bagel or croissant sandwich
  • On a bed of salad greens
  • Spread on top of crackers

How Long is Canned Chicken Salad Good For?

Store this canned chicken salad covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Close Up Front View of Easy Chicken Salad Recipe

More Creamy Salad Recipes

Canned Chicken Salad on White Plate with Sliced Cucumber

Let’s Connect

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Canned Chicken Salad Recipe

4.89 from 9 votes
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
This Canned Chicken Salad recipe is easy to make in less than 10 minutes! It's creamy like tuna salad and seasoned simply with seasoned salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. This version is healthier than most and replaces most of the mayo with Greek yogurt!

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  • Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days before serving.
  • Eat on top of salad greens, in a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread, or spread on crackers.


  • Net Carbs: 4g per serving
  • Onion Substitute: If desired, omit the onion and use 1 thinly sliced scallion instead.


Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 414mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 146IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Canned Chicken Salad, Canned Chicken Salad Recipe

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

canned chicken salad recipe pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on January 11, 2012. I updated it with more information on June 12, 2020.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Great Chicken Salad recipe!!! So simple, yet so very delicious! Just the way it should be. Only thing is I did not have any celery, so I diced up a bell pepper for a little crunch. It also added to the flavor a bit, I think. Well thank you for sharing this amazing recipe! (:

  2. 5 stars
    I was looking for a chicken salad meal prep idea. I was nervous about the canned chicken, for no reason. I used regular salt and a bit more pepper than the recipe called for. I also added 1/4 cup of dried sweetened cranberries for a little sweet flavor. It was delicious! Can’t wait to see how it is tomorrow when the flavors meld. Thanks for a great and simple recipe!

  3. 4 stars
    This is how I make it too. Try in cooled pasta shells or croissants as so good and a nice cool meal for my husband who works outside! In the 90’s today with humid feels like 105!!! Yikes!

  4. 5 stars
    Basic easy and really good!! 👍😊

  5. Karen Hintz says:

    I mixed this up today for my lunch this afternoon. It is so tasty, I can’t wait to try it after it’s had a chance to blend. It’s the perfect amount for 1 or 2 people, which I really appreciate!
    The only substitution I made was sour cream for the Greek yogurt. I figured if it can be subbed for baked potatoes, it would work here, and it does.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    Hands down, my favorite chicken salad recipe! So easy and so delicious!

  7. Jeff Reddy says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is so simple, so I didn’t expect much but was surprised. This is a great low-carb meal. I wrapped mine in red lettuce leaves and it was delicious.

  8. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Everyone loved it.

  9. Violet smith says:

    5 stars
    Delicious eat it all in the day on pita bread will try it cucumber the next time

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe was so easy to make and I love reading your stories which also reminded me of my great aunt and her friends having their weekly game of “Pokeno” and the same sandwiches I got to enjoy with her and her lady friends.🧍🏽‍♀️

  11. love your online gallery, so many gorgeous pics Faith and my favorite one is actually your profile pic! I so want to meet that girl!!!

    1. Coco, Aww, you are so sweet! I’d love to meet you too!! XO

  12. Magic of Spice says:

    I love the addition of yogurt…and either chicken or tuna, such a lovely classic! Will check out your photo site, always love your shots :)

  13. Daisy@Nevertoosweet says:

    I’m so happy for you Faith :) your photos are always so beautiful!

    This chicken salad is definitely something i’d like to have for lunch, simple and healthy YAY!

  14. Seriously inspiring portfolio… Truly, it makes me want to run out right this minute and start photographing more! Your work is so beautiful, and any client would be out of their mind to turn you down after looking at such a stunning selection of images.

  15. I love chicken salad prepared the way you’ve done but I never make it, I’ll have to change that soon! Faith, your photo gallery is stunning and I did enjoy scrolling through and enjoying your very creative work!

  16. You already know how I admire your blog photos. I just looked at about 20 from the studio, and they are stunning.
    This is such a nice time in your life with so much positive excitement.

  17. Kiran @ says:

    Amazing photography — congrats on your portfolio website! Gorgeous :)

    Happy 2012 sweetie :)

  18. Catherine says:

    I love chicken salad and I remember those lovely luncheons that my mom would serve. They always seemed so perfect and lovely. Thank you for your visit. I hope that you will visit again soon. Blessings, Catherine xo

  19. Congratulations on your new photo gallery. Your pictures are stunning.
    The chicken salad looks so delicious.

  20. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says:

    Love this. I always think of my mom when I’m eating tuna sandwiches and cottage cheese too (also her faves!) and I think I would be very much into this chicken version!

