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9 Canned Food Recipes To Try At Home That Are Worthy Of A Gourmet Restaurant

Canned food recipes

Canned food recipes
Image adapted from (clockwise from top-left): The Recipe Critic, Barefeet In The Kitchen, Genova Seafood, A Sweet Pea Chef

When it comes to cooking with canned food, you might think that tuna mayo sandwiches and pan-fried luncheon meat is about as good as it gets. So you’ll be surprised that you can make tuna crostinis, corned beef hash and even a mean pineapple mojito with canned food.

Whether you have a bunch of canned tuna lying around or are just bored of eating the same ol’ dishes at home, these 9 canned food recipes will change your mind about what’s inside those shiny tins.

For more recipe ideas:

– Canned Tuna –

1. Tuna Crostinis

canned tuna recipesImage credit: Genova Seafood

If you’re looking for a quick mid-day snack to tide you over until dinner time or if you want to impress your dinner guests after this Circuit Breaker period, this tuna crostini recipe will do the trick. You’ll fool everyone into thinking that you spent a lot of effort even though you would have barely broken a sweat.

Time needed: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 4-6


  • 160 grams canned tuna flakes in olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cherry tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (roasted and minced) 
  • 1 baguette
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Drain tuna flakes and set aside oil for later. 
  2. Cut the baguette to about 1CM thick slices. Brush both sides of the baguette slices with the tuna oil and toast in the oven at 180°C until golden brown. 
  3. Mix tuna flakes, lemon juice, chopped cherry tomatoes, parsley and minced garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Top the baguette slices with the tuna mixture and garnish with some chopped basil or parsley.

2. Thai Tuna Fish Cakes

canned tuna recipesImage credit: RecipeTin Eats

Thai fish cakes are one of Thailand’s most popular snacks that you can easily replicate at home. Instead of fiddling with fresh fish and having to debone them, canned tuna makes for an easy substitute.

Time needed: 40 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients for fish cakes: 

  • 150 grams potato (peeled and cubed)
  • 250 grams canned tuna chunks in water
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli
  • 1 stick lemongrass
  • 30 grams ginger (grated)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 50 grams spring onion
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 30 grams breadcrumbs
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for dipping sauce: 

  • ¼  teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ½  teaspoon lime juice
  • ½  bird’s eye chilli
  • ½  spring onion
  • Salt to taste

Steps for fish cakes: 

  1. Boil the cubed potatoes in boiling water until soft (about 10 minutes), then mash. 
  2. Slice the chilli finely and remove more seeds if you can’t take spice.
  3. Remove outer leaves of the lemongrass and smash the inner part with the blunt side of your knife before slicing very finely. 
  4. Finely shred the kaffir lime leaves. 
  5. Mix all the fish cake ingredients together and form into golf ball-sized lumps. Flatten slightly to create a patty. 
  6. Heat 1CM of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the cakes until crispy and golden. 

Steps for dipping sauce: 

  1. Slice the chilli and spring onion as finely as you can. 
  2. Mix together all of the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Adjust seasoning to your liking.

– Canned vegetables – mushrooms, tomatoes & beans –

3. Mushroom Aglio Olio

Image credit: My Food Story

When done right, aglio olio transforms a few simple ingredients into a quick and flavourful dish that anyone can master. Even though this mushroom aglio olio is great for vegetarians, feel free to add a side of grilled chicken or fish to complement the meal.

Time needed: 20-25 mins
Serves: 4


  • 250 grams spaghetti 
  • Olive oil
  • 200 grams canned sliced mushrooms (drained)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • ½  teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 ½  teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper 


  1. Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions. 
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan at medium-high heat and add mushrooms. Saute mushrooms until golden brown. 
  3. Lower to medium heat and add another tablespoon of olive oil, chopped garlic and chilli flakes. 
  4. Drain pasta and add it to the pan, along with butter, parsley and salt and pepper. Toss well and serve. 

4. Chili Stew

Image credit: The Stay At Home Chef

Whether you’re looking to warm your tummy on a rainy day or you just need some comfort food to tide you through this Circuit Breaker, this chili stew will tick all the right boxes. All you have to do is pretty much throw everything in a pot to simmer away until dinner time. 

This chili is great over quinoa, rice or baked potatoes and you can’t go wrong with classic toppings like sour cream, avocado, shredded cheddar cheese and sliced green onions.

Time needed: 30-40 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 450 grams ground beef
  • 2 ½  tablespoons chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½  teaspoons salt
  • ½  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½  cups beef broth
  • 425 grams canned diced tomatoes
  • 454 grams canned red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 227 grams canned tomato puree


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add chopped onions. Saute for 5 minutes then add the ground beef. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat and cook for another 6-7 minutes until the meat is browned. 
  2. Add the chilli powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then, add the broth, diced tomatoes, drained beans, and tomato puree. Stir well. 
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove pot from heat and rest the chili for 5-10 minutes before serving with your choice of base and toppings. 

