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33 Recipes to Make with Canned Food

Created March 26, 2020
Wondering if it’s really possible to make a delicious dinner with the canned foods you have in your cabinet? We’re here to tell you: Yes, you can! (Get it? “Can”?)
Slow-Cooker Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Chili

Slow-Cooker Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Chili

In addition to being pantry-friendly, this enchilada chili is also one of our most popular slow-cooker recipes of all time! Multiple reviewers praise this hearty chili for being a hit with picky eaters, and for making enough that you can enjoy leftovers for lunch the following day.

Canned ingredients: Corn, black beans, enchilada sauce

One-Dish Hawaiian Chicken Bake

One-Dish Hawaiian Chicken Bake

We just love a big reveal, and this seven-ingredient chicken and rice casserole delivers! The whole thing is covered tightly with foil before going in the oven, and when you remove the foil, like magic the rice is cooked perfectly fluffy, the chicken is tender and juicy, and every part of the dish is infused with the sweet Hawaiian flavors of pineapple and barbecue sauce.

Canned ingredients: Pineapple slices (or pineapple chunks)

Cheesy Southwest Chicken and Rice Casserole

Cheesy Southwest Chicken and Rice Casserole

Did somebody say “dump dinner”? Oh, that’s right—we did! Because this genius seven-ingredient casserole requires absolutely zero chopping before it goes in the oven. You literally put everything in a 13x9, cover it in foil and wait while your oven does all the hard work. “Way exceeded my expectations,” said Pillsbury user ltewell. “Can't believe how good this was given how easy it is to make.”

Canned ingredients: Black beans, enchilada sauce

Chicken and Vegetable Alfredo

Chicken and Vegetable Alfredo

When only a creamy, cheesy pasta bake will do, pull up this quick and easy recipe! A jar of store-bought Alfredo sauce is the secret to making this comforting dish in a hurry, and whole kernel sweet corn and frozen broccoli and carrots add a double dose of veggies.

Canned ingredients: Chicken breast, corn

Tuna Twist Pasta Salad

Tuna Twist Pasta Salad

Canned tuna might just be the ultimate pantry staple—and pasta salad might just be the ultimate way to use it! Toss cooked pasta (we like rotini, but use elbow mac, penne or any other short noodle you have on hand) with frozen peas, chopped celery, tuna and creamy Parmesan peppercorn salad dressing, and in minutes you’ll have a complete meal ready to go. Best of all, you can easily double this recipe and enjoy leftovers the next day.

Canned ingredients: Tuna

5-Ingredient White Chicken Chili Bake

5-Ingredient White Chicken Chili Bake

That’s right, you can make chili in a 13x9! This flavorful dinner is a longtime favorite of the Pillsbury staff, and a true pantry-cooking superstar. Taco seasoning and green salsa add huge flavor to juicy chicken thighs, and plenty of gooey mozzarella makes for an extra-cheesy chicken dinner. Tip: Serve with tortilla chips and scoop this chili bake like dip for extra crunch.

Canned ingredients: Chick peas (aka garbanzo beans)

20-Minute Smothered Beef Burrito Skillet

20-Minute Smothered Beef Burrito Skillet

Turn a pound of ground beef into dinner in the time it takes to watch a rerun of your favorite show on Netflix! And it’s easy to change up based on what you have on hand; you can substitute turkey or chicken in place of the beef, and black or kidney beans instead of pinto. Pillsbury user ps_lyonz raves that it’s “Quick, easy, inexpensive and delicious!...The whole family loved it.”

Canned ingredients: Enchilada sauce, pinto beans

Easy Slow-Cooker Ham Bone Soup

Easy Slow-Cooker Ham Bone Soup

The whole house will smell wonderful when this easy soup is simmering away in your slow cooker! Smoky ham, chopped fresh veggies and two cans of beans make this classic recipe as hearty as it is easy. Tip: If you don’t have great northern beans on hand, you can swap in cannellini (aka white kidney beans) for one or both cans in this recipe.

Canned ingredients: Great northern beans

Creamy Marinara Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Creamy Marinara Pasta with Chicken Sausage

This kitchen-tested, kid-friendly pasta tastes like something you’d get at an Italian restaurant, but—twist!—you can actually make it at home with just four simple ingredients. Feel free to change it up based on your family’s preferences, too; it’s just as delicious with Italian pork sausage instead of chicken, or rotini instead of macaroni noodles.

Canned ingredients: Fire roasted crushed tomatoes

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Mandarin Orange Salsa

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Mandarin Orange Salsa

The quickest cure we know for boring chicken breast? Grill it to juicy perfection, then top with a simple DIY fruit salsa. Tip: If you don’t like spice, use canned chopped green chiles instead of jalapeño pepper for a mild kick.

