15 healthy summer recipes featuring canned tomatoes

15 healthy summer recipes featuring canned tomatoes

With summer’s warm embrace, it’s time to celebrate the abundance of fresh flavors and nourishing ingredients that nature provides. From vibrant salads to refreshing drinks, summer recipes offer a delightful opportunity to indulge in healthy and delicious meals. However, one ingredient that truly shines during this season is tomatoes! 

While fresh tomatoes have their allure, canned tomatoes have their own advantages. Packed at the peak of ripeness, they offer consistent quality and flavor year-round. Canned tomatoes undergo minimal processing, are environmentally friendly, and are rich in vitamins A, C, and lycopene, an antioxidant associated with various health benefits.

So, let canned tomatoes be your culinary companion as you cook your way through the summer season. With their ability to infuse dishes with vibrant color, robust flavor, and nutritional benefits, you’re sure to create something that everyone will enjoy. From light and refreshing appetizers to hearty main courses, here are 15 healthy summer recipes to invigorate your taste buds and nourish your body.

15 healthy summer recipes featuring canned tomatoes

Check out this collection of healthy summer recipes to get inspired in the kitchen during the season. Plus, these recipes all feature canned tomatoes (and canned tomato products) for an added boost of health, color, and flavor.

Ultimate guide to canned tomatoes: health benefits, environmental impact, and more

Ultimate guide to canned tomatoes: health benefits, environmental impact, and more

Struggling to decide between canned tomatoes vs fresh ones? We’re here to help you make that choice. From their health benefits to environmental impact, here’s the ultimate guide to canned tomatoes. 

When it comes to incorporating tomatoes in your diet, you may find yourself faced with a common dilemma: fresh or canned? While fresh tomatoes have long been regarded as the epitome of flavor and nutrition, canned tomatoes offer a compelling array of advantages that make them a kitchen essential. From their year-round availability and extended shelf life to their convenience and intensified flavors, canned tomatoes have continued to carve a place for themselves in countless culinary creations.

In this ultimate guide to canned tomatoes, we will delve into the reasons why canned tomatoes deserve a spot in your pantry, from their availability and convenience to flavor and nutritional benefits. So, let’s uncover the wonders of canned tomatoes and discover why they are more than just a practical alternative to their fresh counterparts.

Why should you use canned tomatoes?

Canned tomatoes are available year-round, regardless of the tomato season. This allows you to enjoy the flavor and benefits of tomatoes in your dishes even when fresh tomatoes are out of season or not readily accessible. They are also convenient to use as they are pre-cooked, peeled, and often diced or crushed. This can save you time and effort in preparing dishes that require tomatoes as an ingredient.

Furthermore, canned tomatoes are often more affordable than fresh tomatoes, especially when the latter is out of season or in regions where they are not locally grown. This makes canned tomatoes a cost-effective option for adding tomato flavor to your dishes.

Environmental impact 

Canned tomatoes can be more environmentally friendly than fresh tomatoes in certain circumstances. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Reduced food waste: Fresh tomatoes have a relatively short shelf life and can spoil quickly if not consumed or refrigerated promptly. This can lead to significant food waste if not managed properly. Canning allows tomatoes to be preserved for extended periods, reducing the likelihood of spoilage and minimizing food waste.
  • Extended availability: Canned tomatoes provide a consistent and readily available source of tomatoes throughout the year, even when fresh tomatoes are out of season. This reduces the demand for out-of-season fresh tomatoes, which often require long-distance transportation and energy-intensive greenhouse production methods. By opting for canned tomatoes during the off-season, consumers can reduce the environmental impact associated with the production and transportation of fresh tomatoes.
  • Efficient transportation: Canned tomatoes are generally more compact and have a longer shelf life, allowing for more efficient transportation and reduced carbon emissions. Transporting fresh tomatoes often involves refrigerated trucks or air transportation to maintain their quality and freshness, which can have a higher carbon footprint compared to canned tomatoes that can be transported at ambient temperature.
  • Reduced water usage: Tomato cultivation requires significant amounts of water, particularly in regions with water scarcity. Canning tomatoes can help reduce water usage by preserving tomatoes that may otherwise be discarded due to imperfections or surplus supply. Additionally, canned tomatoes often require less water for processing and canning compared to fresh tomato production, which involves washing, sorting, and packing.
  • Reduced packaging waste: While packaging materials are required for canned tomatoes, they are typically more efficient in terms of weight and volume compared to the packaging used for fresh tomatoes. Canned tomatoes also have a longer shelf life, which means they can be stored without the need for additional packaging or preservation techniques, such as plastic wraps or coatings.

Health benefits

Canned tomatoes can offer several health benefits, so here are some of the key health benefits you should know about.

  • Nutrient-rich: Canned tomatoes are packed with essential nutrients, and are a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as minerals like potassium and folate. These nutrients contribute to a healthy immune system, support eye health, and help maintain overall well-being.
  • Lycopene content: Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant and carotenoid pigment responsible for their red color. Canned tomatoes are actually known to have higher levels of lycopene compared to fresh tomatoes. Lycopene has been linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer, including prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. It also has potential cardiovascular benefits and may help protect against heart disease.
  • Antioxidant properties: Canned tomatoes contain various antioxidants (such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and flavonoids) which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. This can support overall health and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including certain cancers and cardiovascular conditions.
  • Nutritional stability: The canning process used for tomatoes helps preserve their nutritional value. Canned tomatoes retain their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants over time, making them a reliable source of nutrients even during off-seasons when fresh tomatoes may not be as readily available or affordable.
  • Cooking benefits: Cooking tomatoes enhances their nutritional benefits by making the lycopene and other antioxidants more bioavailable, meaning they are easier for the body to absorb and utilize.

