Pantry Hacks: 3 Easy and Healthy Recipes with Canned Foods

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If you are anything like us, you rely on pantry staples to create quick, affordable and nutritious meals to get you from one meal to the next. We decided to create three mouth-watering recipes that incorporate at least one canned food.

In addition, we built these recipes around pantry staples, including jarred and boxed items. Each one also features notable nutrients to help you feel good about what you are eating.

Finally, these recipes can help you clean out your cupboards and reduce food waste by using up common canned foods. Let’s get cookin’ with cans! [Skip to the playlist]

One-Pot Pantry Pasta

Ingredients (Serves 8)

  • 16-ounce jar salsa
  • 15-ounce can black beans, drained
  • 11-ounce can corn, drained
  • 14.5-ounce can veggie broth, low or no sodium
  • 1 16-ounce box of pasta, cooked
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese


1) Place salsa, black beans, corn, broth, water, ½ c of cheese, and pasta in a large pot and heat through.
2) Remove from heat and stir in the remaining cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Notable Nutrients

  • Pasta: Whole wheat is a great option for extra fiber. It’s also a source of iron, B vitamins, and fiber.
  • Black beans: Source of protein and fiber as well as folate, manganese, and magnesium.
  • Corn: Source of fiber, niacin, and vitamin B6. Canned foods provide the same amount of nutrients as their fresh and frozen counterparts!
  • Salsa: Rich in antioxidants like lycopene. 
  • Cheddar cheese: Contains protein, calcium, and vitamin D.


White Bean Spread with Garlic and Rosemary

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 16-oz can white beans, undrained
  • Whole grain crackers


1) Place vegetable and olive oil, garlic and rosemary into a 10-inch skillet. Heat pan until ingredients start to sizzle.
2) Add beans and their liquid to the pan and mash as they begin to heat through.
3) Cook until mixture is a spread consistency (it will thicken as it cools).
4) Transfer to a serving bowl and use whole grain crackers to dip.

Notable Nutrients

  • Olive oil: Source of healthy unsaturated fats.
  • Garlic and herbs: Adds flavor and spice.
  • White beans: Source of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and folate. Canned beans are a great option for an ecofriendly plant protein.
  • Whole grain crackers: Source of carbohydrates, fiber, and manganese.


Chocolate Cherry Smoothie


Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 15-oz. can of pitted cherries, drained
  • 1 c boxed soymilk
  • 1 c greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp. honey or 1 packet of low-calorie sweetener
  • 1 c of ice


1) Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!

Notable Nutrients

  • Cherries: Source of fiber and antioxidants. Canned fruits and veggies are nutritious and affordable year-round options to help you build a better pantry.
  • Soymilk: Has as much protein as a glass of milk.
  • Yogurt: Delivers gut-promoting probiotics.
  • Cocoa: Source of flavonoids, iron, and fiber.
  • Honey: Swap half the honey with your favorite low calorie sweetener to save about 60 calories!