Keep Canned Fish on Hand, Make These 12 Recipes

April  1, 2016

In Spain, among other Mediterranean countries, tinned fish is just as prized as fresh. Salt cod, or bacalao, is a staple. And anchovies are not merely an unpopular pizza topping, but a briny ingredient found at home among the garlic and olive oil.

So forget what you thought you knew about canned fish, be it the sad tuna sandwich of your middle school years or the (equally sad) cheap dinner of your college days. Tuna packed in olive oil, imported anchovies, sardines, and salt cod are about to revolutionize your weeknight dinners. Here are 12 ways to get started:

What are your favorite ways to use canned fish? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • calendargirl
  • Bevi
  • Jan Weber
    Jan Weber
Annie Crabill

Written by: Annie Crabill


calendargirl April 2, 2016
CheapBeets' Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes!
Bevi April 1, 2016
Boulangere's First Night in Florence pasta.
Jan W. April 1, 2016
I have been interested making my own canned cod loin pieces using fully desalted cod in olive oil - I have recently been gifted a Spanish-made Fagor pressure canner, so maybe a month or two after canning I will have some delicious buttery cod loin to enjoy.
Jan W. April 1, 2016
Tinned fish are some of my favorite pantry items because canneries make 'conservas' of many different varieties/species and seasonings, so there's never monotony. I typically keep Portuguese-style "skin and bones" sardines like Bela-Olhão brand in olive oil, Chub or horse mackerel in oil, piri-piri or escabeche, and bonito del norte or yellowfin tuna in olive oil. I have been lucky to find a delicious stuffed squid in tomato sauce from Cole's made in Portugal, and they also make tinned octopus but it is harder to find. In Europe you can also find pâté of sardine or sometimes even sardine roe. One of the best tinned fish from Spain and Portugal is cod, which in Portugal is often packed with either olive oil and garlic or garbanzos. In Northern Spain they usually do it just in olive oil, and sometimes in jars like from Alkorta Bacalaos ( - this stuff is so flaky and tender it just melts in your mouth.

I'm glad that Food52 enjoys tinned fish as much as I do!