Elevate Your Pantry: As a Dietitian, Here Are My Top 6 Costco Canned Food Picks

Elevate Your Pantry: As a Dietitian, Here Are My Top 6 Costco Canned Food Picks

“Discovering Costco’s Culinary Treasures: Embracing Convenience and Quality with Canned Foods. Join us at EatingWell as we unveil our adoration for Costco and its offerings. Dive into a world of practicality, where our household of 2 finds canned foods as the ultimate solution. Explore the longevity, affordability, and healthfulness of these pantry staples, ensuring you’re always prepared for delicious and nourishing meals.”

1. Canned Chickpeas


Incorporating more beans into our diet is a wise choice for all of us. Their remarkable versatility, coupled with their exceptional nutritional value as a cost-effective protein source, makes them a dietary essential. Remarkably, an 8-count package of canned chickpeas at Costco comes at a mere $9.99, equating to less than $1.25 per can. While I creatively integrate them into a range of main courses, such as our delectable Baked Falafels and the hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew, truth be told, most of the chickpeas in my pantry ultimately become luscious hummus. This fiber-rich dip effortlessly complements everything from snacks to sandwiches and wholesome grain bowls. Invariably, the dwindling supply of canned chickpeas serves as my cue for a well-timed Costco shopping excursion.

2. Canned Black Beans


Black beans are another nutritional powerhouse that I always ensure is stocked in my pantry for convenient and wholesome meals. When it’s time to replenish, my go-to destination is Costco. Just like chickpeas, an 8-pack of black beans is remarkably priced at only $9.99. These beans serve as an excellent source of fiber, protein, as well as an array of essential vitamins and minerals, contributing to the richness of my menu. One of my favorite go-to recipes is our Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajita Skillet Bowls, a speedy and satisfying option for busy weeknights. Furthermore, our Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili frequently graces my table when I’m opting for a meatless dish. I even use these versatile beans to meal prep our Basic Mashed Black Beans—an ideal topping for toast paired with an egg, a delightful addition to tacos, or layered within a burrito or wrap. They even shine as a standalone dip for chips. In my view, the versatility of meal-prepped ingredients is paramount (not to mention, these black beans contain only a fraction of the sodium and fat found in store-bought refried beans).

3. Canned Coconut Milk


Allow me to present a compelling idea: With a well-stocked pantry containing both canned chickpeas and coconut milk, you’re merely 30 minutes away from savoring the delightful flavors of our Chickpea Coconut Curry. This convenience is one of the reasons why I consistently replenish my pantry with the 6-count pack of canned coconut milk from Costco. Moreover, I’ve discovered another brilliant use for this versatile ingredient—crafting a delectable slow-cooked meal that not only curbs food waste but also boasts nourishing qualities. By combining a can of coconut milk, an assortment of leftover vegetables, and a few scoops of curry paste within a slow cooker, you can achieve a nourishing main that can be further enriched with protein, such as cubed tofu or a can of chickpeas.

Embracing the potential of canned coconut milk extends beyond curries. It serves as a valuable tool for lending a creamy, vegan-friendly texture to a myriad of dishes—ranging from soups to noodles, and even margaritas. So, the next time you contemplate an epicurean journey, remember that canned coconut milk from Costco can be your trusty companion in creating diverse and delicious culinary delights.

4. Canned Sardines


While canned sardines might not be a regular part of everyone’s diet, I completely understand that they could seem less appealing compared to canned tuna. However, there are numerous compelling reasons to consider incorporating these small fish into your culinary routine. Notably, they boast an impressive protein content, are teeming with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, contribute to brain health, and play a role in maintaining strong bones. And here’s some exciting news: Costco offers a sustainably caught Wild Planet 6-pack of canned sardines that are conveniently packed in heart-healthy olive oil.

If you’re open to exploring the world of sardines, I encourage you to give our Spicy Sardine Linguine a try. With just six ingredients and a mere 15 minutes of active preparation time, this dish is an absolute delight. It’s a fantastic opportunity to introduce your taste buds to something new and reap the nutritional benefits of these tiny nutritional powerhouses.

5. Canned Diced Tomatoes


Canned tomatoes stand as one of the most versatile ingredients in the culinary world. Personally, when I return from a vacation and find my fridge nearly empty, eggs poached in tomato sauce (a la Shakshuka) become my go-to meal for a quick and healthy option. Yet, their potential extends far beyond this. Canned tomatoes serve as a fantastic foundation for kickstarting an array of dishes, including pasta sauces, curries, soups, and stews. Moreover, they provide an avenue for incorporating more vegetables into your diet and reaping the health advantages associated with tomatoes—such as supporting heart health and mitigating the risk of chronic diseases.

For those who, like me, value the convenience of having canned tomatoes readily available, Costco is a reliable source to stock up. Opting for a no-salt-added variety, if possible, can further enhance the nutritional value of your culinary creations. So, whether you’re crafting a hearty meal or exploring diverse recipes, canned tomatoes are a steadfast ally in elevating your dishes and nourishing your body.

6. Canned Tuna


We’re all familiar with the recommendation to incorporate seafood into our diet a few times a week, but the costs can add up swiftly. Fortunately, the inclusion of canned fish can significantly simplify this endeavor and make it more budget-friendly. Personally, I always ensure that canned tuna is a staple in my pantry, and my go-to choice is the Wild Planet 6-pack available at Costco. This versatile ingredient becomes the foundation for a myriad of culinary creations. I frequently whip up a substantial batch of tuna salad to elevate my lunchtime salads or sandwiches. When the need for a quick and protein-rich dinner arises, canned tuna proves to be an invaluable addition to pasta dishes, casseroles, and various other recipes. And let’s not overlook the delightful potential of our Easy Tuna Cakes with Greens & Lemon Dressing—a dish that adds a burst of flavor and nutrition to any mealtime.

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Emily Johnson

Meet Emily Johnson, a rising star in the world of news reporting. Armed with a Communications degree from Harvard University, Emily's writing is a perfect blend of creativity and fact-based journalism. She specializes in human-interest stories, bringing the personal touch that makes every story relatable. Whether it's heartwarming tales or societal issues, Emily is your guide to the trending news you won't want to miss.

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