Leftover Chicken Salad Recipes for School Lunches

by Tonya Staab
Published: Last Updated on

We have four delicious leftover chicken salad recipes perfect for school and work lunches. Make sure to grab our chicken salad recipe too.

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CampbellsShortcutMeals #CollectiveBias

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?

leftover chicken salad recipes ideas
Leftover chicken salad recipes ideas including wraps, dip, pinwheels, and croissants.

Chicken salad recipe

Here is my really simple nut-free recipe for chicken salad, that complies with most schools’ nut-free policy.

Chicken Salad Recipe

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 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.

canned chicken with red grapes, green onions, and fresh dill
Red grapes, green onions, chives, and Swanson chicken make delicious chicken salad.
chicken salad recipe ingredients in a bowl
A bowl full of delicious ingredients like grapes, canned chicken, and dill to make homemade chicken salad.

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 pinwheels
Chicken salad pinwheels recipe.

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 dip with crackers
Chicken salad dip with crackers.

Chicken salad lettuce wraps

For those who are gluten-free or looking for a lighter alternative, try a tuna salad lettuce wrap.

chicken salad lettuce wraps
Chicken salad lettuce wraps with grapes.

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.

chicken salad croissant
Chicken salad croissant.

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.

Please pin this post for later

leftover chicken salad recipes pinterest


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Kelly July 25, 2017 - 8:35 am

Looks delicious! I love all these ideas for enjoying chicken salad. #client

Amani A August 18, 2017 - 12:03 am

Tempting.I want to try this.

Alex Mozart February 3, 2018 - 8:20 am

A great article, thanks. Very clear and concise. Thanks


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