14 Cold Weather Dinner Ideas ft. Canned Tomatoes

14 Cold Weather Dinner Ideas ft. Canned Tomatoes

Stay warm this winter season with these cold weather dinner ideas featuring our favorite pantry staple — canned tomatoes.

Bundle up, it’s frigid out there! With snowflakes falling, icy winds blowing, and winter’s chill settling in, there’s no escaping the cold. However, there’s a remedy for that frosty feeling – cozy recipes to keep you warm! That’s why we’ve curated the best cold weather dinner ideas to ward away the chill — whether you crave soothing soups, hearty curries, or convenient Instant Pot dinners, this collection has something for everyone!

These recipes are courtesy of our own cookbook collection as well as several Tomato Wellness members (including Red Gold, Pacific Coast Producers, Del Monte, and Take Root Organics), and they all tote health benefits thanks to canned tomatoes, vegetables, and whole grains, so you can feel good about serving these to friends and family.

So, without further adieu, here are the best cold weather recipes to keep you warm this winter season!

14 Cold Weather Dinner Ideas ft. Canned Tomatoes

Stay warm this winter season with these cold weather dinner ideas featuring our favorite pantry staple -- canned tomatoes.

Hungry for more? Check out these healthy canned tomato recipe ideas in our cookbook! This collection of 17 recipes captures the wholesome essence of classic home-cooked meals for the whole family. Each recipe was created by our diverse team of registered dietitians, representing many food traditions and cultures around the world.

How Canned Tomatoes Define Italian Pasta Recipes and Pizza Dishes

How Canned Tomatoes Define Italian Pasta Recipes and Pizza Dishes

Tomatoes are at the heart of Italian cuisine, which is why canned tomatoes can help you enjoy these dishes all year round. Here’s how canned tomatoes define the most classic Italian pasta recipes and other well-loved dishes. 

Italian cuisine is beloved worldwide for its rich flavors, vibrant colors, and hearty ingredients. At the heart of many classic Italian dishes lies the humble tomato, which adds depth, tanginess, and a touch of sweetness. Interestingly though, this is a fairly recent development, as tomatoes are not native to Europe. They only became accepted as a part of their cuisine in the 19th century. Now it is the centerpiece.

While fresh tomatoes are often celebrated, canned tomatoes offer a convenient and versatile alternative that can truly elevate your Italian culinary creations. Ask any Italian grandma, and she’ll confirm you should use canned tomatoes all year long for cooking. Here’s how canned tomatoes can define traditional Italian dishes like pasta and pizza, bringing out their authentic flavors and taking them to new heights.

The Magic of Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes possess a unique quality that makes them a fantastic addition to Italian recipes. The tomatoes used for canning are picked at their peak of ripeness and quickly processed, sealing in their freshness. This allows for a consistent and flavorful product that can be enjoyed year-round, regardless of the season. Plus, canned tomatoes are teeming with health benefits, which make them an ideal choice to have in your pantry!

Italian Pasta Recipes for the Perfect Pasta Sauce

Canned tomatoes serve as the foundation for a variety of pasta sauces, transforming a simple dish into a culinary masterpiece. Whether you’re making a classic marinara, a hearty Bolognese, or a creamy vodka sauce, canned tomatoes provide a rich and robust base. Their concentrated flavor infuses the sauce with a deep tomato essence that pairs perfectly with pasta of any shape or size.

Homemade Pizza Delights

No discussion of Italian cuisine is complete without mentioning pizza. Canned tomatoes can revolutionize your homemade pizza by creating a vibrant and tangy sauce. The concentrated flavors of canned tomatoes, when combined with aromatic herbs and spices, yield a sauce that brings out the best in your pizza toppings. Whether you prefer a classic Margherita or a creative combination of ingredients, canned tomatoes help deliver that authentic pizzeria experience. 

Here are some of our favorite pizza recipes:

Slow-Simmered Soups and Stews

Italian cuisine is renowned for its comforting soups and stews, so what better way to elevate your dish than to use canned tomatoes for added depth and richness? Whether you’re making a hearty minestrone, a rustic Zuppa di Pesce, or a savory tomato-based stew, canned tomatoes provide a robust flavor profile that enhances the overall taste and texture.

Stuffed Delights

From stuffed tomatoes to eggplant Parmesan, canned tomatoes play a vital role in creating deliciously stuffed Italian dishes. The versatility of canned tomatoes allows you to craft a flavorful filling and then bake it to perfection. The tomatoes impart their distinct taste, complementing the stuffing while adding a delightful touch of acidity.


Homemade Bruschetta

While canned tomatoes are often associated with cooked dishes, they can also be used to create fresh and vibrant bruschetta toppings. The combination of diced tomatoes, garlic, onions, herbs, and a splash of olive oil creates a mouthwatering bruschetta that adds a burst of flavor to toasted bread, making it a crowd-pleasing appetizer or snack all year long. Not just during fresh tomato season (late summer). 


Canned tomatoes offer an excellent way to celebrate classic Italian dishes, infusing them with depth, flavor, and convenience. Whether you’re preparing pasta sauces, homemade pizza, slow-simmered soups, or stuffed delights, canned tomatoes provide a reliable and consistent ingredient that delivers authentic Italian taste year-round. Embrace the versatility of canned tomatoes and let them transport you to the sun-kissed lands of Italy, where each bite is a celebration of flavor and tradition.

Stock Your Pantry with Canned Goods for Convenience and Health

Stock Your Pantry with Canned Goods for Convenience and Health

You don’t have to break the budget to enjoy a healthful meal! Canned goods are making a comeback thanks to their versatility and affordability. From tomato products to chickpeas, give these tried and true pantry staples a fresh look.

Even for the most organized among us, it can feel like a overwhelming task to get any dinner on the table for the family during the week, let alone a healthy one. So, what’s the secret to making weeknight dinners a cinch? According to dietitian Ellie Krieger, three components are key: a well-stocked pantry, a little bit of planning, and not overthinking it. 

With the right ingredients in your pantry and freezer, dinner is never as hard as it might seem. Ellie says that she always keeps canned goods (like tomatoes) in her pantry, since she says they are a busy home cook’s best friend. Not only do they make a great base for sauces, but they offer a powerful nutrition punch with their high lycopene content.  She is also a big fan of beans (more specifically, white beans, pinto beans, chickpeas), as well as frozen seafood, as these high protein options can create endless delicious combinations in the kitchen.

Learn more about how Ellie keeps weeknight dinners healthy here.

For other pantry food inspiration, check out some of our favorite posts:

Best Budget-Friendly Foods for the Pantry
Tried and True Pantry Staples

Ellie was our RD of the month! Learn more about her here. And don’t forget to check out some of her favorite recipes featuring canned tomatoes!

Winter Caprese Toasts with Roasted Tomatoes and Pesto
Shakshuka Pita Pizzas
Creamy Tomato Soup with Popcorn