Ways to Use Canned Salmon

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With shelves full of canned goods to last all winter, we don’t want to get tired of eating the same meals. Here are some of our favorite ways to use canned salmon.

opened jar of canned salmon

Every summer, my husband goes fishing for wild sockeye salmon with his buddies. He brings home a cooler full and we spend the next few days processing all of it to enjoy the rest of the year. You can read all about how we process, smoke, and pressure can our salmon in this post.

I love having delicious, healthy salmon ready to eat on our pantry shelf. Anytime I need a quick meal, I can grab a jar and choose from so many different ways to prepare it. It’s handy to have and creates hearty meals for our family in no time at all.

We have come to have our favorites over the years so I’ll share those with you here!

Salmon Dip

This is definitely the standard way to use canned salmon. But it’s so simple and delicious so it’s easy to see why. The most basic recipe is just to mix a can of smoked salmon with some cream cheese and that’s it! Perfect for spreading on crackers or toast, and it’s even great for dipping vegetables.

This is our go-to appetizer when we’re fortunate enough to have out-of-town guests. It gives them a tasty sample of wild Alaskan salmon that we caught, smoked, and canned ourselves. I just set a bowl out with a plate of homemade sourdough crackers and everyone’s happy while we enjoy time visiting.

In case you want to try something other than just cream cheese, here are a few ways to dress-up salmon dip a little:

  • Use sour cream instead of cream cheese.
  • Add a spritz of lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle with some fresh or dried herbs from the garden. Dill is especially delicious.
  • Stir in minced onion, garlic, or both.

Salmon Sandwiches

Years ago I used to buy canned tuna from the store to make sandwiches with. I no longer do that (not local in the least!) so now I make salmon sandwiches. These are so delicious and have way more flavor than a can of tuna.

Just mix a can of salmon with some mayonnaise (homemade or good-quality store-bought) to the consistency you like. Add a few dashes of salt and pepper and you have the makings of a tasty sandwich. Spread on your favorite bread and add some toppings if you like.

Sourdough ciabatta is my favorite for a crusty sandwich bread. Lettuce and sliced cheese top it off. A quick, easy, and healthy lunch (or dinner) for any day of the week. Also delicious in a wrap instead.

Bowl of canned salmon with a bread bun and and a sandwich

Plain Canned Salmon

When in doubt, enjoy the salmon all on its own! Surprisingly, my girls love our smoked salmon right out of the jar. When I pack picnics for us in the summer, I always include a small jar of salmon. They pull pieces out with a fork and enjoy it just like that.

If you’re not going on a picnic, have one at home! We often have “snack” lunches and dinners instead of a cooked meal. Get everyone involved and in charge of contributing something. Cut up some fruit and veggies, pull out a box of crackers or leftover bread. Don’t forget sliced cheese and nuts, too. And of course, a jar of salmon. Everyone can dig in and enjoy a healthy, simple meal together.

Salmon Chowder

You can get my full recipe for salmon chowder in this post. It’s so easy to whip up and doesn’t take much time. Start with some stock (chicken, vegetable, or whatever you have on hand will do) and add in some vegetables that you have to spare. Allow them to cook for a bit then pour in the salmon towards the end, just to heat it up a bit. Season to taste, add some heavy cream to thicken it a bit, and dinner is ready.

Bowl full of chowder

Salmon for Breakfast

There are many ways to even incorporate canned salmon in you breakfast. Shred some up and add to a basic quiche. Mix three or four eggs with some heavy cream and a handful of your favorite cheese. Add the salmon and bake in a prepared pie crust for a tasty meal.

Salmon can be shredded into an omelet as well along with any vegetables you are using. Or just scramble the eggs and mix in veggies and salmon for a healthy and hearty breakfast.

Salmon Burgers

Burgers aren’t just for summer! But these are perfect anytime of the year. Salmon burgers whip up easily and can be cooked right on the stove top in a cast iron skillet.

Just mix up some canned salmon along with an egg, some bread crumbs, and your favorite burger seasonings. Shape into patties, cook up (stovetop or grill), and enjoy on a hamburger bun.

Salmon Cakes

Another fast recipe for any weeknight and so delicious. I love making these when my husband’s friends stop by to help him with a project and I need to feed everyone quickly. You can find my full recipe here.

Feel free to add your own seasonings and use whatever bread you have for the breadcrumbs. With just a can or two of salmon everyone will be digging in.

A platter with six salmon cakes on it

Salmon Pot Pie

Use canned salmon as a pot pie filling instead of chicken or other meat. Prepare a gravy, mix in cooked vegetables and the salmon. Pour into a prepared pie crust and top with another pie crust (or biscuits) and bake.

You can find the recipe for my wild game pot pie here. Simply substitute with salmon and you’ll have a delicious pot pie for a filling meal.

Ways to Use Canned Salmon

I hope you have a few new ideas for how to use canned salmon in delicious ways. Having some in your pantry guarantees healthy and quick meals when you’re not sure what to make. Give these recipes a try and make them your own!

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  1. These tips on how to use canned salmon are so helpful! I have never purchased canned salmon simply because I wasn’t sure how to serve it, even though it looked intriguing to me and I love salmon! I am definitely going to buy some now and try some of these ideas! Thanks so much!

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