Recipes For A Can Of….

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Need recipes for a can of…. (insert canned food item here)? You aren’t alone. That lonely can of something in the back of your pantry has been screaming out to you, but you just don’t know what to do with it. I get it, and I’m here to help.

We are apparently all a little hyper focused on canned goods right now, according to the empty grocery store shelves and limited number of items we are allowed to buy at one time. As I write this, we are in the middle of a 30 day stay-at-home oder here in North Carolina and supermarket shelves are totally empty at my local grocery store. So I know that many of you probably have a lot of canned food items in your pantry, and plenty of toilet paper in the bathroom cabinets. But that’s another blog post…

A collection of recipes For A Can Of whatever you have in your pantry or cupboard.

If those canned foods are giving you the evil eye every time you open the pantry door, I can help you make a meal with a specific canned item, using that and maybe a couple other pantry items or fresh ingredients as well.

Note that many canned food items are not considered “clean eating” based on other added ingredients. But there will be no judgement here. We are all just trying to survive this. So use what you have on hand so you don’t have to leave your house. Even if some of the ingredients aren’t normally what you’d eat.

And if you see something here I missed, let me know in a comment below and I will add it!

TABLE OF CANNED INGREDIENTS

Click the canned ingredient you want to get recipes and information for. It will scan down the page to that canned food item so you don’t have to scroll forever. This is a long page! And to get back to the top here, simply click the back button on your browser.

BEANS 

Black beans | Garbanzo beans | Kidney Beans | Navy Beans | Pinto beans | Refried beans | White beans

VEGETABLES

Artichoke hearts | Asparagus | Carrots | Corn | Green beans | Green chilis | Peas | Pumpkin | Spinach | Tomatoes (diced) | Tomato (paste) | Tomato (sauce)

FRUITS

Olives | Peaches | Pineapple

BROTHS

Beef | Chicken | Vegetable

MEATS

Chicken | Salmon | Tuna

MISC

Coconut cream | Coconut milk | Enchilada sauce | Spaghetti sauce

A group of cans from the pantry.

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF…

Here are some tips and tricks for ways to use up that can in your pantry. Some of the suggestions will use more canned ingredients than just one. Others will use some fresh ingredients too. Some recipes will be from this blog, and where my blog is lacking in recipes, I provide links to other blogs as well.

CANNED BEANS

We all have cans of beans in our cupboards or pantries. But if you have dry beans instead, don’t fret! Just cook them and use them in place of the canned variety. Most standard cans of beans have approximately 1 1/4 cups of beans in them. And if you struggle with cooking dry beans like I used to, check out this guide for How To Cook Dry Beans.

BLACK BEANS

USE IN: – Black beans are great additions to any latin-inspired dish. Add them to tacos, burritos, refry them for dips, put them into nachos or just add them to soups. Many types of soups will tolerate black beans well, but especially tomato based soups and vegetable soups or stews. They go well in mixed bean dishes as well.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Chili peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Onions

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF BLACK BEANS:

PINTO BEANS

USE IN: Like black beans, pinto beans are fabulous in latin cuisine and can be used in many similar dishes. But they don’t stop there. Pinto flavor lends itself to a mush broader range of pairings. I often eat them plain with just a little salt. You can refry them, you can add them to salads or even mix them with other beans for salads, soups and stews.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Chili peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Savory

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF PINTO BEANS:

WHITE BEANS

USE IN: White beans have a very broad application. White beans are pretty much any bean that is white such as Cannellini beans or navy beans. In general, they are great for soups, salads, hummus, dips or even as a side dish all on their own. They are wonderful in Italian cuisine.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Savory
  • Thyme
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF WHITE BEANS:

NAVY BEANS

USE IN: These fall under the White Bean category above. But navy beans have their own flavor profile that makes them well suited for many things. They are the easiest bean to digest, so if you have trouble digesting beans (barring any actual physical or medical issues), these beans can be a great option. The information below can be combined with the White Bean information above.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Bacon
  • Ketchup
  • Molasses
  • Mustard
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Savory

