The Most Unique Canned Corned Beef Creations

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It may not be the most appetizing ingredient in the world — being meat from a can and all — but canned corned beef is not as unsavory as it seems. According to Innit, the only ingredients in the classic brand Hormel's canned corned beef products are beef, water, salt, sugar, sodium phosphates, and sodium nitrite. The most questionable aspect comes from which section of a cow is used for the meat. Canned corned beef is not like the brisket used for regular, un-canned corned beef. Per My Fearless Kitchen, canned corned beef products may be made from the esophagus, diaphragm, or more unusual parts of the animal. Despite all this, canned corned beef is one of those old-fashioned ingredients that's stood the test of time.

This product has long been a useful ingredient for families. It's a shelf-stable and affordable meat product, allowing caregivers to whip up a quick, protein-filled meal at any time. It's commonly associated with Irish cuisine, as corned beef and cabbage is a popular St. Patrick's Day meal (via Smithsonian). It's also the main ingredient in corned beef hash or corned beef patties.

But this processed meat lends itself to more cuisines than simply Irish or American food. Filipino, Bahamian, Puerto Rican, and other cultures utilize it as well. For many people, canned corned beef is a nostalgic ingredient that they remember the taste of from home-cooked meals. For others, it's an affordable substitute ingredient. If you're looking to incorporate it into more unique recipes, read on.

Fried rice

For an easy weeknight meal, try adding canned corned beef to fried rice. This one-pan meal comes in handy when we have leftover rice in the fridge or the freezer. Virtually none of the ingredients in fried rice have to be fresh. Simply grab some frozen vegetables such as peas or carrots. If you don't have rice on hand, you can make it from scratch. However, fried rice usually works best with old, cooked white rice. Lastly, grab your canned corned beef. This meat works great as a substitute for traditional proteins used in fried rice, such as pork or chicken. It's also similar to Spam, which is not an uncommon ingredient in fried rice recipes, especially in Hawaiian cuisine.

Canned corned beef works well in this dish because it's easily broken down. Once you've opened the can, you can use a spoon to break down the meat into tiny pieces. Then, everything comes together in a stovetop skillet (or wok, if you have one). The combination of savory, chewy canned corned beef with crunchy rice is a great one. According to one Instagram user who made this recipe, this unique use of canned corned beef is not unlike nasi goreng, which is a type of Indonesian fried rice dish.


Meat probably isn't the most common addition to an omelet. More often, you'll see dairy or vegetable ingredients like cheese, spinach, chives, mushrooms, or bell peppers added to this egg dish. However, ham and bacon are not uncommon proteins to use. That's why canned corned beef — a similarly salty meat — fits with most omelet recipes. To make it, you'll start by cooking a can of corned beef. Add it to a pan along with garlic and onions, for extra flavor. After cooking it for a bit, you can combine this meat mixture with your eggs. Other alliums (such as scallions) or greens (such as arugula) will complement the savory taste of canned corned beef in your omelet.

One person who made this dish said it reminded them of the cuisine of their Filipino and Chamorro — a group of indigenous people from the Mariana Islands, which include Guam — upbringing. The person served this canned corned beef omelet along with white rice. They also recommended adding a dipping sauce such as ketchup or banana ketchup. The latter is a popular Filipino condiment that is made with bananas, per UmamiCart. All of this sounds good to us. If you don't love ketchup, hot sauce or mustard could work as dipping sauce options.


Although beef is a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine, canned corned beef is not. But in a pinch, the canned stuff can be substituted for fresh beef. It's not going to taste like carne asada, of course, but instead more like ground beef. If you think of it like that, it's not so different. This is one protein-filled taco, not dissimilar from most other meat tacos. Additionally, choosing what toppings to add is a no-brainer. Cabbage is already a common pairing with both tacos and canned corned beef. You can simply add the two together for an Irish-Mexican fusion recipe.

This is what multiple Instagram users did in their own canned corned beef taco preparations. One person filled their tacos with red cabbage, radishes, and (somewhat shockingly) pieces of seaweed. Another person added shredded cabbage, mozzarella cheese, garlic, and onion to theirs. For either of these taco recipes, adding a sprinkle of hot sauce or lime juice to the end will help. These final toppings will bring acidity that helps to lift the meaty flavor of canned corned beef.

