HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


what do you eat/or prepare straight from the can, jar, package, etc.. that is perfect just as it is as a meal or snack? ?

mine is 'Stagg Chili Vegetable Garden four-bean corn and bell pepper chili'...you dont have to do a thing to it..sometimes i add some raw chopped onion and a bit of sour cream and some cilantro.. a sprinkle of cheddar if its around..but honestly it doesnt need anything..

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Maple baked beans straight from a can. It is a guilty pleasure!

    When by BF can't be home for dinner I indulge...he is allergic so I take advantage when I can.


    6 Replies
    1. re: j2brady

      Veggie baked beans are awesome straight from the can. As are veggie refried beans.

      I've also been known to eat frozen berries from the bag, esp. in the summer.

      Fresh cottage cheese is another spoon-worthy snack.

      1. re: piccola

        I'm assuming that you heat them up? Or must "straight from the can" be taken literally in this thread?


        1. re: TexasToast

          In my case, straight from the can means no heating. But I can't speak for everyone.

          1. re: TexasToast

            ..no not literally..just generally something that is great just as it is..heated or not..you can add goodies if you like but dont have to..

            1. re: jazzpjr

              I can't do beans straight from the can cold. But if they've been heated once and then allowed to cool, I can eat those!


            2. re: TexasToast

              No heating allowed. Straight from the can means exactly that. Heating is cheating (at least in this bizzare context).

        2. Beer ;-)

          Pickled creamed herring.

          1 Reply
          1. Chickpeas - drained & rinsed, tossed with a little S&P and maybe some chopped red onion, parsley and a splash of vinegar, if I'm feeling at all ambitious.

            1. Peanut butter. I take a spoon (My finger if my wife isn't around) do a scoop and I'm happy.


              1 Reply
              1. I eat tuna right out of te can sometimes with a little bit of lemon juice.
                Also corn niblets.

                2 Replies
                1. re: jordana

                  yes yes..white shoepeg corn right out of the can.. been doing this since i was a little kid..thanks for reminding me!

                  1. re: jazzpjr

                    me too. almost seems a waste to heat.

                2. •those marinated white anchovies from spain. on a piece of toasted baguette or one of those swedish cardomom crisps they sell at Ikea.

                  •pickles of all kinds.

                  •second on canned corn

                  •second on peanut butter

                  •someone i know eats those canned whole asparagus spears but i wouldn't recommend it.

                  •I once ate a tube of Italian tomato paste...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ghbrooklyn

                    When you said pickles, I was reminded of caperberries. Yum!


                  2. hearts of palm
                    Medjool dates
                    cereal... I can eat an entire box of cereal in one sitting (cringe)

                    1. I make humus with a can of chickpeas or sorbet with canned fruit frozen in its own syrup.

                      1. There are a line of recipies you can make from cans. I think it was a fad for housewifes in the 50s. Tuna casserole, boil noodles, 1 can campbells cream of chicken, 1 can of tuna/or you can use spam. I hate spam but that is one of the ways I would eat it.

                          1. re: therealbigtasty

                            yes..especially the little whole beets..thanks for the reminder!

                            1. re: jazzpjr

                              Add another person to the staight-from-the-can beets column. But I like the plain version, not the pickled kind.

                              1. re: jazzpjr

                                Pickled for sure, esp. if they're homemade rather than store bought. Then use the rest of the pickling juice as a vinaigrette with EVOO, s&p, spinach, blue cheese, and more beets!

                            2. Boiled peanuts from a can, not as good as fresh obviously, but great at knocking out a salty craving.

                              Jif Peanut butter


                              1. Salsa, canned spiced chopped tomatoes (eg: Contadina), brown mustard. Second on tuna out of the can, although lemon pepper is an even easier route than lemon juice, and hence the one I take.

                                  1. I also like vegetarian beans from the can -- sometimes warmed up, sometimes not. I also eat tuna or sardines in oil from the can and, some days, if I'm really going nuts for salt, anchovies!

                                      1. When I've had a bad day, or just don't feel like putting much effort into food, I'll have Velveeta Shells & Cheese, all by itself. I also love asparagus out of the can; it doesn't even have to be warmed.

                                        1. really good imported tomato paste

                                          1. I love uncooked ramen noodles. They are nice and crunchy and you can break them up and sprinkle them on salads.

                                            1. Rougie pate de foie gras, though spread on a really good warm baguette is heaven.

                                                1. Sweetened condensed milk. Yes, I know you are all gagging, but seriously, that stuff is the guiltiest of all guilty pleasures for me...especially if you open the can and then leave it in the fridge to caramelize for a day or two, ohhhhhhhhh.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: WineWidow

                                                    YES! I did this when I was young. I used to also eat butter. I cut a small chunk off and let it melt in my mouth. Gross, huh?