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF NABY BEANS:

GARBANZO BEANS (CHICKPEAS)

USE IN:

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Tahini
  • Tomatoes
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF GARBANZO BEANS:

REFRIED BEANS

USE IN: Refried beans are often just seen as a side dish to other latin main dishes. However, they are also great in soups, inside burritos or tacos, made into dip, used with pasta (think “enchilada stuffed pasta shells) in salads or used in Mexican lasagna. You can even use them as a base for a Mexican inspired pizza or add them to various casseroles. The sky is the limit with refried beans! And don’t limit yourself to refried pinto beans. Refried beans are made with many different types of beans these days! And if you have dry beans at home, you can easily make refried beans yourself. Here’s how to do that.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF REFRIED BEANS:

KIDNEY BEANS

USE IN: Kidney beans are great in green salad, in soups and definitely in a lot of Italian cuisine.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Bay Leaves
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Savory
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF KIDNEY BEANS:

An overhead view of the tops of five cans in this collection of recipes for a can of whatever is in your cupboard or pantry.

CANNED VEGETABLES

GREEN BEANS

USE IN: Green beans are a multi-purpose vegetable. They can be eaten on their own or mixed into any number of dishes. They work well with American, Italian and some Asian cuisine such as stir fry. They are great additions to casseroles, soups and stews as well.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Savory
  • Tomatoes
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF GREEN BEANS:

While these recipes may call for fresh or frozen green beans, you can easily substitute with canned green beans.

CORN

USE IN: Like many vegetables, corn pairs well with many types of dishes. It works well in both Latin and American cuisines. Casseroles, soups and stews are a great way to use it, as is eating it on it’s own as a stand-alone side dish.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Bell peppers
  • Butter
  • Chili peppers
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF CORN:

ASPARAGUS

USE IN: Asparagus is best used in lighter dishes. It goes well in soups, salads and side dishes. You can bake, steam, boil, grill or stir fry into many different types of dishes. It goes well in American and Asian cuisines, but isn’t limited to those alone. Asparagus has a light flavor and delicate texture with a light crunch, if cooked properly. It will “freshen” up any dish  you put it in.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Butter
  • Cheese (especially parmesan)
  • Eggs
  • Lemon
  • Black pepper
  • Shallots
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF ASPARAGUS:

TOMATOES (DICED)

USE IN: A shorter list would be, what are tomatoes NOT used in! Tomatoes are found in almost all cuisines around the world. From Italian to American to Latin cuisines, there isn’t much that tomatoes don’t go well with. However, canned tomato products come in many different varieties. From diced to sauce or paste. So I’ve broken them down by type here.

Diced tomatoes are most often added to soups, stews and casseroles. They are packed with plenty of liquid, so the addition of liquid has to be accommodated for in whatever recipe you put them in.

TOMATOES (SAUCE)

USE IN: Soups, stews and sauces are where you’ll most often add tomato sauce. It’s handy to have cans of sauce available for many different recipes for anything from American, Italian or Latin cuisines.

TOMATOES (PASTE)

USE IN: Often used to thicken tomato based soups or stews, tomato paste has many different uses. While most true Italians will shudder at the very suggestion, you can use tomato paste to make tomato sauce in a pinch by adding 3 times the water to the paste and whisking until well blended.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Basil
  • Bell peppers
  • Cheese
  • Chili peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR CANNED TOMATOES:

PUMPKIN

USE IN: Canned pumpkin refers to actual pumpkin puree here. Not pumpkin pie filling. There is a very big difference, so be sure you have pumpkin. Not pie filling. P

Pumpkin is a relatively bland ingredient when canned, but it has a mildly sweet flavor to it.. It can often be on the watery side, depending on the brand of pumpkin you buy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make something tasty with it! It goes well in soups, casseroles, baked goods, smoothies and a variety of cuisines, but especially American cuisine.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Allspice
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Orange juice
  • Sage
  • Thyme

