How to Cook Canned Vegetables - Food Vib - 2024

How to Cook Canned Vegetables

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Cooking canned veggies is a practical and time-saving alternative for adding nutritional components to your meals. Whether you want to cook a fast side dish or include veggies in a range of dishes, canned vegetables provide diversity and convenience of use. With just a few easy steps, you can convert canned veggies into delectable complements to your culinary masterpieces.

How to Cook Canned Vegetables
How to Cook Canned Vegetables

How to Cook Canned Vegetables

Canned veggies are a handy and budget-friendly way to add calories and taste to your meals. The good news is, they’re already cooked! So, making them is a breeze. Here’s how:

Gather your Supplies:

  • Can opener
  • Saucepan or microwave-safe bowl (based on your cooking method)
  • Spoon Strainer (optional)
  • Seasonings (optional)

Open the Can:

Use your can opener to safely open the can of veggies.

Drain and Rinse (optional):

Canned veggies are packed in liquid, which can be high in salt. If you’re watching your salt intake, you can drain the liquid using a sieve. Rinsing the veggies under running water can also help reduce some of the salt and remove any starch that might make them taste mushy. However, this step is unnecessary, and totally fine to skip if you don’t mind the extra salt.

Heat the Vegetables:

There are two main ways to heat canned vegetables:

Pot: Pour the vegetables and their liquid (or cleaned vegetables) into a pot. Heat over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until warmed through.

Microwave: Transfer the veggies and their liquid (or cleaned vegetables) to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a lid or paper towel with a small hole (to allow steam to escape). Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through.

Season (optional):

Canned veggies can taste a bit boring on their own. If you like, add a dash of your favorite spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder, or herbs to improve the taste.

Enjoy:

Your canned veggies are now ready to serve as a side dish, add to a stir-fry, soup, or any other recipe that calls for cooked vegetables.

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15 Quick and Easy Meals Using Canned Vegetables:

Canned veggies are a lifesaver in the kitchen. They’re cheap, last for ages, and can be whipped into delicious meals in no time. Here are 15 ideas to turn your pantry staples into tasty dishes:

1. Vegetable Stir-Fry:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can mixed veggies
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  •  1 onion, sliced
  •  Soy sauce to taste

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add garlic, bell pepper, and onion. Cook until softened.
  • Add canned veggies and soy sauce. Stir-fry for a few minutes until warm through.
  • Serve over rice or noodles.

Tips:

  • Customize with your favorite veggies and add protein like tofu or chicken for a heartier meal.

2. Minestrone Soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can mixed veggies
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  •  1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pasta
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a big pot, sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add canned veggies, chopped tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer.
  • Stir in pasta and Italian spice. Cook until pasta is soft.
  • Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Tips:

  • Garnish with chopped Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs for extra taste.

3. Veggie Quesadillas:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of corn kernels
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 4 big tortillas
  • Salsa and sour cream for serving

Directions:

  • Drain and rinse black beans and corn.
  • In a bowl, mix black beans, corn, and diced bell pepper.
  • Place a tortilla on a hot pan. Sprinkle with cheese and spoon the veggie combination on half of the bread.
  • Fold the tortilla in half and cook until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.
  • Repeat with leftover tortillas and filling.
  • Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Tips:

  • Add cooked chicken or avocado slices for extra nutrition and creaminess.

4. Pasta Primavera:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can mixed veggies
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  Parmesan cheese for serving

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • In a pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add canned veggies and cooked pasta to the pan. Toss to mix.
  • Serve with chopped Parmesan cheese on top.

Tips:

  • Use any pasta form you prefer and add fresh herbs for extra taste

5. Vegetable Fried Rice:

Ingredients:

  • Cooked rice
  • Canned mixed veggies
  • Soy sauce Eggs
  • Garlic powder
  • Sesame oil

Directions:

  • Heat sesame oil in a pan and beat eggs. Remove from pan and set away.
  • In the same pan, stir-fry canned mixed veggies with garlic powder.
  • Add cooked rice and soy sauce, then mix in beaten eggs.
  • Cook until warm through.

Tips:

  • Use day-old rice for better texture and taste. Add diced cooked chicken or shrimp for extra nutrition.

