4 Ways Canned Foods Help Create Deliciously Healthy Meals for Your Family

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Healthy eating habits don’t develop by accident, they take a little practice. That’s why it’s so good to know that deliciously simple and nutritious meals at home don’t have to be complicated. And thank goodness, because hungry bellies wait for no mom!

At the end of a long day, most of us are looking to the ingredients we have on hand to help us get meals on the table quickly and easily — and canned foods can help us do just that. With the right cantry staples and a selection of family favorite recipes, a deliciously satisfying meal is only moments away, now if only homework were that easy…


  • Cans have got you covered! 1 of 11

    Take a look at 4 ways canned foods are revolutionizing healthy and delicious family dining!

  • Canned food versus eating out 2 of 11

    Scrumptious meals from canned foods are just as delicious as restaurant meals, and so much more affordable. When I consider that my family of four spends an average of $45-$70 per restaurant meal out, I can't help but think of better uses for our hard earned money. In an unofficial tally of the following two recipes that taste just as good (if not better) than comparable restaurant entrees, I spent an average of $12 per dish cooking with cans and, as an added bonus, we have lots of leftovers!


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Spicy Turkey Rotini Bake 3 of 11


    1 pound turkey sausage, spicy - casings removed

    1 medium onion, chopped

    1 can (28 oz.) S&W diced tomatoes

    2 tablespoons canned tomato paste

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    1 teaspoon dried basil

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon pepper

    13.25 oz. whole-wheat rotini pasta, cooked according to package instructions

    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese




    Heat oven to 350º F. Brown sausage over medium heat, breaking up pieces; drain fat. Add onion to saucepan, cooking over medium heat until softened. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt and pepper; stir well. Heat over medium heat to simmer, then reduce heat and cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in cooked rotini and ½ cup cheese. Spread mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan and top with remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese topping is golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes prior to serving.

  • Taco Bake 4 of 11


    1½ cups crushed tortilla chips, divided

    1 can (15 oz.) Hormel chili with beans

    1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles

    1 can (3.8 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained, divided

    1 can (4 oz.) sliced mushrooms, drained

    ½ cup sour cream

    ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

    ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

    4 green onions, thinly sliced

    1 cup shredded lettuce



    Heat oven to 375º F. Spread 1 cup tortilla chips into an ungreased 8-in. square baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the chili, green chilies, and ½ cup olives; spoon over chips. Spread sour cream over the top. Sprinkle with cheeses, mushrooms, onions, and remaining chips and olives. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Top with lettuce.


    [Recipe source]

  • Canned food versus fast food 5 of 11

    Many of us are tempted to grab fast food as a matter of convenience, but consider this: in the time it takes to make it through the fast food line and plate up your family's meal, you can have a delicious and much healthier home-cooked dinner waiting. Stocking your pantry with the right canned foods will prepare you with everything you need to bring nutrition to the table in record time. Check out this delish and healthy alternative to greasy fast food.


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Spinach and Mandarin Orange Salad 6 of 11


    10-12 ounces baby spinach

    1/3 cup poppy seed salad dressing

    ½ lemon

    1 can (15 oz.) Del Monte Mandarin oranges, drained

    ½ cup honey-roasted sliced almonds



    Place spinach in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing and squeeze lemon on top. Toss to combine ingredients just prior to serving; top with mandarin oranges and almonds.


    [Recipe source]

  • Canned food and cooking with kids 7 of 11

    I've been bringing my two sons into the kitchen to cook from the time they could stand on a step stool, and cooking with cans is one of the easiest ways to get them involved. Not only do canned goods minimize the amount of chopping, heating, and measuring steps involved in creating delicious meals, cooking with cans is fast and fun! Take a look at the following dish my boys love to make.


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Spicy Black Beans and Rice 8 of 11


    1 teaspoon canola oil

    1 medium onion, diced

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 lime

    1½ cups uncooked white rice

    3 cups chicken broth

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

    2 cans (15.5 oz.) Allens black beans, drained

    1 can (14 oz.) Sun-Brite diced tomatoes, drained

    1 can (15.25 oz.) Green Giant whole kernel sweet corn, drained



    In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until softened. Add rice and sauté for an additional two minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat, cooking an additional 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Add spices and black beans; mix well and serve. Squeeze lime over plated meal.

  • Canned food and the procrastinator 9 of 11

    So you didn't put much thought into your family meal menu this week - relax! Stop beating yourself up over not making it to the store this week or forgetting to defrost the chicken; you can create mouthwatering dishes without planning thanks to canned foods! Let me show you a few of our family favorites.


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Vegetarian Chili 10 of 11


    1 teaspoon canola oil   

    1 clove garlic, minced  

     1 can (14.5 oz.) Del Monte stewed tomatoes  

    1 can (15 oz.) Bush's Best kidney beans, rinsed and drained   

    1 can (15.25 oz.) Green Giant whole kernel sweet corn, drained

    1 (15 oz.) can Del Monte tomato sauce   

    1 tablespoon chili powder   

    ½ teaspoon dried oregano   

    ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes   

    ¼ cup dehydrated onion flakes   

    ¼ teaspoon black pepper   

    4 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese



    Heat oil in a large, nonstick over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes stirring frequently. Add canned tomatoes, beans, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, onion and pepper; stir well. Increase heat to high and bring chili to a boil; stirring frequently about 5 minutes. Top with cheese and serve.


    [Recipe source]

  • Home-style chicken noodle soup 11 of 11


    1 teaspoon butter

    6 cans (14 oz.) chicken broth

    1 can (14.5 oz.) Del Monte diced new potatoes, drained

    1 can (8.25 oz.) Del Monte sliced carrots, drained

    2 cups sliced celery

    ½ cup chopped onion

    1 teaspoon thyme

    1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

    2 teaspoons chicken bouillon

    8 ounces egg noodles, cooked according to package instructions

    2 cans (12.5 oz.) chunk chicken breast, drained



    In a large pot, melt butter. Add celery and onion; sauté until softened. Add potato, carrots, thyme, poultry seasoning, chicken broth and bullion; stir well. Add chicken and noodles; stir well. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.


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