Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad (with canned chicken)

Whip up this quick and easy Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad using canned chicken. This keto-friendly chicken salad is high in protein and features smoky bacon and zesty ranch seasoning for the best blend of flavor!

chicken salad in a tin

This cold chicken salad is great to keep in the fridge for topping salads, tossing in a wrap, or making a sandwich for a quick lunch. Or reach for your favorite crackers for a light snack. My cold chicken salad is forever in our fridge for snacking or meal times.

This recipe is made using my 1-minute mayonnaise recipe, which is so simple to make. You will never want to repurchase store-bought. A homemade ranch seasoning is used to add seasoning and flavor, but you can also use a store-bought ranch seasoning packet. 

🥫Using Canned Chicken

I find that canned chicken is great for when you want simple or in a rush to whip up this salad. While you can use shredded chicken or cold rotisserie chicken, canned works just as well!

  • Convenient for a time-saver crunch!
  • Great for a quick meal option when you don’t have time to be in the kitchen.
  • Canned chicken is versatile and can be used for making a chicken casserole to a cold chicken salad.
  • Shelf stable to keep in your pantry for an emergency meal or last-minute prep type of meal.
  • Canned chicken also offers protein just as fresh chicken does.

🐔Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad Ingredients

  • Cooked Shredded Chicken – You can purchase canned chicken or a batch of all purpose shredded chicken.
  • Mayonnaise – Homemade is best (recipe below) but you can also use your favorite store-bought mayo.
  • White Onion – This classic chicken salad ingredient infuses the salad with onion flavor. Use red onion or shallots for a more mild onion flavor.
  • Bell Pepper – Diced bell pepper is a perfect addition to the salad, but you can also use chopped celery.
  • Ranch Seasoning – Make your own ranch seasoning or use a packet of your favorite.
  • Cooked Bacon – Chopped bacon adds a salty bite and a great layer of flavor. Cook bacon in your air fryer to speed things up.
  • Salt & Pepper – Balances and enhances all the flavors in the chicken.
homemade ranch seasoning

🥣How To Make Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad

Drain the canned chicken: If you’re using canned chicken, remove the lid and drain as much as possible. Then, add it to a medium mixing bowl.

Mix the chicken salad: To the chicken, add the mayo, ranch seasoning, minced onion, bell pepper, salt, and pepper. Mix to fully combine, breaking any large pieces of chicken up with a fork. 

Add bacon: Chop the cooked bacon into small pieces, then fold it into the chicken salad making sure it’s evenly distributed. 

Adjust and serve: Taste and adjust any seasonings. Serve cold with wraps, salad, or on sandwich bread. Enjoy! 

🍘Ways To Serve

  • On a wrap: Grab a low carb or keto-friendly wrap, or tortilla of your choice. Load on some fresh crisp lettuce, and chicken salad, and wrap and devour.
  • Stuffed avocado: Slice an avocado in half and remove the pit. Then make a well in each half and spoon the chicken salad into the avocado. The avocado pairs well with the chicken salad. If you slice out some of the avocado mix it with the chicken salad so you don’t waste the avocado meat.
  • Stuffed Tomato: You can do the same thing as you did with the avocado by slicing off the top and hollowing out the tomato a bit. Then fill with the chicken salad and enjoy. 
  • Sandwich: Grab your favorite bread and then add a thick layer of the chicken salad onto the bread. Then add fresh sprouts, a slice of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Stack your sandwich, or keep it simple. 
  • Dip: Use the chicken salad for a dip and use crisp veggies or crackers. Just pile some of the salad on a celery stick, cucumber, or even a cracker for a light lunch or snack option. 

🥒Chicken Salad Add-Ins

Want to enhance the flavor of this chicken salad even more? Here are a few ingredients that will transform the flavor in a big way. 

  • Chopped Pickles – Adding some sweet pickles or dill pickles that are finely chopped will add some nice crunch but also flavor. 
  • Curry – Want a curry chicken salad? Here you can add in a teaspoon of curry to create an exotic flavor to the salad. 
  • Pecans Pecans in chicken salad go well together. I like to add the pecans on top of the salad right before I eat. If you mix in the salad the pecans can become soft over time as it sits in the fridge. 
  • Egg – Cook up some hard-boiled eggs to mix in. Just finely dice up the egg and fold it in when you mix in the chicken. 
  • Grapes – Want a bit of a sweet or tart twist? Red or green grapes can be sliced in half and then mixed in. It is a great sweet to the savory. 
  • Apples – Granny Smith apples will add a nice tart to the chicken. I do like to lightly toss apples in some lemon juice to help prevent them from browning as quickly. 
  • Cranberries – Buy some dried cranberries and toss a handful in the salad. It is sweet but also adds a nice chewy texture. 
  • Celery – Another popular ingredient is celery when it comes to chicken salad. It will 
  • Green Onions – Top your salad with some green onions for a nice mild onion flavor. You can do a little or a lot depending on your preference. 

FAQ

Can you make this with no mayo?

If you want to make a no mayo chicken salad that is no problem at all. Use a sour cream, or Greek yogurt in replace of the mayo in the recipe. Or do half cream cheese and have plain yogurt for a richer flavor. 

 Is cold chicken salad keto-friendly?

This particular cold chicken salad is keto-friendly. But depending on the recipe you come across and the ingredients used will depend if it is keto-friendly. Just make sure to look at the ingredients and make sure they are approved for your keto diet. 

How long can you keep homemade chicken salad in the refrigerator?

Your chicken salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Depending on the ingredients will depend on the shelf life. Make sure you place the chicken mixture in an airtight container to prevent it from taking on other flavors in your fridge. 

Can you freeze chicken salad?

I do not recommend freezing chicken salad, as it will alter the texture of the salad. You will find that the mayonnaise in the salad is going to separate and break down a bit. I recommend just refrigerating the leftovers. 

🍎More Cold Chicken Salad Recipes

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bacon ranch chicken salad in a bowl

Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad

Whip up this quick and easy Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad using canned chicken. This keto-friendly chicken salad is high in protein and features smoky bacon and zesty ranch seasoning for the best blend of flavor!
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 325kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Cooked Shredded Chicken
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • cup White Onion diced small
  • ½ cup Bell Pepper diced small
  • 3 tbsp Homemade Ranch Seasoning or 1 ranch seasoning packet
  • cup Chopped cooked bacon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large bowl add shredded chicken, mayo, ranch seasoning, minced onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper together.
  • Chop up cooked bacon into small pieces and add it to the bowl with everything else.
  • Stir until all ingredients are combined and chicken salad is formed. 
  • Adjust seasonings if needed and serve cold.

Video

Notes

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Recipe: 

This ranch seasoning is made without buttermilk powder and is dairy free making it a perfect addition to any vegan, paleo, keto or Whole30 diet. 
  • ¼ cup Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Dried Dill
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Minced Onion
  • 1 tbsp Dried Chives
  • 1 tsp Mustard Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper

What Type Of Chicken Do I Use?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to what type of chicken you could use:
  • Shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Chicken Breast 
  • Chicken Thighs
  • Canned Chicken

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 902mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just make this and tweaked it with different seasonings and cucumber. I layed it on a lettuce wrap. Oh so good.

    1. Hi, Jenn! The full instructions with measurements are in the recipe card towards the bottom of the post. -Krista (Team Thyme & JOY)

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