How Well Can You Cook With These Foods From Your Pantry?

About this Quiz

When you can't get to the supermarket, knowing how to put your pantry to good use is essential. Nothing can replace fresh food, but a bit of creativity can go a long way when working with frozen and canned foods. Can you elevate a canned soup into a restaurant-worthy appetizer?

If you ace this quiz, you're a true culinary genius! There are certain, cardinal rules to cooking with what's lying around your pantry. Do you know them all? Not all foods freeze equally -- but surely you knew that, too. Put on your apron, preheat your oven, and let's get cooking!

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1. If you have a pie crust, add these ingredients to make a veggie pot pie:

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  1. Canned tomatoes, onions, and canned celery
  2. Canned lentils, canned vegetables, and vegetable broth
How do you make a veggie pot pie? Heat oil in a frying pan, add veggies, lentils, and some flour. Stir until thickened. If you have mustard or other condiments, add to taste. Ladle mixture into the pie crust and bake for 30-35 minutes.
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2. No can opener? Use:

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  1. A knife and a hammer
  2. Brute force
  3. A screwdriver
  4. Powerful magnets
To open a can without a can opener, perforate the top of the can by lightly hammering the knife into it.
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3. Chicken broth, canned diced tomatoes, and canned veggies of choice makes:

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  1. Hearty vegetable soup
  2. Falafels
  3. Couscous
  4. Veggie burgers
All you need for a hearty vegetable soup on a cold day is to heat up some chicken broth, canned diced tomatoes, and canned veggies. If you have onions and garlic left in your pantry, you can saute these in a saucepan before adding the canned ingredients. If you fancy a thicker soup, add a bit of cornstarch or flour to it.
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4. When freezing leftovers, what should you keep in mind?

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  1. Don't fill the container to the top
  2. Never freeze vegetables
Especially when you are freezing soups, never fill containers completely. Why? Liquids expand when they freeze and if you fill your containers to the brim, you might end up breaking them.
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5. Dinner time! Mix chopped hot dogs, canned brown beans, and water to get:

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  1. BBQ Ribs
  2. Sushi
  3. Chop suey
  4. Savory wieners and beans
If you have mustard and garlic powder, you can add a bit of flavor to the beans. That's about all you'll need to do in order to make a pot of savory weiners and beans for dinner. Make sure you boil the hot dogs before adding them to your beans. Combine with rice or bread.
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6. No lemons? Replace one teaspoon of lemon juice with:

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  1. 1 cup of sugar water
  2. 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar
  3. Hydraulic acid
  4. 4 teaspoons of hot sauce
Lemon juice is oh-so-good, but it's not irreplaceable. 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar (apple cider, for example) will do in a pinch.
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7. Canned tomato soup, canned corn, canned peas, canned beans, and canned hamburger meat makes:

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  1. Pork & Potato Green Chile
  2. Chicken Paprikash
  3. Chili Con Carne
  4. Shrimp Noodle Salad
This one is easy, folks! To make a hearty chili, just empty all cans into a slow cooker, and set on low for 6 hours. Alternatively, you can slow-cook the ingredients yourself on your stovetop. Croutons and cheese make lovely toppings.
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8. At the supermarket, STAY AWAY from:

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  1. Red cans
  2. Ribbed cans
  3. Dented cans
  4. Long cans
Don't buy -- or eat -- food from a dented can! Why? It's rare, but in some cases, dents in cans can cause botulism, a deadly form of food poisoning.
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9. Craving Asian cuisine? What do you need to make coconut curry?

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  1. Canned tuna, canned chicken, canned cranberries
  2. Canned tomatoes, canned beef, sweet condensed milk
  3. Canned salmon, canned peas, milk in powder form
  4. Canned coconut milk, lentils, canned diced tomatoes
To make the most basics of curries, combine tomatoes, lentils, and coconut milk in a saucepan. Add spices (curries, cumin, cilantro, hot pepper, to taste). If you have fresh fruits and vegetables, feel free to saute these in your saucepan before adding your canned goods. Don't sweat it if you don't have rice, you can also make this into a soup, or eat it over bread!
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10. Fresh milk goes bad! Buy:

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  1. Goat milk
  2. Water, only water
  3. Ice cream fixes everything
  4. Oat milk or almond milk
If you want a dairy substitute for your pantry, consider buying oat or almond milk. These have long shelf lives and can be used for almost anything that milk can.
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11. For a quick dinner, combine ramen noodles, eggs, and canned chicken. You'll get:

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  1. Ramen carbonara
  2. Veggie stew
  3. Chicken pot pie
  4. Shepherd's pie
To make this soup, add your canned chicken to the ramen mixture as you're cooking. Cooked eggs go in last. If you don't have fresh eggs, you can also use frozen ones!
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12. If canned goods have been frozen, can you still eat them?

