Delicious, versatile and packed with protein, vitamins and omega 3, canned salmon is an excellent mealtime staple to have in your store cupboard. From quick suppers to nutritious sandwiches and lunchtime salads, opening a can of packaged salmon is also a convenient and affordable alternative to the fresh variety. But as with any canned goods, making the right choice is essential as you want to get best quality and taste. From pink to red, we lift the lid on some of the best canned salmon products you can buy.
The Best Canned Salmon
Sustainably sourced from Alaskan waters and then canned to ensure its freshness and taste, our best choice is Wild Planet’s Non-GMO pink salmon. One two ounce serving provides 340mg of the recommended minimum 500mg daily dietary amount of omega-3s and as it’s never frozen, the salmon tastes sweet and fresh. There’s no fillers or gluten and the wild Alaskan pink salmon is canned in its natural juices to retain the flavor. Boneless and skinless, this canned salmon is ready to serve. There is added salt so be aware if you need to manage your sodium but for everyday use for all the family, Wild Planet has come up with a boneless canned salmon winner.
Wild salmon sustainably caught in Alaskan waters
Skinless, boneless and no fillers
Excellent source of EPA and DHA omega 3
Canned in own juices – no need to drain
- BrandWild Planet
- Weight5 ounce can (pack of 12)
Certified sustainable by the MSC, StarKist’s wild pink salmon is a great go-to when you need to feed the hungry mouths in your family. Wild caught in Alaska, this canned salmon is skinless and boneless and comes in an easy to cook, chunky style. Plus, it’s canned in water so no added oil, making it low in saturated fat but packed with those all-important omega 3s. It is also good value thanks to the convenience of the 12-can pack, meaning you can always have a few cans in reserve when you need to whip up a healthy lunch or supper. Soy and gluten free, StarKist’s canned Alaskan salmon tastes fresh and flavorsome too.
Wild caught salmon certified MSC sustainable
Canned in water so low in saturated fat
Boneless and skinless chunky texture
Soy and gluten free product
- Weight5 ounce can (pack of 12)
With these larger six-ounce cans you get an impressive 700mg of omegas per serving from Kirkland’s Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon. And for the growing family, that’s a super-nutritious alternative to canned tuna. It’s boneless too, so will appeal to younger children and the salmon taste is not too strong or oily although it does have a drier texture than some other products in our best canned salmon review. There is some added salt, but this is a pretty low sodium canned salmon. The firmer texture makes this canned wild Alaska pink salmon a good choice for fishcakes as well as the main protein source in a fresh, tasty salad.
Wild Alaskan pink boneless salmon
Provide 700mg of omega 3 per serving
Larger cans in a value six pack
200mg salt per 6-ounce tin; Kosher
- BrandKirkland Signature
- Weight6 ounce can (pack of 6)
The bumper can size makes Bumble Bee’s pink salmon a good buy for larger families or canned salmon devotees. You get around seven servings per 14.75-ounce can so enough to make a tasty family meal, with some to spare. This canned pink salmon does contain bones and skin, so the calcium level is healthy, but you may need to do some picking if bones in salmon is not your thing. Caught and packed in Alaska, this pink salmon has a lovely delicate taste and flakes well, meaning it can stand up to cooking in croquettes and fishcakes but also works well with a simple salad. For when you need quality canned wild salmon in volume, Bumble Bee deserves the buzz.
Pink salmon caught and packed in Alaska
Seven servings per 14.75-ounce can
No added preservatives or fillers
Contains salmon skin and bones
- BrandBumble Bee
- Weight14.75 ounce can (pack of 4)
Rich tasting, red salmon is a real treat, and this canned wild sockeye salmon from Raincoast doesn’t disappoint. This is a premium canned red salmon wild caught in the Pacific northwest, and each tin can be traced from boat to can. Boneless and skinless, the texture is deliciously flaky, although as there’s no added oil or water when packed, it is a little drier than wild sockeye canned in extra moisture. But that doesn’t detract from the taste and the firmer texture makes this an excellent red salmon to cook with. Plus, the can is BPA-free and there’s no pre-cooking of the salmon before it goes into the can. Not cheap but you do get a pack of 12 so you can always be ready for a special sockeye salmon moment.
