12 Canned Foods You Should Be Eating For Breakfast

refried beans and eggs
refried beans and eggs - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

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Breakfast is often labeled as the most important meal of the day. Despite this, only 35% of Americans eat it every day of the week, according to a 2022 poll conducted by Statista. Time constraints are one of the main reasons why people skip breakfast; many people simply don't have enough time to prepare and eat delicious and healthy breakfasts every morning. Fortunately, the following 12 canned goods offer a means of producing excellent breakfasts in short periods of time.

Canned foods are often stigmatized. They are viewed as highly processed and nutritionally poor. For these reasons, numerous members of the public avoid canned products, especially when it comes to breakfast. This is a mistake though, as canned foods are often more nutritious and less processed than many widely popular breakfast foods including sweet cereals. Aside from also being cheaper, canned foods can also be prepared just as quickly as other popular breakfast foods making them a perfect way to start your day.

Read more: 12 Canned Foods You Should Avoid At The Grocery Store

Refried Beans

Cans of refried beans
Cans of refried beans - Patricia Aranda/Getty Images

While a staple of Mexican breakfasts, refried beans are not a popular breakfast food in most areas of the United States. This is a shame because they are a healthy, quick to prepare food that forms a part of several exceptional breakfast dishes, including huevos rancheros. This dish sees refried beans paired alongside fried eggs, corn tortillas, and salsa. Happily, using canned refried beans means the cooking time associated with the breakfast is incredibly short; all you have to do is heat up the beans while you fry the eggs. In other words, this delightful breakfast will be ready in a handful of minutes.

Canned refried beans can also be used to make molletes mexicanos, a kind of open-faced sandwich that's topped with refried beans, cheese, and pico de gallo. This is another excellent, quick breakfast dish that gains a great deal of nutritional value thanks to the inclusion of canned refried beans.

Beans are known for being high in both fiber and protein. As a result, they are recommended by the American Heart Association as part of a healthy diet.

High-Quality Canned Tomatoes

San Marzano canned tomatoes
San Marzano canned tomatoes - The Image Party/Shutterstock

High-quality canned tomatoes are incredibly versatile and are regularly used to make both lunches and dinners. However, they are not often used to make breakfast. There is no reason they shouldn't be; numerous brands are available across the country and are just as suited to the first meal of the day as they are the latter two.

Canned tomatoes make an exceptional base for satisfying breakfast dishes including shakshuka. This North African dish sees eggs poached in a spicy tomato base that canned tomatoes are perfect for. Aside from requiring less prep than fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes enable people to make breakfast dishes like shakshuka outside of tomato season with no discernible drop in quality.

As high-quality canned tomatoes are delicious when eaten raw, they make a perfect topping for toast. The best example of this is the Spanish breakfast dish pan con tomate. In this dish, chopped or grated canned tomatoes are smeared across a piece of toast before being topped with oil, salt, and pepper. This is a healthy, fresh, and vibrant way to start the day.

Canned Soup

Campbell's Chunky classic chicken noodle
Campbell's Chunky classic chicken noodle - Julie Thurston Photography/Getty Images

Although it's rarely eaten for breakfast in the United States, soup is a popular breakfast in many countries, including Japan, Türkiye, and Colombia. The breakfast soups enjoyed in these countries include Türkiye's lentil-packed ezogelin and Japan's famed miso. While these two soups are available in the US, often in pouch form, just about any canned soup makes for a wonderful breakfast.

The benefits of eating canned soup for breakfast were highlighted by one user on Reddit: "I usually eat one of those Campbell's chunky soups from the can for breakfast. It does sound weird at first, but most of them are bland enough to be easy to eat in the morning [...] and are generally healthier than your average European/American breakfast food."

This comment touches on an important part of canned soup's appeal; it is a product that's easily eaten by those who normally eschew breakfast because its less heavy on the stomach than many other breakfast foods. Aside from this important benefit, canned soups are also incredibly quick to prepare as they only require heating. Add to this the low price point and it's not difficult to see why canned soup is seen by some people as the perfect breakfast food.

Canned Biscuit Dough

Pillsbury Grands canned biscuit dough
Pillsbury Grands canned biscuit dough - Pillsbury

Biscuits have been a part of the American diet since before the United States was founded. They remain an incredibly popular food today, although the time it takes to prepare them sees few people enjoying them on a weekday morning.