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF PUMPKIN:

PEAS

USE IN: Peas are another all-purpose vegetable that go well in many dishes. Soups, casserole or even just blended with a little salt and butter are great ways to use peas.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Bacon
  • Basil
  • Butter
  • Carrots
  • Cream
  • Mint
  • Potatoes
  • Thyme

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF PEAS:

CARROTS

USE IN: Carrots are slightly sweet with a well developed flavor that benefits many cuisines and types of dishes. Anything from casseroles to soup to stir fries will benefit from their addition.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Dill
  • Ginger
  • Maple syrup
  • Orange juice
  • Parsley
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF CARROTS:

ARTICHOKE HEARTS

USE IN: Artichoke hearts are wonderful, but have a very specific flavor that goes well with specific types of dishes. Best in Mediterranean dishes, canned artichoke hearts can enhance hummus, get tossed with pasta or be grilled or roasted with other veggies. Despite their unique flavor, they are quite versatile in the ways you can prepare them. that being said, I only have two recipes on this site that use them!! (I’ll be working on that…). So I’ll give you a couple links to other blogger’s recipes here as well.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF ARTICHOKE HEARTS:

GREEN CHILIS

USE IN: Canned green chilis are excellent for both Latin and American cuisine. But you don’t have to limit yourself to that. These are not something I use often so I only have a couple of recipes you can use them in. However,  I found a few links from other bloggers you might enjoy as well.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF GREEN CHILIES:

SPINACH

USE IN: Canned spinach has a strong flavor that is particularly suited for certain dishes. It can be used in multiple cuisines and a broad range of dishes. Think, casseroles, soups, stews, quiches, or even just as a side dish.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Pepper
  • Soy sauce
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF SPINACH:

An overhead view of three cans standing in a row.

CANNED FRUIT

OLIVES

USE IN: Olives are wonderful in Italian, Latin Mediterranean and American cuisines. They come in many varieties and flavors. Most people with either have canned black olives, or some of the more fancy olives sold in glass jars, in their pantry. All of the recipes posted below use black olives. In some of the recipes, you could easily use whatever type of olive you prefer.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Capers
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Pepper
  • Tomatoes
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF OLIVES:

PEARS

USE IN: Pears have a very mild and delicate flavor that can benefit many different recipes and cuisines. Most recipes using pears will be on the lighter side, but not all. Pears can be used in dessert recipes, smoothies and even soups and stews.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Almonds
  • Butter
  • Caramel
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Honey
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Vanilla
  • Vinegar
  • Walnuts

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF PEARS:

PEACHES

USE IN: Peaches have a delicate flavor that is well suited for dessert, but also for savory dishes across multiple cuisines. However, peaches are most often found in American cuisine, and we tend to use them in many types of recipes. We bake them, grill them, blend them, marinate them, turn them into drinks and eat them plain.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Almonds
  • Blueberries
  • Cinnamon
  • Cream
  • Honey
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Vanilla

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF PEACHES:

PINEAPPLE

USE IN: This tropical fruit is very refreshing. And if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to have a really good one from Hawaii, you know there are few things in this world that can compare. They are like candy when ripened properly. But that doesn’t mean that canned pineapple is bad. In fact, if you have a can of pineapple chunks or rings in the pantry, there is quite a lot you can do with it!

