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.
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.
This vegetarian chili, which is also vegan and gluten-free, is packed with summery vegetables, including zucchini, peppers, corn, carrots, and tomatoes. Plus, the addition of steel cut oats gives it a “meaty” texture.
You can make this recipe from common pantry staples in very little time, especially if you've got leftover rice from another meal! Any mix of vegetables in your freezer will work. Feel free to get creative with what you toss in!
Packed with the nutrition and flavor power of tomatoes, you can whip up this 100% plant-based (vegan), gluten-free hummus recipe in seconds—relying mostly on shelf-stable, economical staples, such as canned tomatoes and chickpeas.
Whip up these crispy baja fish tacos with tomato-cabbage slaw, avocado crema, and a healthy dose of salsa in no time! Ready in 30 minutes, this is the perfect light, delicious meal ideal for any night of the week.
What could be more comforting than dipping bread into a bubbling hot dish of savory Marinara sauce laden with melted cheese? We’re not really sure, which is why this recipe for Cheesy Pizza Dip should be on your appetizer rotation this month.
Rise and shine! This easy, savory zesty tomato smoothie is like a healthy, nutrient-rich, alcohol-free Bloody Mary. Rich in lycopene—thanks to a whole can of tomatoes—it’s a great snack, post-exercise drink, and light breakfast.
Bring the quaint flavors or Europe to your kitchen with this recipe for ratatouille! This is a classic dish that is loaded with summer garden vegetables and lots of flavor. This stew originated in the Provence region of France near the Mediterranean Sea, and is a delicious entree enjoyed during any time of year.
An easy homemade salsa queso sauce turns pantry ingredient nachos into super flavorful, cheesy nachos. Top your chips with whatever ingredients you have on hand as well as this salsa queso sauce made with shredded cheddar cheese and fire roasted salsa.
This heartwarming veggie delight for Greek Style Braised Eggplant is cold-weather comfort food that takes your taste buds around the world! #KitchenTravel.
If you are looking for a vegetable power packed disk, look no further! The Greek Style Braised Eggplant is perfect for chillier months while still being incredibly healthy and tasty. This dish is very versatile as well, since it can be served as an appetizer with Italian bread, or as a side and main course depending on your crowd!
This plant based dish combines ingredients such as chickpeas, canned tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers that are sure to satisfy your Mediterranean cravings. Additionally, the chickpeas will help satiate as they are packed with protein! With the addition of garlic, turmeric and black pepper it will be a party in your mouth while providing your body with incredible anti-inflammatory benefits.
While this recipe has many delicious components, the real star is the addition of canned tomatoes. Not only do they add great flavor, but they also include plenty of nutrients! Tomatoes contain a substance called lycopene, which gives the tomato its vibrant color; it is also great for your skin, heart health, decrease risk for cancer and lung health. Additionally, they provide essential antioxidants that have been found to positively impact hypertension. Research suggests that this is because fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of antioxidants that work together and create a powerful chain of antioxidants. That’s why we love canned tomatoes! They are rich in antioxidants, and contain lycopene in addition to other phytochemicals (like beta carotene) that can work together to prevent disease.
So, what are you waiting for? Try out this recipe for maximum flavor and health!
Yield: 6 servings
Greek Style Braised Eggplant
This heartwarming veggie delight is cold-weather comfort food that takes your taste buds around the world! #KitchenTravel.
Cook Time20 minutes
Prep Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour15 minutes
1 ½ lbs. eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
salt, as needed
¼ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, deseeded and diced
1 carrot, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 dry bay leaves
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. dried oregano
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 (28 oz.) can chopped tomato
2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained but reserve the canning liquid
parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Place the eggplant in a colander over the sink. Sprinkle salt over the eggplant and set it aside for 20 minutes. Rinse the eggplant with water and pat dry.
Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe pan over medium high-heat. Add in the onion, bell pepper, and carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add in the garlic, bay leaves, paprika, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, and salt to taste. Continue cooking for 1 minute.
Add in the eggplant, tomatoes, chickpeas with reserved chickpea liquid. Mix to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover the pan and transfer it into the oven. Bake it for 45 minutes until the eggplant is very tender.
Remove the pan from the oven and uncover. Drizzle olive oil on top and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!
