Canned food is a heaven-sent gift in tin 'wrapping'. It's cheap, (somewhat) nutritious and can help you outlast the zombie apocalypse. Still, having alphabet soup for the 'nth' time in the row isn't gonna cut it and we've taken it upon us to give your Campbell's collection a makeover. These versatile canned food items are gonna open your kitchen doors to a whole new world of cooking.


Davida Halev

Crushed, diced, peeled, chopped. No matter the shape or form they comes in, canned tomatoes are a great kitchen staple that can be integrated into almost any dish from a variety of cuisines. Craving mom's spaghetti? Add some garlic and herbs to crushed tomatoes and you'll end up with the mother of all comfort food; a Classic Marinara pasta sauce fit for al-dente spaghetti. If you're feeling chilly, go for the can of diced tomatoes and bring the easiest, heartiest tomato soup to a boil.

Coconut Milk

Tropical details photo by Jonas Dücker (@jonasduecker) on Unsplash

on unsplash

If you're someone who doesn't eat dairy or just someone who loves food from South and Southeast Asia, coconut milk should never be missing from your pantry cupboard. All the best curries and dessert soups share coconut milk as their common ingredient, lending to their light yet creamy textures.

Black Beans

Black beans are a hearty, fibre-filled replacement for meat protein. They taste great in chilli and can be used to make burger patties that even the most McDonald's addicted, carnivores would love. You can also incorporate black beans into a whole line of Mexican-inspired options, from nachos to burritos filled generously with refried beans.


cake, sweet, pineapple, pastry
Maggie Gorman

By itself, pineapple is already juicy and delicious. Just grilling the fruit already takes you to another part of flavourtown. But this tropical delight isn't just a sweet treat or low-cal dessert item. We hate to be the ones to make things tense by bringing back the 'pineapple on pizza' war, but hey, this topping works for some people. Pineapple chunks are also a yummy surprise treat you can find in your sweet and sour stir fry. It's worth mixing the sweet and the savoury sometimes.

Pumpkin Puree

soup, cream, vegetable, bread, pumpkin
Matt Volpe

Seeing this, your mind might immediately jump to pumpkin pie, fall, and Thanksgiving dinner. Don't underestimate the potential of pumpkin puree! There's tons of other pumpkin based goodies you can bake and enjoy alongside a cup of tea or coffee. You can even save the puree for a main course and cook up a plate of warming and creamy pumpkin risotto.

Red Kidney Beans

Gluten-free folks rejoice, rice and kidney beans are your new favourite one-pot meal. No, red kidney beans are NOT red beans, but can be used as a substitute. A health food favourite, red kidney beans are commonly found in Mediterranean cooking. They taste great even when they're poured straight out the can, but make sure to wash the beans beforehand to clean them and reduce their sodium level.

Vegetable Medley (Peas, Diced Carrots, Corn)

White Ceramic Plate Near Silver Fork · Free Stock Photo

on Pexels

This classic combination will work as a simple but well-loved side-dish for almost any main course. It's also a hack for lazy people like me to add some greens (and oranges and yellows) to a whole lotta fried rice or pasta dishes.

Chickpeas (a.k.a Garbanzo Beans)

Not a single part of a can of garbanzo beans goes to waste. Of course you have the lovely beans themselves, which can be served in many types of salads and health bowls. Or you could revisit Mediterranean inspired cuisine by breaking out your food processor to make hummus and falafels. To make use of the liquid that the beans come in, bring out your electric whip and a whole load of sugar, then get ready to be wow-ed. This, seemingly leftover, chickpea liquid can actually be used to make 'aquafaba' - vegan whipped cream. This calls for a celebratory baking session with aquafaba as an egg or cream replacement.

With this list as a guide, it's time to hit the grocery store and stock up on these versatile canned foods. They're gonna last you a lifetime and provide you with a different menu each day.