Is canned whole chicken real? Yes! Learn about Sweet Sue canned whole chicken, and learn what do you do with a canned whole chicken, in this recipe and review. Buying whole chicken in a can is much easier than using a pressure canner to can chicken yourself. Get my recommendation for the best tasting canned chicken, nutrition information, and more!
Did you know that you can buy whole canned chicken? Chicken in a tin seems like it would have appeal with preppers for their emergency supplies in case of an apocalypse. It could also make a fun gag gift for secret Santa.
As for me, I wanted to get my hands on canned whole chickens due to curiosity. So, in today’s review we’re going to take a look at one whole chicken in a can.
The main brand of tinned chicken available in the US (here) is Sweet Sue’s whole canned chicken. I’ve seen other brands of whole chicken in a can mentioned, such as Chicken Ready brand. However, I haven’t been able to source these products.
Sweet Sue can chicken is chicken without giblets. The can depicts a golden roasted chicken, filled with stuffing. You also can bake, cook canned chicken in soup on the stovetop, or make a cold canned chicken salad.
I’ve got the cooking directions for Sweet Sue’s canned chicken for you below, in case your packaging was damaged. I’ll also show you what this product really looks like, and my favorite way to prepare it.
- 🤔 What’s the best canned chicken?
- 🥘 Canned Whole Chicken
- 😋 What do you do with a canned whole chicken?
- 🔥 Canned Whole Chicken Recipe
- ⏲ How do you cook canned whole chicken?
- ❓️ How can I make canned chicken taste better?
- 🌡️ How long can whole chicken stay in the fridge?
- 📋 Canned Whole Chicken Nutrition
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👨🏾🍳 Canned Whole Chicken Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
🤔 What’s the best canned chicken?
Time to get honest. Though I like whole canned chicken as a novelty product, it’s not my favorite canned chicken. Whole canned chicken is expensive, and tastes mildly salty but is very dry.
The best canned chicken may be the inexpensive canned chicken chunks you can get from regular grocery stores. They’re cheap, they’re not as dry, and you can always rinse them if they’re too salty.
One can of whole chicken is the same price as 4-5 of the $5 rotisserie chickens at Costco. Additionally, the Costco rotisserie chickens give you much more meat for your money. IMVHO, rotisserie chicken is more flavorful and saves money, making it the best option.
🥘 Canned Whole Chicken
What is in canned chicken? Here is the ingredients list for Sweet Sue’s whole chicken in a can:
Sweet Sue’s chicken has no artificial stuff. The salt acts as a preservative (in addition to the canning process).
What is the liquid in canned chicken? When you open the can of whole chicken, you can see the yellow liquid isn’t just salt and water. What you’re looking at is a combination of broth and chicken fat.
The packaging recommends refrigerating the chicken before opening the can. IMO, don’t refrigerate before opening, unless you want your chicken in a gelatinous mass. Also, the fat in the can will congeal and be harder to remove.
😋 What do you do with a canned whole chicken?
Canned chicken is OK to cook with, or you can use it in chicken salad or other cold dishes. I found whole canned chicken to be very dry and bland, so you’re best serving it with plenty of seasoning and liquid or fat.
To prepare whole canned chicken for eating, begin by draining it in a colander over a bowl. (We’re using the bowl to save the broth for chicken recipes or to use later.)
You can see in the photo that our whole chicken from a can looks nothing like the photo on the package. It’s extremely soft and barely holding together. The skin is soft and rubbery (and the bones are quite soft as well.)
It certainly doesn’t have an appetizing appearance, does it? For cold chicken recipes, you’ll need to remove the skin and bones and cube or shred the chicken meat. The chicken is quite small in size, so be careful in removing all the little bones.
🔥 Canned Whole Chicken Recipe
This canned chicken salad with apples and pecans is a satisfying but low-calorie dinner option. Here’s what you need to make it:
- Meat from whole chicken in a can (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
- Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- Butterhead lettuce (or similar lettuce)
Get specific quantities of ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!
Mix the chicken, apple, broccoli, onion, cherries, and pecans together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Open the yogurt cup and stir in the garlic powder, onion powder, dill, black pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Combine the chicken mixture with the yogurt mixture.
To make each wrap, layer two butterhead leaves on top of each other. Put some canned chicken salad in the middle of each lettuce wrap, and enjoy!
If you make this recipe, you can save the broth for cooking quinoa or rice. You can also use it for soups. One can of Sweet Sue’s whole chicken gave me 3-4 cups of broth and about 2-3 cups chicken meat.
⏲ How do you cook canned whole chicken?
The can of Sweet Sue’s chicken gives directions for cooking in the oven. Here is what they recommend for baking canned whole chicken:
“Remove chicken from the can. Be sure to save the delicious broth. Place chicken in an uncovered pan, baste well with some of the broth.
Place in a hot oven, 475F (246C) for 10 to 15 minutes. Baste two or three times while heating.
To prepare a delicious gravy, brown two tablespoons flour, mix in a cup of broth. Allow to thicken over burner until desired consistency. A delicious chicken soup may be prepared by adding rice, cooked noodles or dumplings to the broth.”
