Canned fish is easy to keep on hand as a pantry staple, since it has a long shelf-life and you can buy and store in bulk. Plus, it’s versatile, so you can use the canned fish in a variety of meals and snacks for meal prep in the week.
And of course, fatty fish is packed with heart-healthy fats, like omega 3 fatty acids, found in canned salmon, for example. You can also go with canned albacore tuna or sardines, too, so there are a few other options to explore—all with great protein, fat and health perks (not to mention lots of flavor).
Here are some excellent ways to use up a can of fish for nutritious and simple meals that work well for a post-workout snack or meal thanks to muscle-building and bone-boosting protein and calcium.
Make a Fish Salad
Open up canned salmon or tuna and add in low-fat mayonnaise or a homemade dressing that can add some moisture to the fishy flakes. Season with herbs, like dill or thyme, rather than salt (it’s already salty!) and pack in some added veggies, like diced celery or carrots for a classic approach.
You can go with some fruity elements too. Grapes are a great pair, and if you toss in some slivered almonds or peanuts, you’ve got a winning combo. Play around with flavors! Along with a few healthy crackers, protein chips or chopped veggies, it’s a good snack or lunch.
Cook Salmon “Cakes” or Patties
You can use canned salmon or even tuna to make “cakes” for breakfast, dinner or a brunch. And you can make a few at once and keep on hand just by reheating when you ant to enjoy them.
These fish cakes are super tasty and a good alternative to a burger when you want to switch things up and have a fish patty instead of the red meat. Just don’t fry it or douse heavily in unhealthy oil and butter—that will defeat the purpose. And use clean toppings, like Greek yogurt for probiotics and a cooling factor.
Use On Top of a Salad
Don’t make the salad all about fish, but use it as your protein topper by adding some canned salmon, sardines or tuna to a bed of greens, like romaine or spinach. You can easily bulk up the protein in a lunchtime salad or light dinner salad to make it more substantial by adding in a can of fish. Plus, the fats boost satiety and go with more filling foods, like chopped avocado, nuts and seeds.
Stuff into A Baked Potato
Slice a baked potato or sweet potato down the middle lengthwise and then fill it with canned fish, like salmon or tuna, along with either a Greek yogurt and creamy dip or some fiery sriracha. It’s a good way to get potassium for an electrolyte reboot post-workout and to repair damaged muscles.