Chicken Spread

A vintage recipe for Chicken Spread/Dip using Underwood chicken. |

[This post was resurrected from deep in the archives; it originally appeared in August 2007.]

From the time I was in sixth grade until I graduated from high school, my parents threw big New Year’s Eve parties. They weren’t anything fancy, but they had all of their friends over, some family, and of course everyone’s kids. It was a fun tradition, and as we got older, my sister and I would invite our own friends. I have so, so many food-related memories of those New Year’s Eve parties… from my mom’s friend who always brought shrimp cocktail, to another that brought veggie pizza every year, my mom’s barbecued beans, and this chicken spread. It only takes five minutes to make and can be made ahead of time, which makes it perfect for parties.

A vintage recipe for Chicken Spread/Dip using Underwood chicken. |

The original recipe that my mom always made calls specifically for Underwood canned chicken (which makes me think that this was perhaps a recipe from a brand cookbook or packaging?), but I can’t find it at my local store anymore. Any type of canned chicken breast will work, just be sure to drain it.

I love the combination of the cream cheese with bits of chicken, a bite from the onion and the flavor of the soy sauce. It’s the perfect topping for Ritz crackers, but it can be served with any variety of accompaniments, from assorted crackers to tortilla chips, pita chips… whatever you love to use for dipping!

I absolutely adore recipes that bring back specific memories, and all of those New Year’s Eve gatherings are wonderful memories.

A vintage recipe for Chicken Spread/Dip using Underwood chicken. |

Three years ago: White Russian Winter Milkshake
Four years ago: Cream Cheese-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeños
Five years ago: Mushroom-Herb Macaroni and Cheese
Seven years ago: Lemon Meringue Pie

Chicken Spread

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

My mom has been making this chicken spread/dip since I was a little kid, and it's always a hit at parties!


8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 small onion, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
1 (4.25-oz) can chicken
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce


1. In a medium bowl, blend all ingredients together with a hand mixer until creamy and combined.

2. Serve with assorted crackers. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


61 Responses to “Chicken Spread”

  1. Amber on August 10, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Your pics are getting awesome Chelley! This looks wonderful.


  2. Carrie on August 11, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Your dips make me drool!


  3. jamaicamama on February 26, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I used it Superbowl nite and it was a hit esp. with the ladies! They could not get enough of it! In the interest of saving calories in the face of all the other goodies there were to eat, I did use a lite cream cheese and it did not hurt the flavor one bit. I also added some chopped parsley for color, grated the onion (so it would blend in a bit better) and served with reduced fat wheat thins.

    This one’s a keeper! THanks again!


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  9. Patricia on June 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

    This looks delish! I have absolute trust in your recipes, Michelle, but I’m a bit hesitant about the soy sauce. A couple of people in our household are beyond “picky” and I’m concerned that the soy sauce flavor might be a bit strong for them. Is it very pronounced, or does it just enhance the overall flavor?


  10. Michelle on June 6, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Patricia, The soy sauce really just blends into the rest of the flavors and doesn’t stand out or is overpowering. If you’re worried, you could always start with 1 teaspoon and if they don’t notice, work up to 1 tablespoon 😉 I hope that helps!


    • jan on May 31st, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      has anyone used this spread as filling for mini quiches which are baked?


  11. Sarah on September 2, 2011 at 10:50 am

    How many does this serve?


    • Michelle on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Sarah, I would say that it serves about 6 people.


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  15. Laura Magowan on November 8, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Just made this dip for no other reason but to try it…And OMGosh….It is addicting…. with the ritz crackers… Bravo…Trying not to go back for more:)


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  17. Holly on January 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and I thought it sounded good and easy. I made it this afternoon for a snack, and we all loved it! We had it with Ritz like you suggested, and the kids just ate it up! Thanks for the recipe!


  18. Cathy O on January 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I have a really old recipe very similar to this. My recipe uses sour cream instead of mayo, worchestire sauce instead of soy, also has chives in it. Then, form it into a ball and roll in chopped nuts. I serve it with cocktail rye and pumpernickel breads.


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  20. Stulberger on February 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I made this yesterday. A bit skeptical about canned chicken. It turned out great. Everyone loved it.


  21. marcio on April 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Really tasty


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  24. Sarah on February 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I made this for our Super Bowl party and it was nearly gone before I got a chance to sit down and have any myself! It was great with Ritz crackers and pretzels. I used lower fat mayo and cream cheese. I never know about the size of onions, so I just used two handfuls of chopped onion and called it good. Very tasty and easy!


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  27. Janae@ Jay Tried and True on October 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Brought this to a friend’s house, it was delicious! Thank you for sharing!


