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Tinned tomatoes are found in most pantries and a key ingredient in many recipes. Tomatoes with their tangy taste and red colouring enhance the flavour of any dish.

One of the world’s most cultivated crops, tinned tomatoes (and their fresh counterparts) are a key ingredient in many country’s traditional cuisine and feature prominently in stews, soups and sauces.

Did you know?

The key ingredient in tomatoes is lycopene, is a powerful antioxidant. When tinned tomatoes are heated, the concentration of lycopene increases, making them a powerhouse of nutritional benefits, too.

Here are some recipes, from Samuel Goldsmith’s The Tinned Tomatoes Cookbook

Holiday Pasta

This recipe is ideal for the end of the month when stocks are running low but chances are you’ll have tinned tomatoes and a can of tuna in the pantry.


serves 4

  • 2 x 145g tins of tuna (preferably in oil)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 500g dried pasta
  • 1 small jar roasted red (bell peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes with mixed herbs (if possible)
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs if using tomatoes without herbs)

Drain the tuna, reserving 2 tablespoons of oil from the tins. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and fry for 8–10 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, usually around 9–10 minutes/

Meanwhile, stir the roasted red peppers, if using, into the onions and cook for a few minutes before stirring in the tinned tomatoes, mixed herbs, if using, and the tuna. Cook for 5 minutes to thicken a little.

Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the pasta cooking water. Mix the sauce into the pasta with a splash or two of the reserved water

Chicken Taco-style Rice Pot

All your favourite flavours of a chicken taco, but in a rice pot. If you can’t find taco seasoning, fajita seasoning works well, too.


serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 400g skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 x 25g sachet of taco seasoning (or fajita seasoning)
  • 150g long-grain rice
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 150g frozen sweetcorn kernels

To serve:

  • Spoonfuls of sour cream
  • 50g cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • Handful of chopped coriander

Heat the oil in a large frying pan with a lod over a gently heat. Add the onion and fry to 10–12 minutes or until softened but not golden.

Stir in the sliced chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until beginning to brown. Turn the heat up a little and stir in the red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes to soften, then mix in the taco seasoning and cook for 30 seconds.

Stir in the rice to coat it in the oil and seasoning, then pour in the tinned tomatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer, pop on the lid and cooks for 15–18 minutes or until the rice is just cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Check on it every few minutes to check the stock hasn’t evaporated; if necessary, add a splash of water.

Stir in the frozen sweetcorn kernels and cook for a few more minutes.

Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream and a scattering grated cheese and chopped coriander.

Makhani Sauce

This is a great basic curry sauce to have up your sleeve to elevate your Friday-night fakeaways. You can make a ready-to-indulge batch and keep it in the freezer.


serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely grated
  • Thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon chilli power
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes or plum tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter or 50g cashews, blended to a fine paste (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
  • 46 tablespoons double cream
  • Handful of chopped coriander to serve

Heat the oil in a frying pan or saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry until soft and beginning to brown, about 6–8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes before stirring the spices. Cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon if using plum tomatoes along with half a tinful of water, followed by the cashew butter and sugar. Cook for 20–30 minutes or until thickened.

Add 4 tablespoons of the cream and stir through. Taste the sauce and decide whether you’d like the sauce to be creamer. If so, add the remaining 2 tablespoon of cream. Scatter over the chipped coriander before serving.

Find more meal ideas and recipes in our food category.

About the book

The Tinned Tomatoes Cookbook features 100 everyday recipes using the most versatile ingredient in your kitchen. This will soon become the most-used cookbook in your kitchen. Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers, it is available at most bookstores and online.

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