                                                    1. re: mrsleny

                                                      I still can't do butter. Not plain. But a whipped butter with some kalamata olvies is another matter entirely!


                                                      1. re: mrsleny

                                                        .. thought i was the only one.. when i was a baby/kid (looong time ago) they tell me i used to eat plain butter by the handfull..(pre-cholesterol awareness days)..im still attracted to the creamy taste and texture of room temperature butter...but dont give into the impulse!

                                                    2. Ditto that, except I eat Dulce de Leche (instead) right out of the can/jar. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be eaten?

                                                      I always enjoyed Mary Kitchen corned beef hash right out of the can (unheated.) Also Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Finally Tang, unmixed with water. These habits all developed in adolescence, and my parents were so horrified I actually had to hide the fact that I was doing this. I still have to hide it from my husband.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: porkypine

                                                        Jesus God, sumbody else eats Mary Kitchen corned beef hash unheated. BTW I love the name porkypine (makes me think of when my boy was little - "Mommy we saw a porkypine at the zoo!" Time of his life.

                                                      2. Chef Boy-ar-Dee cheese ravioli.
                                                        Cream of chicken soup.
                                                        Hellman's horseradish sauce on a spoon.
                                                        Ketchup on a spoon.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                          OMG- My brother used to eat beefaroni right from the can- and It made me crazy!! I will have to ask him if he still does! Another of my brothers puts ketchup on his pasta! WE had a family vacation this summer, and one of the noghts we had pasta with meat sauce ( courtesy of my Italian SIL). And- you guessed it- the son of the ketchup brother passed on the sauce, and liberally used the ketchup. We all gos a good laugh. If it is genetic, glad it passed my part of the family.

                                                          1. re: macca

                                                            Well, I certainly still eat Beefaroni cold. No need to heat it up, it's nature's candy right out of the can. :)

                                                        2. Nutella. C'mon people, I can't be the only one!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Sam Ottawa

                                                            Love to indulge with Nutella spread on shortbread cookie, like Lorna Doones.....

                                                            1. re: twh1475

                                                              You can spread nutella on all kinds of things . . . but that's probably best saved for another Board :)


                                                          2. Canned fruit is a guilty pleasure-mandarin oranges, kadota figs, pears and even crab apples. I also sometimes like the cheapo super jumbo canned Lindsay olives better than the fancy frenchie ones.

                                                            1. Yup. Small whoole beets right from the can -- with a little salt and papper, of course!

                                                                1. I love olives from the can. Green olives from Israel are so good. I think the are osem brand. I could live on them.
                                                                  also Cranberry sauce!!!

                                                                  1. Pinjur - a red pepper, tomato, and eggplant spread from Trader Joe's - great on pita (or other bread!)

                                                                    1. dolmeh--stuffed grape leaves. generally with some lemon juice or a touch of sugar sprinkled on top

                                                                      1. sardines!! for some odd reason, i love green beans from a can. i never grew up eating them in my home. someone heated them up once with butter, salt and pepper, and i'm hooked.

                                                                        1. jar of three bean salad

                                                                          canned of fruit cocktail

                                                                          1. Asparagus, straight from the can with a dollop of mayo. Sigh, I don't have any, now that you've reminded me...woe is me.
                                                                            Amy's frozen dinners, except for the veggie shepherd's pie I had tonight, which was awful when contrasted with the homemade chicken tagine with mashed potatoes I've had the last two nights. Maybe I'm getting tired of Amy's....

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: kayandallie

                                                                              ..Cedarlane Garden Vegetarian Lasagna...hits the spot!

                                                                              1. re: kayandallie

                                                                                when asparagus is out of season, I like to open a can of Campbells Cream of Asparagus, 1/2 can milk or half&half, and can of chopped asparagus...YUM!

                                                                                1. re: kayandallie

                                                                                  No, most of Amy's stuff is good -- I eat them for lunch when I'm in a rush -- but the Shepherd's Pie is gross!

                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                    Linda McCartney made the most wonderful vegetarian Shepard's pie and lasagna. Tasted very meaty!


                                                                                2. -Spaghetti-O's, that's right, cold, straight from the can
                                                                                  -canned potatoes sprinkled with salt
                                                                                  -Spam, of course!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: srr

                                                                                    Spam, of course! But a slight spread of peanut butter helps everything.
                                                                                    Tommorow I won't believe I posted this.
                                                                                    But that would be a topic for the beer board.

                                                                                  2. I 3rd nutella. Olives, pickles, nut butter.

                                                                                    1. -Anything pickled, esp. pickled hot pepper mix, sliced beets and kosher dills. And capers! I can eat a whole jar of capers in one sitting.
                                                                                      -Add me to the maple beans and cold corn from the can camps as well.
                                                                                      - Sour cream...so tart. So tasty!

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Sweet Pea

                                                                                        Spicy picked whole green beans from this place:


                                                                                        Delicious! They also do cherries (in any color and flavor).


