Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials Limited Ingredient (Canned)


Rating: ★★★★★

Product Has Been Discontinued
Confirmed by the Company1

Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials Limited Ingredient Recipe canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials product line includes three canned dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Pure Essentials Grain Free Lamb Recipe [A]
  • Pure Essentials Grain Free Salmon Recipe [A]
  • Pure Essentials Grain Free Chicken Recipe [A]

Pure Essentials Grain Free Lamb Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Pure Essentials Grain Free Lamb Recipe

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 56% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 23%

Ingredients: Lamb, chicken broth, chicken, water, sweet potato, green beans, modified tapioca starch, sunflower oil, tricalcium phosphate, salt, guar gum, natural flavor, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, biotin supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, beta-carotene, folic acid), minerals (zinc glycine complex, iron glycine complex, copper glycine complex, manganese glycine complex, sodium selenite, potassium iodide), choline chloride, parsley, magnesium oxide

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis10%3%NA
Dry Matter Basis56%14%23%
Calorie Weighted Basis50%30%20%
Protein = 50% | Fat = 30% | Carbs = 20%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.2

Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The third ingredient is chicken, another quality raw item. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.3

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The fourth ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The fifth ingredient includes sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The sixth ingredient includes green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.

The seventh ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The eighth ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With one notable exception

This food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials
Limited Ingredient Recipe Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials Limited Ingredient Recipe looks like an above-average canned dog food.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 56%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 23%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 59% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 20% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 22%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials Limited Ingredient is a meat-based wet dog food using a significant amount of various species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Nature’s Recipe Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

08/11/2017 Last Update

  1. “Last Update” field at the end of this review reflects the last time we attempted to visit this product’s website. The current review itself was last updated 3/4/2016
  2. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  3. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Diane

    Koha is a wet food but has kangaroo and lamb and no chicken, chicken broth, potatoes, peas, pea protein, potato starch, carrageenan, none of it because I have searched also for my dog that has severe allergies. You may want to look into that. They have venison also and Salmon. I have been researching foods now for two years and am completely frustrated.

  • Greg Shirley Glover A

    This food is sent to tialand why is you know anything about it..we have been feeding our dog this becasue it looks great but is it someone told me they use rat meat OMG is this true please help me and let me know NATURES RECIPE LIMITED ADDITION I called the company they said they outsource but everything is great can I beleive this worried here please help thank you [email protected] is my email please email me

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Sophie:
    Take a look at these brands & recipes. They are from a list I have of chicken and beef meat free foods. Zignature is chicken and potato free, however I am not sure if any of the other recipes contain any other meat proteins, potatoes, chicken broth/flavor/fat so please go to each company’s web site to look at the ingredient line up closely: California Natural Kangaroo & Red Lentils, Zignature Lamb, Zignature Kangaroo, Fromm Four Star Lamb & Lentil, Go Daily Defense Lamb Meal, Simply Nourish Lamb & Pea, and Wellness Simple Lamb & Oatmeal.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Sophie- Very sorry to hear about your babies problems. I understand what it’s like to feel lost when it comes to finding the right food to suit your dogs needs.

    Have you looked at Acana Lamb and Apple? On it is 68.99$ (with free shipping) for a 25 lb bag. Shouldn’t have any of her allergens in it as it’s an LID. Not sure if it’s out of your price range, but off the top of my head it’s the only one I could come up with that wasn’t using potatoes.

    Edit: Oh wait, here’s a Kangaroo–

    They also make a lamb, but it’s grain inclusive but only 4 ingredients—

    Found another lamb–

    A venison–

    I know these are all online, but that might be a really good option for you, plus they do repeat delivery and anything over 49$ is free shipping and their customer service is excellent. I’ve ordered from a lot.

  • Sophie

    I cannot for the life of me understand why “lamb” dog foods always include chicken, chicken fat, or chicken broth, or any combination thereof (or beef, pork, whitefish, etc.). My dog has profound allergies and lamb is one of only four meat proteins she can eat without a severe and, in some cases, life-threatening allergic reaction. (The four include lamb, elk/venison, rabbit, and kangaroo. She won’t eat rabbit – it may be too rich for her, as the one time I tried it it caused her severe gastric distress; kangaroo is expensive and hard to find. The only commercial brand of kangaroo-based dog food, sold only through veterinarians, contains white potatoes, which she’s also highly allergic to.) Taken cumulatively, I have spent at least an entire year of my life poring over labels in stores and ingredients lists on the Internet trying to find a healthy brand or brands of commercial dog foods of decent quality that she can safely eat. Any time I go into a pet food store (natural, health, or boutique only, never the big chains as they seem to carry only the giant corporate labled brands), I’m there for at least two hours at a time reading every label of every brand in a futile attempt to find a suitable food for her – sometimes the clerks start following me around, likely thinking I’m a shoplifter! Because my dog is a certified service/mobility dog it’s imperative I keep her healthy and in condition to work comfortably and effectively, and a healthy diet is the foundation for health. When we were first matched I was well enough to prepare homemade food for her based on a custom formula designed by the veterinary teaching hospital near where we lived. I was sourcing organic elk and lamb from a local ranch, purchasing 60-100 lbs at a time in various cuts and grinds, and adding locally grown organic vegetables, fruits, along with the correct balance of vitamins, minerals, and high-quality calcium for her age, size, breed, and activity level; cooking in batches for a week and freezing in meal-sized portions. Unfortunately, my disability is progressive as well as unpredictable and I’m no longer able to prepare her customized food. We’ve also moved out of the area so I no longer have the resource of the veterinary school to rely on. It’s imperative I find an alternative to feed her well yet easily and I continue to be disappointed wherever I turn, it seems. I’ve found three brands that are marginally acceptable but which are far from ideal in terms of maintaining health and promoting longevity, and I’ve found two which I’d feel comfortable feeding but which are incredibly cost-prohibitive. Of course I’m willing to spend more to keep her healthy and I do, but on a fixed disability income there is a limit to what I can afford; $79 for a 20 pound bag of dog food is simply not an option for me.
    I would so appreciate any information on a (hopefully) 5-star dog food that my dog could actually eat and I wouldn’t be required to live under a bridge to pay for! I’m thankful for this site and I’ll keep watching your reviews. Thanks for all you do for our furkids!

  • Katherin Km

    my puppies absolutely love this i use this to top off their simply nourish dry food also rated the best of 5 stars