We have four delicious leftover chicken salad recipes perfect for school and work lunches. Make sure to grab our chicken salad recipe too.
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It’s almost back-to-school time, and this means it’s time to get out of our lazy summer routine of eating way too late (or way too early), sleeping until midday, and picking our way through the day without worrying about the standard three meals a day we are used to when we are in a school routine.
Making too much food some nights is my saving grace some days; it means leftovers the next day.
The twins’ purchase lunch at school most days, but sometimes they don’t like what is on the menu so will take lunch from home. My oldest son often packs lunch to take to college too.
One of Jay’s favorite things to have in sandwiches is chicken salad. The only way he likes to make it is with Swanson® Premium Chicken. Which, I didn’t even know until he saw me making it one day and asked “why don’t you buy this more often? It’s the one I use at my friend’s house to make sandwiches”. My first thought was, well why aren’t you making these at home too?
Chicken salad recipe
Here is my really simple nut-free recipe for chicken salad, that complies with most schools’ nut-free policy.
- 2 12.5oz Swanson Premium Chicken
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp ranch dressing
- 1/2 cup red grapes (sliced in half)
- 1 green onion (green and white parts thinly sliced)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp fresh dill
- pinch of salt & pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
How can I make chicken salad last longer?
Note: Chicken salad will save in the refrigerator for 3-5 days and can be frozen too if you substitute mayonnaise (because it separates when frozen). Make sure to drain the excess water out of it after defrosting in the refrigerator and add a little mayonnaise to thicken it again.
Leftover chicken salad recipes
Here are 4 ways to use that chicken salad.
Chicken salad pinwheels
Spread onto spinach wraps, roll them up, and slice to make pinwheels.
Chicken salad dip with crackers
Because we all love to snack … actually this is my favorite way to have it, especially when I’m working at my desk.
Chicken salad lettuce wraps
For those who are gluten-free or looking for a lighter alternative, try a tuna salad lettuce wrap.
Chicken salad croissant
And then there’s my son’s favorite, in a sandwich or croissant. So simple, you can add lettuce if you like, or just enjoy the chicken salad as is.
You can find Swanson® Premium Chicken in Walmart where other canned meats and seafood are sold and more great ideas here.
More school lunch ideas
Looking for more ideas for using leftovers for school lunches? Here are a few of our favorites; if served hot we heat and put it in a small thermos:
- Pasta – I make a delicious semi-homemade pasta sauce
- Use leftover meat in sandwiches, with rice, or turn it into a quick and easy salad; put the dressing in a small separate container
- Soup with fresh crunchy bread
Are you looking for more delicious school lunch ideas for the kids? Take a look at these school lunches that my kids love.
- 5 gluten-free school lunch ideas
- School lunches inspired by kids books
- 20 amazing school lunches for kids
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