18 Creative Ways To Enjoy Canned Food For Breakfast

Canned and breakfast foods
Canned and breakfast foods - Static Media/Shutterstock/Getty

Breakfast is called the most important part of the day for a reason, but it's also the best meal of the day, considering the variety of breakfast foods -- sweet, savory, and everything in between -- that you have to choose from. There's surely something for everyone.

There are two major philosophies when it comes to preparing breakfast. Some people shop for ingredients very diligently and make sure they have absolutely everything they need to prepare a thoughtful meal, while others scavenge from their pantries and fridges for anything considered acceptable to eat before 10 a.m. If you fall into the latter camp, you might be floored by the number of canned foods that you can use to kick-start your morning routine. Many of these products are great for keeping in your fridge or your pantry for when you forget to buy other ingredients, while others are cheaper alternatives to more expensive items that don't keep well. With that in mind, here are some of the canned goods worth stocking up on and how best to use them.

Read more: Hacks That Will Make Boiling Your Eggs So Much Easier

Add Canned Fruit To Your Oatmeal For A Sweeter Breakfast

Overnight oats with peaches
Overnight oats with peaches - Dementieva Iryna/Shutterstock

Oatmeal is one of our favorite ways to start the morning. Not only is it quite hearty and filled with all the protein and fiber you need to stay full long after you've finished your bowl, but there are so many different ways to customize your grain to make it all your own. While some people prefer a hot, steaming bowl of oatmeal topped with brown sugar and cinnamon, others love overnight oats, which can be customized with nut butter, protein powders, and more. There are so many ways to do oatmeal!

If you want to add a fruity and light spin to your bowl, consider grabbing a can of fruit from your cabinet. Peaches, blueberries, and pineapples are all fair game when it comes to your oatmeal. Or, you can grab a can of pie filling and sweeten up your overnight oats. Since pie filling can be quite cloying, we recommend cutting some of it with fresh or frozen fruit to dial back the sweetness a little bit.

Oatmeal isn't the only match for canned fruit. You can also try adding it to a smoothie or using it as a yogurt topping, too.

Used Canned Tomatoes For A Hearty Shakshuka

Shakshuka in dish with eggs
Shakshuka in dish with eggs - Anastasia Dobrusina/Getty Images

Shakshuka is an excellent recipe to try if you have ample time on your hands. This North African breakfast dish is made with eggs that have been poached in a fragrant bath of tomato sauce, roasted vegetables, and spices. The key to a good shakshuka really is the sauce -- which is why we use canned tomatoes for our fire-roasted shakshuka recipe. You should use canned whole tomatoes, as well as a couple of small cans of fire-roasted ones, to add an extra bold flavor to your breakfast dish.

Fire-roasted tomatoes can also be used for other breakfast staples and as a filler for things like breakfast burritos. If you like eating ketchup with your eggs, you may want to try adding whole tomatoes to your scrambled eggs to bump up the umami flavor. Canned tomatoes keep really well, which makes them a versatile ingredient to have in your pantry at all times and for all meals.

Fry Up Some Spam For Your Breakfast Sandwich

Spam on sandwich
Spam on sandwich - jreika/Shutterstock

Spam is one breakfast meat that many people either don't think highly of or don't think about much at all. And in a world where you can adorn your breakfast sandwich with succulent breakfast sausage, crispy bacon, or even chorizo, why would you even give Spam a chance?

The best reasoning for adding Spam to your breakfast sandwich is that it's convenient. All you need to do is pop open the can (which is arguably the hardest part), slide out the meat, and slice it into thin strips. You'll want to avoid making one of the biggest mistakes with Spam, though: frying it in the pan with extra oil. This just makes the Spam extra greasy, which will translate over to whatever fillings you add to your breakfast sandwich. The greasiness can also make the English muffin, bagel, or roll quite unpleasant to eat. Alternatively, you can slice up the Spam and cook it with the eggs to add extra meaty flavor.

