Turn Canned Chicken Into A Handheld Salad For Delicious Crunch

Plated chicken lettuce wraps
Plated chicken lettuce wraps - Freeskyline/Getty Images

Lettuce wraps are not solely reserved for freshly cooked ground chicken, pork, or beef like you might be accustomed to. The handheld meal is also one of several effortless ways to elevate canned chicken. The shelf-stable canned poultry is typically quite affordable and is already cooked, so it works for a last-minute meal when you don't have much time to cook, or need a cheap lunch or dinner. And if you don't already have a can in the pantry, we have ranked the top canned chicken brands so you don't waste time browsing aisles at the grocery store.

Yes, it's affordably priced and easy to customize, but those aren't the only reasons why canned chicken works so well for lettuce wraps. The ingredient is usually flaky and sometimes a little mushy, similar to some canned tuna, which will complement the crunch of the lettuce wraps. It's also a good way to add protein and other essential nutrients like calcium to your diet without dealing with raw chicken. And if you need another reason to use it to make a handheld salad, you won't have to do much prep work to use the poultry besides opening the can and draining off any liquid.

Read more: 16 Worst Canned Foods You Can Buy

Use Unsalted Canned Chicken For More Flavor Control

open can of chicken
open can of chicken - Zia_shusha/Getty Images

There are different kinds of canned chicken, including types that have white meat, dark meat, or a combination of the two. Canned chicken is most often packed in water, but you might find it canned in broth. The final consideration is whether to grab a can that contains salt or choose an unsalted variation, because that will factor in how much salt you use with the rest of the recipe. If the canned chicken already in your kitchen is salted, be mindful of the other ingredients that go into the handheld salad.

As for the rest of the ingredients, you can get as creative as you like with canned chicken lettuce wraps. To keep it simple, combine the shredded chicken with the likes of carrots, scallions, and soy sauce for Asian-inspired lettuce wraps. Or quickly transform the canned poultry into our crisp and creamy chicken salad recipe with mayo and dijon mustard. Perhaps you'd like a more contrasting texture, in which case go with our apple and pecan chicken salad. Prefer bolder flavors? Use the tinned chicken for our creamy curried chicken salad recipe to pile onto your lettuce-leaf wraps. And for the best types of lettuce to hold up to your canned chicken, consider bibb, butter, or romaine for a conventional lettuce wrap, or go off-piste with kale or collard greens to ring the changes with a sturdier green edible wrap.

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