The most sophisticated foodies don't always work with the most sophisticated ingredients. In fact, any true food aficionado has had times when they've had to make do with very few ingredients -- for example, creating a dish where the star of the show was canned vegetables. If you've got an abundance of canned goods on hand, check out our list of simple canned vegetable recipes as well as everything you need to know about this pantry staple.
What is the shelf life of canned vegetables?
The shelf life of canned vegetables can vary based on the veggie, the brand, and how you store the containers. Most expiration dates will say the canned good will last between 1 and 4 years, but storing your items in a cool, dark place (like your kitchen cabinets, pantry, or even basement) may extend their shelf life to as much as 6 years.
Which canned vegetables should I buy to cook with?
There are all kinds of canned vegetables to choose from, and you can create recipes with just about every canned good you find on your grocery store's shelves. Both versatile and delicious, these are our favorite canned vegetables to use when cooking:
|Corn||Green beans||Red beans|
|Carrots||Soy beans||Heart of palm|
|Tomatoes||Water chestnuts||Mixed vegetables|
What are the healthiest and most nutritious canned vegetables?
The healthiest and most nutritious canned vegetables to cook with or eat plain are low in sodium, high in nutritional content, and packaged in BPA-free containers. You should also thoroughly rinse your canned veggies; even low-sodium versions still use some salt to preserve them, so running them under water helps remove the excess (and makes them taste fresher!). These are some of the most nutritious canned vegetables to use in your recipes:
|Black beans||Tomatoes||Green beans|
|Kidney beans||Plain spinach||Peas|
|Lentils||Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)||Asparagus|
What can you do with canned vegetables, and how can you make canned vegetables taste better?
You don't have to eat canned vegetables plain or straight out of the tin. Depending on the veggie you're preparing, there are all sorts of things you can do with canned vegetables:
|Season them with flavorful spices||Saute them||Blend them to make sauces and dips|
|Spritz them with citrus juice||Stir-fry them||Bake them|
|Sprinkle vinegar on them||Roast them||Blanche them|
Canned Vegetable Recipes
No matter what you're craving, canned goods are a great component to all kinds of recipes. These easy canned vegetable recipes are beginner-friendly and foodie-approved.
|Simple Succotash: Sufferin' what? This easy recipe is a great side dish or healthy snack, and in a pinch, you can substitute canned coconut milk for fresh dairy.||Judy's Vegetable Soup from Cans: This soup is easy to throw together and cooks quickly, but tastes like it's been simmering on the stove all day.|
|Skillet Salmon with White Beans and Charred Lemon: This heart-healthy dish is much easier to make than it looks. If you don't have fresh filets, swap in whichever canned fish you have on hand.||Vegetable Casserole: Canned veggies and your favorite crackers are the star of this easy dinner recipe. No crackers? No problem -- grating stale bread into crumbs is a great substitute.|
|Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup: When you've got a busy evening planned, throw these ingredients into your slow cooker (canned chicken works well!) in the morning so you come home to a tasty treat post work.||Spicy Black Bean Salsa: Don't be fooled -- this recipe can be so much more than a dip! Black beans make the dish hearty enough to be a satisfying tortilla filling for a quick and easy taco night.|
|30 Minute Loaded Vegetable Pot Pie: Canned vegetables work just as well as frozen options for this crowd favorite, and it's a great way to use the leftover cream of mushroom soup you've had sitting in the pantry since Thanksgiving.||Easy Three Bean Chili Recipe: Meat eaters need not worry about this being a vegan dish. Black, kidney, and pinto beans give it all the heartiness of meat-based chili, and cocoa powder and ground chipotle peppers give it a mouthwatering depth of flavor.|
|20-Minute Black Bean Burgers: The best thing about this recipe is how versatile it is. Season with your favorite spices, add in some canned chilis, or omit the onions to please a picky eater's palate.||Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad: Packed with protein and complex carbohydrates, this quick, filling dinnertime recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. If you're craving meat, add in some chunks of fresh or canned chicken.|