There's no denying that canned goods help create quick, tasty, often money-saving meals. And while a diet relying wholly on processed foods isn't good, canned foods tend to be healthier today than they were a generation ago. With canned products, a little creativity can yield delicious and sometimes surprising results. From soup to nuts — and every course in between — here are ways to get out of the drive-through lane and back into the kitchen with cans.
GOLDEN SWEET CORNBREAD
If you're a cornbread novice — or have very little time — try a tasty recipe that takes just four ingredients (including two kinds of canned corn) and five minutes of prep. It can be baked into squares or muffins to serve alone or alongside chili or stews. Add cheese or bacon for a more complex taste.
Recipe: Del Monte
Pitted olives and canned plum tomatoes, capers, garlic, and a few other easy (and inexpensive) ingredients make a classic Italian sauce.
Recipe: Genius Kitchen
CHICKEN BURRITO SKILLET
Enjoy one-pot-meal ease with a recipe that adds canned black beans and a diced tomatoes/green chilies combo to chicken, brown rice, and more for a zippy main course that can be on the table in a half-hour.
Recipe: Ready Set Eat
PORK CHOPS WITH MUSHROOMS
Canned mushroom soup and canned mushrooms add a double-dose of flavor to this quick skillet dish.
Recipe: The Spruce
Coconut milk and canned chickpeas make this and other similar recipes a breeze to prepare. Because the coconut milk is so rich and flavorful, you can season the dish with powerful aromatics such as ginger and garlic without overwhelming its taste or having to rely on an expensive pre-made sauce.
Recipe: Woman's Day
BAKED ARTICHOKE HEARTS
Stock up on canned artichoke hearts and anchovies next time they're on sale and have the key ingredients ready to make a casserole that's so quick and easy it was on TV's "30 Minute Meals."
Recipe: Rachael Ray
With three ingredients and five minutes of prep, this casserole-style side dish could not be easier to make. It's just canned spinach, sour cream, and fried onions — which also come in a can.
AMBROSIA FRUIT SALAD
It's a tour-de-force of canned fruits: Combine canned fruit cocktail, Mandarin oranges, and pineapple chunks with shredded coconut, whipped cream, and marshmallows in a bowl and refrigerate.