Use Canned Biscuits For Your Breakfast Sandwiches

Canned biscuit dough on table
Canned biscuit dough on table - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

From-scratch buttermilk biscuits are difficult to make, to say the least. You have to perfectly mix your dough, cut in the right-temperature butter to prevent melting, and bake your batch until it's perfectly golden brown. So why not take an easier route and use canned biscuits instead for all of your breakfast needs? All you need to do is pop the can, unfurl the biscuits, and bake them according to the package directions.

You can use canned biscuits for more than just breakfast sandwiches or sausage and biscuits. One of our favorite recipes is monkey bread: a pull-apart bread that can be made with hunks of raw biscuit dough. You can also make a simple batch of donuts by shaping your dough rounds and cooking them in the air fryer. Toss them in powdered or granulated sugar, and you'll have a sugary breakfast at your fingertips.

Add Canned Sardines To The Top Of Your Toast For Extra Protein

Sardines on toast
Sardines on toast - Sea Wave/Shutterstock

Canned sardines may be one of those foods that you turn your nose up to. But, smell and texture aside, these little canned fish are packed with all the nutrients and protein you need to get your day off to a good start.

Once you have your can of sardines popped, you can add them directly onto your toast for a simple breakfast upgrade. While some people might tip the oil out of the can, you can also use a portion of it to make a savory sauce to drizzle on your toast. Since sardines can be a bit heavy and salty, you'll want to pair this fish with other bright toast toppings that can help lighten it up a little bit. Avocado, for example, can provide a fatty and fresh flavor, while pickled or raw red onions can add punchy notes to contrast the sardines.

Make Corned Beef Hash

Corned beef hash in bowl
Corned beef hash in bowl - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

We would be remiss not to mention corned beef hash in this list of canned foods gone breakfast. This breakfast favorite is made with potatoes, onions, and seasoning, along with a can of corned beef. You'll want to add the meat into the rest of the ingredients after the onions and potatoes are adequately softened. Otherwise, you'll risk raw pieces of onion, hard potatoes, or overcooked corned beef. Alternatively, you can buy cans of corned beef hash with the potatoes and the onions already added; this is a solid option if you like corned beef hash in your omelet or on a breakfast sandwich.

The canned ingredients don't just stop at the meat. You can also add canned mushrooms to your corned beef hash to add an extra earthy flavor to your dish. Plus, since canned mushrooms are already pre-sliced and ready to go, you can just add them in with your other hash ingredients and brown them in the pan right before serving.

Transform Canned Potatoes Into A Savory Breakfast Side

Breakfast potatoes with sausage
Breakfast potatoes with sausage - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Everyone knows how arduous the process of peeling and preparing potatoes can be. But, if you buy a can of potatoes from your local grocery store, you can have them on demand for all of your breakfast food needs. The best thing about canned potatoes is that they're already cooked and pre-sliced; all you need to do is drain out the water from the can and pop your potatoes into a skillet to crisp them up.

Granted, canned potatoes can be a bit flavorless, so you'll want to add a pat of butter and some of your favorite seasonings to help round out the flavor a bit more. Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, and paprika can help add an extra edge to your spuds -- which are delicious stuffed into a wrap or served with an omelet.

Use Canned Bacon To Add An Edge To Your Breakfast Favorites

Bacon omelet on plate
Bacon omelet on plate - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Canned bacon might not sound like the most appetizing thing in the world. But you should always keep canned bacon in your pantry because it's so easy to add to your favorite recipes. The meat is already cooked and cured, so all you have to do is peel off the protective paper and add it to your recipe. It makes an excellent addition to your omelets, eggs, or whatever breakfast you add your bacon to.

Canned bacon lasts significantly longer than fresh bacon, the latter of which is a pain to cook, store, and inevitably forget about in the back of your fridge. It might not be the most pleasurable thing to eat straight from the can or as a side; it's more tolerable if you cut it up into small pieces and add it to your favorite breakfast foods.