Canned ingredients: Mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple

Classic Bean and Cheese Burritos

Classic Bean and Cheese Burritos

It’s never been easier to satisfy your burrito craving—these are made with just four ingredients! Refried beans are combined with taco seasoning and shredded cheese, then baked inside tender tortillas, for a quick Mexican meal. Customize with your favorite toppings, like lettuce, sour cream and diced tomato.

Canned ingredients: Refried beans

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Speaking of refried beans, this fast tortilla soup features them in one of our favorite ingredient hacks ever. To get simmered-all-day flavor in just 25 minutes, mix refried beans with the broth, tomatoes, chicken and seasoning before cooking. As everything cooks together, the refried beans give the broth a rich and hearty homemade taste—plus extra protein.

Canned ingredients: Refried beans, diced tomatoes, chicken breast (can use in place of rotisserie chicken)

One-Pot Chicken Alfredo Penne

One-Pot Chicken Alfredo Penne

This top-rated pasta comes together with just a handful of ingredients, including evaporated milk, penne pasta, jarred Alfredo sauce, frozen peas and Parmesan cheese. If you use canned chicken breast instead of shredded deli rotisserie chicken, you can stock up on all the ingredients ahead of time and keep them on hand for whenever you need a magically fast weeknight dinner.

Canned ingredients: Evaporated milk, chicken breast (can use in place of rotisserie chicken)

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Pasta Shells

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Pasta Shells

Who says pasta always has to be an Italian dish? This Mexican-inspired spin on stuffed jumbo shells is a fun way to shake up a tired weeknight dinner routine. Tip: For a chili verde flavor twist, use green enchilada sauce and pinto beans in this recipe.

Canned ingredients: Enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes with green chiles, black beans

Cheesy Baked Chicken and Rice

Cheesy Baked Chicken and Rice

Starting with cubed cooked chicken (perhaps canned?) means this homestyle casserole comes together quickly, and preparing the rice in advance would save even more time. With chicken, rice, beans, cheese and plenty of vegetables, you don’t even need a side dish to enjoy this baked chicken and rice as a complete meal.

Canned ingredients: Black beans, diced tomatoes with green chiles, chicken breast

Tuna Casserole

Tuna Casserole

Tuna casserole is a classic for a reason! Just one bite and you’ll see why this dinner has been a family favorite for generations. The potato chip topping is the perfect retro finishing touch on this nostalgic dinner.

Canned ingredients: Condensed cream of mushroom soup, tuna, mushroom pieces and stems

Asian Chicken and Brown Rice

Asian Chicken and Brown Rice

Is there any dinner base more versatile than chicken and rice? In this version, stir fry sauce, pineapple and honey give the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors to chicken, brown rice and frozen sugar snap peas.

Canned ingredients: Pineapple tidbits or chunks

Tomato Beef and Bean Soup

Tomato Beef and Bean Soup

This soup starts out in your pantry, with canned crushed tomatoes and cannellini (white kidney) beans, but that’s just the beginning. Add in fresh spinach leaves to boost the amount of vegetables, bulk up the soup with cooked pasta or rice, or sprinkle in a dash of crushed red pepper flakes during cooking to add spice. (Or try all of the above!)

Canned ingredients: Crushed tomatoes with basil, cannellini beans

One-Pot Creamy Beef Stroganoff

One-Pot Creamy Beef Stroganoff

We first published this top-rated pasta recipe in 2014, and since then, this one-pot wonder has racked up hundreds of rave reviews. It’s all thanks to a secret ingredient you never saw coming: evaporated milk! That’s right, it’s our practically-magic shortcut to the creamiest stroganoff ever. But don’t take our word for it; Pillsbury user NaturegirlJ9 says, “This is my new favorite food. I've never cooked pasta in milk before and I was amazed at how it turned out.”

Canned ingredients: Evaporated milk

Tasty Taco Soup

Tasty Taco Soup

If you signed up for our free 14 Days of Cozy Soups email program, you might have already tried this quick and easy taco soup recipe—which means we don’t have to tell you how amazingly fast, filling and customizeable it is. (And yes, you can make a batch now and freeze it for later!)

Canned ingredients: Diced tomatoes, corn (can use instead of frozen)

Slow-Cooker Three Bean and Turkey Chili

Slow-Cooker Three Bean and Turkey Chili

With not one, not two, but three kinds of beans, this chili would be hearty enough without adding any meat at all! But we’re partial to adding a couple of cups of chopped cooked turkey. (No turkey? This is another great recipe for using canned chicken breast.)

Canned ingredients: Crushed tomatoes, chili beans in sauce, black beans, cannellini beans, chicken breast (instead of turkey)

3-Ingredient One-Pot Mac and Cheese

3-Ingredient One-Pot Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese? Yes, please! No one can resist a bowl of creamy, cheesy pasta—especially not when it’s homemade. For a fun dinner that’s picky eater-proof, serve with your family’s favorite add-ons (broccoli, sliced hot dogs, bacon pieces, etc.) and let the kids top their own bowls.