Hand pies/croquettes

Due to its texture, canned corned beef makes a great filling ingredient. It's somewhat soft, grainy, and moldable. All of this makes it ideal for stuffing into other things. Some easy recipes of this kind include hand pies or empanadas. Both of these simple dishes involve folding in one ingredient — usually a protein or vegetable, or canned corned beef in this case — into an exterior wrapping made of carbohydrates. In the end, you will fry or bake the entire thing for a satisfying bite with a crunchy outside and soft interior. For something a little more involved, you can add corned beef to croquettes, which are a popular appetizer in Spanish and other European cuisines. For croquettes, a mix of ingredients is coated in a béchamel batter, then cooked. The exterior is more crumbly than things like hand pies.

One Instagram user combined the concept of croquettes and hand pies in their creative utilization of canned corned beef. The person sautéed canned corned beef with onions, then stuffed the mixture into a slice of bread. The bread was then folded, coated with egg and breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. The result was something that resembled a hand pie in shape, but a croquette in texture. If you love indulgent food, this canned corned beef recipe is for you.


Another stuffed, bite-sized dish that canned corned beef can be used for is wontons. These tiny-handheld items make great party bites. Even better, more than one step is already prepared for you, as you can buy pre-made wonton wrappers that are ready to use.

To make this unique dish, simply gather wonton wrappers; herbs such as bay leaves; fillings such as potatoes, carrots, or celery; and a can of corned beef. First, you'll cook the canned corned beef. Next, you'll probably want to remove the beef from the pan to quickly cook down the aromatics (such as carrots, celery, or onions). However, you could also add these in along with the corned beef. Once cooked, let the mixture cool a bit, so it's not too hot to handle. Finally, you can add the corned beef mixture into your wonton wrapper, folding it into whatever shape you desire. In the end, steam, boil, or pan-fry your wontons for the best results.

At least one person attempted to make canned corned beef wontons. In their post, the person paired the wontons with a side of greens, along with a dipping sauce. They added a Vietnamese-inspired condiment that resembled sweet chili sauce, which is sometimes called Nước chấm (via Lookout Santa Cruz).


Another creative way to use canned corned beef is by adding it to a burrito. Like the addition to tacos, this meat will function similarly to ground beef. While adding ground beef to burritos is not always common in authentic Mexican food, burritos themselves are more of a Mexican-American dish, anyway. We recommend supplementing canned ground beef in recipes like breakfast burritos.

To make them, you'll start by cooking the canned corned beef in a pan. After cooking it with aromatics such as garlic, onion, carrots, or celery, feel free to add some seasonings. Popular Mexican spices and herbs, such as cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and Mexican oregano will work well here. Finally, you can start to assemble. For a breakfast twist, follow what one Instagram user did, by adding potatoes and eggs. In the end, you'll get something of a corned beef hash burrito. It could do the trick for a lazy weekend breakfast.

Filipino spaghetti

Canned corned beef is a common ingredient in Filipino recipes. One of those recipes is corned beef spaghetti. As blog Ang Sarap explains, this is simply a pasta dish that utilizes canned corned beef to make a meaty sauce. The dish is not unlike the Filipino food chain Jollibee's menu item, Jolly Spaghetti, which is made with ham, ground meat, and hot dog pieces. Feel free to add as many proteins as you want, but for a quick option, a can of corned beef is all that is needed for this creation.

To make it, the Filipino cooking blog Kawaling Pinoy recommends using the chunky version of canned corned beef. They suggested brands such as Purefoods and Ox & Palm. You'll also want to use Filipino-style spaghetti sauce — which is sweeter than what you're probably used to — for this recipe. You can buy pre-made packages of this sweet sauce online. Otherwise, the blog recommends combining canned tomato sauce with banana ketchup. As one social media user points out, you can even get pre-made packages of Filipino noodles and sauce. These are as easy to make as instant ramen noodles. For this version, you'll simply heat the canned corned beef separately, then later add it to your cooked instant noodles.


Due to the popularity of corned beef hash, we already know that canned corned beef goes well with potatoes and eggs. For a more sophisticated egg dish involving these ingredients, we recommend making a canned corned beef frittata. This dish is not just slightly more impressive than breakfast recipes such as scrambled eggs, but also more filling. As such, they can be used to feed a crowd. If you're hosting people for events such as a bridal shower, an Easter brunch, or a Christmas morning breakfast, you might need to cook enough eggs for a lot of people. That's when a canned corned beef frittata can come in handy.

