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Ideas for recipes to feed a crowd that use canned (donated) goods? Sandy relief organizations need help!

Robicelli's, the incredible Brooklyn-based bakery that has activated itself as an advocate and organizer of relief efforts post-Sandy, is looking for ways to process canned good donations into meals for those who need them.

Does anyone have tips or ideas for large-scale recipes that can be cooked for a crowd from canned goods (using minimal equipment and minimal other ingredients)? We know the Food52 community has a wealth of recipe ideas and an awesome ability to join together for good!

If you're looking for more ways to help Robicelli's, their twitter feed (with informative Sandy relief updates) can be found here:

asked by Marian Bull over 3 years ago
8 answers 1972 views

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

I make this instead of pumpkin pie every TDay - you could make a big batch, but you WOULD need multiple loaf pans ... are you interested in desserts?

I don't have a recipe per se but it seems a canned corn chowder would be fairly easy to pull together, and canned clams chowder would work too - you could even sneak canned poatoes into this:
Do you have specuific canned goods that you need to use, or are you looking to acquire then cook them??

added over 3 years ago

Without knowing the specifics of the canned goods, maybe chili? (you can get creative with chili -- adding things like canned corn is yummy; meat is not necessary, but if there is meat, just about any will do). Again, depending on the canned goods available, maybe a tamale pie?


Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added over 3 years ago

Rice mixed with canned peas, carrots, red beans and other vegetable is filling and feeds a crowd; all on the stove top. Canned sweet potatoes can be oven baked with a crumble on top

added over 3 years ago

Marcella's genius tomato sauce requires canned tomatoes, a stick of butter, and an onion.
Again, it would be helpful to know what kinds of canned goods you are talking about.

added over 3 years ago

Rajmah is an Indian curry made from red kidney beans that could be made with canned tomatoes, sauce or purée. An Indian friend of mine used to make a quick version of rajmah using Progresso soup. Here is one recipe that could be altered:
Maybe a pot pie could be approximated from canned chicken, gravy, and the usual canned peas, carrots, etc. (plus some rosemary).
Here is a food52 recipe for tuna casserole: which might be an inspiration for canned tuna.
Just last night I made something I called "Mexican Black Bean Chicken." I sautéed onions and peppers, added plain canned black beans and cubes of coked chicken, some jarred salsa and lots of cumin and some oregano. I served it with rice The kids ate it, surprising me.
I have never had corn fritters but they can be made from canned or maybe creamed corn (my mother talks about liking those as a kid).
If I think of anything else I'll add it. I would guess that some inexpensive spices like cumin or basil could go a long way with sprucing up canned goods. I hope everyone gets back to normal, or some kind of normalcy, soon.


Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

In keeping with the above ideas..and the fact it's bakery. How about 'hand pies'/pocket pies/pasty.

You could do vegetarian with the Indian curry idea as filling, a chicken hand pie with chicken peas, carrots, etc, Fillings using beans and rice and Cuban/Jamaican spices, and some desert hand pies with canned fruits.

added about 3 years ago

The ultimate pantry meal is tuna-noodle casserole, made with egg noodles, canned tuna, and cream of mushroom soup. Add in a can of green beans for the veggie and some color.
Now I have made this with fresh mushrooms and my own bechamel, and with fresh or frozen green beans...but in a pinch, cans will do! If fresh veggies can be added in, so much the better.