Vaccines that induce T cells, which recognize conserved viral proteins, could confer universal protection against seasonal and pandemic influenza strains. An effective vaccine should generate sufficient mucosal T cells to ensure rapid viral control before clinical disease. However, T cells may also cause lung injury in influenza, so this approach carries inherent risks. Here we describe intranasal immunization of mice with a lentiviral vector expressing influenza nucleoprotein (NP), together with an NFκB activator, which transduces over 75% of alveolar macrophages (AM). This strategy recalls and expands NP-specific CD8+ T cells in the lung and airway of mice that have been immunized subcutaneously, or previously exposed to influenza. Granzyme B-high, lung-resident T-cell populations persist for at least 4 months and can control a lethal influenza challenge without harmful cytokine responses, weight loss, or lung injury. These data demonstrate that AM can be harnessed as effective antigen-presenting cells for influenza vaccination.