6. Black Bean Tacos:

Ingredients:

  • Canned black beans
  • Taco shells
  • Salsa
  •  Shredded cheese
  • Lettuce
  •  Avocado

Directions:

  • Heat canned black beans in a pan until warmed through.
  • Fill taco shells with beans, salsa, chopped cheese, lettuce, and avocado.

Tips:

  • Customize with your favorite taco toppings like sour cream or chopped tomatoes.

7. Corn and Bean Salad:

Ingredients:

  • Canned corn
  • Canned black beans
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Rinse and drain canned black beans and corn.
  • Chop red bell pepper, red onion, and cilantro.
  • Mix all items with lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Tips:

  • This salad can be served as a side dish or a topping for grilled chicken or fish

8. Tomato and White Bean Pasta:

Ingredients:

  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned white beans
  • Garlic
  • Olive 
  • oil
  •  Pasta Basil

Directions:

  • Sauté minced garlic in olive oil until brown.
  • Add canned diced tomatoes and rinsed white beans, then cook for a few minutes.
  • Toss with cooked pasta and fresh basil before serving.

Tips:

  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for extra taste. Use whole wheat pasta for added nutrition

9. Vegetable Curry:

Ingredients:

  • Canned chickpeas
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Curry powder
  • Onion
  •  Garlic
  • Ginger
  •  Rice

Directions:

  • Sauté chopped onion, garlic, and ginger in a pot.
  • Add curry powder and cook until fragrant.
  • Stir in canned diced tomatoes, rinsed beans, and coconut milk. Simmer until warm through.
  • Serve over cooked rice

Tips:

  • Adjust the spice amount to your taste. Add spinach or other greens for extra protein

10. Pea and Ham Soup:

Ingredients:

  • Canned peas
  • Canned diced ham
  •  Onion
  •  Carrot
  •  Celery
  •  Vegetable broth
  •  Thyme

Directions:

  • Sauté chopped onion, carrot, and celery in a pot until softened.
  • Add canned peas, diced ham, veggie broth, and thyme. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Blend the soup until smooth or leave it chunky, according to taste.

Tips:

  • Serve with toasted bread or a side salad for a cozy meal.

11. Tomato Basil Soup:

Ingredients:

  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Onion
  •  Garlic
  •  Vegetable broth
  •  Fresh basil
  •  Cream or coconut milk (alternative)

Directions:

  • Sauté chopped onion and crushed garlic in a pot until soft.
  • Add canned chopped tomatoes, canned tomato sauce, and veggie broth. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Stir in fresh basil and cream or coconut milk if wanted.

Tips:

  • Blend soup for a smoother consistency if desired. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches for a standard mix.

12. Chickpea Salad:

Ingredients:

  • Canned chickpeas
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Feta cheese
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh herbs (such as parsley or dill)

Directions:

  • Rinse and drain canned chickpeas, then put them in a bowl.
  • Add chopped cucumber, split cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, and crumbled feta cheese.
  • Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped fresh herbs.

13. Three Bean Chili:

Ingredients:

  • Canned kidney beans
  • Canned black beans
  • Canned pinto beans
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Onion
  •  Garlic
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin

Directions:

  • Sauté chopped onion and crushed garlic in a pot until yellow.
  • Add canned diced tomatoes, drained kidney beans, drained black beans, drained pinto beans, chili sauce, and cumin.
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally

Tips:

  • Top with chopped cheese, sour cream, and green onions. Serve with biscuits for a filling meal.

14. Mushroom and Pea Risotto:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 can of canned peas, drained and washed
  • 1 can of canned mushrooms, drained
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 cups veggie broth (or chicken stock)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  • In a pot, heat the veggie broth over medium heat until it’s boiling. Keep it warm on the stove throughout the cooking process.
  • In a big pan or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and crushed garlic, and sauté until they’re soft and fragrant about 3-4 minutes.
  • Begin adding the warm veggie broth to the pan, one ladleful at a time. Stir continuously and allow the rice to soak in the water before adding more. Keep the heat at medium-low so the rice cooks equally.
  • When the rice is cooked to your desired consistency and the veggies are warm through, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chopped Parmesan cheese until it’s melted and fully mixed into the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

  • Use low-sodium veggie soup to control the saltiness of the food.
  • Feel free to add other herbs or spices like thyme or red pepper flakes for extra taste.
  • Stir the rice frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and ensure even cooking.