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  1. Yes, if the seal isn't damaged
  2. Yes, always
While the taste might not be the same, in principle, you can still eat canned foods after freezing them. Just watch out for whether or not the jar has been broken or the seal has been damaged. If you want to make sure your canned foods don't freeze, you can wrap them in blankets.
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13. What scrumptious snack can you make with canned sardines, canned tomatoes, onions, olive oil, and bread?

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  1. Lasagna
  2. Sardine toasts with tomato
  3. Tuna casserole
  4. Spaghetti bolognese
Sardine toasts make for a scrumptious snack, lunch, or even dinner food. No need to add tomatoes if you don't have them. Onions, however, are an important component of the sandwiches, giving the meal a bit of crunchy sweetness.
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14. Why should you buy flash-frozen vegetables?

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  1. They have the same nutritional value as fresh vegetables
  2. They are sweeter than other frozen vegetables
Flash-frozen veggies have the same nutritional value as fresh veggies. If you're buying frozen, also remember to stay away from veggies that have been chopped, peeled, or crushed. These may be less nutritious.
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15. Rice, spam, eggs, canned veggies, and soy sauce makes:

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  1. White wine risotto
  2. Fettucine alfredo
  3. Quinoa salad
  4. Fried rice with spam
If you don't have spam, you can substitute the meat for hot dogs, ham, and sausages. Remember to add the cooked eggs to your rice at the end, in order to prevent them from overcooking!
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16. Make a canned soup taste homemade by adding:

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  1. Canned beets
  2. Sautéed onion
  3. Ginger powder
  4. Tabasco sauce
A simple hack to elevate a canned soup is to saute a bit of onion in olive oil, and then add the soup to the pan.
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17. Which vegetables do you need to make this delicious, green soup?

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  1. Canned pumpkin and canned olives
  2. Frozen potatoes and canned pickles
  3. Canned carrots and canned beets
  4. Frozen spinach and canned peas
Add chicken or veggie stock to canned peas and spinach to make a creamy pea and spinach soup! It's a delicious appetizer and rich in iron, too! Don't forget to top the soup with parmesan cheese, if you have it.
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18. Remember, after frying something...

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  1. Dump the oil down the drain
  2. Save the oil, it can be used again
Save the oil you used to fry something! Not only will dumping the oil down the drain potentially clog it, but it's a waste! You can reuse the oil to fry something else!
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19. Go back to the basics with this Italian favorite:

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  1. Panzanella
  2. Spaghetti marinara
  3. Mushroom risotto
  4. Baked ziti with eggplant
What do you need to make spaghetti marinara from a can? Canned tomatoes, dried spaghetti, tomato paste, dried oregano, and dried basil. You can also use the resulting sauce as a pizza-base or for making eggplant parmesan.
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20. For a canned-cocktail hour, make a:

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  1. Mint mojito
  2. Mango margarita
  3. White Russian
  4. Bloody Mary
To make a Bloody Mary, all you'll need is Tabasco sauce, canned tomato juice, and, of course, vodka. Cheers!
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21. Which foods lend themselves most to being frozen?

