A Canned Food Pantry Salad Is Your Solution To Weeknight Dinner

Canned goods and salad may not seem like two things that go together. But if you want a healthy and easy dinner, they are perfect partners. Salads don't need to be laboriously prepared with a pile of fresh produce from the store, as the best canned foods are perfectly healthy and have lots of flavor since they are picked and packed at the peak of their freshness. There are dishes from pasta sauce to soups that are not just good, but better, when canned, and while not every canned vegetable can compete with fresh, there are plenty of salad topping favorites that taste great from cans.

The real upside to turning your canned food into a salad is that it makes a fresh, healthy recipe into one that is also incredibly convenient. Often cooked, salted, and even cut up for you, canned goods can transform a head of lettuce into a full meal in minutes. Lots of pantry staples like beans, tuna, and chickpeas are already popular salad ingredients, so you don't need to go off discovering new salad recipes. Diced tomatoes, olives, tuna, green beans, and even canned potatoes will get you 90% of the way to a tasty Nicoise salad, and canned beans, corn, and tomatoes, along with another pantry item in corn tortillas, are all you need to top from romaine for a great Mexican-inspired meal.

Canned ingredients can help you make classic salads or create your own

One great realm to work in with canned ingredients is anything Mediterranean. With olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and pepperoncini all available in cans and jars, you can fill out a Greek salad, or have the base of a hearty Italian creation. Don't want to spend the time or money cooking up fresh salmon? Canned salmon is a perfect topping to add filling protein to an otherwise simple Caesar salad. And don't limit yourself to salads that use lettuce or greens as a base either. Canned chickpeas, tomatoes, and olives only need some crunchy chopped cucumber to become a full, fresh meal. Or grab black, lima, and kidney beans for an easy bean salad.

Don't be afraid to build off less popular canned options either. Salads may not be your first use for canned chicken, but cover it with some peanut dressing, add some packaged edamame and canned water chestnuts, and your cabbage is now a nice Thai chicken salad. Canned mushroom, hearts of palm, and bamboo shoots are also filling additions to any salad that needs something more hearty to make it a meal.

Canned food shouldn't just be a last-ditch alternative for your salads, they should be planned around. If you want to find a meal that marries ease and nutrition in one package perfect for a busy weeknight, a canned pantry salad is one of the best answers.