50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon

I love fresh salmon. It's a delicious, nutritious fish, and it is easy to fix. So, why try canned salmon? Let's review.

  • The price: I was able to find very good quality six-ounce cans of salmon for around $2 at Costco and Trader Joe's. (See also: The Best Credit Cards for Groceries)

  • The nutritional value: Canned salmon is a good source of calcium, Vitamin D, protein, and Omega 3's.

But how do I fix canned salmon, you wonder? Here are 50 suggestions.

1. Salmon Hash

I am starting off with one of my favorites, salmon hash.

Salmon Hash

(Serves 2)

  • 2 medium red potatoes, cut into pieces
  • 1 can salmon, drained and chunked
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 eggs

Boil the potatoes until tender and drain. While potatoes are cooling, saute red peppers and onions until tender. Gently stir in potatoes and salmon; set aside and keep warm.

Poach or fry eggs (over-easy method). Divide salmon-potato-pepper mixture on two plates and top each with an egg. Salt to taste.

2. Salmon Mousse

I searched high and low for my mother's favorite salmon mousse recipe. It came from the back of an Escort Cracker box. I was unable to find that specific recipe but this one seems extremely close. It does not have to be made in a mold (I used a quiche dish and just didn't flip it out). This is really nice for a party and although Escort Crackers have gone by the wayside, Ritz crackers work fine.

3. Salmon Gratin

Even Julia Child used canned salmon. Proof positive here in this delicious salmon gratin.

4. Salmon Perok

What the heck is Salmon Perok? Well, it's like a Shepherd's pie. This is perfect for a cold day. I confess I cheated and used a refrigerated piecrust. That's OK, you know. Give yourself a break.

5. Salmon Omelettes

Salmon omelettes make a decadent brunch. They only look expensive! When your eggs are just about set, add drained, chunked salmon, drained capers, and chives. Fold and top with a dollop of sour cream and serve with sourdough toast. So inexpensive, you can serve champagne.

6. Asian Salad Nicoise

From Sunset magazine, a really simple and fresh idea: an Asian-style Nicoise salad.

"Arrange chunks of salmon, boiled potatoes, hard-cooked eggs, green beans, and watercress. Dress with a vinaigrette of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil." (See also: 25 Tasty Salad Dressing Recipes)

7. Quinoa, Salmon, and Avocado Salad

I am new to quinoa (it took a little getting used to) so I was pretty excited when I saw this quinoa, salmon, and avocado salad. Besides being beautiful, it's so healthy. Just substitute canned (drained and chunked) salmon!

8. Salmon Chowder

There are umpteen recipes for salmon chowder. I like this one because it has corn and, well, BACON. This one calls for fresh salmon but simply substitute drained, chunked canned salmon.

9. Salmon Rolls

Salmon appetizer, anyone? Yes, and I wouldn't leave out the cumin, which is optional.

10. Salmon Wraps

As long as we are rolling salmon into tortillas, this is a good time to show you alaskaseafood.org's Wrap-it-Up Alaska salmon sandwich. These are great for a work lunch (keep refrigerated) just as they show them, with some fruit to go with.

11. Salmon Salad Sandwich

Another work lunch (or school lunch, possibly) idea here: salmon salad sandwiches. Agree on the addition of celery and carrot.

12. Easy Salmon Souffle

Don't be intimidated by souffles! They just take practice. Here's a good starter: salmon souffle.

13. Salmon Ragout

Talk about a healthy dinner! This features not only salmon, but white beans and kale. Simplify the recipe by just adding drained, chunked salmon (I heat mine a little bit in the microwave) to the top of the bacon-bean-kale mixture.

14. Salmon Pizza

Salmon… pizza? What? Yup.

15. Salmon Curry

Curry is another one of those recipes that is extremely versatile. This salmon curry has just the right amount of spiciness for me, but increase the red pepper if you like more. Simply ignore the fish cooking directions and make the sauce. The jasmine rice gives more authentic flavor, if you haven't tried that, before.

