Four-Can Pantry Salad

published Jun 18, 2020
Four-Can Pantry Salad

A quick and easy salad made with pantry ingredients you might already have on hand.

Serves6 to 8

Prep25 minutes

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Bowl of 4-can salad sits on the table next to plates, forks, and pepper.
Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

When we think about salads, we often picture a bounty of fresh vegetables that go from fridge to plate. But when your crisper drawer is empty, there’s a world of other ingredients you can utilize to make a quick, refreshing salad — and they’re probably hanging out in your pantry right now.

This Italian-style salad is made with four common pantry items: canned olives, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and chickpeas. When tossed with whatever last bit of greens you have, along with an oregano vinaigrette and a generous amount of salty feta, you’ve got a flavor-packed pantry salad on your hands — and it’s incredibly adaptable to whatever ingredients you have.

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

4 Tips for Making Pantry Salads

Looking to utilize your pantry to create hearty summer salads that are fresh and exciting? Keep these tips in mind.

1. Always rinse canned items before adding them to the salad, unless they’re packed in oil. Canning liquid can add an unwanted flavor to your salad — especially in the case of canned beans, which come packed in thick, murky water. But for items that are packed in oil, simply drain them and skip the rinsing step.

2. Let canned items dry in a colander for several minutes. No matter what canned good you’re using, making sure they are completely dry is key. Adding wet ingredients to a salad can thin out the dressing and make it taste bland. If they still feel wet after draining, use a paper towel to pat them dry.

3. Taste often and adjust seasoning accordingly. Different brands and varieties of canned goods have varying levels of salt, ranging from super salty to not at all. When making your salad, make sure to taste the dish as you’re making it and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

4. Look beyond canned goods. Other pantry staples like nuts, seeds, and crushed chips make excellent additions to salads. Get creative and try rummaging through your pantry for inspiration next time you’re craving a salad. It might just save you a trip to the store.

Four-Can Pantry Salad

A quick and easy salad made with pantry ingredients you might already have on hand.

Prep time 25 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


For the vinaigrette: Makes about 1 cup

  • 3 cloves


  • 2 tablespoons

    fresh oregano leaves

  • 1/3 cup

    red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

  • 1/3 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1 (12-ounce) jar

    marinated artichoke hearts, or 2 (6-ounce) jars

  • 1 (6-ounce) can

    pitted whole black olives

  • 1 (about 15-ounce) can


  • 1 (12-ounce) jar

    roasted red peppers

  • 8 ounces

    feta cheese

  • 2 cups

    lightly packed arugula (about 2 ounces)

  • 2

    medium heads radicchio (about 1 pound total)


  1. Make the vinaigrette: Mince 3 garlic cloves and finely chop 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, then place both in a medium bowl. Add 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk until the salt is dissolved. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil and continue whisking until emulsified.

  2. Make the salad: Prepare the following, adding them all to a large bowl: Drain 1 (12-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 cups). Drain and halve 1 (6-ounce) can pitted black olives (about 1 1/4 cups). Drain and rinse 1 (about 15-ounce) can chickpeas (about 2 cups). Drain 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/4 cups). Cut 8 ounces feta cheese into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups). Quarter 2 medium heads radicchio lengthwise, then cut the core out from each piece. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups).

  3. Add 2 cups lightly packed arugula (about 2 ounces) and 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette. Use your hands to gently toss everything together, making sure everything is coated well. Taste and add more vinaigrette as needed. Season with more black pepper and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dressing can be made up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Rewhisk before using.

Storage: Leftover salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.