Canned ingredients: Evaporated milk

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Who knew canned ingredients could combine to make a veggie-boosted chili that’s so delicious—and just so happens to be vegetarian, too? Pantry standbys like fire-roasted diced tomatoes, black beans, canned pumpkin and chopped green chiles combine to make a chili that’s so full of flavor, you’d never guess it’s also so easy to make. If you prefer a version with meat, add in 1 cup of diced cooked chicken (for instance, canned chicken breast!) in the last half hour of cooking.

Canned ingredients: Fire-roasted diced tomatoes, black beans, pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix), chopped green chiles, chicken breast (optional)

Cheesy Biscuit Bean and Beef Casserole

Cheesy Biscuit Bean and Beef Casserole

We hope you’re hungry—because this is one seriously hearty casserole! With ground beef, three kinds of beans and bites of golden homestyle biscuits, this flavorful dinner bake is a worthy opponent for even the biggest appetites.

Canned ingredients: Baked beans, kidney beans, great northern beans

Grands!™ Tuna Melts

Grands!™ Tuna Melts

Regular tuna melts have nothing on these cheesy sandwich pockets! Our famously flaky biscuits are filled with a simple DIY tuna salad and cheddar cheese before baking. Tip: Stir 1 tablespoon of sweet pickle relish into the tuna mixture before filling sandwiches for extra flavor.

Canned ingredients: Tuna

Meatless Jambalaya

Meatless Jambalaya

We had to check the list of ingredients in this jambalaya twice, because at first we couldn’t believe it was really meatless! But it’s true; Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper and fennel seed add all the flavors of Italian sausage, while keeping this dish pantry-friendly and lower calorie. Whether you’re looking for a lighter dinner recipe or just want to find some go-to meatless dishes to add to your rotation, look no further than this one-pan skillet meal.

Canned ingredients: Stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, butter beans, kidney beans

Hawaiian Pizza

Hawaiian Pizza

For a kid-friendly dinner that doubles as a fun family activity, make takeout-style pizza at home! Our recipe for Hawaiian pizza on classic crust comes together with just five ingredients, so it’s ready to go in the oven in no time at all.

Canned ingredients: Pizza sauce, pineapple tidbits

Spanish Pork and Rice

Spanish Pork and Rice

If you’ve had a pork loin kicking around your freezer for a while, we’ve got the perfect dinner for you to make with it. With just a couple fresh ingredients and a handful of pantry staples, you’ve got the answer when they ask what’s for dinner tonight. Best of all, this meal practically cooks itself, thanks to your trusty slow cooker!

Canned ingredients: Diced tomatoes, chopped green chiles, tomato sauce

Slow-Cooker Spicy Black Bean Soup

Slow-Cooker Spicy Black Bean Soup

Got a cabinet full of black beans and no idea what to make with them? Well, you do now! This black bean soup is packed with flavor, and smells delicious while it simmers away in your slow cooker. With jalapeño peppers and chiles in adobo sauce, this “spicy” recipe definitely lives up to its name; if you prefer a milder flavor, try using a can of chopped green chiles and 1-2 tablespoons of taco sauce instead.

Canned ingredients: Black beans

Spicy Barbecue Beans

Spicy Barbecue Beans

With a pound of ground turkey and three kinds of beans, this hearty side dish has major main-dish potential! Whether you top it with a biscuit or serve it over rice, it’s a simple, protein-packed dinner that’s the perfect cross between chili and barbecue. To make it extra kid-friendly, use mild salsa instead of hot.

Canned ingredients: Baked beans, red kidney beans, black beans

Easy Mexican Chicken and Beans

Easy Mexican Chicken and Beans

Five-ingredient dinner? Yes, please! Combine cooked chicken breast strips with taco seasoning, black beans, and corn with red and green peppers for a simple dinner base. Serve this Mexican-style dinner with tortillas—or over rice for a burrito bowl-style meal—and watch it disappear!

Canned ingredients: Black beans, corn with red and green peppers

Tuscan Sausage and Bean Stew

Tuscan Sausage and Bean Stew

Every bowl of this rustic slow-cooker soup is packed with Italian sausage, chopped veggies and white beans, for a dinner that’s as filling as it is delicious. To make it even heartier, add a second can of beans or 1 1/2 cups of cooked penne or bowtie pasta before serving.

Canned ingredients: Diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, cannellini beans

One-Pot Creamy Spaghetti

One-Pot Creamy Spaghetti

If we had to choose our single favorite spaghetti recipe, this would be it! The secret is that instead of water, the noodles cook in a combination of broth and cream—so every bite is as flavorful as possible. Best of all, you can make it with mild or hot Italian sausage (or a mix of the two), so it’s just how your family likes it. “My husband and son love this and ask for it regularly,” says Pillsbury user dsmamaw. “It's so easy my son even made it when we were on vacation!”

Canned ingredients: Crushed tomatoes with basil



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