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If you are like me, you have a big stash of canned tomatoes in your pantry. Crushed canned tomatoes (in juice and puree), whole canned tomatoes, diced canned tomatoes, petit diced canned tomatoes — I use them all! Of course, they are amazing in pasta sauces, but they are also the base for so many other recipes.

Turkey meat sauce over penne pasta on plate

You can find canned tomatoes with reduced salt, no salt, with basil or other herbs added in, and maybe other seasonings like garlic. Also, let’s not forget about canned tomatoes with chilis, great for Mexican recipes. Pick the type that’s best for your recipes and your family. Sometimes tomatoes might be packaged in cartons instead of cans.

Storing Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes will usually last for at least 6 months after the “best by” date. Make sure the cans aren’t dented, and store them in a cool place. Once opened, any leftovers should be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated. They will stay good for up to a week.

San Marzano tomatoes from Italy are D.O.P protected, from the San Marzano region. They are prized for their sweet flavor and firmer texture. They are more expensive, but if you’re going for optimal tomato flavor (sweet, rich in taste, with just the right amount of acidity), they will deliver.

I use canned tomatoes in chilis, stews, soups, braises, and more. During the winter months, when fresh tomatoes are…disappointing, at best, this is the way I keep tomatoes in the dinner rotation. In fact, canned tomatoes are better for cooking than fresh, in most cases, because they have been peeled and processed with heat before being canned.

There is always a dinner to be made when you have this staple in stock. This list of canned tomato recipes will keep things hearty and interesting week after week.

Also see what to do with leftover tomato paste!

Make the most of the canned tomatoes in your pantry with these recipes for sauces, chilis, stews, soups, braises, and more!

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Plates of Chicken Cacciatore, salad, and mashed potatoes.

Chicken Cacciatore

Tender chicken stewed with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, herbs, and red wine is one of the most comforting cold weather dinners ever.

Jewish Brisket for the Holidays

Jewish Brisket

This brisket recipe is total Jewish comfort food (but don't feel like you have to be Jewish to make it).

Turkey or Chicken Chili

Turkey or Chicken Chili

This is one of our all-time favorite chili recipes…thick and flavorful and loaded with vegetables.

One-Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni

One-Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni

This is total comfort food; a one dish recipe, with even the pasta cooking in the same skillet.

Mexican Tortilla Chicken Soup

Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup

This divine soup is scented with chili, cumin, and coriander, and topped with all kinds of deliciousness, like avocado and tortilla crisps. It is one of my favorite soups of all time.

Texas Red Chili / Katie Workman / / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen

Texas Red Chili

A "Bowl of Red" — If you did not know that the chili in Texas never, ever contains beans, then you have not discussed chili with a Texan.

Provencal Fish Stew / Katie Workman / / Photo by Carrie Crow

Provencal Fish Stew

A bowl of this is like a tiny little trip to the Mediterranean. It’s unbelievably easy, but absolutely company worthy.

Lamb Stew with White Wine, Orange and Fennel

Lamb Stew with White Wine, Orange, and Fennel

The perfect intersection between comfort food and something special.

Instant Pot Mediterranean Lamb Stew

Instant Pot Mediterranean Lamb Stew

This lamb stew recipe is lush and homey and exactly what you want to see bubbling away when you walk in on a cold winter night.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Shredded Chicken Tacos

The chicken taco filling is pulled together with a tomato sauce that has piquancy and depth.

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Tortillas are layered with a savory filling of beans, vegetables, and Mexican seasonings in an unusual twist on lasagna.

Bulgur Wheat, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Gratin

Bulgur Wheat, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Gratin

This casserole can be served as a vegetarian main course or a substantial side.

Tomato, Orzo and Dill Soup / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Tomato, Orzo, and Dill Soup

Make a soup people will remember! This comforting and hearty Tomato, Orzo and Dill Soup is really a meal, just top it with a little fresh Parmesan to complete.

Big Batch Turkey Meat Sauce

Turkey Meat Sauce

When you have extra containers of meat sauce in the freezer, all is right with the world.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguine

Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguine

A spicy red sauce makes this classic Italian-American shrimp and pasta dish irresistible. (Go for big shrimp!)

Shakshuka with Swiss Chard / Mia / Katie Workman /

Shakshuka with Swiss Chard

This version of a very popular breakfast dish is crammed with softly cooked chard and spiced with cumin and paprika.

Red Lentil, Fennel and Chicken Slow Cooker Soup / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

Red Lentil, Fennel, and Chicken Slow Cooker Soup

This thick and satisfying soup has tailgating or sidelines or post-game meal written all over it.

Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops

Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops

These slowly cooked lamb chops are fall-apart tender and nestled into a lovely vegetable-studded red wine and tomato sauce.

Lentil Tomato Soup

Lentil Tomato Soup

This soup is very flavorful, it is incredibly easy to make, and it freezes like a champ.

Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka

Vodka sauce has additional layer of lushness and richness due to the cream and a deepened flavor thanks to a bit of vodka.

Chicken Paprikash on a plate with salad.

Chicken Paprikash

The classic Hungarian dish, featuring chicken stewed with a mixture of onions, broth, tomatoes, and (of course) copious amounts of paprika.  

Tamale Pie and greens on plates.

Tamale Pie

A flavorful Mexican-inspired ground beef and vegetable casserole is nestled under a crunchy-tender cornbread topping.

Perfect Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup

Sometimes you just want the classic — bursting with tomato flavor, silky smooth, and not complicated by much else.

Two yellow bowls of noodles topped with Meat Sauce.

Classic Italian Meat Sauce

If you are a meat sauce family (my family is a serious meat sauce family), then a pot of this in the fridge, or a container of this in the freezer is just pure peace of mind.

Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

Making your own tomato sauce is ridiculously easy, and there are few things as comforting as a bowl of pasta with classic sauce.

Bowl of Black Beans over Rice.

Vegetarian Black Beans and Rice

This has been a family favorite since before it was a necessity, and costs just a few dollars to make. Canned tomatoes, garlic, onions, carrots and red pepper all pull together to make a very soul-satisfying dish.

Best Turkey Lasagna

Best Turkey Lasagna

This is our go-to lasagna, made with a meat sauce that has a combo of ground turkey and turkey sausage in the sauce. It will never let you down.

Fork placing Ropa Vieja on a bed of rice.

Ropa Vieja

Amazingly savory and tender, this beef dish is the national dish of Cuba, and just the thing to dig into on a cold winter night.

Southwest Quinoa Casserole

Southwest Quinoa Casserole

The fabulous flavors of the Southwest shine in this earthy and satisfying vegetarian one-dish meal.

Moroccan Lamb and Butternut Squash Stew / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

Moroccan Lamb and Butternut Squash Stew

Lovely to come home to on a chilly night (and it reheats like a dream).

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