14 Ways to Use a Can of Spam

Whether it’s a mainstay in your pantry or you’re trying it for the first time, here are some fresh ways to use budget-friendly Spam.

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April 22, 2020

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Photo by: Roberto Machado Noa/Getty

Roberto Machado Noa/Getty

Since its release in 1937, Spam has gone from household innovation to celebrated World War II staple to American icon. As the first canned meat product that didn’t require refrigeration, it was met with skepticism, but eventually embraced by its initial target demographic – housewives looking for quick meal solutions that required little preparation. Despite a decades-long stronghold on grocery store shelves, there are plenty of consumers who have simply never tried the curiously preserved pork-and-ham product. However, there are those of us who grew up with it, whose pantries were never without it. Once you try (and enjoy) it, it’s hard not to have a couple cans stocked somewhere in your kitchen.

Although skepticism around the product still remains, Spam has remained popular in places where U.S. troops were stationed – like Hawaii. And in recent years, especially with the growing popularity of Hawaiian food in the continental U.S., it’s become not only a convenient – and versatile – meat option, but also an ingredient in its own right. It’s not just musubi – it’s Spam musubi. It’s not just fried rice – it’s Spam fried rice.

Whether you love the canned meat or are just trying it for the first time, here’s a list of ways you can cook with this tried-and-true, budget-friendly pantry staple.

Fried Rice

Replace your usual protein with Spam in this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-style meal. As if fried rice couldn’t be any easier to whip up, using ready-made Spam makes it even quicker to make. Dice Spam into bite-sized bits, and add to the frying pan with the rest of your fried rice mix-ins. The result is satisfyingly tender bits. Just note that Spam is on the saltier side, so season incrementally to taste.


Food Beauty of Molly's Sweet & Salty Ham Musubi, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, season 5.

Food Beauty of Molly's Sweet & Salty Ham Musubi, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, season 5.

Take your taste buds to Hawaii by trying your hand at Spam musubi. Often eaten for lunch or as a snack, this rice block and grilled Spam creation, bound by nori, will have you hooked the moment you take your first bite.


Slice Spam into hefty strips and deep fry for the ultimate guilty pleasure.

Breakfast Burritos

Out of bacon or sausage? Let Spam come to the rescue. Pan fry diced Spam and add to your next breakfast burrito.

Instant Ramen

Garnish a bowl of instant noodles and broth with a pan-fried slice (or two) of Spam to bring some bulk to your meal.


Finely chopped Spam can sub in for deli ham in your go-to omelet combo. No need to cook the Spam before sprinkling onto the egg mixture.

Breakfast Sandwich

Spam can go anywhere bacon would be. Try mixing up your usual bacon, egg and cheese and bring Spam to the stack instead. The luncheon meat is best served pan-fried, but if you’re crunched for time, a simple slice straight from the can will do.


Top homemade pizza with diced Spam. Extra points for pairing it with pineapple 😉.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Bring meatiness – and excitement – to a plate of brussels sprouts with bits of Spam. Thinly chop Spam pieces and pan fry until crisp. Top cooked brussels sprouts with the bits.



Photo by: Charles Mssters

Charles Mssters

Dropping pureed Spam into your meatball mix is a great way to stretch out portions of fresh ground meat.


Grill Spam strips to replace the usual protein at your taco Tuesday station.




Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Frittatas are a lot like Spam – they work with just about anything you’ve got on hand, including our favorite tin canned meat.

Loaded Baked Potato


As if potatoes weren’t satisfying enough, Spam packs spuds with an extra punch of flavor. Finely chop bits of Spam and crisp them up on a skillet. Then add to a freshly baked potato along with the usual fixings like cheese, sour cream and scallions.

Eggs Benedict

Don’t have Canadian ham on hand? No problem. Cut slices of the meat and pan fry. Then assemble your Eggs Benny as usual.

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