The Absolute Best Ways To Use Leftover Spam

Often misunderstood as mystery meat, Spam contains only six ingredients: pork with ham, salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate. While it still holds a contentious reputation (you either love it or hate it), this concoction has become a sort of cultural phenomenon over the years. Spam was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937 as a way to produce inexpensive meat during the Great Depression. Because of its long shelf life, it grew in popularity during World War II, as it could be shipped to troops across the world.

During the war period, the canned meat became ingrained in the local cuisines of the Pacific islands, a trend that continues today. As of 2021, 7 million cans are sold annually in Hawaii (via Today). Even on the mainland, the canned meat is celebrated. The Spam museum in Austin, Minnesota (where the product was born) is a 14,000 square foot shrine dedicated to the product. Recently, Spam made an unexpected breakfast comeback, showing up on morning menus across the country.  

The applications for the iconic processed meat block are seemingly endless, so there is no reason for any of it to go to waste. If you find yourself with an unfinished can, keep reading to discover the best ways to use up your leftover Spam.

Fried rice

Preparing fried rice isn't just a great way to use leftover Spam — this is the perfect chance to clean out the fridge. All you need is cubes of the canned meat, leftover rice, and some vegetables. Spam Brand recommends using the teriyaki flavor for this dish, as it lends more to Asian cuisine, but you can use leftovers of any variety. Keeping with the leftovers theme, Culinary Lore explains that refrigerated day-old rice is best to use because the dried out grains reabsorb moisture without turning to mush. 

To make this simple meal, cook up some beaten eggs; then fry your diced meat (via Damn Delicious). Add frozen peas and carrots, plus your chilled rice. Soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil make great seasoning additions to liven up this quick dinner. Garnish with sriracha and scallions for some heat and crunch. Alternatively, you can forego the first step and top each serving with a fried egg (via Spice the Plate).

Macaroni and cheese

If you're need in need of an easy and inexpensive weeknight meal, consider making some Spam macaroni and cheese. Turning your leftover Spam into the ultimate comfort food might just create some canned meat converts. Simply add cubes of the meat to prepared macaroni and cheese, along with milk (via Allrecipes). To bring it to the next level, top it with some Italian breadcrumbs and bake in a 350 F oven for about 15 minutes.

If you are not a fan of the boxed version, try preparing it from scratch. Make a roux by cooking equal parts flour and butter. Whisk in milk until the mixture is smooth and velvety. Add shredded cheese and cubed Spam to create a gooey sauce. Stir in cooked pasta and transfer to a baking dish. Don't forget to reserve some extra meat and cheese to sprinkle on top before baking in a 375 F oven for 20 to 30 minutes (via I am a Food Blog).


The classic breakfast hash recipe is a great way to use up leftover corned beef, but an unfinished can of Spam is an ideal substitute. Start by boiling the potatoes until they are tender, as you sauté onions in a cast iron. When the spuds are ready, smash them into the pan. This gives greater surface area for browning, resulting in crispy, crunchy pieces. 

Instead of tossing in the corned beef, add some cubed leftover Spam and diced bell peppers. Cook the combo until heated through, as the meat turns crispy and brown. Finish off the dish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and black pepper. For added indulgence, Allrecipes suggests using the Spam with bacon variety and topping your hash with avocado and an over-easy fried egg. Step up your game for your next weekend brunch by transforming this canned meat into an exciting spin on a time-tested meal. 


Who doesn't love tacos? This versatile food can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and not just on Tuesdays. A taco filling can be whatever you imagine, so why not try Spam?

To make Hawaiian tacos, cut your leftover Spam into strips and fry in a skillet until well browned. Sauté strips of red bell pepper and chunks of pineapple. The peppers should be soft, and the pineapple should become lightly caramelized. To assemble, spread sour cream (or guacamole) into warmed tortillas and then layer the meat, peppers, pineapple, and some shredded green cabbage. Top with queso fresco and cilantro (via Simply Recipes).

For a spin on the classic al pastor tacos, marinate cubes of Spam in crushed pineapple, lemon juice, Mexican seasoning blend, and sugar. After 10 minutes, heat the meat and the marinade in a skillet for 4 to 5 minutes. Fill tortillas with the cooked meat mixture and top with queso fresco, minced white onion, and cilantro.


Both fluffy and flaky, Southern-style biscuits get their scrumptious texture by layering flour and butter. Adding Spam, particularly the variety made with bacon, will give you an extra savory element to this breakfast-time favorite.