  21. i like the simplicity of your chicken salad, faith. i like it this way, though a few craisins or grapes are always welcome too. :)

  22. Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} says:

    My mom used to make us a chicken salad similar to yours but not even close as pretty.
    Congratulations once again for the photo-site :)

  23. I do like chicken salad… don’t make it nearly enough.. lovely recipe and great news… can’t wait to give it a peek!

  24. Very exciting news on your photo portfolio! Your pictures are always gorgeous :)

  25. Sanjeeta kk says:

    OMG..from where do you get all the energy, Faith! So much passion for food and inspire me to do more.

  26. Blond Duck says:

    I love chicken and tuna salad!

  27. Must be something wrong with me because I’ve never liked tuna salad. So seeing chicken replace tuna is right up my alley. And…the whole wheat pita. I love it!
    Your photography site is lovely. You are very talented, Faith!

  28. Angie's Recipes says:

    The sandwich looks great!
    You used canned chicken breast? I didn’t know chicken breast sold in can at all…

    1. Angie, If you can’t find canned chicken breast, you can use cooked and shredded (or cubed) chicken.

  29. The sort of sandwiches I would like as well. Off to look at you pictures :) Diane

  30. Veronica Miller says:

    Sometimes simple is just best! Love the recipe and story. :) I checked out your website when I saw your link for it on fb and thought it looks so beautiful and professional. Of course, the photos are just gorgeous themselves!

  31. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Did you make the pita? It looks yummy and fresh and light and lovely. I enjoyed your entire portfolio – all 4 sections. The travel one was different that the rest – bigger – more architectural (of course) The other three are incredibly detailed and artistic (as is the architectural one – just in a different “voice” somehow). Loved them all… especially the “around” pics.
    Gorgeous work. Good for you!

    1. Valerie, No, I didn’t make the pita, lol! Luckily I have a fantastic grocery store (Wegmans) just about in my back yard that makes these wonderful pitas. ;) Glad you enjoyed my photos!

  32. Chicken salad does have that grand “ladies who lunch” feel about it, doesn’t it? Even if it’s just a scoop on a pile of lettuce, there’s something inherently elegant about it. That’s why nobody ever tires of it or turns it down.

  33. Congratulations Faith! You are so talented, I can’t wait to see where this next phase takes you. and I can NOT wait for your cookbook!!!

  34. Emily @LivingLongfellow says:

    Thanks for the quirky easy recipe. That is so smart to use Greek yogurt over mayo. Much healthier I’d imagine. I have that bowl too in a different color and love it :)

  35. I love the mix of chicken chunks with the freshness flavor of celery stalks…Instead of canned chicken breast, I’ll be using the leftover from my roasted chicken last night. Gonna whip this now. Thanks!

  36. I love tuna and chicken salads! You make me want to have a lunch party! Congrats on your site – it’s gorgeous!

  37. I always loved my mom’s luncheons too–fancy sandwiches and all that jazz :-)

    I checked out your gallery—it’s amazing. I mean, I’ve always noticed your beautiful pictures here on the blog, and it’s really striking to see them all in one gallery!
    I can’t wait till your cookbook comes out!

  38. That’s the same trick I use in my tuna salad, substituting the mayo with greek yougurt. Never tried it in chicken salad… I’ll do it when I get home!

  39. Heidi @ Food Doodles says:

    I love tuna salad, it’s something I have fond memories of my mom making for me :D This looks delicious with chicken. Congrats on your gallery, it’s beautiful and made me hungry just looking through it :D

  40. A great project! Your pictures are wonderful.

    I really like that quick chicken salad.



  41. BeadedTail says:

    I’ll have to try that with the greek yogurt in it! That sounds like a great idea! I saw your new site the other night and your photos are gorgeous!

  42. nancy at good food matters says:

    Faith, congratulations on a beautiful website—elegant and professional and approachable. May it serve to bring you good work!

  43. The chicken salad is amazing and so are your pictures Faith! Congratulations!

  44. Our busy bee Faith has impressed again.
    I consider you to be on my top 10 Foodie passionistas. Your energy is contagious.
    You’re always on top of your game.
    Congrats my dear ;0)

    Flavourful wishes,

  45. Your photos are stunning! STUNNING! :) Congrats, Faith! And the chicken salad looks perfect. I love cold salads that are prepped ahead of time for a quick snack or lunch!

  46. Your pictures on your blog are SO gorgeous, I can’t wait to check out the new project! What a great idea. I love using Greek yogurt as a sub.

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