No Cooking Required: Easy Recipes Using Canned Goods

No way to cook food? No problem! Use these recipes using canned goods.

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Not having a stove to cook your meals is not an ideal situation but when an emergency or a crisis places you in such a situation, you have to make do with what you have. 

If you have stocked up your kitchen with packaged and canned food, you're in luck! Did you know that most processed and canned food are already precooked and can be eaten straight from the packaging? A hot meal will always be the best way to enjoy your food. However, when you have no access to a stove or anything that can even heat up your food, opening a can or a packet to eat is as good as it's going to get. 

The good news is that with a little creativity and ingenuity, you can make a meal completely with just canned food you can find in your kitchen. Looking for food that you can eat without cooking it is one problem that you don't have to worry about.

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We have ideas on a few basic recipes that you can put together but feel free to use and add other ingredients that are available to you to make it truly more delicious. Give these canned food recipes that transform it into a real meal a chance. You might find that these dishes will keep you happily fed while you wait for the next time to you have access to a stove again.

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Remember that you can swap out any of these canned food choices with another if that's what you have. These are versatile recipes that can work with the ingredients you have on hand. Here are some easy no-cook recipes using canned goods with a list of ingredients to try for your next no-cook meal: 

Photo by Majoy Siason
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Creamy Tomato and Tuna Sandwich Spread Recipe 

Ingredients 

  • all-purpose cream 
  • tuna flakes or chunks, drained
  • tomato ketchup 
  • mayonnaise 
  • bread 
  • 1 Mix a little cream, tuna, and ketchup together to create a thick mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add just enough mayonnaise to make a thick and chunky spread to place between bread slices. 

TIP: Add just enough cream to make it creamy. Plus, you can swap out the tuna for corned beef for beefy version. 

Photo by Riell Santos
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Easy Vienna Sausage Sopas Recipe

Ingredients

  • Vienna sausages, sliced
  • canned beans (garbanzos, baked beans, kidney beans, etc), drained
  • canned sweet kernel corn, green peas, or frozen mixed vegetables, thawed  
  • water
  • evaporated milk or powdered milk 
  • crackers
  • 1 Combine vienna sausages, beans, veggies, and water. Add enough evaporated milk or powdered milk to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with crackers.  

TIP: Tuna chunks would be a good substitute for the Vienna sausages.   

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Creamy Tuna Mushroom on Rice Recipe

Ingredients

  • tuna flakes or chunks, drained 
  • condensed cream of mushroom soup 
  • canned sliced mushrooms, drained
  • water
  • leftover rice or bread
  • 1 In a bowl, combine tuna, condensed soup, mushrooms, and just enough water to make it saucy. 
  • 2 Spoon over leftover rice or serve with bread.    

TIP: Feel free to swap out the tuna for chunks of luncheon meat! You can also stir in some cheese into this mix to make it cheesy.    

Photo by Yummy.ph
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Cheesy Corned Beef Sandwich Spread Recipe

Ingredients

  • corned beef 
  • cheese spread 
  • mayonnaise or all-purpose cream 
  • bread or crackers
  • 1 Combine corned beef, cheese spread, and mayonnaise or cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with bread or crackers. 
Photo by Rico Jose

Creamy Tomato And Luncheon Meat Soup Recipe

Ingredients

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  • dried pasta (soaked in water for 2 hours)
  • tomato sauce
  • luncheon meat, cubed small 
  • canned sweet kernel corn, drained
  • frozen green peas, thawed
  • canned beans, drained
  • water, as needed
  • 1 Soak pasta in just enough water to cover for 2 hours or until softened. 
  • 2 Add tomato sauce, luncheon meat, corn, peas, and beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

TIP: Did you know that you can "cook" pasta in water? While a little starchy in flavor, the pasta does soften in the water, making it easy to toss the softened pasta in a flavorful sauce.

Photo by Majoy Siason
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No-Cook Creamy Tuna Adobo Recipe   

Ingredients

  • tuna flakes or chunks (not drained) 
  • soy sauce
  • vinegar 
  • garlic powder or granules 
  • ground black pepper
  • all-purpose cream or mayonnaise
  • Combine tuna and its oil or water with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, pepper, and cream or mayonnaise to taste.  

TIP: You may add mayonnaise or cream instead of water to make it super flavorful and creamy.


Photo by Roselle MIranda
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Easy Instant Noodle Stir Fry Recipe

Ingredients

  • instant noodles
  • instant noodles seasoning packet
  • seasame oil 
  •  frozen mixed veggies, thawed
  • water, as needed
  • 1 Soak instant noodles in just enough water to cover for 1 to 2 hours or until softened. Drain. 
  • 2 Toss in sesame oil, seasoning packet to taste, and mixed vegetables.   

TIP: You can also soak instant noodles, which are basically fried and dehydrated egg noodles, in water, too. 

Photo by Dairy Darilag
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Peanut Butter Curry Noodles Recipe

Ingredients

  • instant noodles
  • peanut butter 
  • curry powder
  • instant noodles seasoning packet
  • cooking oil, if desired
  • water, as needed
  • 1 Soak pasta in just enough water to cover for 2 hours or until softened. 
  • 2 Mix peanut butter and curry powder, and season to taste with the seasoning packet. Loosen the mix with oil or water. Toss with the softened noodles.  

TIP: Use spices to make your food flavorful without making it salty.   


Photo by Majoy Siason
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Tuna Pineapple Sandwich Spread Recipe 

Ingredients

  • tuna flakes or chunks, drained
  • pineapple tidbits, drained 
  • pickle relish 
  • red onion, chopped finely 
  • mayonnaise 
  • bread or crackers
  • 1 Combine tuna, pineapples, relish, onion, and mayonnaise. Serve with bread or crackers. 
Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

Tomato Sardinas Pasta Recipe

Ingredients

  • dried pasta 
  • water, as needed 
  • sardines in tomato sauce 
  • vinegar 
  • tomato sauce 
  • 1 Soak pasta until softened. Set aside. 
  • 2 In a large bowl, mash sardines in tomato sauce. Season with a little vinegar, add tomato sauce, and toss with softened noodles. Serve. 

TIP: The vinegar will help curb any "lansa" the sardines may have. 

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Photo by Dairy Darilag

Curry Luncheon Meat Recipe   

Ingredients

  • coconut milk or cream 
  • curry powder 
  • luncheon meat, cubed 
  • canned sweet kernel corn or frozen mixed vegetables, thawed 
  • canned green peas, drained or frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1 Combine gata, curry powder, and season with salt and ground black pepper. Serve with rice or bread. 

TIP: This is fantastic served with rice but if you don't have rice, the softened noodles trick will work too.  

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If you happen to have pre-made tomato sauce that are flavored already, such as caldereta sauce, menudo sauce, or even sinigang paste, you can instantly make a meal from this by simply tossing these sauces with chunks of luncheon meat (or tuna chunks, sardines in tomato sauce, or mackerel in oil if that's what you have) plus your choice of veggies to help make the meal more delicious.   

There's no need to eat plainly when you can make canned food into a real meal, especially if all you need to really do is open a can or two, no cooking required. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here!

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