For a spin on jalapeño cheddar biscuits, cut butter into flour until the mixture is coarse, like corn meal. Stir in milk until a soft dough forms. Gently add diced Spam, shredded cheddar, and minced jalapeño. It is important to not over-mix. After rolling out the dough to about an inch thick, cut out rounds and bake for 15 minutes at 425 F. A key trick to making great biscuits is ensuring the butter is super cold. Try freezing the butter and grating it directly into the flour. 

Another option is to make epic breakfast sandwiches. Fry slices of Spam until golden brown and then layer your meat with some eggs and cheese on a warm biscuit (via Eggland's Best).

Spam and eggs

Move over ham and eggs — Spam is here to take over your breakfast routine. To make a salty, protein packed morning meal, scramble eggs and cubed Spam in a skillet until the eggs are just about cooked to your desired doneness. Top with shredded cheese and allow to melt. You can make this dish in about 10 minutes with very little prep. 

In Hawaii, Spam and eggs are traditionally served alongside steamed rice (via Onolicious Hawaii). Instead of scrambling together, the meat is served as crispy slices on the side. To make this Hawaiian staple, fry slices of Spam for 2 minutes on each side. Pour in a mixture of soy sauce and sugar and continue cooking until the slices caramelize a bit. Complete your meal with a side of scrambled eggs and steamed rice. For an added touch, you can sprinkle furikake (a popular Japanese seasoning blend) over the rice.

Pizza topping

No food seems to divide people more than pineapple on pizza. Despite its name, Hawaiian pizza actually originates from Canada, courtesy of a Greek immigrant who was inspired by the Pacific islands. But to evoke even stronger Hawaiian vibes, try substituting the sliced ham for some Spam.

Pre-cook the cubes of the canned meat in a skillet until crispy. Spread your pizza dough with tomato sauce and top with mozzarella cheese, pineapple chunks, and the fried Spam. Bake in a 450 F oven for 14 minutes, then grab a slice (via YepRecipes). If you have the time, you can make your own pizza dough by kneading together flour, yeast, sugar, oil, and water. Just keep in mind that the dough needs to rise for at least half an hour. 

For a Korean-inspired version, add tomato sauce to the rolled out pizza dough and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, kimchi, and diced Spam. Bake for 10 minutes in a 450 F oven. Top your pizza with eggs and bake for another 5 minutes. Don't forget a garnish of with sliced green onions (via Cooking Therapy).

Spam musubi

Given the popularity of Spam in Hawaii, it is not surprising that so many items on this list come from the islands. Musubi is Hawaii's version of sushi made with slices of the luncheon meat.

If you want to make Spam musubi, we suggest purchasing a specialized mold. Although this is a singular use product, you can currently find one for less than $10 on Amazon. Fold a sheet of nori in half and lay it perpendicularly under the mold. Add cooked Japanese sticky rice into the container and press it with the flat topper to make an even block. Lay a fried slice of Spam on top of the rice. Sprinkle the meat with furikake and top with a second layer of rice. After removing the mold, wrap the nori around the layered patties and seal with a dab of water. You can dust the ends of the musubi with more furikake.

Budae jjigae Korean army stew

Budae jjigae (also known as Korean army stew) is a fusion dish that came out of the Korean War era in the 1950s. This hearty meal combines American processed meats with Korean ingredients such as kimchi and gochujang.

Korean Bapsang suggests using a trio of Spam, hot dogs, and bacon which are cut into bite-sized pieces. Add the meat to a pot with kimchi, sliced tofu, onions, green onions, and red bell peppers. Cover with anchovy broth and mix in a seasoning paste made from gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes), gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste), soy sauce, and garlic. (You can also sub in chicken or beef broth.) Simmer the contents of the pot until the kimchi has softened and the bacon is cooked through. You can add ramen noodles towards the end of cooking, if desired, but be sure to cook the noodles separately before adding them to the stew, as they soak up a lot of liquid. You may also want to add more stock or water to the pot with the ramen addition.

Breakfast burritos

If there is one big take away from this list, it is that Spam is a great way to start your day. If you are still stuck on how to use your leftovers, try using them to make breakfast burritos.

To make this classic morning treat, scramble eggs, cubed Spam, milk, and diced green bell pepper in a skillet. Stuff tortillas with filling and cheese, then roll up to close. Place the burritos seam side down in a baking dish and top with additional cheese. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes at 400 F, until the cheese is melted. For an extra element of goodness, Spam recommends adding cooked hash brown patties to your burritos.

If you happen to have some leftover Spam hash, consider using that as a burrito filling. Just a Pinch notes that you could add scramble eggs, but they prefer this dish without them.