Canned dinners: 2 delicious, easy recipes from a can

photo of can of garbanzo beans
sera smith/Staff

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When I first moved off campus sophomore year, I struggled to keep enough meat and produce in my fridge. My schedule was difficult to plan around, so I often ate whatever I could put together from the contents of my cabinet. At first, it was terrible. I’d never really cooked for myself at that point, and the meals I did know required chicken breast and fresh veggies. A few nights a week, I’d rummage my cabinets and imagine myself on a cooking show, tasked with coming up with an experimental new dish. By the end of the school year, I came up with several delicious canned recipes, and I am happy to share a couple of them.

With long lines at Trader Joe’s and smoke in the air, it might be hard to get to the store on a regular basis right now. You don’t need a full fridge or pantry to cook a satisfying meal. Here are two nutritious recipes from a can.

Canned chicken salad wraps


  • Celery (as little or as much as you want) 
  • Red apple (as little or as much as you want) 
  • 1 can chicken breast
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Flour tortillas 


  1. Dice your celery and chop your apple into small bite-sized pieces.
  2. Drain your chicken breast and season with salt, pepper, paprika and any other seasonings you’d like. Stir in the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly.
  3. Warm your tortillas. Fill with your chicken salad and any other toppings of your choice, and roll.

Curry-flavored chickpeas with kale


  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1-2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Kale (as little or as much as you want) 
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili flakes


  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and dump them into the skillet.
  3. Add the curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Let simmer.
  4. Chop the kale into small strips.
  5. Mix the kale with the chickpeas and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the chili flakes and serve with rice.

Meals prepared from a can are easy and perfect when getting to the store is difficult. Mix up these recipes and get creative while you rummage through your own pantry. Seasoning for each recipe can be adjusted to your heart’s desire. Make sure to add your own little flairs!

Contact Sera Smith at [email protected].