Canned tomatoes are a workhorse pantry staple that are ripe with potential. One can plus a handful of other ingredients might be all that’s standing between you and a flavorful dinner. Though canned tomatoes aren’t a substitute for fresh, they’re a shortcut to tomato-based sauces and braises, curries and stews, and soups and salsas. Affordable and accessible, canned tomatoes add depth, sweetness, and a tinge of acidity to vegetables, eggs, beans, cheese, meat, chicken, fish, shellfish, and all kinds of starches.
To learn more about what kinds of canned tomatoes are on the market, and which ones are worth keeping on hand, read our canned tomato guide. And, for those into doing it yourself, we’ve also got a guide to canning tomatoes at home.
Read on for nine great pantry-friendly recipes for canned tomatoes, from huevos rancheros to a 15-minute creamy tomato soup.
Yes, there's actually vodka in this sauce, and it's better for it (though delicious, if different, without). Most of the other ingredients required are likely already in your pantry—garlic, onion, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste. Throw in some butter and heavy cream, and you have a rich, satisfying classic ready to eat in just 40 minutes.
There's only 25 minutes standing between you and this satisfying plate of huevos rancheros. Canned fire-roasted crushed tomatoes mellow the smokiness of chipotles in adobo, while a dash of soy sauce adds savory complexity to the salsa.
Make this wildly popular chickpea dish extra delicious by deeply caramelizing the onions, doctoring store-bought garam masala, and adding garlic and lemon juice for brightness.
Slow-roasting canned whole tomatoes enhances their flavor and produces a pleasantly chewy, jammy texture. Try this warm version of tomato bruschetta during tomato’s off-seasons.
This rich, grilled cheese–worthy tomato soup can be made entirely from basic pantry ingredients. It's thickened with bread, which also gives it its creamy texture—no dairy necessary.
This simple, hearty Italian soup leans on little more than onion, garlic, bread, vegetable stock, and canned tomatoes. We opt for whole, peeled canned tomatoes, which we hand crush for a more dynamic texture. It's the perfect vehicle for leftover or stale bread (though it works beautifully with fresh bread, too).
For our go-to Italian-American red sauce, we combine canned whole tomatoes with several tablespoons of tomato paste, which makes it taste like it's been cooking for hours.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, kale, and chickpeas would be a boring braise without the addition of canned tomatoes. Their acidity mellows the kale, enriches the chicken, and helps plump the chickpeas for a hearty dinner that’s ready in under an hour.
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