Canned fish is one of our favorite pantry staples. Name them: canned tuna, salmon, anchovies, mackerel and sardines in oil, brine, and tomato sauce – we all love them the same way. They’re tasty, protein-packed, and loaded with Omega-3. They’re also convenient – just pull the easy-to-open can and boom, you have an instant, nutritious meal.
And since the quarantine forced people to rely on food delivery services and stock up on non-perishable foods for survival while at home for months, canned goods have become lifesavers. But let’s be honest – we tend to get sick of eating canned goods every day.
Why don’t you take your canned fish favorites up a notch and craft a restaurant-worthy dish from whatever you can find in your pantry? Here are 10 ideas you may check out.
1. Turn them into burgers, patties, fish cakes
Looking for a quick and easy recipe for your canned salmon and tuna? Turn them into patties. Combine canned fish with eggs, breadcrumbs, chopped onions, lemon juice, herbs, and spices, then cook in a medium-hot skillet until it’s lightly browned.
You may pair these fish patties with aoli, yogurt sauce, or ranch dip or make them into a light and tasty burger sandwich.
2. Fish tacos and nachos, everyone?
Craving Mexican food? Skip the greasy beef and pork, and go for a lighter protein with healthified nachos and tacos. Mix them with Mexican crema, cheddar, avocado, coriander, jalapeno, and pico de gallo, and some lime juice and voila! A delicious Mexican comfort food – but slimmed down.
3. Enjoy a hot, fresh-from-the-oven pizza
So what if your favorite pizza joint doesn’t deliver to your area? You can have a lighter and healthier take at home with canned anchovies or salmon. Canned fish, cheese, onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes are all it takes.
4. Create a stunning pasta dish
There are infinite pasta recipes you can make with canned tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies. Some dishes even made it to restaurant menus.
Here are some of the dishes you may try:
- Creamy tuna alfredo pasta
- Olive oil and garlic tuna pasta
- Spanish sardines pasta
- Spaghetti alla puttanesca
- Tuna and pesto pasta
- Smoked salmon pasta with spinach and lemon
Would you like it to be tomato-based, oil and garlic-based, cream-based? What are the vegetables suitable for your dish? Take it from there and get extra creative in making your very own recipe.
5. Power up your salads and soups
Give your healthy salads and soups their much-needed boost with canned fish. Not only it will make them less boring – jazzing up your salads and soups with a can of tuna or salmon is a quick and easy way to have a light meal filled with a hearty dose of protein and vitamins.
6. Stuff your peppers
Looking for a guilt-free, carb-light meal that packs a punch? Try stuffing your bell peppers with canned fish, onion, tomatoes, herbs, and spices. Broil for about 10 minutes until the fish flakes and peppers are tender. Top it off with cheese.
Fish-stuffed peppers are often made with tilapia or cod, but canned tuna or salmon also makes a nutrient-laden dish that will surely please your tummy.
7. Make some simple sushi rolls
Nothing beats cold and fresh sashimi brought by a fresh seafood delivery service to your doorstep. But just in case you have no access to this good stuff, I guess canned tuna and salmon may suffice.
Sushi rice, nori, canned fish, and thinly-sliced mango, avocado, and cucumber are all it takes to recreate your favorite maki. Don’t forget to top them with Japanese mayo and your favorite hot sauce.
8. Add it to eggs
Looking for a protein boost in the morning? You can never go wrong with canned fish and eggs. Tuna omelet and frittata are two of the quick and easy recipes you may recreate at home. Make them better with onions, peppers, tomatoes, parsley, and cheese.
9. Cook a casserole with a seafood twist
Casseroles are one of those comforting dishes that bring people together. Using canned tuna makes a lighter yet equally satisfying take on this family classic.
10. Whip up a pâté
Looking for a fancy dip or spread to go with your crackers or toast? You can use canned fish to whip up a nice pâté, or a mouse-like paste.
Instead of meat and fat, you may use salmon or mackerel. Add the can of fish, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, into a food processor and blend until you have a smooth, spreadable consistency.
And when you’re running out of ideas? Just take your plating game to the next level and make it look like a masterchef-worthy dish.
Author Bio: Mina Natividad is a passionate daytime writer for Manettas Seafood Market, an online and interactive seafood hub that provides customers a true, first-class fish market experience without leaving home. Since she’s a seafood lover herself, she’s got a lot to say about food, well-being, and lifestyle.