The main attraction of canned biscuit products is that they enable people to enjoy this familiar, indulgent food even on mornings where they have little time. This is thanks to the biscuit dough being pre-made and pre-portioned. All you have to do is bake them in the oven. Quick to bake, they form the basis of a wonderful, easy, and indulgent breakfast as the following review posted to Walmart reveals: "Great for breakfast sandwiches! Easy to prepare with just 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Add eggs, cheese and bacon and have breakfast to go [...] The buttery dough is delicious."

The flexibility of canned biscuits allows you to get create with your breakfast too. You can ladle a peppery gravy over them, sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar, or simply put a dab of butter on them. No matter what you choose, canned biscuits are a must-have breakfast item.

Canned Fruit

fresh and canned peaches
fresh and canned peaches - Handmadepictures/Getty Images

The main appeal of canning is that it allows people to enjoy produce at its peak ripeness throughout the entire year. This is no truer than when it comes to fruit. Thanks to its ability to capture and store fruit's peak flavor indefinitely, canned fruit products are a great choice for breakfast; they can be used to top a variety of common breakfast foods from muesli to oatmeal, adding a splash of flavor. Mass produced canned fruit is also cheap and lasts for a long time, something that can't be said of fresh fruit.

The United States boasts an abundance of fruit growers and canners. This means that many regional fruit specialties that aren't stocked as fresh fruit in major grocery stores are available as canned products via nationwide shipping. This gives Americans the ability to try a variety of fruits they wouldn't normally be able to.

The only drawback to canned fruit is that it is often packed in syrup. This makes the product high in added sugar. However, many canneries sell varieties of the products that are packed in water, negating this issue.

Canned Sardines

An open can of sardines
An open can of sardines - Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images

Unless you live in a coastal part of the United States, it's unlikely you start your day by eating canned fish. There's no reason why this has to be the case; there is a plethora of canned seafood products out there. Among the best to enjoy at breakfast time are canned sardines, thanks to their nutritional profile and low price.

In an interview with Food & Wine, Matt King, a chef and senior member of Smith & Wollensky, said, "Puree them [canned sardines] with a bit of cream cheese, lemon, and parsley and spread on some toasted whole grain bread. For those who like the popular avocado toast food trend, add some sliced avocado and a poached egg. The avocado and the egg really tone down the intense oceanic saltiness of the sardines." Another fantastic way to serve sardines is in a dish known as fisherman's eggs, which sees eggs baked atop a pile of chopped sardines, onions, and tomatoes.

Aside from being delicious, sardines are also healthy. As an oily fish, they contain high levels of long chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to be beneficial for both cardiovascular and cognitive function. Their high protein content also means that consuming sardines results in high levels of satiety, leaving people fuller for longer. In other words, canned sardines are an ideal breakfast food.

Canned Cinnamon Rolls

Great Value canned cinnamon rolls
Great Value canned cinnamon rolls - Great Value

From waffles to pancakes, muffins and cereal, sweet breakfasts reign supreme in the United States. Cinnamon rolls have been popular in America since the 17th century and have become known as a sweet, indulgent way to start the morning. As with breakfast biscuits, the time it takes to make cinnamon rolls from scratch means that many many people rarely enjoy them at home during weekdays and are forced to choose another breakfast, or pick up cinnamon rolls on their commute.

Canned cinnamon rolls allow you to enjoy these treats at home with minimal fuss. All you have to do is pull the pre-portioned dough from the can and bake until the rolls are golden brown, allowing you to enjoy indulgent pastries in record-breaking time. You can even take it one step further and turn canned cinnamon rolls into a gourmet treat by brûléeing the top.


Spam, eggs, and rice
Spam, eggs, and rice - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Spam is an oft-maligned canned product that nonetheless makes for a hearty and practical breakfast food. This is primarily due to its versatility. The pork with ham product can be eaten raw, sliced and fried to mimic bacon, or even boiled. Thanks to Spam's high fat and sodium content, all these preparation methods result in breakfasts that are incredibly decadent.

The product really comes into its own when sliced and fried. The exterior of the meat crisps and caramelizes while the interior remains incredibly soft. This differentiates it from other popular breakfast meats, such as bacon, that offer little to no textural contrast throughout. What's more, Spam actually contains less fat than bacon, making it -- in some ways -- a slightly healthier option.

