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The 13 best canned salmon brands for a healthy, easy meal

Craving something healthy and easy to prepare? Canned salmon is the way to go

Open tin can, canned salmon, on wooden background, top view
bigacis/Shuterstock

If there’s one healthy food that most people wish they’d eat more of, it’s salmon. And while you shouldn’t ignore the merits of a perfectly cooked fresh salmon from your local fishmonger, sometimes life gets in the way. But there’s hope for your palate, your wallet, and your waistline, and it comes in a can. Canned salmon is an easy and affordable solution that takes cooking out of the equation, but still delivers the same delicious flavors and nutritional value of fresh fish.

No need to spend hours in the kitchen when you can get all the benefits of salmon right out of the cupboard. You get to enjoy the same rich flavors and nutritional value with none of the work and, if you’re really in a rush, none of the dishes. Mealtime has never been easier than this. Whether you’re making a quick salad for lunch or savory tacos for dinner, canned salmon is the better protein choice for health-conscious home chefs who also care about the environment. With today’s sustainable fishing methods, making the right decision is easier than ever. Save time, satisfy your hunger, and support your healthy lifestyle with the best canned salmon for your kitchen.

Pink salmon from Wild Planet in a can
Wild Planet

Best sustainable: Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon

Straight from the waters of Alaska comes the sustainably sourced Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon. Wild caught and canned fresh, this boneless and skinless pick preserves all of the fish’s natural juices, so you get a nutritious and flavorful meal. Choose the best salmon for your body and the environment by reaching for this eco-friendly and mouthwatering canned salmon.

Wild pink salmon from Safe Catch
Safe Catch

Best low mercury: Safe Catch Wild Pink Salmon

With the lowest mercury of any brand of canned fish, the Safe Catch Wild Pink Salmon is a handy solution for your pantry. It’s made from hand-picked raw wild salmon steaks and slow cooked to perfection, eliminating the need for any fillers, preservatives, or other ingredients. Just wild-caught salmon that’s low in mercury and high in flavor.

Patagonia Provisions Wild Salmon Variety 6-Pack
Patagonia Provisions

Best for camping: Patagonia Provisions Wild Salmon Variety 6-Pack

Venture into the wild with the gourmet flavors of Patagonia Provisions Wild Salmon Variety 6-Pack. A must-have for your next backpacking trip, these lightweight meals are healthy, eco-friendly, and satisfying. With enough for every day of adventure, these reliable pouches will fuel your most challenging hikes and intense rock climbing.

Fishwife Smoked Salmon.
Fishwife

Best in tin: Fishwife Smoked Atlantic Salmon

Tinned fish is surging and we love this option from Fishwife. Perfectly savory, it’s smoked over natural wood and made using fish sustainably caught in the chilly waters of the North Atlantic. Grab a baguette or some crackers, a few capers or some pickled things, crack the tin, and suddenly your makeshift lunch or dinner feels like high-level takeout.

Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon
Wild Planet

Best in pouch: Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon

Skinless and boneless, the Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon Pouch is a flavorful alternative to canned salmon. No added liquid means you don’t need to drain this salmon to enjoy its protein-packed nutrition. Just tear open the pouch and munch on this sustainably sourced wild-caught fish that tastes delicious.

Wildfish Cannery Smoked Salmon
Wildfish Cannery

Best smoked: Wildfish Cannery Smoked Salmon

Pulled from the pure waters of Alaska, this canned salmon option is a little more expensive but worth the cost. A little goes a long way, as the flavor is big and lasting. Light up a salad with little pieces here and there or make it the star of your next cheese and meat board. Three different species are available and the order includes two cans.

Tulip Pink Salmon
Tulip

Best looking can: Tulip Canned Pink Salmon

Looks aren’t everything but it certainly doesn’t hurt to come in a great-looking can. Fortunately, the flavor matches the classic design aesthetic here, as the salmon is tasty and boasts 130% of your daily vitamin D intake per serving. The fish is wild caught and the larger can (14.75 ounces) is a nice value touch.

Bumble Bee Snack On the Run! Salmon Salad
Bumble Bee

Best canned salmon salad: Bumble Bee Snack On the Run! Salmon Salad

For the busy fish lover on the go, Bumble Bee Snack On the Run! Salmon Salad gives you a ready-to-eat kit that tastes as good as homemade. Keep it healthy and yummy with this creamy salmon salad that also includes crackers, for a satisfying snack no matter where the day takes you. No can opener needed, just pull the tab and enjoy.

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Blue Harbor Fish Co. Wild Pink Salmon
Blue Harbor Fish Co.

