Our Favorite Spam Recipes Are Crisp, Meaty Heaven

Pop open that iconic blue can for salty, porky, easy meals any time at all.

February  9, 2021
Photo by James Ransom

Spam, that iconic American food product, is a versatile pantry staple with a history all its own, and devoted fans in countless countries around the world (especially in Asia). Whether you welcome its delicious, savory, meaty flavor with open arms or shun it in favor of something a little more recognizable, Spam is here, and here to stay.

We happen to love it unabashedly, and gathered up our 11 best Spam recipes for hearty breakfasts, easy lunches, and quick, comforting dinners. That way, next time you pop open a can of the good stuff, you'll know exactly what to do.

1. Kimchi Jjigae With Spam & Tofu

This beloved Korean comfort food originated on army bases, using instant, canned, and readily available ingredients (like kimchi and mushrooms) to make one hearty, sharable pot of stew. The anchovy fillets in the broth lend a ton of umami richness, and the Spam adds heft and flavor.

2. Gyeranjjim With Spam

Gyeranjjim (steamed egg) is a staple dish in Korean households that's easily made into a rib-sticking meal with the addition of Spam. Best of all, it's a 30-minute one-bowl wonder.

3. Spam Buns

These crisp, fluffy Spam-stuffed buns will give your pigs in a blanket recipe a run for its money, and are a welcome sight at any gathering where meaty appetizers are the name of the game. Serve with your favorite kind of mustard, or pivot to Asian flavors and serve with teriyaki sauce for dipping.

4. Jean's Kimchi Fried Rice with Spam

This may be our favorite way to use up leftover rice (and put a dent in that jar of kimchi at the same time). Spicy, salty, tangy, and thoroughly satisfying, this kimchi fried rice needs nothing more than the addition of crisp Spam cubes, savory nori strips, and a runny fried egg to make a reliably easy and delicious meal.

5. Spam & Egg Deopbap For One

Clearly, Spam and eggs are a match made in rice bowl heaven, and this eye-catching deopbap topped with soft scrambled eggs is no exception. Lightly season the Spam with maple syrup before cooking for a subtly sweet glaze that adds complexity and a little smoky depth to the finished product, and drizzle with soy-spiked mayonnaise before serving.

6. Ohana Burger

Ohana is Hawaiian for "family," and when your family loves Spam, this extra-meaty burger is a great way to incorporate it into dinner. Sharp, tangy blue cheese provides a welcome foil to Spam's fatty porkiness, and sweet onions add the right amount of zing, packing every bite of your burger with flavor.

7. Andy's SpamLT (No B)

Few sandwiches in this world are as perfect as a BLT. For an even porkier version, sub fried Spam for the bacon, slather with Japanese kewpie mayo, and watch lettuce and tomato shine even more brightly.

8. Hawaiian Style Dry Mein Noodles

Spam is equally welcome in a bowl of a noodles as it is in a sandwich, burger, or on a bed of rice. Try teriyaki Spam for a version of this recipe that will transport you straight to the Hawaiian islands (flavor-wise, at least).

9. Hong Kong Style Spam & Egg Macaroni Soup

Where you find Spam, you will frequently find eggs—no matter the application. This pasta-studded, soy sauce and sesame oil-splashed soup from Hong Kong is a welcome vehicle for tender fried Spam cubes, and of course, a runny over-easy.

10. The Echo Park at 4:00 A.M. Breakfast Burrito

You may have had a breakfast burrito before, but if you haven't had one teeming with Spam and kimchi, you've yet to try one of the best iterations of this meal-in-a-tortilla. Inspired by activities one might undertake at 4 a.m. in Los Angeles, this Spam-tastic burrito is at its very best with a generous splash of hot sauce.

11. Tiki Taco Tuesday

These Hawaiian-style tacos feature finely diced Spam cubes, crushed pineapple, sweet onions, and a hint of soy sauce on warm corn tortillas. Spice them up with a hit of vinegar-based hot sauce, and top with a little sour cream to bring the flavors all together.

More Delicious Meals

What's your favorite way to use Spam? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Emily
  • Molly Franks
    Molly Franks
  • peg schick
    peg schick
  • HalfPint
  • garlic&lemon
Jess Kapadia

Written by: Jess Kapadia

Jess is a food and travel writer/editor who grew up in her mom's Indian-Jewish hybrid kitchen. She's written for publications including Edible Los Angeles, Saveur, The Daily Meal, Food Republic, The Spruce Eats, and Food52. Jess lives in Brooklyn with her cats, Frasier and Niles.


Emily February 11, 2021
Ummmmm how is spam musubi not on this list?! Of all the ways people eat spam in Hawaii, musubi is by far the most common. It is available everywhere, all the time. It’s the prefect ratio of starch to meat... it’s a pressed rectangular cube of steamed white rice topped with a grilled slab of spam and a little shoyu glaze, all wrapped in nori... even those of us who would not buy a can of spam to use at home partake because they are salty, meaty, sweet, and hearty. They are what you bring when it’s your turn to bring snacks to your kid’s soccer game, it’s everybody’s gas station breakfast and late night munchie. So. Good.
Molly F. February 13, 2021
My neighbor makes this. He's always promised to bring me some, but never has. Now that I know the name, I can google and make for myself. Thank you!
Molly F. February 11, 2021
Can't wait to try some of these recipes! Spam is very versatile and we sure enjoy it. Stocked up just prior to our first lockdown. Thank you.
peg S. February 9, 2021
Really disappointed that food 52 is supporting canned, processed food!

HalfPint February 11, 2021
Food52 is supporting diversity in food. Spam is part of most Asian food culture as well as Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Canned & processed food is in all cultures and has been for centuries.
garlic&lemon February 11, 2021
Spam is a big part of food culture in Latin American countries that have lacked electricity, and therefore refrigeration. It is also a big part of food culture on American Indian reservations in the U.S. for the same reasons. People have figured out how to cook deliciously with the foods available to them. By acknowledging Spam, Food 52 is acknowledging food cultures outside of First World privilege.
HalfPint February 9, 2021
Spam in Japanese curry. Oh so good!