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  1. Fried chicken
  2. Lemon meringue pie
  3. Casseroles and soups
  4. Cucumber salad
The best foods to freeze include: casseroles, soups, stews, chilis, meatballs, and pasta dishes. Pasta works best frozen if the pasta is slightly undercooked when it goes in the freezer.
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22. Add THIS to canned fruits to reduce sweetness:

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  1. Wine
  2. Vinegar
  3. Lime juice and chili powder
  4. More sugar
Canned fruit can be super sweet, and a bit flat in the flavor department. To remedy this, add a bit of lime and chili powder!
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23. Frozen spinach, canned beans, canned carrots, and frozen chicken makes:

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  1. Chicken alfredo
  2. Maple mustard chicken legs
  3. Chicken enchiladas
  4. Creamy chicken & rice soup
Try sauteeing your chicken with olive oil and garlic. Then, add a veggie or chicken broth as the base of your soup. Top it off with a hint of lemon for a little punch of acidity!
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24. Have canned tuna? Try making this Italian delight:

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  1. Caprese
  2. Tuna puttanesca
  3. Focaccia bread
  4. Tiramisu
What will you need to add to your canned tuna to make this scrumptious pasta dish? Canned tomatoes, canned olives, and, of course, pasta! If you have oregano, basil, or rosemary, season liberally!
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25. What should you be careful of when cooking with store-bought dehydrated foods?

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  1. It expires faster than fresh food
  2. It's full of salt
Dehydrated foods that you can buy in the supermarket tend to be full of salt. If you can, stick to canned or frozen foods!
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26. Which canned food can almost always be roasted to create a crispy topping?

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  1. Pumpkin
  2. Beans
  3. Diced tomatoes
  4. Peaches
You can roast almost any kind of canned beans to make the crispy topping for pasta, grain bowls, or soups.
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27. The best way to thaw frozen foods is...

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  1. In your shower
  2. In the oven
  3. In the refrigerator
  4. Outside
The refrigerator is probably the safest way to defrost foods, but some foods will take days to defrost this way. You can also defrost food slowly in a large container of cold water. If you're in a hurry, use a microwave.
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28. Want Middle Eastern? Mix garlic, canned chickpeas, and tahini for:

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  1. Stuffed grape leaves
  2. A peanut butter sandwich
  3. Chili con carne
  4. Hummus
If you don't have tahini, you can make hummus with peanut butter! You'll need to add a healthy dose of olive oil, salt, and (if possible) cumin to these ingredients to make this scrumptious snack. Add all ingredients to a food processor and, voila!
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29. Make canned veggies into a crispy appetizer by:

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  1. Frying them
  2. Mashing them
  3. Dicing them
  4. Mixing them with milk
Live a little. Coat canned veggies with egg and flour, and fry them to make an impressive appetizer! You can also substitute flour for cornmeal, if in need.
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30. Has it gone bad? How often should you replace canned goods in your pantry?

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  1. Every 12 months
  2. Every 2 weeks
Canned food -- even if you can it yourself -- is at its best quality when eaten within the year. Don't take our word for it, but rumor has it that it can last much, much longer.
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31. For a canned-dinner classic, try making this:

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  1. Pea soup
  2. Spätzle
  3. Pyttipanna
  4. Tuna casserole
What do you need for a tuna casserole? Canned tuna, canned mushroom soup, egg noodles, and frozen peas. Top your casserole with crushed chips for texture.
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32. How long does uncooked chicken keep in the freezer?

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  1. 9 months
  2. 5 years
Good news. If you're freezing uncooked chicken, it can keep for up to 9 months in the freezer! Frozen cooked meat should leave your freezer after 3 months.
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33. Should you cook canned beans?

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  1. Yes, they are toxic otherwise
  2. Not necessarily
The jury's out! You don't have to cook canned beans, they are pre-cooked. Do rinse them off with water to remove extra salt and the taste of the can.
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34. To make a creamy, white bean soup mix:

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  1. Canned peas, canned corn, and canned tomatoes
  2. Canned lentils, butter, and canned tuna
  3. Canned white beans, olive oil, and vegetable stock
  4. Canned black beans, tomato sauce, and cumin
This bean soup -- made from white beans, olive oil, and veggie or chicken broth -- really comes together if you have a bit of lemon, chives, cilantro, and basil to add. Puree it in a food processor, or leave it chunky! Don't have veggie broth? Use some soy sauce.
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35. Drain and rinse canned foods to:

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  1. Make them taste spicier
  2. Lower their salt and sugar contents
Draining and rinsing canned foods will lower their sugar and salt contents, making for a healthier meal!
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36. Why should you never freeze food in glass jars?

