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Image: Niamh O'Shaughnessy

One-can dinners: Essential recipes for a 'raid the cupboard' meal in a hurry

Recipes so wholesome, nobody will guess a tin was involved.
Nov 1st 2018, 5:17 PM 9,777 3

I ALWAYS HAVE a shelf full of tinned food to fall back on if I need a quick meal. From tins of tuna to fruits and pulses, tins are an essential part of my monthly shop. They are so handy to have on hand when you need a “raid the cupboard” meal in a hurry.

Most tinned foods are packaged very soon after they’re harvested, meaning optimum levels of nutritional benefits are retained. Tinned salmon for example is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health, as well as being an excellent source of protein. Chickpeas provide a low fat source of protein, and count towards one of your recommended daily portions of fruit and veg.

The below recipes can be whipped up in a flash using store cupboard ingredients, and they’re so wholesome that nobody will ever guess that the star of the show comes from a tin!

Source: Niamh O'Shaughnessy

Simple-But-Tasty Chickpea, Spinach and Tomato Soup

Serves 4 as a lunch

The humble can of chickpeas is the main ingredients in this deliciously warming broth. Paired with just a few other household staples, this soup is very easy on the pocket and full of nutrients. Want to change things up? For an extra protein kick, feel free to adapt the recipe and add in some leftover meat if you have it.


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 45g spinach leaves
  • 250ml hot chicken stock


  1. Fry the chopped onion and garlic in some olive oil until soft, for about 4 -5 minutes
  2. Stir in the cumin and paprika, followed by the drained chickpeas, tinned tomatoes and stock
  3. Boil for 10 minutes until the liquid starts to reduce
  4. Turn off the heat, and add in the spinach
  5. Season to taste
  6. Serve with some crusty bread

Source: Niamh O'Shaughnessy

Spicy Salmon Fishcakes

Makes 6 fishcakes

Served with some salad, these fishcakes make a delicious lunch. Or for an equally impressive brunch, top the fishcakes with a poached egg.


  • 400g cooked potatoes
  • 1 tin of salmon
  • 3 tbsp sweet chiLli sauce
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 70g breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes until there are no lumps
  2. Add in the sweet chili sauce, salmon, spring onions, salt and pepper and stir until combined
  3. Shape into 6 fishcakes and set aside in the fridge for 10 minutes until firm
  4. Beat the egg in a bowl and dip each fishcake into the egg mixture, and then coat in breadcrumbs
  5. Heat some oil in a pan and fry gently for 5 minutes on each side
  6. Serve with some extra sweet chilli sauce and a side salad

More: Cook once, eat twice: Warming one-pot veggie dinners that are perfect for leftovers>

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Niamh O'Shaughnessy


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