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  30. Jill on December 26, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I made this for Christmas. Im sorry to report it was a flop.
    No one liked it! 🙁
    Even though It was canned chicken, everyone thought it
    Tasted like tuna?!? Oh well- thanks anyways


    • Michely Rivera on January 27th, 2015 at 10:26 am

      I’ve been making this for a couple of years! i add chives and a little bit of oregano, onion powder and garlic powder. Also i make it the night before so the flavors have time to “marry” it makes a worlds difference!


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  34. Denise Portelance on July 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Made this, with a few minor adjustments, and it is a wonderful recipe. Thank you for the post.


  35. Brigitta on January 27, 2015 at 5:51 am

    I have never seen canned chicken here in Austria.
    Can you use cooked or broiled chicken breasts as a substitute?
    By the way congratuliations for your cute baby!


    • Kelly on January 27th, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Canned chicken is just some small bits of white meat chicken packed in water or oil, like tuna. It’s very bland but it’s very moist. I think if you cooked a chicken breast and shredded it you would actually end up with a tastier product. Canned chicke tends to be very moist and if you use a shredded chicken breast you might need to add a little more mayo but I bet it will be delicious!


    • Michelle on February 4th, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Brigitta, Yes, you absolutely could!


  36. Faye on January 27, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Iv got the same problem, can’t seem to find canned chicken here in the UK. This recipe look yummy, Would love to know if you could use cooked chicken breast as a substitute : )


    • Michelle on February 4th, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      Hi Faye, Yes, you could definitely use cooked chicken breast. Enjoy!


  37. Chris on January 27, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Just wondering, am I the only one that isn’t getting the email feed?


    • Jodi on January 27th, 2015 at 11:36 am

      No email for me either!


      • Julie on January 27th, 2015 at 11:46 am

        I didn’t get it either. I just thought she didn’t have time to post.


        • Wendy on January 31st, 2015 at 3:47 pm

          Me too! Something’s up – I thought our dear BBB was just taking a little time off! I even tried to re-subscribe thinking it was me and my technology challenges ! But it said I had already subscribed !


  38. Cindy on January 27, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Canned chicken? Really?? Oh no.


  39. Catherine on January 27, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    What a great spread for a gathering.


  40. Amy Basso on January 31, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I am a lover of dips and spreads and I’ve never tried one like this! Sounds great and looks amazing! Can’t wait to make this!


  41. Sandra L. Crenshaw on May 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    This could literally kill a girl! I mean, consider how she’s going to fight for that “just one more” bite. Believe me, i tried this and knew how it feel. This is insane. All the girls out there, trust me you have to try this babies!


  42. FlyInTheOintment on May 31, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    I have made this 100’s of times since early 1960’s using Underwood Chicken Spread, you can also make it with the Deviled Ham and the Roast Beef Spread they make. If you make it with just chicken breast it isn’t as tasty but it is good in a pinch. Your version is lower calorie using canned chicken breast. The Underwood spread has a lot of chicken fat in it…that’s why it is so good!


  43. Cosima von Bülow on June 7, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    This looked great but I can’t take the smooth texture of the chicken. Too mushy for me, like Underwood spread. The taste is great but the texture nearly kicks starts a vomit.


    • Mary Fran on January 11th, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Coincidentally, I had some gals over for drinks on Fri. and when one asked on the phone “what kind of meat are you serving?” I went into Food Network’s “Chopped” mode. In the pantry I found a large can of good quality chicken meat, pineapple tidbits and in the fridge I had cream cheese with onion and chives as well as cream cheese with pecan and honey. Put a dollop (several TBL each) of the cream cheeses along with some mayo and a few shakes of Badia cajun seasoning and mixed it and refrigerated it for a couple of hours. The gals loved it! Of course the chicken and the pineapple tidbits were well drained; the chicken was not at all mushy as Cosima von Bulow had noted.


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  48. Nancy Harn on February 16, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I read with interest the Underwood Chicken…it used to be a brand. Hannibal, MO had a factory originally called Underwood’s, and they made canned chicken. It then became Red Devil, Pet, then Pillsbury, and then General Mills bought our Pillsbury, so today it is General Mills. I work there, so just thought I’d give you a little history. I’m not completely sure of the order of change except the last two. 🙂


  49. Gina Gentry on February 24, 2016 at 2:06 am

    Hi! I know the Food Lion & Dollar General in our little town/city carry the Underwood Deviled Ham Spread but not sure about the chicken though but, I will definitely be checking to see. But I do know that it is still being made because Amazon sells it. 🙂


  50. sylvia richardson on June 24, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Thank you for always including the weight management & cup measurement in your recipes. It’s frustrating when recipes say 1 small onion, 1/4 cup (what’s ‘small’ to one person, may be larger to another. Saying 4 cups of strawberries and giving weight measurement can also make a difference in a recipe. Thank you, again, for including two options for measurements in your recipes.


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