– Corned beef or luncheon meat –

5. Corned Beef Hash

Image credit: The Recipe Critic

This corned beef hash elevates simple potatoes and eggs and is a hearty brunch dish you can whip up for the whole fam. If you can’t find corned beef, you can substitute it with low-sodium luncheon meat in a pinch.

Time needed: 25 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion (finely chopped) 
  • 2-3 cups canned corned beef (cut into small cubes)
  • 2-3 cups potatoes (cubed)
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil cubed potatoes in salted water until tender and can be pierced with a fork, (about 10 minutes) before straining the potatoes and setting aside. 
  2. Heat butter on medium heat and saute onions for about 5 minutes until translucent. 
  3. Mix in the chopped corned beef, potatoes and chili flakes and spread into an even layer. 
  4. Turn up the heat to high and use your spatula to press down on the mixture. Do not stir and only flip in sections when it has browned. 
  5. Continue until everything is browned, stir the chopped parsley in, and season to taste before serving.

6. Corned Beef Burger

Image credit: Closet Cooking

This corned beef burger is the epitome of sinful stick-to-your-ribs food. Topped with Guinness caramelised onions, crispy bacon, melty cheddar and a runny fried egg, this burger will put you in a serious food coma. 

Time needed: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup Guinness (or beef broth if not using alcohol)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
  • 8 strips streaky bacon
  • 680 grams canned corned beef, ground in food processor
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 burger buns


  1. Mince the corned beef by pulsing in a food processor or use your hands to break it down. 
  2. Form the ground corned beef into 4 patties and set aside. 
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. 
  4. Add ¼ cup Guinness/beef broth, cover and simmer until the liquid is mostly evaporated, (about 15 minutes). Repeat this process 3 more times.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in the Worcestershire sauce and grainy mustard.
  6. Fry the streaky bacon in a pan on medium-high heat and allow the fat to render off. Once crispy, set aside the bacon on some paper towels to soak up the oil. 
  7. Pour away most of the bacon fat in the pan, leaving a little behind. Toast the burger buns in the pan then set aside.
  8. Grill or pan fry the patties over medium-high heat, flipping the patties over after 3-5 minutes. After flipping, place a slice of cheese on top and allow to melt before setting aside.
  9. Fry the sunny side-up eggs to your desired level of doneness, assemble the burgers and serve.  

– Canned fruits –

7. Pineapple Mojito

Image credit: Barefeet In The Kitchen

Mojitos remind us of lounging poolside and soaking up the sun on holidays. To make the pain of cancelled flights and ruined vacation plans go away, this pineapple mojito will transport you to better times. If you want to skip the alcohol, just substitute with more soda water for a refreshing mocktail. 

Time needed: 10 minutes
Serves: 8 glasses


  • 2 cups canned cubed pineapple in syrup
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 2 cups white rum
  • ¾ cup lime juice
  • 1 ¼ cup soda water
  • Ice


  1. Drain pineapple and set aside syrup for later use.
  2. In a pitcher, muddle the mint leaves and pineapple with a wooden spoon. 
  3. Stir in the rum, lime juice, soda water and 1 cup of the pineapple syrup. 
  4. Pour into glasses and garnish with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge if you like.

8. Peach Bellini

Image credit: Cookie & Kate

The best part about using canned peaches is that they’re always perfectly ripe and sweet no matter the season. They’re perfect to use in this peach bellini recipe because instead of making a simple syrup for the cocktail, you can just use the syrup from the canned peaches.

Time needed: 10 mins
Serves: 6 glasses


  • 200 grams canned peaches in syrup
  • 750ML champagne/sparkling wine 


  1. Blend the peaches with a ¼ cup of syrup from the can. 
  2. Divide the peach puree into 6 glasses. Each glass should consist of 1 part peach puree and 2 parts champagne/sparkling wine. Stir and enjoy!

9. Mango Sorbet

Image credit: A Sweet Pea Chef

To save money and keep that midsection trim, try your hand at making this mango sorbet instead of buying tubs of ice cream from the supermarket. If mangoes are not your fav, you can substitute it with the same amount of berries, honeydew or any fruit of your choice.

Time needed: 15 minutes prep time, 3 hours for freezing
Serves: 2


  • 227 grams canned mango chunks
  • 3-4 tablespoons syrup from can
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Drain the mango and set aside the syrup for later. 
  2. Freeze mango chunks on a parchment-lined baking sheet until completely frozen. 
  3. Transfer frozen mango into a food processor or blender and pulse. Add the syrup 1 tablespoon at a time to create a smooth texture, stopping to push down the sides once in a while. 
  4. Add a squeeze of lemon and give it a final few pulses. Serve immediately for a softer texture or freeze for about 3 hours to firm up the sorbet.

Also check out our article on easy frozen food recipes.

Canned food recipes

Whether you are looking to try new recipes or are finding ways to incorporate them into your usual dishes, cooking with canned food can be fun and challenging. Now that you have these canned food recipes in your arsenal, treat your family to these dishes while all of you are stuck at home together or trick your friends into a gourmet meal once this Circuit Breaker is over.