It’s a total misconception that in order for vegetables to be healthy, they must live in the crisper. Fresh produce is great! But so are frozen and canned veggies. In fact, sometimes buying canned is optimal because it makes upping the veggie content in your meal a cinch; there’s no slicing and dicing required.
One canned good registered dietitian Erica Ingraham, RDN always keeps stocked in her pantry: canned tomatoes. “Canned tomatoes are convenient to have on hand and make an easy addition to pasta, burritos, and soup,” she previously told Well+Good. Plus, they’re delicious all year round, unlike out-of-season tomatoes, which are…the worst. Just keep an eye on the sodium, which is typically higher in canned goods. (In general, you want to aim to keep your sodium intake at under 2,300 milligrams a day.)
Using canned tomatoes for pasta sauce is already a no-brainer, but there are plenty of other uses you might not have thought of. Rounded up here are seven recipes with canned tomatoes to try, all healthy and easy.
7 healthy, easy recipes with canned tomatoes
Puree your canned tomatoes with vegetable broth and a few key spices and you have a creamy bowl of classic tomato soup. Pair with one of these healthy grilled cheeses and you have the perfect comforting meal.
This side dish comes together in a mere five minutes. Simply pair your tomatoes with canned corn, sauteeing them with butter, salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. Serve it alongside the protein of your choice.
This Middle Eastern-inspired meal is a delicious option for breakfast *or* dinner. Add your canned tomatoes to a skillet, add in warming spices, like paprika, chili powder, and cumin, then gently crack in a few eggs to cook in the sauce. Serve with toast—you’ll want it to soak up every last bit of that delicious tomato sauce.
Tomatoes are just as much a staple for Mexican-inspired meals as they are for Italian ones. Here, they’re worked right into a protein-filled burrito bowl, made with brown rice, black beans, avocado, onion, and hot peppers.
Right along with canned tomatoes, canned beans are a pantry staple that can be used to get a healthy meal on the table within minutes. One bean you might be overlooking is gigantes, which are bigger in size than more common beans (like black beans and pinto beans), and packed with fiber and protein. This recipe pairs them with canned tomatoes to make a hearty stew, perfect for cozy nights inside.
This dish is a little like a deconstructed bruschetta—with the addition of heaps of kale. The rustic meal makes the perfect lunch—and is Mediterranean diet-approved, too.
Okay, so using canned tomatoes to make pasta sauce is normally a no-brainer, but I promise this is one sauce recipe you definitely haven’t tried. In the video above, registered dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD blends crushed tomatoes with an unexpected veggie: cauliflower. When cooked together, it makes a creamy, fiber-rich bolognese sauce. Genius, right? Watch the video to see how it’s done.