Wild-caught premium red sockeye salmon
Rich in omega 3, vitamins and minerals
Packed in natural fish oils
No skin or bones; BPA-free
- BrandRaincoast Trading
- Weight5 ounce can (pack of 12)
With a little added water, Blue Harbor’s wild pink salmon is a naturally delicious canned fish for the whole family to enjoy. There’s no added salt, so the sodium levels are also low, and it’s gluten and soy-free . The pink salmon is sustainably caught off the coast of Alaska and is MSC-certified for extra peace of mind. It is also canned simply and naturally, leaving a versatile large lump texture that lends itself to both cooking or as it is in a delicious salad. Fresh, delicate and tasty, Blue Harbor’s wild pink salmon is a quality all-rounder.
Wild pink salmon with no added salt
Gluten and soy free; packed in water
Caught from MSC-certified sustainable sources
Skinless and boneless; large lump texture
- BrandBlue Harbor Fish Co.
- Weight5 ounce can (pack of 12)
Crown Prince’s skinless, boneless Alaskan pink salmon is super tasty and has an appealing texture and color that will look great on the plate. It’s also packed with almost twice the daily minimum amount of omega 3 you need, totting up just under 1000mg per can. However, this product is on the high side when it comes to salt so check the label if you need to manage your sodium intake. You get 12 six-ounce cans per pack and while it’s not cheap, you do get a lot of tasty wild caught pink salmon for your money. And it is non-GMO and comes from certified sustainable sources so an excellent way to get your hit of omegas, vitamins and minerals.
Sustainably caught wild Alaskan pink salmon
325mg of omega 3 per serving
Packed without skin or bones
Good value 12-can pack
- BrandCrown Prince
- Weight6 ounce can (pack of 12)
Available in a box of 12 7.5-ounce cans, Redhead Wild Sockeye Salmon is a family favorite and a great go-to to have in the cupboard. The red salmon has been sustainably caught in Alaskan waters – Bristol Bay no less – bringing a delicious freshness to each can. Packed complete with the skin and bones to add extra calcium to its nutrient list, the result is a rich-tasting, dark red fish that tastes delicious whether cooked or eaten cold. Non-GMO, this quality Alaskan sockeye salmon is also gluten free so makes a great ingredient for specialist diets, such as keto and paleo.
Sustainably harvested Alaskan sockeye salmon
Bumper box of 12 7.5-ounce cans
Packed complete with skin and bones
Kosher certified; non-GMO and gluten free
- BrandPure Alaska Salmon Company
- Weight7.5 ounce can (pack of 12)
Canned at the peak of its freshness in the Canadian Pacific northwest, this delicious wild pink salmon can be traced from boat to can and comes with OceanWise sustainable credentials. Skinless and boneless, there’s also no bleaching or pre-cooking before it is packed in BPA-free cans, with just a little added sea salt. The flavor is subtly sweet although the pink color can veer towards light brown in the tin. This 12 five-ounce can pack represents pretty good value and as one of the best canned fish, will take the busy family from lunchbox to delicious suppers.
OceanWise certified Pacific wild pink salmon
Packed skinless and boneless in BPA-free cans
Rich source of omega 3s
No bleaching or pre-cooking
- BrandRaincoast Trading
- Weight5 ounce can (pack of 12)
Perfect for the busy family, this Alaskan wild salmon from 365 Everyday value is exactly that – great value, making it one of our best product picks. The generous six-ounce tin gives you a decent sized meal and the quality of this boneless and skinless salmon is good, although could be a little dry for some tastes. But it’s also low fat, low calorie and has pretty low sodium levels too. Add in the BPA-free can, and the fact that it’s non-GMO and what you have is a family-friendly canned fish that can turn its fin to a range of meals and is wallet-friendly too.
Good-value six-ounce can
Pink salmon wild caught in Alaskan waters
Packed boneless and skinless
Certified Kosher, GMO and BPA free
- Brand365 Everyday Value
- Weight6 ounces
Best Canned Salmon Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Look For in a Canned Salmon
An excellent source of protein and Omega-3s, canned salmon is a nutritious alternative to the fresh fish and a versatile addition to your diet. But when looking for a can of salmon, you need to prioritize quality to ensure you're getting the very best. Here’s what you should look for and avoid when buying canned salmon:
- Go wild: Ideally, you want your canned salmon to be caught wild and not farmed to reduce the risk of PCBs in the meat. Also, check that the can liner is ‘BPA free’ and look for sustainable sources and methods of catching. A Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification is a good indication that the fish has been sustainably fished.
- Rich in omega-3s: These essential fatty acids are at the heart of canned salmon's health benefits so you need to make sure your product is giving you a decent boost. Health practitioners recommend a daily intake of at least 500mgs of omega-3s per day so factor this in when you check the canned salmon label.
- Added skin and bones: Canned salmon which includes the skin and bones of the fish will have more calcium and omega fatty acids than those without. The canning process actually softens the skin and bones into the canned meat, making them easier and less noticeable to eat.
