Canned Whole Chicken: A Novelty or Worth Trying?


Have you ever wondered if canned whole chicken is a real thing? Well, wonder no more! In this article, we’re going to explore Sweet Sue canned whole chicken and discover what you can do with it. Forget the hassle of pressure canning your own chicken – buying whole chicken in a can is much simpler. We’ll dive into the best-tasting canned chicken, its nutritional value, and more!

What’s the Best Canned Chicken?

Let’s be honest – while whole canned chicken is an interesting novelty, it may not be the best option. It tends to be expensive, slightly salty, and dry. Instead, consider the affordable canned chicken chunks available at regular grocery stores. They are more moist, budget-friendly, and can be rinsed to reduce saltiness. In fact, you can get four to five $5 rotisserie chickens from Costco for the same price as one can of whole chicken. Rotisserie chicken is not only more flavorful but also a money-saving option.

Exploring Canned Whole Chicken

So, what exactly is in canned chicken? Sweet Sue’s whole chicken in a can contains only chicken, water, and salt – no artificial additives. The salt acts as a preservative during the canning process. When you open the can, you’ll notice a yellow liquid, which is a combination of broth and chicken fat. While the packaging recommends refrigerating the chicken before opening, it’s best not to do so if you want to avoid a gelatinous mass. Also, refrigerating makes it harder to remove the congealed fat from the can.

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What Can You Do with Canned Whole Chicken?

Canned chicken can be used in various dishes or as an ingredient in chicken salad or other cold recipes. However, it tends to be dry and bland, so it’s essential to season it well and pair it with plenty of liquid or fat. To prepare canned whole chicken, simply drain it in a colander over a bowl to save the broth for future use. The chicken may not look as appetizing as it does on the package, but you can remove the skin and bones and cube or shred the meat for cold chicken recipes.

Try This Canned Whole Chicken Recipe

If you’re looking for a satisfying yet low-calorie dinner option, try making a canned chicken salad with apples and pecans. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Meat from a can of whole chicken (skinless, boneless)
  • Chopped apple
  • Finely chopped broccoli florets
  • Halved unsweetened dried cherries
  • Finely chopped red onion
  • Chopped and toasted pecans
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Dried dill
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Butterhead lettuce (or similar lettuce)

Mix the chicken, apple, broccoli, onion, cherries, and pecans in a medium-sized mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, black pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add the yogurt mixture to the chicken mixture and mix well. To serve, layer two butterhead leaves on top of each other, put some canned chicken salad in the middle, and enjoy!

Cooking Canned Whole Chicken

If you prefer a warm meal, Sweet Sue’s chicken can be baked in the oven. Here are the recommended directions:

  1. Remove the chicken from the can, saving the broth.
  2. Place the chicken in an uncovered pan and baste it with some of the broth.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 475°F (246°C) for 10 to 15 minutes, basting two or three times during cooking.
  4. For a delicious gravy, brown two tablespoons of flour, mix in a cup of broth, and allow it to thicken over a burner until desired consistency. You can also prepare chicken soup by adding rice, cooked noodles, or dumplings to the broth.
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Enhancing the Flavor of Canned Chicken

To make canned chicken taste better, add generous seasonings and serve it with liquid or fat. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Chicken and dumpling soup
  • Stuffed peppers
  • Chicken à la king
  • Use it in salads
  • Creamed chicken and mushrooms
  • Chicken fricassee

Shelf Life and Nutritional Information

Once opened, canned whole chicken can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in a covered container. Unopened cans have an indefinite shelf life if stored in a cool, dry area, although there may be some loss of quality over time. Sweet Sue’s canned whole chicken contains about 15 servings per can, with each serving consisting of roughly ¼ cup of chicken.

Expert Tips from a Dietitian

Canned whole chicken is a convenient and ready-to-use food product, suitable for food stockpiles and quick meal preparations. However, a single food item won’t determine your overall health goals. It’s important to consider your entire diet and make consistent choices over time. One way to modify canned chicken meals is by using Greek yogurt instead of mayo to increase protein and reduce calories and fat. Additionally, you can customize meals for different family members to meet everyone’s needs.


Canned whole chicken may be a novelty item, but it might not be the top choice for everyone. While it offers convenience and versatility, there are more flavorful and cost-effective options available, such as rotisserie chicken or affordable canned chicken chunks. However, if you’re curious, Sweet Sue’s canned whole chicken is a reliable brand to consider. So go ahead and experiment with canned chicken, but don’t forget to season it well and get creative with your recipes!

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Images provided by the original article