16. Salmon Quiche

For a club luncheon, several of us brought quiches; others contributed fruit and rolls. This salmon quiche was really popular.

17. Salmon and Noodles

Here is another mom-in-the-sixties Friday thing: Buttered noodles with parsley, canned salmon (drained/flaked), and peas.

18. Salmon on Toast

Mom would also roll out this little number after a rough day at work, or for those days when payday wasn't quite close enough: creamed salmon and peas on toast.

19. Salmon Spring Rolls

Vietnamese spring rolls are one of my favorite things to eat. They are so full of healthy ingredients that I never feel guilty after eating them! This recipe uses canned or leftover salmon.

20. Salmon Tacos

Cool salmon tacos, ole!

21. Salmon Sushi

Even sushi becomes economical using canned salmon. I like to mix the salmon with mayo, and a little Sriracha sauce (spicy) and then roll as usual with green onions, rice, and cucumber. (See also: 20+ Ways to Use Sriracha)

22. Salmon Fried Rice

When I make sushi (above) I always have leftovers. Waste not, want not! Make those leftovers into fried rice. Heat leftover rice in oil until it is warm. Throw in the leftover salmon and vegetables. Scrambled in two eggs and drizzle shoyu (soy sauce) on top.

23.Salmon Lettuce Wraps

If fried rice isn't your thing, you can also use your sushi leftovers in lettuce wraps. Just spoon the sushi ingredients into large lettuce leaves and roll them up. I like to dip mine in peanut sauce. (See also: Fancy Ways to Use Leftovers)

24. Salmon Melt

Tuna melt? Just make it a salmon melt. Try it with havarti — wow!

25. Salmon Burger

You may have seen my salmon burger in an earlier burger post, but in case you haven't, here it is (scroll down to number 7).

26. Salmon in Avocado

Another ladies-who-lunch idea: Mix canned salmon with mayonnaise, diced green onions, and diced celery. Spoon mixture into hollowed-out avocado halves on a bed of lettuce. Serve with croissants.

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50 Cheap & Easy Recipes For Canned Salmon

27. Salmon Crepes

I made these salmon crepes for a bridal shower once. They were a big hit. Serve with rolls, a layered fruit salad, and some dilled green beans. Again, just substitute canned for smoked.

28. Salmon Tea Sandwiches

Tea, anyone? Or perhaps a salmon, cream cheese, dill, and cucumber sandwich? Tea parties are fun. We also served strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar, scones with jam, and tiny cookies.

These next four recipes highlight canned salmon in casseroles.

29. Salmon Casserole #1

First up: rice, broccoli, and salmon casserole. I used "hapa" rice (a combination of white and brown rice).

30. Salmon Casserole #2

Next: potato and salmon casserole.

31. Salmon Casserole #3

I really love recipes that start off by telling you that "even people who don't like (the main ingredient) like this." Such is the case with this salmon casserole.

32. Salmon Casserole #4

Let's end with a classic: salmon and green bean casserole.

33. Salmon Stir-Fry

Casserole'd out? I am, so let's get back to some contemporary cooking… like this prawn and salmon stir-fry with lemongrass and mint. Just leave out the step with the fresh salmon, and at the last minute, add drained, chunked canned salmon. You are still going to get the flavors, but you're eliminating some of the fuss.

34. Salmon Dumplings

These salmon dumplings are a perfect example of how canned salmon can be substituted for fresh. By the time you blend the pork, salmon, ginger, scallion, blah blah blah… who can tell? Our Chinese exchange student made these for us once, and we just gobbled them up as fast as she could make them!

35. Salmon Croquettes

Salmon patties, or croquettes, are really easy to make. We like ours with tartar sauce, over a bed of lettuce, with waffle fries or rice.

36. Salmon and Noodles, Thai Style

Super-easy! Cook some rice noodles and drain. Top with drained, chunked salmon, peanut sauce, sliced green onions, and chopped salted peanuts. Some sliced cucumbers on the side are refreshing.