- Avoid industrial oils: Always check the ingredient list for details of what the salmon is stored in. Natural oils such as olive oil are good, whereas you need to avoid oils such as canola or soybean as you want an oil as natural as possible that isn’t going to affect the flavor of the fish meat. And check for hidden ingredients such as soy which can be an allergen if you are prone to food sensitivities.
Types of Canned Salmon
When it comes to the fish in your canned salmon tin, you can typically expect it to be one of the following:
Pink salmon: Also known as humpback due to the large humps that develop on the males’ backs during spawning, these fish are caught in the Pacific and are small and lean, with a soft texture, natural pink flesh. They are the most common canned salmon fish.
Red Salmon: Aka, the sockeye, this salmon has a higher fat content than pink salmon and has deep red-colored flesh. Caught in the north Pacific, red salmon has a finer taste and is usually more expensive than canned pink salmon.
Wild or farmed: Most canned salmon is caught in the wild and will have lower levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins, compared to farmed salmon. Farm raised salmon can also be higher in fat and carbs.
Health Benefits of Canned Salmon
Whether it's fresh or canned, salmon is hailed as a superfood thanks to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamins (especially B12) and calcium. Here’s how canned salmon can help to boost your health and wellbeing:
Helps to keep your heart healthy: Salmon's essential fatty acids have been shown to help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) and can also slow down the growth of fatty plaques in the arteries that can least to heart disease or stroke.
Can boost your brain power: Regularly including canned or fresh salmon in your diet can help maintain your brain health, possibly reducing the risk of dementia and is thought to help improve the symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADHD).
Supports eye and skin health: The omega 3s in canned salmon can help to minimize inflammation in the retina, reducing the risk of adult sight loss due to macular degeneration. It's also thought that salmon's healthy oils can help to reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye disease. The B vitamins in salmon, along with the essential fatty acids can also reduce inflammation in the skin and support its elasticity and health.
Joint health: The inflammation-reducing omegas in canned salmon can also help to keep joints healthy and ease the pain and stiffness associated with conditions such as arthritis.
Could help to reduce the risk of cancer: Some research had indicated that upping your consumption of omega 3s could also play a role in decreasing the risk of some cancers, including breast and colorectal.
Canned Salmon VS Fresh Salmon
It does come down to preference and convenience, as both canned and fresh salmon taste delicious and an excellent source of protein and omega 3s. However, there are some differences between canned and fresh salmon:
Canned salmon: Cheaper than the fresh stuff, canned salmon is an economical way to add this nutritional powerhouse to your diet and make some deliciously quick and easy suppers. It also has similar nutritional values as fresh salmon and, in some cases, lower calories (depending on what the canned salmon is stored in). And if you choose canned salmon with skin and bones, it can actually provide higher levels of calcium as the canning process makes them softer and so easier to eat. However, canned salmon can have higher levels of sodium.
Fresh salmon: While more expensive than canned, fresh salmon undeniably tastes delicious. Choosing wild over farmed is recommended when it comes to eating fresh salmon as farmed salmon have higher levels of toxins such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). Unlike canned salmon, fresh salmon (not including smoked) is unprocessed and as natural as possible and so lends itself to a wider variety of cooking options, including grilling, baking and poaching.
Best Canned Salmon FAQ:
Q: How often can I eat canned salmon?
A: Nutritiously dense and packed with health-boosting omega-3s, salmon, including canned, is a fantastic addition to your diet. All fish and seafood contain mercury which they absorb through the water they live in; however, salmon contains much lower mercury levels than other canned fish such as tuna. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, you can safely eat two to three portions (approximately four ounces per serving) per week.
Q: How long can I keep canned salmon in the fridge?
A: A kitchen cupboard staple, an unopened can of salmon can be kept for up to three years, as long as it is stored at room temperature. Once opened, canned salmon will remain fresh and edible for 3-4 days in the fridge. However, the key is the way you store it – always take the leftover salmon out of the can and pop it into an airtight container.
Our Top Pick
Caught in icy Alaskan waters using sustainable methods and canned in the US for freshness, the taste of Wild Planet's pink salmon will make it a tasty winner come family mealtime. Canned in great value packs and with only its natural juices, Wild Planet Pink Salmon is also boneless and skinless and just one two-ounce serving provides over half the recommended daily amount of omega 3. Gluten-free and non-GMO, there's no unwanted additives either, making this tasty tinned salmon a great alternative to canned tuna and so our Best Canned Salmon review's top pick.