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Meals With Canned Goods And Making Your Own Canned Food

Let's face it - as much as we would want to create all our meals from scratch, there are just days when we can't really pull it off. A long day at work, not enough ingredients, not enough time and energy to run to the grocer to buy produce.

More often than not, busy parents feel guilty over opening canned goods for dinner. But there's nothing wrong with doing so, especially if you pair canned goods with healthy grains and vegetables. 

This National Canned Food Month, learn how to make easy but healthy meals using canned goods. Yes, canned food can be turned into a healthy meal! 

Canned tuna is a favorite go-to for busy parents. It's loaded with protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, Niacin and Vitamin B12. Most varieties like those in brine instead of oil offer low calories.  

Some people think that canning is just for hard-core organic foodies who have all the time in the world to make their own jams and preserves. But that's just a myth! Canning is for everyone, including busy parents who want to feed their family healthy but easy to prepare meals!

   Canned Tuna Meals             Canned Fruits            Canned Vegetables


Canned Tuna Meals That Are Too Easy To Make

Though it's easy to open a can of tuna and mix it up with onions and mayonnaise, and spread it between pieces of bread, there are a ton of other yummy dinner recipes that you can do with it.

Tuna Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (Renee's Kitchen Adventures)

"This recipe is delicious.  I added some zucchini, red onion and black olives to the original recipe, swapped the mozzarella cheese for feta and opted to use white balsamic vinegar to keep the color of the dressing pleasing."

For salad:

  • One 12 oz. box Tri-Color Rotini pasta, cooked to al dente, rinsed in cold water, and drained
  • One 4 oz. or 5 oz. can water packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh, organic baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh zucchini
  • 3 TBS. chopped sun-dried tomatoes (dry packed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 TBS. Greek Seasoning (or more to taste) - Make it yourself with this recipe!

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic dressing
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 

via Tuna Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (Renee's Kitchen Adventures) 

Mediterranean Chopped Tuna Salad (Aggie's Kitchen)

"One, it’s incredibly filling and full of flavor. Two, it’s low in calories, carbs and is helping me lose weight!"


  • 1 can Italian tuna in olive oil, drained well (or whatever light tuna you prefer)
  • iceberg or romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced or chopped
  • 1/4 onion, sliced or chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • pepperoncini, optional
  • a couple of splashes of red wine vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil
  • dried oregano flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

via Mediterranean Chopped Tuna Salad (Aggie's Kitchen)

Orzo With Tuna (Hip Foodie Mom)

"I loved the tuna so much, I mixed the tuna with some orzo and vegetables and loved it! ...You can really use any rice or pasta for this dish in place of the orzo."


  • 1 quart chicken stock or broth
  • 8 oz. orzo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup green olives, diced
  • 3 pouches (2.6 oz.) StarKist® Albacore Tuna, Low Sodium
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

via Orzo With Tuna (Hip Foodie Mom)


Canned Fruits That You Can Make At Home

Here are some easy to do canned fruit recipes that will surely make it to your family's list of favorites. Some of these are low in sugar or have no sugar at all, so feel free to indulge!

No Sugar Canned Peaches (Happy Money Saver)

"As I am starting on a more real foods lifestyle I wanted my recipe to be without white sugar. I loved the idea of using honey instead, since someday I dream of having my own beehive. We picked, peeled and canned the peaches together. Then we opened up a jar to try them out. They were wonderful!!"


  • Peaches
  • Lemon Juice
  • Honey
  • water

via No Sugar Canned Peaches (Happy Money Saver)

Easy Homemade Applesauce (Frugal Family Home)

"I know I used to think applesauce would be hard to make. But it’s really simple to make. With only two ingredients needed, we make ours without sugar, you can have homemade applesauce ready in a little over half an hour."


  • 5.5 pounds Apples
  • 1 cup Water

via Easy Homemade Applesauce (Frugal Family Home)

Blueberry Pepper Jam (Flour on My Face)

"I love the flavor the poblano peppers added to this jam. But it wasn’t spicy enough for me so next time I make it I will be increasing the amount of poblano peppers I use. I also made a peach and poblano pepper jam during my canning session. That recipe will be coming soon."


  • 2⅔ cups crushed blueberries (about 2 pints)
  • 3 Tbsp Ball® RealFruit® Classic Pectin
  • ½ tsp butter or margarine
  • 3⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped poblano pepper

via Blueberry Pepper Jam (Flour on My Face)

Canned Vegetable Recipes 

There are times when you just have too much vegetables in your fridge and it's such a pity that it will all go down to waste if you don't act fast and use them by the end of the week. However, your family can only eat so much ratatouille or roasted vegetables in a day. The solution? Canning!

Though canning can be very intimidating especially for newbies, there are canning recipes that you can do without having to break a sweat. 

Here are some great recipes you can make even on a busy weeknight. Plus, you can save a few dollars later on by having instant vegetable side dishes for an easy meal.

Canned Tomatoes (Pretty Prudent)

"Canning tomatoes is a wonderful first canning project as it is simple and it doesn’t require a pressure canner or even a water bath canner." 


  • Tomatoes
  • Water (for boiling)
  • Lemon juice

via Canned Tomatoes (Pretty Prudent)

Canned Corn (One Hundred Dollars a Month)

"If you are running out of freezer space or just want an alternative to freezer corn, canning corn is a great way to put up all of that corn you grew this year {or stocked up on}."


  • 20 lbs of corn in husk {will yield 9 pints}

via Canned Corn (One Hundred Dollars a Month)

Canned Carrots (Ann's Entitled Life)

"A super easy home canning recipe with step by step tutorial photographs on how to can carrots. In under an hour you can preserve your summer harvest of carrots to enjoy year-round."


  • 12 Medium Sized Carrots
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt 
  • 4 cups Boiling Water + more for pressure canner

via Canned Carrots (Ann's Entitled Life)


Make cooking a lot easier and more enjoyable by using good quality silicone baking mats. Not only are silicone mats sturdy and durable. Because they're non-stick, you can also cut your clean-up time in half.


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