15. Creamy Corn Chowder:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of creamed corn
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 cups of veggie broth
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Chopped fresh parsley for decoration (extra)

Directions:

  • Heat a little olive oil in a big pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sliced garlic. Sauté until onion becomes translucent and garlic is fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add diced potatoes to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Pour in veggie stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it cook until the potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add both cans of creamed corn and the can of whole kernel corn (drained) to the pot. Stir well to blend.
  • Let the soup boil for another 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to mix together.
  • Stir in heavy cream, and season with salt and pepper according to your taste. Let it cook for a few more minutes until warm through.
  • Once the soup is ready, ladle it into bowls. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if wanted.
  • Serve hot and enjoy your wonderful creamy corn soup!

Tips:

  • You can add cooked and diced bacon for extra taste if you like.
  • Feel free to add other veggies such as carrots or celery for more structure and taste.
  • If you prefer a thicker soup, you can mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot to help make the broth.
  • Leftovers can be saved in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat slowly on the stovetop, adding a little extra broth or cream if needed to fix the smoothness.
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The Benefits of Cooking with Canned Vegetables:

Canned veggies might not seem as fancy as fresh ones, but they have some surprising benefits that can make your cooking life easier and tastier:

1. Packed with Goodness:

Surprise! Canned veggies can be just as healthy as fresh or frozen. They’re picked at their peak freshness, locking in vitamins and minerals. While some vitamins like C might be lower due to the canning process, others like lycopene in tomatoes actually grow!

2. Budget-Friendly Bites:

Compared to fresh produce, canned veggies are usually softer on your pocket. This is especially true when fresh choices are out of season or expensive. Plus, you won’t lose money throwing away bad veggies.

3. Time-Saving Champs:

Chopping and making fresh veggies can take time. Canned veggies come pre-washed and chopped, saving you precious minutes in the kitchen. This makes them great for making up quick and healthy meals on busy days.

4. Year-Round Availability:

Unlike seasonal fresh fruit, canned veggies are your reliable friends all year long. No matter the weather, you can always have your favorite veggies on hand for soups, stews, casseroles, or simply enjoying on their own.

5. Long Shelf Life:

Canned veggies are masters of keeping. They can stay good for years on your pantry shelf, unlike fresh fruit that spoils fast. This means less food waste and more peace of mind knowing you have healthy options easily available.

So the next time you’re at the store, don’t underestimate the power of canned veggies! They’re an easy, cheap, and healthy way to add variety and taste to your meals.

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Conclusion:

Cooking canned vegetables can be a handy and healthy choice for busy people. By following the simple steps explained in this piece, you can easily make delicious and tasty meals using canned veggies. Whether you’re looking to whip up a quick side dish or add more veggies into your meals, canned vegetables offer variety and ease of preparation. Experiment with different spices and cooking methods to find your best way to enjoy these kitchen staples. With a little imagination and know-how, you can make canned veggies into filling and healthy meals for any event.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

You can find the best canned veggies in many places. Grocery shops like Walmart, Target, or your local supermarket usually have a range of choices. You can also check internet sellers like Amazon or specialty stores that focus on healthy or high-quality foods.

Yes, there are some frozen veggies that are best not cooked because they may lose their structure or taste. For example, canned pickles, olives, and artichoke hearts are already kept in brine or oil, so cooking them further may make them too soft or mushy.

Yes, you can cook canned veggies on the stove. Just open the can, pour the veggies into a pot, and heat them on the stove over medium heat until they're warm.

To make canned veggies crispy, drain them well and pat them dry with a paper towel to remove extra wetness. Then, spread them out on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven at a high temperature (around 425°F or 220°C) for 10-15 minutes until they are crispy. You can also toss them in a little oil or spices before baking for extra taste.

You can keep cooked canned vegetables in the fridge for about 3-4 days. After that, they may start to spoil and lose their quality. It's best to consume them within this timeframe to ensure they taste fresh and are safe to eat.


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