Canned Tomato

If you’re able to get your hands-on good quality canned tomatoes, make sure you stock up! They are an absolute must-have in the kitchen. Yes, you can use them in a chili, stew, or pasta. But you can also use canned tomatoes to make your own pizza sauce. In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 cans crushed tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves ½ tsp crushed fennel, and ½ tsp oregano. When the mixture boils, turn the heat down and simmer until it thickens up. For a quick weeknight meal, you can also use canned tomatoes as a base sauce for your meatballs. Just add a few seasonings and a splash of red wine.

Ever tried making your own ketchup? If you have a few cans of crushed tomatoes on hand, now is the time to experiment. In a large sauce pan, sauté 1 medium chopped onion until golden. Add 2 cans crushed tomatoes, ¼ cup sugar, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp cinnamon, freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and cook on low heat for about 40 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. Blend with a hand blender and pour into sterilized glass jars.

Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is relatively inexpensive and great to have on hand when you are strapped for time. Use it to make tuna melt sandwiches or make tuna patties for fish burgers. For a healthy ‘shepherd’s pie’, swap the red meat for tuna and the potato topping for sweet potato. Besides the well-known tuna casserole, you can also make a tuna version of mac-n-cheese. Now, that’s comfort food!

Canned Soup

If you stock up on canned soup (in a variety of flavors), you never need to run out of ideas for dinner. Use cream of chicken soup as a base for an oven-baked chicken and broccoli dish. Cream of mushroom soup works great as a base for chicken and mushroom pasta. It’s a great way to ramp up the mushroom flavor with minimal effort. You can use butternut soup as a thickener for stews of chilies.

Sweet Things with Canned Goods

We haven’t forgotten about the sweet stuff. Stock up on evaporated milk and condensed milk, and you are ready to indulge. Use evaporated milk to sweeten and enrich smoothies, oatmeal or just a cup of coffee. You can also use evaporated milk to make ice cream. But let’s not forget about the classic canned condensed milk. Use it to make your very own dulche de leche (cooked sweet milk resembling caramel). Or use it together with heavy cream to make a no-churn ice cream – which works great if you don’t have an ice cream machine.

What canned goods do you always have in your pantry? Tell us in the comments below!