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Bananas
  • Coconut
  • Lime
  • Mangos
  • Vanilla

RECIPES FOR A CANNED PINEAPPLE:

CANNED BROTHS

CHICKEN BROTH

USE IN: Like chicken, chicken broth is a wonderful way to enhance a meal. Chicken broth is great for soup bases, stews and even for “frying” with in place of oil. You can cook rice with it in place of water to flavor your rice or any other grains you care to cook. And when you feel under the weather, just a regular cup of seasoned chicken broth can work wonders.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Butter
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Curry
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Tomatoes

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF CHICKEN BROTH:

VEGETABLE BROTH

USE IN: Vegetable broth is probably the most versatile of all the broths. You can put it into almost any savory dish and it will blend well. Think soups, stews and a great way to fry without oil or fat.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Vegetables of all kinds
  • Bay leaf
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF VEGETABLE BROTH:

BEEF BROTH

USE IN: Beef broth is used in savory soups, stews and other dishes across many cuisines.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Pepper
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF BEEF BROTH:

CANNED MEATS

TUNA

USE IN: Canned tuna is best used in sandwiches, salads and casseroles. It has a very distinct flavor, especially when canned.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Avocados
  • Capers
  • Chili peppers
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Sesame
  • Soy sauce / coconut aminos
  • Thyme
  • Tomatoes
  • Vinegar

RECIPES FOR CANNED TUNA:

CHICKEN

USE IN: Canned chicken can be used in nearly anything that regular chicken can be used it. The flavor and texture are only slightly different from the non-canned variety and it works well in dishes that need shredded chicken.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Butter
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Curry
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Tomatoes

RECIPES FOR CANNED CHICKEN:

SALMON

USE IN: 

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Asparagus
  • Butter
  • Chives
  • Cream
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Leon
  • Lentils
  • Lime
  • Mustard
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Pepper

RECIPES FOR CANNED SALMON:

OTHER CANNED FOODS

SPAGHETTI SAUCE

USE IN: Spaghetti sauce is a multi-purpose sauce. You can use it over pasta, in casseroles, to add additional flavor to soups and stews or even as an easy replacement for pizza sauce. It is most often used in Italian and American cuisine.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Basil
  • Bell peppers
  • Garlic
  • Maple syrup
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Vinegar (especially balsamic)

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF SPAGHETTI SAUCE:

COCONUT CREAM

USE IN: Coconut cream is the fat that comes from full-fat coconut milk. You can either buy it in the can (read the ingredient list!), or you can buy cans of full-fat coconut cream and keep them in the fridge for a couple of days. Then open them and scoop out the cream. This can be used for any number of dishes and is great in baking, soups, stews and even whipped for a dairy free whipped cream.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Curry
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Mint
  • Vanilla

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF COCONUT CREAM:

COCONUT MILK

USE IN: Coconut milk can be used in just the same way as dairy milk. While it’s slightly less sweet and definitely has a coconut flavor, it’s uses span everything from Thai cuisine to your creamy, morning smoothie. In the can, it will last for many months. But once opened, you’ll want to use it up in about 3-4 days. Store it in a container different than the can it came in.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Chicken
  • Chocolate
  • Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Mango
  • Pepper
  • Pineapple
  • Sesame
  • Vanilla

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF COCONUT MILK:

ENCHILADA SAUCE

USE IN: Enchilada sauce is almost as versatile as spaghetti squash. It can be used in casseroles, shredded meats, pasta, Mexican egg rolls, and of course, in enchiladas.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Beans (especially black or pinto)
  • Bell peppers
  • Chili powder
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Onions

RECIPES FOR A CAN OF ENCHILADA SAUCE:

APPLE SAUCE

USE IN: Apple sauce can be used in baking, as part of a dessert or simply enjoyed by itself. They types of apples used to make apple sauce will directly affect the flavor of the sauce. Most canned varieties have a slightly bland, uniform flavor that lends well to baking.

FLAVOR AFFINITIES:

  • Cheddar
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cream
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Lemon
  • Nutmeg
  • Pecans
  • Pork
  • Vanilla
  • Walnuts

RECIPES FOR CANNED APPLE SAUCE:

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2 Comments

  1. Green chilies can liven basic chicken noodle soup. Any roasted meat or vegetables. (Diced potatoes & green chilies-mmmm) Or, your hash brown recipe!

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