Add Extra Protein To Your Avocado Toast With Canned Tuna

Canned tuna avocado toast
Canned tuna avocado toast - sweet marshmallow/Shutterstock

Tuna fish is likely not the first food that comes to mind when you think about breakfast. Lunch maybe, but certainly not anything before 10 a.m.

But all that may change when you try adding your canned tuna to the top of your avocado toast. The salty meatiness of the canned fish will mesh with the fatty avocado underneath it and give the toast an extra boost of protein. You'll want to start by draining the oil from the can completely before adding in your pieces of tuna to the avocado mash or keeping them separate. Another alternative is to lean your toast much more toward the tuna edge of things and add small chunks of avocado to your tuna with a binder like mayonnaise and seasoning.

Swap Your Quiche Crust For Canned Crescent Roll Dough

Canned crescent roll dough
Canned crescent roll dough - Steve Cukrov/Shutterstock

The last thing you want to be doing on a Saturday morning is fumbling with a pie crust for your quiche. There's nothing more aggravating than watching the pie crust that you spent so much time on rip apart or fail to even come together properly and encase your eggy filling. Instead, try taking the easy way out and making a pie crust with crescent roll dough. Since crescent roll dough comes in a sheet, you'll want to gently pinch and seal along the perforations to prevent your filling from leaking through onto your pie plate.

Crescent dough is also incredibly useful for sweet applications, too. You can also tear up your dough triangles and add them to your bread pudding, or make little apple dumplings for a quick breakfast treat.

Toss Canned Veggies Into Your Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast wrap on plate
Breakfast wrap on plate - Rojoimages/Getty Images

No matter how prepared we try to be, it always seems like our breakfast burritos end up being hodgepodges of whatever veggies are strewn about in the back of our refrigerator or crisper drawer. So, rather than spending all that time cutting up onions or pulling the stems off baby spinach, we'd rather turn to our pantry. You may be surprised with the many veggies that you can find in canned form -- from asparagus and mushrooms to spinach and zucchini. All of these make excellent additions to your breakfast burrito or plate of eggs.

The first step to using these canned veggies is to always strain out as much water as possible. Breakfast burritos are dainty as is, and you don't need any extra liquid to make your burrito go soggy. Since the veggies are already cooked, you can quickly toss them with your filling and add them straight to the wrap.

Swap Fresh Breakfast Sausage For Canned Sausage

Sausage and gravy biscuits
Sausage and gravy biscuits - Rez-art/Getty Images

Making homemade sausage and biscuits is an act of love. Not only do you have to painstakingly prepare the perfect soft biscuits (or make things easier on yourself and use a canned variety), but you also have to ensure your sausage gravy is top-notch. Rather than buying fresh sausage, we recommend adding canned sausage instead. And no, we're not talking about chopping up Vienna sausages and adding them to a pool of gravy. Instead, you'll want to buy canned pork sausage filling. When you're ready to prepare it, all you have to do is brown it in the pan with the rest of your ingredients. This will allow you to focus on your gravy.

You can also use canned sausage for your other meaty pursuits. It makes an excellent and convenient alternative for breakfast sandwiches, meaty hashes, and the like.

Use Canned Mushrooms In Your Omelet Or Eggs

Mushrooms with eggs and chives
Mushrooms with eggs and chives - Izhairguns/Getty Images

Canned mushrooms are something we always have on hand in our pantry. Fresh mushrooms get slimy within a few short days, while canned mushrooms, which have a comparatively longer shelf life. Plus, they can be easily mixed into other food for an umami and textural upgrade. One of the best pairings is with eggs. The mushrooms add a toothsome mouthfeel that will help distract from the sulfurous taste of the eggs. You can also make a plant-based scramble with tofu and reap all of the benefits of this flavorful ingredient.

The mushroom and egg duo don't just stop at scrambles. You can also add canned mushrooms to a quiche, frittata, or breakfast burrito. The prep is so minimal, but the results are so tasty.

