Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 9, 2012 11:01 AM

What do you do with canned salmon? Not salmon patties.

I want to add more salmon to my diet - canned is the cheapest and most convenient way to go. I'm looking for suggestions, I make salmon patties sometimes but would like some other suggestions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Make a casserole, as you would with tuna.

    By the way, James Beard's New Fish Cookery has a short section on the use of canned salmon.

    7 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      I agree with this. You can do a lighter tasting, more delicious version of Mom's tuna casserole.

      It's not as delicious as using fresh salmon, but it's nice for a weeknight meal.

      1. re: AsperGirl

        One of my favorite summer dishes is a jellied tuna mold, made with gelatin, mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery, sometimes green onion and canned tuna. I tried it one day with canned salmon, and that's how I've done it ever since. That was after I'd already fallen for the salmonized version of tuna-noodle casserole. I also like salmon salad, and I always make enough of that so I'll have some extra to which I can add an egg and some cracker crumbs and make myself some salmon cakes and eggs for breakfast.

        1. re: Will Owen

          That sounds really great! I love being able to fall back on pantry recipes that are light & healthy, and your jellied salad/salad with canned salmon sound great for that. I will definitely try out salmon in some tuna salad type recipes. It's a great idea, thank you.

          1. re: AsperGirl

            For the record, there's a version of that gelatin-mold salad in our older Fanny Farmer.

        2. re: AsperGirl

          there is a tuna noodle casserole w/ leeks and fresh dill at epicurious (from bon appetit) that i sub canned salmon for the tuna. works great.

          1. re: hyde

            Great idea about subbing salmon for the tuna.This is the recipe, I think?


            1. re: hyde

              I know this is an older thread, but I have to link in my old post re: Penelope Casas Puff Pastry with Salmon filling


        3. I liked it mixed in brown rice, I like it on a salad, I like it as part of a sandwich... squeeze some lemon juice, add capers maybe, parsley, sea salt... yum.

          3 Replies
          1. re: nasv

            I've been making James McNair pasta recipe with canned salmon for years. It's good and very quick. Basically creamy sauce with frozen peas and canned salmon. If interested, I'll paraphrase the recipe relater this evening.

            1. re: herby

              That sounds good. I assume it's a basic bechamel sauce made maybe with cream, white wine add salmon and peas. I can wing that - if it's something more creative than that please share. Thanks!

              1. re: worktime

                Here is the recipe.
                Saute 1/2 C of peas (frozen is OK) in butter until crisp-tender. Add 1/2 heavy cream and stir until hot. Add 1 can of flaked salmon, 1/4 cup Parmesan, S&P, and a pinch of nutmeg. Heat through but do not allow to boil. Pour the sauce over thin pasta (linguini, spaghettini, etc.), add couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley, toss gently and sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmezan on top.

          2. This is a favorite and it has a story behind it. In college, one of my good friend's was from a ranch. Real working ranch...70 miles from where he went to public school. So, she wanted to make sure he was stocked up. Dropped him off, bought a chest freezer and a grand worth of food. Fast forward to the last day of the school year. He didn't want to buy any food before he went home, so had been cooking with what he had. He had cheese, tortillas, a can of salmon, and a jar of homemade salsa. Salmon Quesadillas were born. I was amazed at how good they were. He even called me up and had me come over and try them.

            1. When I was a child and beginning to recover from a cold, the first real food my mother made for me was creamed salmon and peas on toast. I make a white sauce with flour and non-fat milk, dump in the drained canned salmon and some frozen peas, heat until hot, season as needed and preferred, and pour it over a slice of toast. It's still major comfort food for me and I keep canned salmon on hand specifically to make this when I'm feeling particularly needy.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JoanN

                JoanN, I know that dish as Salmon Pea Wiggle -- or Salmon P. Wiggle -- a dish my mother's family in Vermont traditionally ate on July 4th and as a treat for my mother on her birthday. My brother and I grew up with it on July 4th as well. The name was a play on Salmon P. Chase, but I've never understood the significance of the dish to the honorable Mr. Chase.

              2. whizz it up in the food pro with cream cheese and or butter and your choice of herbs, a squirt of lemon juice and make a dip/spread kinda stuff.

                use in fresh spring rolls.

                nice over some black lentils with lardons and parsley.

                add it to a blt.

                11 Replies
                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Forgive me for straying a bit off topic. I was introduced to fresh, pan fried salmon a few years ago and fell in love. So, I thought 'why not try canned'?.

                  Never again. (Well...never say never. If I was hungry and it was available, of course I would eat it.) It tasted so awful. It's possible I had a bad can or a low quality product, but it's albacore tuna for me in all its forms.

                  Okay...getting off my soapbox and getting out of the way of the OPs conversation. (:

                  1. re: creamplease48

                    If you're any kind of "supertaster" your aversion could simply be to the relatively aggressive fishiness of canned salmon, or that kind of flavor could just be one you're particularly sensitive to. I have an aversion to farmed salmon, detecting a whiff of sewer where most people don't, that is completely missing in the wild fish.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      i am not a supertaster but can detect the off-putting odors of all kinds of farmed fish and it grosses me out completely.

                      the advantage of canned salmon is much of it is wild and far less expensive than even fresh farmed. it can have a strong flavor though, especially when compared to the farmed stuff that tastes of grain pellets and dirty water -- but nothing like fish.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        Demings Red Sockeye Salmon has on its label, Wild Alaskan. You are correct you can obtain wild salmon from a can.

                        1. re: sueatmo

                          I did not know this! But now that I do, I will definitely give canned wild salmon a try (with some of these recipes.) I avoid farmed salmon mostly for environmental reasons (and it's less healthy too). Thank you for introducing me to a new source of relatively cheap, environmentally friendly oily fish!

                    2. re: creamplease48

                      There's a lot of really fishy canned salmon, you have to buy a good brand. Depends on what kind of salmon, too. But canned salmon is kind of in the category of a Sicilian pasta dish with sardines and tomatoes, not something I'd serve to guests, but it tastes great when you have a craving for it.

                      I don't think canned salmon is a replacement for fresh salmon. IMO it's more of a healthy pantry food, like when I'm too busy to go shopping or we get snowed in for a week or something.

                      My kids liked stuff like creamy noodle casserole, or creamed stuff on toast, and the salmon versions are pretty healthy, especially if you use whole grain toast or noodles, and kefir or greek yogurt as a dairy thickener instead of a b├ęchamel sauce.

                      1. re: AsperGirl

                        I don't think canned salmon is a replacement for good fresh salmon, but as the OP indicated, it is budget friendly. Buy red salmon, and try Demings. If others know of a better brand, I'd like to hear it.

                        Also this, for those of us who cook for one or two, Demings puts its salmon in 1/2 size cans. These are perfect for 2 generous servings.

                        1. re: AsperGirl

                          'Sicilian pasta dish with sardines and tomatoes, not something I'd serve to guests, but it tastes great when you have a craving for it.' You mean pasta con sarde? I always have a few cans in my pantry, but definitely an acquired taste.

                          To OP, depending on the quality of canned salmon, I'd use it as a protein in a salad or else as a spread. No substitute for fresh vs. canned.

                        2. re: creamplease48

                          Using red as opposed to pink salmon might help. I tried pink once and found it quite nasty.

                          1. re: creamplease48

                            I'm with you. My answer to the OP's query was "feed it to the dog."