15 Recipes That Start With a Can of Tomatoes
If you have a can of tomatoes sitting in your pantry, you're already well on your way to a great meal. There are countless recipes that lean on this cupboard staple, but here are a few of our favorites that readers keep coming back to.
Note: Not all canned tomatoes are created equal. Tomatoes, even those of the same variety, can vary drastically in sweetness and acidity. When cooking with canned tomatoes, pay close attention to their taste — they might need a pinch of salt or a bit of white sugar to get the flavors in balance.
Best Marinara Sauce Yet
You can't talk about canned tomatoes without talking about marinara. The sauce is one of the best ways to transform a can of tomatoes into your next meal. No food processor? No problem. A rich, smooth sauce is still achievable without one. Just be sure to crush your tomatoes before cooking them if you are using a can of whole tomatoes.
The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World
"I've made this at least a dozen times and it's always a hit with the crowd," said reviewer veggiedancer. "Even my non vegetarian friends and family love it!" This chili recipe relies on whole peeled tomatoes that tenderize and break into pieces over a low, slow simmer.
Chef John's Shakshuka
With a few eggs, some spices, and canned tomatoes, you can have yourself a hearty meal fit for any time of day. In this dish, eggs are poached in a flavorful, and sometimes spicy, plum tomato base before being topped with feta and fresh herbs. Chef John's recipe adds vegetables to the tomatoes for a thicker, richer sauce.
Rachel's Tomato Basil Soup
While you don't need fresh tomatoes to make this silky soup that start with crushed tomatoes, you will want some fresh basil on hand. "Fresh basil is the key to this delicious and creamy tomato soup," said recipe developer CARAMOMMY. "Serve with homemade French bread for a special treat!"
Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken Cacciatore, or chicken prepared "hunter-style," is a southern Italian dish of braised chicken in a tomato sauce often enhanced by wine. This easy-to-follow Instant Pot version of the rustic dish is a reviewer favorite with almost 200 five-start ratings.
D's Famous Salsa
Start with two cans of stewed tomatoes. The rest flows smoothly from there. "The simplicity of this recipe cannot be overstated," reviewer Mary438 said. "It literally took me less than five minutes. And it's GOOD!"
Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce
This five-star vodka sauce recipe can be thrown together in a quick 25 minutes. Adjust the crushed red pepper flakes to suit your spice level, but don't skip the booze. Vodka is just as important as the crushed tomatoes in this recipe. It unlocks flavor from the tomatoes and adds a depth to the sauce.
Vegan Black Bean Soup
Whip up a batch of this black bean soup the next time you need to have leftovers for a few days. The flavors get better with time, thanks in part to the tang of the crushed tomatoes.
"Really good with a dollop of low-fat plain yogurt, some chopped green onions and cilantro to garnish," said reviewer N Lincoln.
Spanish Rice Bake
This recipe has been made by more than 2,000 home cooks and has nearly five stars from hundreds of reviews. It's well-loved for its simplicity and the fact that it can easily be modified to be a one-pot dish. If you're working with a can of whole tomatoes, crush them before using them in the recipe.
Bow Ties with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream
Simplicity and flavor are the reasons this recipe has nearly five stars from 2,000 reviews.
"A friend gave this recipe to me a few years back, and my family can't seem to get enough of it. It sounds strange with cream in it, but that just enhances the flavor and texture," said Linda Caroline, who shared the recipe.
Tender Tomato Chicken Breasts
Stock your pantry and freezer for this simple recipe, featuring cans of stewed tomatoes and chicken broth, boneless chicken breasts, and frozen mixed veggies. "If you absolutely must use fresh veggies, that's ok, but frozen veggies, in my opinion, work a little bit better," says Erin. "Being a mom of a 7 month old, I've learned to take a lot of shortcuts and still be able to cook quality food. This is quick, easy, and tasty. Serve with rice, if desired. To kick it up a bit, add chopped green peppers in with the tomatoes."
Homemade Pizza Sauce
Using a can of tomatoes and a handful of other ingredients you might already have in your pantry, you can make your own pizza sauce and ditch the store-bought jars. San Marzano tomatoes are recommended for this recipe (and really any tomato sauce recipe), but other varieties can be substituted in their place.
Chef John's American Goulash
This classic is one of those very simple dishes that doesn't taste simple. It's perfect for your weeknight dinner rotation. Chef John calls it, "An Americanized version of goulash, like they served in my school cafeteria, invented to stretch a small amount of beef into enough food for a not-so-small family."
Keto Turkey-Stuffed Peppers
"Put a healthier family classic on the dinner table by substituting ground turkey for ground beef, and using frozen riced cauliflower instead of high-carb white rice," says lutzflcat.
Indian Tomato Chicken
"Chicken pieces coated with many fragrant spices like turmeric, cardamom and cloves, then simmered in a tomato sauce. This dish is a family favorite. I have also taken it to potlucks and served it to guests in my home. Everyone asks for the recipe," said SHECOOKS2, who shared this recipe. "It is a great slow cooker meal, too."