5 Staples to Stock for Easy Entertaining

Cranberry Dinner - Canned Food Alliance

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT - Canned Food AllianceBy Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT
Nutrition Consultant, Media Spokesperson & Co-Author of Fueling Fertility—Hatherleigh Press 2017


Time is tight! Somehow August bleeds into November and before we know it the New Year has come and gone. How are you supposed to manage feeding the holiday guests that start around mid-November and linger through late December? Stock up on canned food!

As a registered dietitian nutritionist who enjoys nutritious and delicious food, I know canned foods provide excellent nourishment and, when paired with a few other ingredients, make prepping for a party a bit easier. The last thing any of us has time for during the holidays is spending endless hours at the market, so plan ahead and make life a little easier.

Here are a variety of my top canned foods to have on hand to get you through holiday entertaining with your sanity intact. Enjoy!

#1 Pumpkin

Whether you want to whip up a delicious pumpkin pasta or add a little extra fiber to your lasagna by mixing pumpkin puree into your sauce, canned pumpkin is a winning staple. Plus, use the extra pumpkin puree and whip up these delicious cookies, cakes, or muffins because if you’re like me, every savory treat needs to be washed down with a sweet!

#2 Sweet Potatoes

No need to boil water and dirty dishes to make these delicious Sweet Potato Pie Greek Yogurt Parfaits or a sweet potato pie. Just pour off the syrup and rinse before mashing. One 29-ounce can of sweet potato chunks equals about 2 ¼ cups of mashed sweet potatoes.

#3 Green Beans

Sure, you can open a can of green beans, add a little olive oil, herbs and spices and have a delicious side in minutes. But you can also pair them with canned tuna to whip up a delicious Tuna Casserole that serves as a main meal too. Bonus, who doesn’t love a warm, delicious homemade casserole after a day of hay-rides and pumpkin picking?

#4 Beets

Hear me out…beets are seriously a purple goddess! Add a punch of color to a simple cracker station with this savory beet spread or make a mini-slider station that appeases both vegan and gluten free guests.

#5 Beans & Corn

Truly, if you decide to host a last-minute gathering with friends and family, these are a pantry must. Not only can you whip up a last minute pizza or nachos you can even make an award-worthy wonton using the fabulous hominy! If you haven’t tried this twist on canned corn, you definitely need to add this to your pantry stat.


Follow Elizabeth Shaw on Twitter @shawsimpleswaps.