Canned tomatoes are a quintessential pantry staple. You can turn them into a flavorful sauce for your meatballs, use them to dress up tomato soup, or incorporate them into a hearty pasta bake. Eating Well recommends stocking your pantry with a variety of canned tomatoes; crushed tomatoes will give your dishes a smoother finish, while diced tomatoes will add a chunkier texture to your meals. When you need an easy dinner, make one of these 6 delicious dishes; thanks to canned tomatoes, they’re a breeze to prepare!
1. Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Parmesan
Filled with cheese, rigatoni, and canned tomatoes, baked pasta with tomatoes and parmesan is a weeknight must. Martha Stewart notes that this cooking method was adapted from Giuilano Bugialli’s Classic Techniques of Italian Cooking, and involves baking dry pasta with tomatoes, which results in a tender and authentic Italian pasta dish. The best part? This recipe requires very little prep time; let your dry pasta soak in olive oil, combine your ingredients, bake, sprinkle with cheese, and dig in.
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound rigatoni or penne pasta
- 2 (28-ounce) cans, whole tomatoes, crushed, or 4 pounds very ripe summer tomatoes, cored and sliced ½-inch thick
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place oil in a large bowl. Add dry pasta and stir until well coated; let stand for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes to pasta mixture; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Transfer to a 2½-quart baking dish. Cover with a parchment-lined aluminum foil. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes with a wooden spoon, for 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese, and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately.
2. Chicken Stewed with Tomatoes, Cinnamon, and Preserved Lemon
If you have a skillet, canned tomatoes, chicken, lemon, and spices, then you can easily prepare The Kitchn’s delicious dinner dish. This Moroccan-inspired recipe tastes great when served over rice or couscous.
- Chicken thighs and drumsticks, about 8 pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
- 2 preserved lemons, rinsed and chopped (pulp discarded)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: In a deep skillet or a French oven, sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add garlic, coriander seeds, paprika, and oregano. Sauté for another minute. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, water, cinnamon, and preserved lemon. Mix well. Add the chicken. Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the parsley. Taste to see if needs salt, and if needed, add salt and pepper to taste. Cook another 5 minutes without the lid. Serve with rice or couscous.
3. Cod with Tomato Cream Sauce
It only takes 25 minutes to make Eating Well’s cod with tomato cream sauce. The recipe yields 4 servings, with each containing 227 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 19 grams of protein. SFGate notes that cod is a rich source of vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption, helps maintain bone health, and is important to bone growth and remodeling.
- 1 to 1¼ pounds cod or tilapia fillets, cut into 4 pieces
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup white wine
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
Directions: Season fish with 1 teaspoon thyme, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and 1 teaspoon thyme; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add wine, tomatoes, and the fish to the pan; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the fish is cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the fish to a large plate; keep warm. Whisk cream and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan, along with the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Divide the fish and sauce among 4 shallow bowls.
4. Tomato Pudding
Saveur’s tomato pudding is packed with homemade croutons, tomatoes, and grated pecorino romano. This delicious side dish is the perfect complement to any dinner entrée, and its preparation is quite simple; bake your bread pieces until they’re slightly crisp, cook and combine your onions, seasonings, and tomatoes, pour over your bread, and bake. Don’t forget to add more cheese before serving.
- 1 (1-pound) loaf country bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¾ cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup grated pecorino romano
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped thyme
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes in purée, crushed by hand
- 1 (16-ounce) can tomato purée
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss bread with ½ cup oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet; spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring occasionally, until slightly crisp, 10 to 15 minutes; transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a 6-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in stock, half the pecorino, plus sugar, lemon juice, thyme, tomatoes, and tomato purée.
Cook until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over bread; let sit until slightly cooled, then, using hands, lightly mash and stir together. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle remaining pecorino over top and drizzle with remaining oil; bake until golden brown and bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes.
5. Easy Meatballs
You can have Gimme Some Oven’s easy meatballs on the dinner table in 35 minutes. This recipe can easily be made on the stovetop, but if you’d prefer to come home to an already-made dinner, we recommend making it in your slow cooker. Add the crushed tomatoes and smoked paprika to your crockpot, stir together, and then add the meatballs in a single layer, coating with the sauce. Cover and cook on low until the meatballs are tender, about 4 to 6 hours, and you’ll have a delicious meatball dinner to serve for supper.
- 1½ pounds ground beef or pork
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup finely-diced white onion
- ¼ cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Chopped fresh basil or parsley for garnish
Directions: Combine the beef, breadcrumbs, onion, Parmesan, garlic, eggs, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Use a potato masher or your hands to combine the mixture until evenly-mixed. Use a small scoop or a spoon to measure out a rounded tablespoon-full of the mixture, and then roll it into a ball. Set aside. Repeat with the remainder of the mixture and set aside. Meanwhile, heat the crushed tomatoes in a large, deep sauté pan over medium-high heat until simmering.
Stir in the smoked paprika, season with salt and pepper, and reduce heat to medium-low. Add the meatballs in a single layer, coating with the sauce. Cover and let simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through, turning the meatballs once or twice. Remove and set on a serving plate, ladling any of the extra sauce on top of the meatballs; serve.
6. Dressed-Up Tomato Soup
Southern Living’s dressed-up tomato soup is perfect for days when you’re running short on time or ingredients. Canned Italian-style diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and ground pepper enhance a basic can of tomato soup in this recipe, which takes 10 minutes to make. Feel free to add your favorite ingredients into the mix; fresh seasonings, croutons, cheese, and sour cream are all perfect toppings for this rich and creamy dish.
- 1 (28-ounce) can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
- 1 (26-ounce) can tomato soup, undiluted
- 1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Optional toppings: sour cream; chopped fresh parsley, basil, chives, or rosemary; croutons; freshly grated Parmesan cheese; grated lemon rind
Directions: Pulse 1 can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes in a food processor 3 to 4 times or until finely diced. Stir together tomatoes, 1 can tomato soup, undiluted, 1 container chicken broth, and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper in a Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
To serve, we topped the soup with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled it with chopped fresh parsley. Other tasty additions include chopped fresh basil, chopped fresh chives, chopped fresh rosemary, croutons, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and grated lemon rind.