Canned tomatoes are a great item to keep in your cupboards. So many dishes call for tomatoes and most store brands are easy on your wallet. Remember to buy no or low sodium when possible.
Types of Canned Tomatoes
Whole Tomatoes: Whole tomatoes are great because you can make them into whatever form you need – chop them up when you need diced or put them in a blender to make a puree or sauce.
Diced Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes are easy to use since all the prep work is done for you – just open the can and go!
Crushed Tomatoes: Great for pasta sauces and smooth soups, the texture is between diced and puree.
Stewed Tomatoes: Cooked prior to canning with added seasonings like spices, salt, or sugar. Read the ingredients label before using to make sure that the seasonings will complement the flavors in your dish.
Tomato Puree: Similar to crushed tomatoes, but smoother and thicker.
Tomato Sauce: Tomatoes that have been cooked and blended to make a smooth, pourable sauce. Not the same as pasta sauce, which includes seasonings and spices, but can be used as a base to make pizza sauce, or dipping sauces, or as a glaze on meatloaf.
Tomato Paste: Tomatoes are cooked down until all the juice evaporates, leaving a concentrated savory flavor that also helps thicken soups and stews. Leftover tomato paste is easy to freeze for later use.
Some Easy Ways to Use Canned Tomatoes
Soups & Chili: Use canned tomatoes in any soup or chili. Try our 7-Can Chicken Tortilla Soup, African Peanut Stew, or Lentil Chili. If you have whole canned tomatoes on hand, crush in the soup pot to release juice.
Casseroles and meatloafs: Add diced or crushed tomatoes to leftover chicken, cooked pasta or rice, and cooked vegetables for a quick, weeknight meal. Try our Chili Cornbread Bake.
Salsas: Add canned, diced tomatoes to chopped onion, garlic, and lime juice. Combine and serve as a dip or on top of fish, chicken, or tacos.
Pasta Sauce: Add canned tomatoes, garlic, onion, and Italian seasonings like basil and oregano for extra flavor. Cook the sauce on low heat for about 10 minutes and serve over whole wheat pasta or veggies. This week, we’ll share our recipe for Marinara Sauce with Ground Beef.