For other delicious tomato-based recipes, check out some of our favorites:
So easy, and yet so elegant. This recipe for Mediterranean Baked Fish allows your taste buds to travel the world, from the comfort of your own kitchen! #KitchenTravel
Your taste buds will be swimming in happiness with this Mediterranean Baked Fish recipe. Thanks to simple ingredients and a fast cook time, you can get this quick and healthy dinner on the table for any night of the week.
The flavor of the fresh cod fillets mixes beautifully with the artichokes, canned tomatoes and kalamata olives, and the feta cheese crumbles on top helps complete the Mediterranean taste. For those whom follow the Mediterranean diet this will fulfill all the components; high protein from the cod fillet, and packed with vegetables and olive oil for a low carb nutritious meal!
The canned tomatoes marry all the flavors together wonderfully. Canned tomatoes are a real powerhouse ingredient. Adding the bright red color comes from the nutrient of lycopene. Lycopene is rich in antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, and has been proven to protect the body against many chronic diseases. Similar to most nutrients, it’s more natural to obtain lycopene from foods rather than supplements. In order to achieve maximum health benefits associated with lycopene, it is recommended to consume tomato products with a heart healthy fat, such as olive oil or avocado. That’s why we recommend enjoying lycopene and its health benefits through delicious foods such as this recipe. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy some canned tomato products today!
Yield: 4 servings
Mediterranean Baked Fish
So easy, and yet so elegant. This dish allows your taste buds to travel the world, from the comfort of your own kitchen! #KitchenTravel
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
½ yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 (28 oz.) can chopped tomatoes
½ cup fresh chopped basil
salt and pepper, to taste
4 (4 oz.) cod filets
½ cup crumbled feta
1 (15 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained
4 oz. kalamata olives
2 Tbsp. capers
1 lemon, sliced
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe pan over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and saute until the onion turns translucent. Then mix in the canned chopped tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to just a boil then remove it from the heat.
Nestle the cod filets into the sauce and sprinkle the feta cheese on top. Add the artichokes into the sauce, in between the fish. Layer the lemon slices on top of the cod filets. Sprinkle the olives and capers on top.
Transfer the pan into the oven and bake it for 15-25 minutes or until the cod is fully cooked. Enjoy!
For other delicious tomato-based recipes, check out some of our favorites:
Here’s a perfect easy dish for your next Meatless Monday: Smoky Lentil Chili. The recipe is 100% plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free, perfect for everyone at your dining table. Lentils require no soaking, and cook up faster than beans. So, you can mix up the ingredients for this dish in a pot in just a few minutes, and let it bubble away for about an hour, and dinner is served! Just pair this chili with a salad and a serving of rustic whole grain bread or my Cumin Cornbread Muffins, and you have a balanced meal in no time. You can also throw all of these ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning, and a savory, fragrant meal will greet you when you come home at the end of the day. You can use an InstantPot to get the meal done even more quickly. I love to garnish this recipe with a handful of fresh cilantro and green onions. Or, let your dinner guests sprinkle it with plant-based cheese, avocado slices, Vegan Sour Cream, and tortilla strips for a hearty, delicious dish.
I featured this recipe at the KTLA 5 Morning Show recently, as the perfect recipe to help you go more plant-based for your healthy eating goals. The whole production crew just loved this chili! Vegetarian chili recipes, such as this one, are a great way to transition to a more plant-based lifestyle, as they are familiar foods. All you are doing is essentially skipping the meat, and relying on lentils for their nutritious, savory goodness. This recipe is just packed with flavorful spices and seasonings that will make even carnivores forget there is no meat in it!
Yield: 8 servings
Smoky Lentil Chili
1 pound small green lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
½ teaspoon dried mustard
½ teaspoon celery salt
Kosher salt, to taste
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped green onions
Place lentils, broth, water, tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, bell pepper, celery garlic, liquid smoke, chili powder, crushed red pepper, oregano, smoked paprika, parsley flakes, mustard, celery salt in a large pot. Stir well, cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about one hour.
When thick and tender, serve into bowls. Garnish each bowl with fresh cilantro and green onion.
InstantPot Directions: Place all ingredients (except cilantro and green onions) in the container of the InstantPot. Press “Bean/Chili” setting. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro and green onions.
Slowcooker Directions: Place all ingredients (except cilantro and green onions) in the container of the Slowcooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-12 hours. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro and green onions.