At least one Facebook user attempted to make this dish, boasting about how easy it was. It's like making a quiche without the complicated crust, or an omelet without the tricky flipping technique, they suggested. Another person recommended adding green peas, potatoes, and eggs to their canned corned beef frittata. After assembling, no one will be able to tell that there is processed meat in your egg dish. To further disguise this, make sure to season your frittata well.

Bahamian Fire Engine

For another way to sample a new culture's take on canned corned beef, try out a Bahamian Fire Engine. This famous breakfast dish is popular in the Bahamas. Its name comes from the meal's ability to fire you up in the morning, in terms of energy and temperature. As Tru Bahamian Food Tours explains, this spicy recipe is traditionally seasoned with Bahamian goat pepper, a hot pepper that's related to habaneros and scotch bonnets. Goat pepper is not something to be messed with, as it has a high Scoville rating of 100,000 to 300,000 SHU (Scoville heat units), according to Pepper Scale. If you use a lot on your Bahamian Fire Engine, you can expect to feel the burn.

 To make it, canned corned beef is steamed. It's also supplemented with ingredients like bell peppers, onions, celery, oil, salt, and tomato, which gives the dish its bright red color — yet another way that the "Fire Engine" name comes into play. You can use both tomato paste and fresh tomatoes in Bahamian Fire Engine.


One of the simplest things you can do with canned corned beef is make a pizza. This is one of the most low-effort recipes out there. For the easiest option, buy a frozen pizza and add the canned corned beef afterward. This adds extra protein and texture to your dish. But there are endless ways to get creative with this meal. For example, one Facebook user who made canned corned beef pizza used Danes cheese and Argentina corned beef for their toppings.

You could make the pizza from scratch, allowing you to customize it from start to finish. To begin, choose what style of crust you want. Neapolitan, deep-dish, or Margherita are all available. There are less noticeable differences in terms of sauce. However, you could get creative and make a Filipino-inspired pie using pizza sauce laced with banana ketchup. For toppings, you'll want to go with things that pair well with canned corned beef. For a surprisingly Irish dish, you could add shredded cabbage. For a Bahamas-inspired version, you could add pieces of goat pepper. The options for this canned corned beef recipe are endless.

Scotch egg

Although this dish traditionally uses other forms of meat, you can also use canned corned beef to make Scotch eggs. These European delicacies may be named after Scotland, but they are enjoyed all over the United Kingdom. The recipe for a simple Scotch egg begins with a hard-boiled egg. That egg is then coated in meat (usually sausage). Before its second cooking, the whole thing is coated in breadcrumbs. Finally, the entire thing is deep-fried. Although it began as traveling food for the wealthy, you'll now find Scotch eggs are considered common, greasy pub fare.

One of the many benefits that come from subbing in canned corned beef for your scotch egg meat is the price. This processed meat is likely to be cheaper than fresh sausage. On Walmart's website, you can order an entire 12-ounce can of corned beef for less than five dollars. For another benefit, the taste of this unique scotch egg is still good. And at least one Instagram user vouched for it. Trust us — for something like this that's traditionally made with ground meat, it's unlikely that you'll notice the difference.

Puerto Rican Carne Bif

Canned corned beef has an important place in Puerto Rican culture. That's why you'll find it in so many home-cooked dishes, especially recipes like Carne Bif. Per Latina Mom Meals, this canned corned beef recipe is beloved for being cheap, bold-tasting, and nostalgic. It's simply composed of cooked corned beef served over white rice. To prepare the corned beef, you'll need tomato sauce, corn kernels, and potatoes. All of these will get cooked in a pan as spices are added. For seasoning, you'll need to gather salt, pepper, dried oregano, and a pre-made seasoning mixture. For this part, Latina Mom Meals recommends using Sazón (a spice product from the Puerto Rican company Goya) or Bijol (an originally Cuban spice mix from the eponymous brand). Either spice will give you a tasty, flavorful result.

According to one Facebook post, you'll often find this dish served with small sides. Some of the most popular are fried plantains or french fries. If you're not already familiar with it and want to dive into the cuisine, consider trying out other dishes as well. Carne Bif could pair well with other Puerto Rican recipes such as pan de agua, empanadillas, or pernil.