                                                                                      2. jam of course.
                                                                                        uhh.. my little sister used to eat hot dogs before we cooked them. Im not sure if thats dangerous or not, but she did it and never got sick.

                                                                                        1. ..just remembered Trader Joe's 'Organic Tomato Roasted Red Pepper Soup'-comes in a box..just heat it a bit..needs no embellishment.. super delcious!.. could it eat every day..

                                                                                          1. In addition to all the pickles, beans, corn, fruit, peanut butter, tuna, cereal,I also like pickeled Okra and pickeled
                                                                                            mushrooms (when I can fine them) straight from the jar.

                                                                                            1. Spam, olives, peanut butter, cereal, spaghettios (!), all and any beans, condensed soup sans water, pickled beets from a jar only, ice cream of course, tuna, stewed tomatoes, sardines.

                                                                                              I should just list the stuff I won't eat.

                                                                                              1. not a single person has mentioned ice cream. Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia please.

                                                                                                pickled okra straight from the jar...don't mind the juice that just dripped from my fingers down my forearm and onto the hardwood floors...(this can also apply to cherry peppers...)

                                                                                                The black bean soup in a can that comes from Mexico...can be doctored if desired...

                                                                                                Pace picante sauce...i could eat it with a spoon...


                                                                                                ...it's so sad that i could keep going...

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: TulsaNoah

                                                                                                  Oh yes! If the juice doesn't slide down your forearm and drip onto the floor, well, it just isn't a pickle!

                                                                                                2. Haagen Dazs coffee ice cream
                                                                                                  Haagen Dazs chocolate chocolate chip ice cream
                                                                                                  Haagen Dazs mint chip ice cream
                                                                                                  etc... ;-}

                                                                                                  1. Second the jam, Nutella, hearts of palm...

                                                                                                    Cream cheese frosting... I even make my own sometimes out of low fat cream cheese, smart balance, vanilla, and splenda...

                                                                                                    Maple syrup and butter mixed and spread on bread or a bagel. I know, very back woods.

                                                                                                    Stovetop stuffing.

                                                                                                    Trader Joe's couscous salad.

                                                                                                    1. Spaghetti sauce from a jar. Room temp or cold. By the spoonful. Yum!

                                                                                                      1. ICE CREAM!
                                                                                                        dulce de leche
                                                                                                        hearts of palm
                                                                                                        i second trader joe's tomato/pepper soup...soooooo good.
                                                                                                        any nut butter...
                                                                                                        tinned danish mackerel in tomato sauce
                                                                                                        and tinned danish cod liver

                                                                                                        1. Jazzpjr, isn't the whole point of this thread to find out foods which, while not "designed to be eaten straight out of a can/ box/ container, etc" are nevertheless consumed in that way?

                                                                                                          I mean, ice cream and pickles are supposed to be served like that. Whether you place them in a bowl or not before eating doesn't alter them in and way.


                                                                                                          1. Olives, usually pitted, and imitation crab meat. The girl doesn't like olives, so I don't keep them around the house, and imitation crab meat, I have NO idea why I love it so much, don't even use ketchup or sauce or anything. Bought some just the other day with the excuse of putting it in a salad or something, I dunno, and it just vanished.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Dr. Ska

                                                                                                              I was scared that I would have to post and admit my love of imitation crab meat. Everyone thinks i'm gross for loving it. For me, it has to come straight from the fridge and be real cold, if the "crab" has come close to room temp, I can't swallow it- pun intended.

                                                                                                              1. re: Veggietales

                                                                                                                What exactly IS "imiation crab meat"? Isn't it just Alaskan Pollack made into coral pink coated fish sticks?


                                                                                                                1. re: Veggietales

                                                                                                                  I like surimi, too! Go to any asian grocery and see all the different varieties of fishcakes and simulated shellfish products and you'll never be ashamed again.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggietales

                                                                                                                    Yes! I totally forgot about this stuff. I love grabbing a few sticks and peeling them like string cheese. I've been known to eat half a package this way for dinner, leaning against the kitchen counter. Followed by some pickles for the vegetable component of the meal, of course.

                                                                                                                2. I know someone who takes those instant potato flakes shakes them into the mouth and then swishes it down with some water.

                                                                                                                  IMO, instant mashed potatos are hard to make any easier.

                                                                                                                  1. I used to eat Grape-Nuts cereal dry as a snack, but my dentist made me quit eating it at all. Says it's too hard.

                                                                                                                    Canned refried beans are fine with just a little heat applied, but I usually mix in a few onions and top with shredded cheese.


                                                                                                                    I second (third, fourth, whatever) peanut butter and Nutella.

                                                                                                                    1. Franco-American spaghetti, but it has to be fairly fresh (the can MUST "glurp" when I shake it vigorously)

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: wayne keyser

                                                                                                                        Do you own a copyright on that word glurp, if not, may I use it?