Give Your Breakfast A British Twist With Canned Beans

Full English breakfast
Full English breakfast - Chrishepburn/Getty Images

If you reside on the U.S. side of the pond, you may have never gotten to experience the feeling of chowing down on a full English breakfast. The dish is essentially the Denny's Grand Slam of British breakfast food; it consists of back bacon, eggs, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, sometimes potatoes, and one seemingly unusual addition: beans. It's also not uncommon to see British diners enjoying a separate dish called beans on toast for breakfast.

Beans are a filling source of protein and fiber. Plus, you don't have to worry about soaking them overnight when you have a can of beans available. If you want to get the full British experience, though, you'll need to use Heinz beans in tomato sauce rather than any ol' crock of black or baked beans.

Whip Up A Batch Of Canned Cinnamon Rolls

Canned cinnamon rolls
Canned cinnamon rolls - JJava Designs/Shutterstock

Canned cinnamon rolls are undoubtedly the best type of canned breakfast pastry (sorry, crescent rolls). Each one is brimming with sweet, cinnamon flavor -- not to mention the signature gloopy vanilla icing piled on top. If you have a party or celebration coming up, you can always keep a roll of these in your fridge and pull them out when you're ready to bake. Anyone who has made a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls knows that the process can take up to several hours. In comparison, you can have the canned version on the table in less than 30 minutes.

But, don't just use cinnamon rolls for their intended purpose. You can also press them into your waffle maker to make a fun-shaped sweet treat to enjoy with your breakfast. Or, pair them with a savory breakfast sausage and make little pigs in a blanket.

Use Canned Pumpkin For Your Favorite Muffins Or Bread

Pumpkin muffins in the oven
Pumpkin muffins in the oven - Lara Hata/Getty Images

Even when the leaves aren't falling outside, you can bet that we're still making pumpkin muffins, bread, donuts, or some variation of the classic autumnal treat. After all, autumn is a mindset.

These baked treats wouldn't be possible without a can of pumpkin puree. The canned squash not only allows you to make your fall favorites at any time of year, but it also saves you the time of having to clean out a pumpkin and DIY your own homemade puree.

Once you have the can popped open, you can scoop out the filling and add it to your favorite pumpkin muffin recipe, complete with warming spices, chocolate chips, and dried fruit. Or, go rogue and make a batch of pumpkin bread to use for French toast.

Use Canned Bread Instead Of Sandwich Bread For Your French Toast

Canned bread with plate
Canned bread with plate - todayparents/Instagram

Yes, canned bread is a thing, though we're not here to argue the merits of whether or not it should be a thing. Once you can put aside the fact that this is essentially fully cooked bread shoved into a can, you can find ways to truly appreciate its utility in the kitchen.

This classic New England product is made with molasses, cornmeal, and wheat flour, so, as you can probably guess, it's much, much denser than the sandwich loaf you'd buy from your local grocery store. You'll have to find ways to use it that work with its texture, rather than against it. Not only can you employ it as a base for jam and butter, but you can also use canned bread for your next batch of French toast. Slather your slices in custard and pop them on a hot skillet for a new rendition of a classic recipe.

Substitute Canned Salmon For Lox On Your Bagel

Canned salmon with lid
Canned salmon with lid - Dlerick/Getty Images

Lox is far from a cheap accoutrement for your bagel. In fact, you're better off just grabbing a few slices of fish from your favorite bagel shop when the mood strikes.

But if you're an absolute stan for all things salmon, you might want to try the cheaper alternative for lox: canned salmon. We're not saying it will replicate the exact mouthfeel of a thinly sliced piece of salmon on a bagel, but it will surely make you feel a bit more full and satisfy the craving for something fishy and briny. Pair your salmon with capers and fresh herbs to help distract from the tinny taste of the fish, and don't forget to pair it with a high-quality store-bought bagel.

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