Tinned or canned food is commonplace in every household. It’s low cost, convenient and most significantly long lasting, providing you with a meal time safety net should you have run out of fresh options.

But does canned food have to be a safety net or back up plan? Can tinned ingredients be elevated to the centre piece of a delicious meal? We believe it can – pun intended. To prove it, here are some delicious canned food recipes which will take your canned produce from back up, to slap up! Find a selection of quality tinned and fresh produce you need to create these dishes at home, from your local convenience store.

Canned Meat Meal Inspiration

There’s a fine selection of canned meats available. Here are two of the most popular as you’ve never used them before:

Corned Beef Alaska

This is a warm and comforting dish that is really simple to make. It takes inspiration from the cottage pie, with beef and mashed potatoes at its heart. The Alaska reference stems from the mountain peaks you create with your mash.

To serve four, you will need:

  • 2 x 200g tins of corned beef
  • Worcester sauce, Tomato Ketchup or Brown Sauce
  • 4 x potatoes
  • Milk
  • 100g grated mature Cheddar cheese

Empty the corned beef into a glass bowl and crush by hand or with a fork, and mix with a choice of Worcester sauce, Tomato Ketchup or Brown Sauce – whichever you and your family prefer. Once mixed and coated, empty both into a square baking dish and press to form a thick layer of meat.

Take the potatoes, wash, peel and cut into quarters. Add to boiling water and soften for around 25-30 minutes until soft. Drain, then add a little milk and mash.

Layer your mashed potatoes over your corned beef and shape into mountain peaks. Cover with grated mature cheddar cheese and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 180°C. Cut into portions and serve with peas and gravy.

Brine and Dine: Canned Tuna Recipes

You can’t talk about cooking with tinned food without including tuna – a regular on every shopping list.

Tuna Burgers

Seafood based burgers are very popular in America, and you can bring a taste of the States to meal times using a canned favourite.

To make four, you will need:

  • 2 x 160g tins of tuna in brine.
  • 2 x tsp of Dijon mustard
  • A slice of white bread, torn into small pieces
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 1 x tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 x tbsp of water
  • 1 x egg
  • 2 x tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Drain your tuna thoroughly and add to a bowl. Mix well in a bowl with all of the ingredients listed above.

Divide your mixture into four equal servings and form into burger patties by hand. Lay on a sheet of grease proof paper and chill for one hour to help them stay together during frying.

Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook each burger for around three minutes per side until golden and crisp. Serve in a bun with tartare sauce.

Tuna and Tomato Pasta Bake

Tuna and pasta is a classic combination! Take comfort food to a whole new level with this delicious canned tuna masterpiece, also using canned tomatoes and sweetcorn.

To serve four, you will need:

  • 500g of Rigatoni pasta
  • 2 x 160g tins of tuna in brine
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml double cream
  • 200g tin of sweetcorn, drained
  • 1 x jar of sundried tomatoes
  • 150g of mature Cheddar cheese
  • 40g parmesan cheese

Boil your pasta for around two minutes less than is stated on the cooking instructions. While your pasta boils, make your sauce. Simmer your chopped tomatoes for around five minutes, before pouring in double cream and simmering for a further four minutes.

Drain off your pasta and add back to the warm pan. Pour over the creamy tomato sauce along with the sweetcorn, tuna in brine and some sliced sundried tomatoes.

Stir together and add to a baking dish in layers. Between each layer, add a sprinkling of mature cheddar. Then top the upper layer with parmesan cheese and place under a hot grill for around four minutes until bubbling and golden.

Creative Cooking with Baked Beans

Cooking with baked beans doesn’t have to be restricted to jacket potatoes and beans on toast. Here are some more exciting ways to use this British staple.

Baked Bean Curry

Yes, you read that right. With a few additional ingredients, you can turn that familiar tomato sauce into a spicy and warming curry.

To serve four, you will need:

  • Sunflower oil
  • 1 x medium white onion
  • 1 x crushed garlic clove
  • 1 x jar of dry chilli flakes
  • 3 x tbsp of curry powder
  • 1 x tsp of cumin
  • 1 x tsp of dried coriander
  • 420g tin of baked beans
  • 200g tin of tinned tomatoes
  • Naan bread and pilau rice to serve

Heat some sunflower oil in a pan. Roughly chop your onion, and fry in the pan with the garlic until translucent. Add in some dry chilli flakes – depending on how hot you want your curry to be, along with curry powder, cumin and dried coriander. Fry together for around a minute and then tip in the baked beans and tinned tomatoes. Simmer for around 15 minutes and serve with a naan bread and rice.

Vegetable Stew with Baked Beans

Introduce baked beans into this British classic to add a new flavour dimension.

To serve 4, you will need:

  • 1 x onion
  • 2 x leeks
  • 2 x carrots
  • Sweet paprika
  • 2 x diced garlic cloves
  • 2 x large potatoes
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • Half a cauliflower
  • 420g tin of baked beans
  • 200g fine green beans
  • Salt, pepper and bread to serve

In a large saucepan, heat diced onion and thickly sliced leeks in a little olive oil for around five minutes or until softened. Add carrots, diced into 1cm chunks, a tsp of sweet paprika and garlic, then stir and heat for five minutes.

Wash and peel your potatoes and add to the pan along with the vegetable stock. Bring the pan to the boil and then turn down to simmer until the potatoes start to soften. Then add half a head of cauliflower broken into florets and simmer for a further five minutes.

With the vegetables nearly cooked, pour in your tin of baked beans and your green beans that have been cut into 2cm pieces. Cook for a further three minutes and season well with salt and pepper before serving with a chunk of crusty bread.

Want to discover more ways to incorporate baked beans into your meal prep? Discover 7 baked bean recipe ideas.

Get Cooking with Tinned Food from SPAR

So, take your tin opener from the rack and get creative in the kitchen with these canned food recipes. Put a twist on tuna, make more with your meats and branch out when cooking with baked beans. Find a selection of delicious food in tins, and out, at your local convenience store.