❓️ How can I make canned chicken taste better?
To make canned chicken taste good, add a generous amount of seasoning, and serve with liquid or fat. Here are some ways to serve canned chicken:
- Chicken noodle soup
- Chicken and dumpling soup
- Stuffed peppers
- Chicken a la king
- Put it on salads
- Creamed chicken and mushrooms
- Chicken fricassee
🌡️ How long can whole chicken stay in the fridge?
How long can chicken stay out of refrigerator? Open cans of whole chicken and heated chicken are safe at room temp for up to 2 hours. Cooked chicken and opened whole chicken cans can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Unopened cans of whole chicken are a non-perishable item with an indefinite shelf life. For the best quality, freshness, and flavor, consume the product within the date printed on the can. Technically, the cans are good for longer if kept in a cool, dry area, but there may be loss of quality.
How long can whole chicken be frozen? You should not freeze unopened cans of whole chicken. Canned whole chicken is already preserved to have a long shelf-life. Whole chicken that was removed from the can be frozen just like regular chicken.
📋 Canned Whole Chicken Nutrition
Here is the nutrition information for one serving of Sweet Sue canned whole chicken (2 ounces or 56 grams):
|Nutrition||Sweet Sue’s Canned Whole Chicken|
|Sodium||150mg (6% DV)|
|Vitamin A||0% DV|
|Vitamin C||0% DV|
This is for about ¼ cup of chicken, a very small portion. The can states that there are about 15 servings per can.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Chicken (minus the skin) is a lean protein that can help your low-calorie meals feel filling during weight loss. (There’s a reason the stereotypical fitness meal consists of chicken breast, rice and broccoli!)
Canned whole chicken is a convenient, ready-to-use food product. It is a great addition to a food stockpile for emergencies. It can also make life easier when prepping meals on busy weeknights.
Of course, a single food won’t make or break your health goals. It’s more important to look at what your meals and diet consistently look like over time.
You could make high calorie meals by serving canned chicken with a rich gravy. You can also make low calorie canned chicken meals. In these butterhead lettuce wraps, I used Greek yogurt in place of mayo to increase protein and lower calories and fat.
For a higher energy meal, wrap whole grain wraps around the lettuce. You can also add more pecans and dried cherries to the canned chicken salad. It’s not too difficult to modify the meals of different family members to meet everyone’s needs.
Some say you can find Sweet Sue canned chicken at Walmart, but I’ve never seen it there. Your best bet for finding Sweet Sue’s canned whole chicken are on eBay or here from Amazon.
At the time of writing, a 50-ounce can of whole chicken is $20.72 on Amazon. Please note that the product is on sale, and prices are subject to change. I purchased my whole canned chicken for $23.99.
You do not have to cook canned chicken because the canning process cooks foods. This means you can eat canned chicken out of the can, though I don’t recommend it flavor-wise.
Chickens can vary a lot in size, and so the amount of canned chicken that equals one chicken varies as well. One can of Sweet Sue whole chicken gives you about 2-3 cups of chicken meat. However, the whole chicken in the can is small, smaller than a typical rotisserie chicken.
You can rinse some of the sodium off of canned chicken, just as you can with other canned goods. Though it’s not advised to rinse raw chicken due to risk of salmonella contamination, canned chicken is ok to rinse. This is because it is fully cooked.
👨🏾🍳 Canned Whole Chicken Recipes
After making the canned chicken salad below, here are some other ways to use canned chicken leftovers:
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Watch How to Make It!
Canned Whole Chicken (Sweet Sue Can of Whole Chicken Review)
- 1 can canned whole chicken (50-ounce can)
For Whole Canned Chicken and Gravy:
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- cooked rice, noodles, or dumplings
For Whole Canned Chicken Salad:
- 1 cup apple, chopped small
- ½ cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried cherries, halved
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons pecans, chopped and toasted
- 5.3 ounces Greek yogurt (150 grams) plain, unsweetened, non-fat
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 24 leaves butterhead lettuce (or similar lettuce)
To Make Whole Canned Chicken and Gravy (Instructions on Sweet Sue Whole Canned Chicken Package):
- Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C).
- Remove the chicken from the can. Place in an uncovered pan, and baste with some of the broth.
- Bake at 475°F (246°C) for 10 to 15 minutes, basting 2-3 times while heating.
- To make gravy, brown two tablespoons flour on the stovetop, whisk in a cup of broth. Allow to thicken over the burner until desired consistency. Alternatively, chicken soup may be prepared by adding rice, cooked noodles or dumplings to the broth.
To Make Whole Canned Chicken Salad:
- Remove the chicken meat from the bones and skin. You need 2 cups of shredded boneless and skinless canned whole chicken meat for this recipe.
- Mix the chicken, apple, broccoli, onion, cherries, and pecans together in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Open the yogurt cup and stir in the garlic powder, onion powder, dill, black pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Combine the chicken mixture with the yogurt mixture.
- To make each wrap, layer two butterhead leaves on top of each other. Put some canned chicken salad in the middle of each lettuce wrap, and enjoy!