How to use canned tomatoes in the kitchen

Canned tomatoes are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes to add a burst of flavor and richness. Let’s wrap up this ultimate guide to canned tomatoes with some of our favorite ways to use them in the kitchen.

A big shoutout to Tomato Wellness members for some of these amazing recipes!


In the world of culinary choices, the decision between fresh and canned tomatoes often arises. While fresh tomatoes have long been cherished for their taste and nutritional value, canned tomatoes offer a range of advantages that make them a practical and flavorful option. From their environmental impact to astounding health benefits, canned tomatoes are one pantry staple you should always have on hand. 

TPWC Member Highlight: Los Gatos Tomatoes

TPWC Member Highlight: Los Gatos Tomatoes

Get the scoop on Tomato Wellness member, Los Gatos Tomatoes. We are proud to have this company as part of the Tomato Wellness Family!

For over three decades, Los Gatos Tomato Products has earned a reputation for their commitment to customers and the environment as an industry-leading supplier of high-quality tomato paste. Their strong commitment to the industry, coupled with a focus on long-term relationships with customers and growers, make it an honor to profile this Tomato Wellness founding member.

Los Gatos Tomato Products was established in 1991 in the heart of Western Fresno County with the objective of growing and harvesting tomatoes from the most productive growing region in the world with a singular focus on producing high-quality tomato paste. Presently, four families with multi-generational farming operations and deep roots in agriculture serve as both committed growers and owners with shared values and commitment to a sustainable future.

The location of the processing facility is environmentally advantageous because of the short transit time from field to processing, with the majority of tomatoes grown within a close proximity to the plant. Long term relationships with growers and customers allows for alignment in the production of high-quality tomato paste tailored to customer needs and specifications.  

The dedicated team at Los Gatos Tomato Products has built their reputation on quality and consistency over the years. Their customers have come to rely on a trusted supply of high-quality tomato paste for their products.

We applaud the values of Los Gatos Tomato Products as an authentically quality and sustainably minded processor and appreciate their contributions to our industry.

Try one of their tomato products in some of our favorite recipes!

Creamy Tomato Baked Mac and Cheese
Pizza Soup
Crockpot Chicken Burrito Bowl

TPWC Member Highlight: California Tomato Growers Association

TPWC Member Highlight: California Tomato Growers Association

Get the scoop on Tomato Wellness member, California Tomato Growers Association. We are proud to have this company as part of the Tomato Wellness Family.

The California Tomato Growers Association has been supporting growers and the processing tomato industry since 1947 to ensure the stability, viability, and prosperity of the processed tomato industry. The CTGA is involved in every phase of the state’s processing tomato industry, from the economics of establishing a fair price to involvement with international trade, technological advances, public policy advocacy, and assisting growers with all aspects of their production and marketing. They recognize that after the growers’ hard work and expense of raising a crop, fair grading is essential. For this reason, the CTGA worked to form the California Processing Tomato Advisory Board and continues to be involved in this service today.

They also understand that scientific and technological discoveries allow growers to prosper in the highly competitive global tomato business. Therefore, in conjunction with the California Tomato Research Institute and private and public agencies, the CTGA has supported and assisted with a broad range of tomato-related research efforts. This research gives the grower the edge to produce a tomato crop second to none. Finally, their advocacy work for policies like the Bracero Farm Worker Program, which enables workers from Mexico to work here in the United States to support their families through a work permit, really sets them apart when it comes to assisting all aspects of the tomato processing industry. It helps to know that with the support of an organization such as this, the industry remains prosperous, the growers are taken care of, and the quality of the product is ensured.

We absolutely admire the CTGA and their passion for their members, industry, and products. Join us in honoring an exceptional organization.

To show your appreciation, order extra red sauce on your pasta or pizza tonight or try one of their tomato products in some of our favorite recipes! 

Crockpot Chicken Burrito Bowl
Slow Cooker Chili
Sloppy Joes

Best soup recipes for fall and winter

Best soup recipes for fall and winter

Looking to warm up during the cooler months? Here are the best soup recipes for fall and winter that are also dietitian approved. 

There’s nothing quite like a comforting bowl of tomato soup to warm your soul, which is why these hearty soups are a nutritious option that will leave you feeling cozy. Additionally, these soups have ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen (like canned and jarred tomatoes), making them an easy option to whip up on any weeknight.

Thanks to the canned tomatoes, these recipes are heart healthy options that are also teeming with nutrients. And, since tomato sauce is rich in lycopene, it also contributes to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, as research shows that tomato products play an important role in preventing platelet aggregation (i.e. reducing the amount of blood clots that can lead to cardiovascular diseases). Additionally, tomato products can improve cholesterol by improving lipid profiles, as studies have found that consumption has lead to a significant decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as body weight and fat percentage.

So, go ahead and enjoy the following categories in this recipe collection: 

  • instant pot soup recipes
  • crockpot soup recipes
  • vegetarian soup recipes
  • vegan soup recipes

Your heart, soul, and taste buds will thank you. Bon appetite!


Best soup recipes for fall and winter

These hearty soup recipes are sure to warm your soul during fall and winter.