The 10 Best Canned Goods to Buy Right Now, According to a Nutritionist

updated Jun 16, 2021
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As a nutritionist, I fully endorse having a well-stocked pantry to help you pull together a healthy dinner without an unnecessary trip to the store. Saving precious money and time… what could be better?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around out there about the nutritional value of certain pantry items. (Ahem, canned goods, I’m looking at you.) The key word there, though, is misconceptions because so many canned goods are jam packed with good-for-you ingredients.

Here are my nutritionist-approved picks for the 10 best canned goods you can buy. Keep your eyes peeled for these on your next shopping excursion.

Credit: Brierley Horton

1. Muir Glen Organic Whole-Peeled Tomatoes

A longtime favorite in my house for their BPA-free lining, organic, and U.S.-grown tomato products, Muir Glen canned whole tomatoes are a staple for easy sauces, soups, or one-dish dinners. Plus, canned tomatoes have more lycopene in them than fresh tomatoes.

Credit: Brierley Horton

2. Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon

Canned salmon is a great option for a lightening-fast meal of salmon burgers or salmon salad. I like this brand because the salmon meat is skinless, boneless, and mild-tasting, but it still has a good dose of omega-3 fats. 

Credit: Amazon

3. Dole Crushed Pineapple in 100% Pineapple Juice

This stuff adds instant sweetness (without added sugar) and moisture to your favorite quick bread or cake. If you’re stress-baking, try this recipe.

Credit: Brierley Horton

4. Cento Artichoke Hearts

These are a great low-cal, high-ish fiber add to any casserole or dip. This brand is consistently delicious, not “tinny” tasting at all, and lower in sodium compared to some other mainstream brands. 

Credit: Brierley Horton

5. SafeCatch Wild Albacore Tuna

This brand works hard to keep mercury in check, and also takes sustainability into consideration. I like their “no salt added” to keep sodium down — and so I can control the saltiness with my own pinch or two of sea salt. 

Credit: Brierley Horton

6. Hatch Red Enchilada Sauce

Because enchiladas are delicious! This option gets my vote because it’s tasty, and also on the lower end when it comes to sodium versus other popular sauces.

Credit: Brierley Horton

7. 365 Pumpkin Pureé

Canned pumpkin isn’t always easy to find outside of Thanksgiving season, but I did actually see it at Whole Foods on my last visit. Mixing pumpkin into quick-bread and pancake recipes is an easy way to up the nutrition.

Credit: Amazon

8. Eden Organic Garbanzo Beans

Chickpeas are incredibly versatile — roast them for a crispy snack or salad topper; puree them into DIY hummus; or use the liquid as a vegan egg white substitute. This brand is consistently tasty, and their “no salt added” version is low in sodium. 

Credit: Amazon

9. Vigo Flat Fillets of Anchovies

Regardless of whether you’re “Team Can” or “Team Jar,” anchovies are a good find. They add saltiness and umami to dishes. Vigo and Cento are my two preferred brands because the brands offer fillets (versus the whole fish), but you can’t go wrong with any brand you happen to find, in my opinion. 

Credit: Native Foods

10. Native Forest Organic Young Jackfruit

Jackfruit is a bit like tofu in that it takes on whatever flavors you pair with it — making it extra versatile. It’s also a healthy, plant-based protein: it’s low in calories (just 50 calories in a ½ cup) and delivers a decent amount of fiber and potassium (both of which are nutrients we don’t get enough of).

Related: What Is Jackfruit and How Do You Cook with It?

Have you been able to find any these?