Five Elegant Seafood Meals that Your Guests will Never Know Came from…get this…a Can!

Yes, you read that right – You can create elegance from a can of…tuna, crabmeat, clams, salmon, or sardines! With an open-mind, a can opener, and the Internet at my finger tips, this week’s budget tips feature canned seafood (but no one has to know that except you!).

In my quest for ingredients that are oh-so-easy on the wallet, I’ve featured the humble bean (see the article here), the oft overlooked wide-variety of lettuce (see How to Make the Perfect Salad that Won’t Let You Down), and the egg-strodinary  egg (see the post here). This morning, as I grappled with what food item could join this heroic list of defenders of the dollar, it occurred to me that canned seafood deserved a spot in the repertoire! It stays in your pantry until you are ready to use it, you can often find BOGOs on it, it is full of protein, and it is CHEAP!

So, without further ado, grab your can opener and serve one of these five fab recipes next time you are entertaining even (or, especially?) your most discerning guests.

Tuna Salad With Lemon Aïoli

Tuna CanLooking for a quick lunch for a few guests? This upgrade on an old standby is great idea! Rather than the usual pickles or cucumbers thrown in, this classy tuna salad calls for granny smith apples, an English cucumber, and red onions.  You can find the recipe for the tuna salad  here, while the Lemon Aioli is available at this link. I love how the MyRecipes site shows the tuna salad in a cut out loaf of peasant bread!

Wolf Gang Puck’s Spago Crab CakesCan of Crabmeat

This has been a go-to recipe in our house since we first discovered it – over ten years ago!  These crab cakes will surely impress your guests when you serve them over a bed of arugula alongside slices of lemon and a side of grilled asparagus! I’m sure you’ll love this recipe as much as we do and there is no problem substituting the canned crabmeat for the more expensive fresh seafood the original recipe calls for – it’s not only less expensive to do so, it makes the recipe easier to create! Find the Spago Crab Cake secret recipe here.

Linguine with Clam Sauce

Can of Clams

Who doesn’t love linguine? This recipe is a take on a standard Italian dish you can find at the most upscale restaurants.  Serve it with garlic bread, a side of salad, and a glass of Chardonney to up the ante! Check out this recipe from one of my favorite sites,,  here.


Martha Stewart’s Pan Fried Salmon CakesCan of Salmon

Come on, have you ever had a bad Martha Steward recipe? Be sure to drop her name when you serve your guests – guaranteed bonus points in the “Wow, how does she do it?” department!  I think this recipe goes well with either a lemon-infused rice or a saffron rice. If you like, try steaming some green beans to serve alongside for a great addition.  Martha’s sure to please recipe for Pan Fried Salmon Cakes can be found here.

Sardine Miso Ball Soup

While I’m not a big fan of sardines, you might not even know these soup balls contained sardines, unless someone told you!  To go all out with an Asian flare, serve this with a bit of brown rice and a quick stir fry of vegetables and water chestnuts (another canned favorite of mine!) topped with a bit of chopped peanuts.  Be sure to offer your friends a glass of Saki to really impress!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


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