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  1. The food will taste bad afterwards
  2. You won't be able to open the jar
  3. Glass is too fancy for the freezer
  4. They might break
Unless the glass is explicitly freezer-safe, glass is prone to shatter in colder climates. Keep to plastic containers or plastic bags.
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37. No fresh flavoring? Stock up on:

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  1. Smoked paprika, garlic powder, and oregano
  2. Alfalfa sprouts, masala, and caraway seeds
Other than salt and pepper, keeping the following dried spices in your pantry will liven up most foods: smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, and ginger.
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38. Pasta, a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, canned beans, and canned artichokes make:

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  1. Bratwurst
  2. Thai noodles
  3. Pesto pasta salad
  4. German potato salad
You can make a delicious pasta salad out of just pantry items! Don't cook your canned ingredients. Another pro tip? Tossing in a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to the mix will liven your salad up.
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39. Avoid a sugar overdose! Buy canned fruits:

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  1. That have been canned in water
  2. That have been canned in maple syrup
  3. From Europe
  4. From Florida
Canned foods are sugary in and of themselves. To avoid a sugar overdose, choose fruits that have been canned in water. Avoid fruits that have been canned in syrup at all costs.
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40. Canned salmon, egg, and breadcrumbs makes:

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  1. Seafood tagine
  2. Cat food
  3. Fish and chips
  4. Fish cakes
Working with canned fish might seem like a hard egg to crack, but not so! Simply mix canned tuna or salmon with a grain and eggs, and then form them into patties and bake or saute until crispy.
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41. 1 1/2 cups of fresh fruit is equal to 16 oz of:

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  1. Canned fruit
  2. Marmalade
When fresh fruit isn't an option, don't go fruitless! Substitute it for canned. 1 1/2 cups of fresh fruit is equal to a 16 oz can of the same.
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42. Why is canned salmon healthier than canned chicken?

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  1. It has less salt
  2. It tastes better
Sardines and salmon are among the healthiest canned foods. They rarely have added sodium, and they are rich in omega-3s.
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43. Have a hearty breakfast by combining:

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  1. Oatmeal, canned fruits, and cinnamon
  2. Cornmeal, canned peas, and condensed milk
  3. Cornstarch, condensed milk, and nutmeg
  4. Oatmeal, chicken, and milk
To make a classic, hearty breakfast porridge, all you need is oatmeal, canned fruits, and a hint of cinnamon. You can cook your oatmeal in either milk or water -- it's up to you!
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44. Careful! Which vitamin can canned foods lose?

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  1. Vitamin B, it's water soluble
  2. None
Canned foods are NOT substantially less healthy than fresh ones, but they can lose some water-soluble vitamins, like vitamins B and C.
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45. The underside of your metal lid is discolored. Can you still eat the contents?

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  1. Yes, but the taste might be off
  2. No, it means there's lead in the food
Particularly if a food is acidic, a natural compound in it may make dark deposits on the underside of a can's metal lid. That's okay though, it won't harm the quality of the food.
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46. To add crunchy texture to a canned food dish, add:

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  1. Cornstarch
  2. A crispy topping
  3. Fish
  4. Cooked potatoes
Canned foods often lack texture. No problem. Bake some bread and crush it to make bread crumbs. Then, top all of your canned soups with them.
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47. Replace one raw egg with:

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  1. Scrambled eggs
  2. 3 tbsp. and 1 tsp. thawed frozen egg
If you're afraid of running out of eggs, just freeze some! How do you freeze eggs? Try cracking them into ice trays or muffin tins.
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48. Canned Food 101! Avoid:

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  1. Storing food in an open can
  2. Combining more than one canned food in a dish
Never store food in an open can! Why? It has got less to do with safety and more to do with flavor. Food will taste better and last longer in the fridge if you transfer it to another container. Enjoy!
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49. Go gourmet by adding pesto to pasta and frozen chicken to make:

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  1. Chicken sloppy joes
  2. Roasted chicken with tomatoes
  3. Creamy pesto chicken
  4. Chicken salad
Nothing says mouth-watering like creamy pesto chicken pasta. How should you defrost your chicken? Try placing it in a bowl of hot tap water for 30 minutes. Stir every once and awhile.
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50. What can you find in a can?

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  1. All of these things!
  2. SPAM
  3. A cheeseburger
  4. A steak
The joy of canned goods! Yes, you can actually find all of these things in canned form. We won't vouch for the quality of them, however.
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