Best without salt: Blue Harbor Fish Co. Wild Pink Salmon

Keep your salt intake low and enjoy the convenience of canned salmon with the Blue Harbor Fish Co. Wild Pink Salmon. Sustainably wild caught in Alaska, this delicious fish is a great addition to your lunch sandwiches or mid-week dinners. Its chunky texture and clean flavor also make it great right out of the can.

Great Value Alaskan Pink Salmon
Great Value

Best budget: Great Value Alaskan Pink Salmon

Enjoying the goodness of salmon doesn’t have to break the bank when you open a can of Great Value Alaskan Pink Salmon. With only two ingredients, this delicious salmon makes it easy to create your favorite recipes much faster than cooking fish from scratch. Save time and money with this convenient salmon that’s filled with protein, vitamin D, and calcium.

Epic Maple Glazed & Smoked Tender Salmon Bites
Epic

Best salmon bites: Epic Maple Glazed & Smoked Tender Salmon Bites

Athletes looking for a yummy treat love the flavor and health benefits of Epic’s Maple Glazed & Smoked Salmon Bites. At only 80 calories per serving, this wild-caught jerky snack is a favorite among fish lovers. With hints of coconut and smokey goodness, this salmon snack keeps your energy up without tasting too fishy.

Cole's Salmon Smoked Salmon.
Cole's Salmon

Best fillet: Cole’s Salmon Smoked Salmon in Olive Oil

Sometimes you want a little more length and shape to your canned salmon. Enter the fillet, an ideal option when you want to plate it up restaurant style. This version from Cole’s Salmon is free of preservatives, with 15 grams of protein per serving. It’s lean and delicious, hit with a touch of salt.

Thrive Atlantic Salmon.
Thrive Market

Best in a sandwich: Thrive Market Atlantic Salmon in Water

Canned salmon can make for great sandwich material and this version is up to the task. While stored in water, it won’t soften up your bread (it’s better on toast anyway) and the combo of protein, potassium, and vitamin D make it a healthy winner.

It’s easy to make the right choice when you have the best canned salmon in your pantry. If you live a healthy lifestyle and love what salmon does for your body, make the switch to canned salmon to enjoy the same great flavors with the convenience of a canned meal.

FAQs

Is canned salmon cooked?

Yes, canned salmon is already cooked and ready to eat. Just drain the liquids and enjoy with or without the bones. You can also heat up your canned salmon and cook it with your other ingredients.

Is canned salmon safe for dogs?

Canned salmon is a tasty treat that you can share with your dog. Just like you, your dog will benefit from the added protein and omega-3s in canned salmon. When looking for the best can for your dog, it’s smart to choose canned salmon without added salt and that’s packed in water.

Which canned fish is better tuna or salmon?

Both canned fish are high in nutritional value and choosing the best one depends on your lifestyle and dietary needs. Canned salmon offers more omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D than canned tuna. But a serving of tuna is higher in protein and lower in calories than salmon.

Is canned salmon high in mercury?

Compared to other species, salmon contains relatively little mercury. Higher mercury levels are more likely to plague creatures like swordfish, tuna, mackerel, sea bass, and more. Across the board, salmon usually doesn’t contain much mercury. That’s the case for all species, from Chinook and King to Coho and Sockeye.

The mercury issue has its own hang-ups, as it has been reported that oftentimes even if there is mercury in a fish, the nutritional value one gets offsets whatever mercury content might be there. In other words, the good things you get from the meat of the fish combat the very cons high mercury levels cause. But again, in the fish kingdom, salmon are known to not contain much mercury at all.

Salmon roll
Ira Heuvelman-Dobrolyubova/Getty Images

Should I eat Atlantic or Alaskan salmon?

This is really a matter of preference, but there are some things to consider. Generally, Atlantic salmon is more likely to be farmed, meaning it might not be as colorful, healthy, or flavorful as its wild counterpart. Take a look at the can or do some research beforehand to see what the fishing approach is and how sustainability factors in.

Alaskan salmon tends to be wild caught and as such, not subject to added coloring or things like that. It’s pretty easy to argue that wild fish, like most wild things, tastes better than the commercially farmed equivalent. Keep in mind transit, too, as shipping plays a big part in emissions and climate change. It could make sense to eat one or the other just based on your proximity to where it was caught.

Does canned salmon expire?

Not really. Canned salmon should last at least three years if unopened and stored at roughly room temperature. Chances are good, however, that it can last even longer in the can (or tin). Obviously, look out for any signs of spoilage beyond an expiration date, like discoloration or foul odors.

If you do happen to open some and have leftovers, you can always store it in an airtight container in the fridge (mainly to keep the fishy odors from affecting anything else in there). You can also freeze it and the fish will stay good for at least several months.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
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