37. Salmon Alfredo

In the same vein, if you cook fettuccine noodles and make an alfredo sauce, add some salmon. This is very rich, and a green salad on the side works well.

40. Salmon Loaf

Salmon loaf: People seem to love it or hate it. I don't know why this isn't loveable.

41. Salmon Cheese Ball

Good grief, I almost left out the salmon cheese ball, and I just made one last weekend. Party food! It also works in a log shape. 

42. Salmon Deviled Eggs

I wish I were joking, but I could probably eat a plate of these salmon deviled eggs with homemade mayonnaise all by myself.

43. Salmon Mac

From my newlywed days: Add a can of drained, chunked salmon to a box of macaroni and cheese. My husband used to joke that I knew a hundred ways to make macaroni and cheese. He was sure happy when I learned how to cook.

44. Salmon Rissoles

I don't know why I didn't see these salmon rissoles when I did my cornflakes post, darnit.

45. Salmon Breakfast Bake

To me, Mexi-salmon breakfast bake just cries out for a Bloody Mary to go with.

46. Salmon-Mac Salad

Here in Hawaii, tuna-mac salad and potato salad are everywhere. Can you substitute canned salmon for the tuna? Yes..

47. Salmon Couscous Salad

Salmon couscous salad with tomatoes and zucchini is nutritious and looks so appetizing. Again, just substitute canned for fresh.

48. Salmon Eggs Benedict

For a seafood version of Eggs Benedict, use salmon instead of ham, and garnish with dill. Don't be intimidated by Hollandaise sauce — this easy recipe link will be one you'll want to bookmark.

49. "Smoked" Salmon Bisque

Here is a little trick. If I substitute regular canned salmon for smoked, yes, I lose some of that smoky flavor. I keep a little bottle of Colgin's Liquid Smoke in my refrigerator. A few drops of that in this smoked salmon bisque fixed that problem.

50. Salmon Cioppino

Last, but certainly not least is this seafood soup, which reminds me of a cioppino. I just substituted canned salmon for fresh. Serve with french bread on a chilly day.

There you have it: Fifty ideas for using inexpensive, nutritious canned salmon. Hope I found some to suit your tastes!

What's your favorite way to use canned salmon?

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Guest's picture

Thanks Marla! Great recipes and ideas.

Guest's picture

Thanks for this. I was thinking salmon is kind of expensive fresh and was always hesitant to buy the canned version but all these recipes are so friggin helpful!

Guest's picture

Made the Salmon Hash with Dropped Egg. Instead of boiling the potatoes I choose to sauté the raw cubed potatoes till almost done then add the onions and peppers till soft. Otherwise followed the directions. YUM! Husband is usually not a fan of canned salmon (I've always enjoyed it) he said it was very good, a "comfort food". Egg is a great addition. We had steamed green beans on the side.

Guest's picture

How many ways can I thank you. I used to love my mom's salmon recipes, but can't find the ones I like. You have changed that for me, so thanks very much.

Guest's picture

Girl, you are a genius! and I LOVE YOU!!!
Loved the sound of almost every recipe.
We are going to be using these .... A LOT!

Guest's picture

I grew up on salmon fritters (i.e., patties). At 52, I am rediscovering canned salmon. These are excellent ideas!

Guest's picture

Samon Stew. Tomato base sauce. Seasoned to taste. Sauteed onion. Bacon fat grease or fat back grease. Can thicken with tomato paste if needed. Served over cooked rice. Basically as one would do a catfish stew.

Guest's picture

THANK YOU! I grew up on fried salmon patties, which I love, but was looking for other ways to use canned salmon. With 4 kids, fresh salmon is pretty much a no go. Canned is much closer to our price range. I'm going to try these out with the family. Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you!

Guest's picture

My mom made salmon salad in the summer with salmon(skin and bones removed and drained), tomato wedges, one head of iceberg (chopped), green onion(chopped), miracle whip thinned out with a little milk, salt and pepper . Mix it all together for a refreshing lunch or dinner. Lettuce wilts if left overnight and it gets soupy. This is a great way to use salmon.