                                                                                                                      2. glurp?..now thats novel!

                                                                                                                        1. Solo poppy seed filling straight from the can. No idea why but every once in a blue moon...

                                                                                                                          1. As I read through this thread, I realized I've eaten about 95% of the "odd" things mentioned.

                                                                                                                            We're all quite insane you know.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: Bostonbob3

                                                                                                                              insane and very hungry!..95% is a goodly number bob...but tell me is included in there an entire tube of italian tomatoe paste as posted by ghbrooklyn???(minus the tube hopefully!).. now thats novel!

                                                                                                                            2. Well, I've sucked anchovy paste out of a tube, so I think I could do tomato paste. :)

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Bostonbob3

                                                                                                                                thats hysterical..you jaws must have been very overworked! what a visual.. lol..

                                                                                                                              2. -kimchi/panchan
                                                                                                                                -grated parmesan cheese by the spoonful
                                                                                                                                -fruit preserves
                                                                                                                                -pork sung
                                                                                                                                -powdered hot chocolate mix
                                                                                                                                -grade B maple syrup
                                                                                                                                -instant noodle crumbs left in the bottom of the wrapper

                                                                                                                                1. Whole berry cranberry sauce, right from the can, or on vanilla ice cream. (It's better with a little finely chopped onion and jalapeno.)

                                                                                                                                    1. Kippers in tomato sauce. Very smelly. Close the curtains. Do this alone.

                                                                                                                                      Smoked oysters. Do this hovering over the kitchen counter. Keep a wad of bread handy to wipe up the oil dripping down your chin. Same as above.

                                                                                                                                      Spaghetti-o's. The best!

                                                                                                                                      1. I can't believe no one has posted these. Canned whipped cream squirted into my mouth. Any flavor canned icing. Unbaked cookie dough (the slice and bake kind)

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: jackiecat

                                                                                                                                          ..wow..youre right!!.. what an grave omission!..but only the extra creamy type canned whipped cream will do..thanks for posting ..i want some now!..is there anyone who never did this?..

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jazzpjr

                                                                                                                                            Never had spray whipped cream. Ever. In any shape or form.
                                                                                                                                            But then again, I don't even like real whipped cream.

                                                                                                                                        2. I pour chocolate syrup into a jar of peanut butter for a quick Reese's cup pick me up :) old camping trick.

                                                                                                                                          1. I need to expand my list to add:

                                                                                                                                            veggie chili, esp. if chilled
                                                                                                                                            hummus/babaghanoush/roasted veggies spead (basically, all Sabra products)
                                                                                                                                            cottage cheese
                                                                                                                                            frozen whipped topping
                                                                                                                                            sugar-free cherry pie filling (OK, the last two are guilty pleasures)

                                                                                                                                            1. Cool Whip still frozen. It's better than ice cream, and cheaper. It's even tastier with a little Smuckers Magic Shell chocolate sauce drizzled on it. Since it's non-dairy I've even convinced myself it's a health food.

                                                                                                                                              1. Sour cream by the spoonful (must be my Ukrainian blood), and black raspberry jelly from the jar with a knife.

                                                                                                                                                  1. dill pickles of course, and i can down a whole jar of pickled brussels sprouts in 10 minutes flat. mmmmmm
                                                                                                                                                    and i used to drink buttermilk. until i could feel my arteries clogging...

                                                                                                                                                    1. Thank you for posting smoked oysters. Yes, I do this too. One time I put them on a salad and it was tasty, but just not the same as opening a can and digging in.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Campbell's chunky "soup that eats like a meal", amen.

                                                                                                                                                        1. I haven't seen a single person reply with this. Must be just me. How about that powdered CREMORA milk product. I used to eat it by the spoonful a grandma's when I was a little girl. YUM!

                                                                                                                                                          1. canned mandarin orange segments!

                                                                                                                                                            canned caponata

                                                                                                                                                            there's an artichoke caponata in a jar that's great. I forget the brand.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Ditto to the segments!

                                                                                                                                                              Also, I'm adding mushroom & truffle "caviar" and, in a pinch, foie gras.


                                                                                                                                                              1. Campbell's cream of mushroom soup .. straight, ritz crackers and butter, hot pepper jelly over cream cheese.. on a ritz, two oreos filling .. discard one empty cookie.. eat only the one with double filling , nestle quick , straight with a spoon , marinated peppers on a roll , air dried beef with cream cheese( otherwise it won't slide down your throat, vienna sausages from the can .. give the cats the liquid stuff, raw bacon , at one time we boiled it and then would hunk it off the slab .. now i just sneak a piece.. used to have bacon bread ( the fat off the bacon , plus bits of bacon on top of onions..( then a long lost friend will come to your door....guaranteed to be stinky moment...