Canned salmon is inexpensive and, as a bonus, much of it is wild rather than farmed. While it can’t be substituted for fresh salmon in most preparations, it’s a convenient and nutritious option that can be used in dishes both homey and elegant.

Many hounds use it in dishes that evoke childhood nostalgia. “You can do a lighter tasting, more delicious version of Mom’s tuna casserole” with canned salmon, says AsperGirl. hyde makes the switch in this recipe, which uses leeks and fresh dill. “When I was a child and beginning to recover from a cold, the first real food my mother made for me was creamed salmon and peas on toast,” says JoanN, who still considers it comfort food and makes it “when I’m feeling particularly needy.”

herby uses canned salmon in a pasta dish that she says is “good and very quick.” To make it, sauté 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas in butter until crisp-tender, then add 1/2 cup heavy cream and stir until hot. Add a can of flaked salmon, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, a pinch of nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Heat without allowing to boil. Toss gently with linguine or spaghettini, topping with chopped parsley and more Parmesan.

Or make a salmon spread by mixing the flaked fish with cream cheese, chopped green onions or chives, and a squeeze of lemon juice. This “is a favorite of mine for bagels,” says shanagain. You can also serve it on crackers. For a party, try a salmon mousse, either molded or stuffed into a hollowed French bread loaf and sliced, suggests free sample addict aka Tracy L.

If you find the commonly available canned pink salmon too strong, look for cans specifying red salmon, hounds say. sueatmo recommends Deming’s Red Sockeye Salmon.

Discuss: What do you do with canned salmon? Not salmon patties.

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