Spam is sold in 50 countries around the world. For this reason, there is no shortage of Spam-based breakfast dishes, ranging from Spam, eggs, and rice, a popular dish in Hawaii, to Spam breakfast hash. Some people even go further, making complex breakfast bowls or using it to make Spam musubi. In short, Spam is one of the most versatile breakfast meats out there.

Canned Salmon

Bumble Bee wild-caught salmon
Bumble Bee wild-caught salmon - Bumble Bee Seafoods

Smoked salmon is a hugely popular breakfast food. Despite this, canned salmon is not. This juxtaposition is puzzling; canned salmon is for all intents and purposes much the same thing. It offers the same nutritional benefits of smoked salmon, predominantly an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. What's more, it's cheaper with some canned products selling for as little as 30 cents per ounce. For comparison, smoked salmon often costs around $1.45 per ounce.

The easiest way to serve canned salmon for breakfast is atop toast or bagels. Used as a simple spread, it serves as a nutritious, tasty start to the day. Other popular breakfast dishes pair canned salmon alongside eggs. The fatty nature of both foods results in a delicious and filling breakfast through dishes like canned salmon eggs benedict and salmon and egg-stuffed breakfast wraps.

One aspect of canned salmon products that does put some people off are the small fragments of bone and skin found amongst the meat. Not only are these completely edible, they are also healthy; the skin is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and the bones are a great source of calcium. That being said, if the texture and taste of bones and skin aren't for you, skinless, boneless variations of the product can be easily found.

Canned Sausage Hash

Hormel breakfast sausage hash
Hormel breakfast sausage hash - Hormel

While many of the canned foods on this list form part of a breakfast dish, canned sausage hash is a breakfast dish in its own right thanks to the array of ingredients it contains. While specific ingredients vary from brand-to-brand, all canned sausage hash products contain both sausage and potatoes. This gives most canned sausage hash products a robust nutritional profile that boasts decent levels of fat, carbohydrates, and protein.

Aside from being filling, canned hash products are also simple to use. The contents only needs to be emptied into a skillet and fried until crisp. This makes it much quicker to prepare than homemade hash and ensures it is perfect for weekday breakfasts. Despite being a filling breakfast on its own, many people serve the hash alongside toast and eggs.

Many Americans will be more familiar with canned corned beef hash than canned sausage hash. However, the latter is more suited to being served at breakfast. A survey performed by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council found that 74% of Americans like to eat sausage at breakfast. Thanks to its simplicity and flavor, canned sausage hash is a great and accessible way of enjoying sausage in the morning.

Canned Bacon

Yoders canned bacon
Yoders canned bacon - Yoders

Bacon is one of America's most popular breakfast foods with fresh rashers being fried up every morning across the country. The predominance of fresh bacon leads people to wonder why anyone would ever purchase canned bacon. The answer to that is simple: It stores extremely well.

Canned bacon, which can last up to a decade, is a brilliant choice for emergency stores thanks to its combination of taste and durability. What's more, the bacon can be enjoyed straight out of the can, negating the need for access to cooking equipment.

Although designed for emergency situations, many people utilize canned bacon on a day-to-day basis due to its convenience. One post on Amazon reads: "This stuff is quite good -- better tasting than the boxed pre-cooked bacon that's available. It's also very convenient -- I fix the kids' breakfasts each morning and it's easy to pop in a couple slices in the microwave to heat -- about 15 seconds."

Canned Whole New Potatoes

Great Value whole new potatoes
Great Value whole new potatoes - Great Value

Many popular breakfast dishes including hash and rosti rely on the humble potato. Unfortunately, many of these dishes cannot be made on busy mornings as the potatoes take so long to cook. Thankfully, canned whole new potatoes negate this issue by being pre-cooked and ready to use.

Using canned whole new potatoes opens up a world of possibilities, ranging from making rapid breakfast potatoes to inventive dishes like mashed potato pancakes. What's more, customers benefit from the convenience of pre-cooked potatoes without compromising on flavor, texture, and nutritional value; many brands of canned whole new potatoes are packaged in water with a small amount of sodium, firming agents, and nothing else.

Aside from being easy to use, canned whole new potatoes also take on the flavor of other ingredients extremely well, especially when cooked as breakfast potatoes. Clever cooks can use this to their advantage by adding a variety of ingredients to breakfast potatoes as they cook, like bacon or Parmesan.

Read the original article on Daily Meal