Is anyone wondering why I am publishing a list of our favorite canned vegetables? There’s a good reason. We’ve been talking about building food storage, and one of the topics we discussed was canned foods. So, for today’s post, I thought it might be nice to give a list of our favorite canned vegetables. Some of these vegetables are universally liked by every member of our household, but others are favored by just a few. Regardless, each of these vegetables has a place reserved in our pantry. By having a few cans of each, it’s easy to put together a variety of meals without having to run to the store for ingredients.
I realize that some of the “vegetables” on this list are technically “fruits,” but lets not get hung up on semantics. I placed them on this list because most people think of them as vegetables.
1. Artichoke Hearts
Artichoke hearts are one of the more “exotic” vegetables that we keep in our pantry. These are great added to a pasta dish, scattered on top of a homemade pizza, sprinkled on a salad, or used to make artichoke dip. We try to keep at least one can, or jar, of plain artichoke hearts as well as one of marinated artichoke hearts in the pantry at all times.
A very large section of my pantry is devoted to beans. We also keep dried beans in our pantry, but canned beans have their place, too. It’s convenient to have canned beans ready at a moments notice to add to soups, chili, or pasta dishes.
We keep a variety of different types of beans which includes:
- Pinto Beans
- Kidney Beans
- Black Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
- Ranch Style Beans
- Baked Beans
Beans are an amazingly versatile ingredient. In addition to the ideas listed above, beans make a great addition to salads and can be transformed into dips. I love having some cans of beans on hand at all times.
This one might cause some raised eyebrows. Beets are one of those vegetables that people have strong opinions about. I don’t fill an entire shelf with canned beets, but I like to have at least one can of sliced beets and one can of julienne beets on hand. They make great additions to salads, are delicious pickled, and I’ve even used them to make a gelatin dessert that I really like and a chocolate beet cake. Yes, I said a chocolate beet cake.
Corn is one of the canned vegetables that my friends universally agree is good. I like to keep canned corn on hand to add to salads, stir into soups, add to cornbread, and, of course, serve as a side dish with dinner. I prefer the whole kernel corn in cans, but I usually have one can of creamed style corn in the pantry, too. It’s great for adding to cornbread, but if you drain the whole kernel corn and mix it with the cream style corn, you get a cheater’s version of creamed corn that’s got more substance than the canned cream style corn alone.
5. Green Beans
Green Beans are popular with everyone in our household. Canned green beans can be used to make a green bean casserole, sauteed with onions and garlic, or they can be added to salads. Green beans make a great addition to soups, too. I generally prefer to buy cut green beans, but on occasion, I will pick up some French style green beans which are cut lengthwise into smaller little strips.
6. Green Chiles
I love having cans of diced green chiles in my pantry. They’re a quick way to add flavor to chili, southwestern inspired soups and casseroles, and enchiladas. In addition to the diced green chiles, I also like to have at least on can of whole green chiles on hand. These can be added to grilled sandwiches or burgers to create something with an entirely different flavor than the original.
7. Green Peas
Green Peas are another really versatile vegetable to have on hand. These can be added to a salad, served as a side dish, turned into a delicious salad, or added to a pasta dish or scrambled eggs. Peas are not my personal favorite, but everyone else in the house loves them, so I serve them often.
8. Mushroom Stems and Pieces
I was an adult before I ever tasted mushrooms because my mother was allergic to them. I must confess that I love them, especially raw mushrooms sliced on top of pizza or folded int an omelet. Fresh mushrooms don’t have a long shelf life, and one way to ensure that I always have mushrooms available is to have some canned ones in the pantry. Canned mushroom stems and pieces are a great addition to pasta dishes, soups, and even some casseroles.
Olives are a great way to add extra flavor to pasta dishes, they’re good in salads, and they’re a great addition to Southwestern or Latin inspired dishes. We use olives in our Zorbas and in Pork Chops Puttanesca. The picture shows sliced black olives, but we also buy whole black olives, Kalamata olives, and a variety of green olives. There’s always at least one open jar of olives in our refrigerator, so olives had to be on this list.
10. Pumpkin Puree
The obvious reason that one might think that pumpkin puree is on the list is to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, and all of the other goodies that people associate with fall. Those are good reasons to have pumpkin puree in your pantry, but it’s also delicious added to soups, stews, and sauces.
11. Sweet Potatoes
I admit that I prefer to have fresh sweet potatoes because it’s almost impossible to find canned sweet potatoes that aren’t in syrup, but I can almost always find them canned in light syrup which helps to cut down on added sugar. Canned sweet potatoes can be mashed up and used to make sweet potato pie, sweet potato bread, and sweet potato muffins, but they can also be transformed into delicious side dishes. Pineapple Sweet Potatoes are a favorite around here, and with a few modifications to the recipe, canned sweet potatoes can be used to make streusel topped sweet potato casserole.
Canned tomatoes are the vegetable that occupies the largest part of my canned food pantry. It’s because there are so many different types of canned tomatoes, and each of them has unique applications in the kitchen. In my pantry, you can almost always find at least on can of each of the following.
- Tomato Sauce
- Diced Tomatoes
- Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
- Diced Tomatoes with Italian Seasoning
- Stewed Tomatoes
- Whole Tomatoes
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Tomato Paste
These different types of tomatoes can be used for different recipes, and having a variety makes it that much easier to get dinner on the table. When I have home canned tomatoes, I usually only can them whole. This is because canning is hard work and that’s the easiest way to fill up those jars, but I can crush them, or break them apart into something that resembles diced tomatoes, after I pour them into a pot. Then, the only tomatoes I have to buy from the store are cans of tomato sauce and tomato paste.
We use canned tomatoes to make soup, chili, pasta sauce, dinner entrees, rice dishes, and vegetable sides. Here are a few of the recipes on this site which use canned tomatoes.
- Taco Skillet
- Creamy Tomato Soup
- Spicy Brussel Sprouts and Tomatoes
- Chicken Taco Casserole
- Italian Style Squash
- Creamy Tomato Sauce
- Minestrone Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Spanish Rice
- Chili con Carne with Beans
That’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as recipes using canned tomatoes go, so I think you can see why we keep so many canned tomatoes on hand in our pantry.
Other Specialty Vegetables
There are a few other vegetables that I like to keep in the pantry, but I try to limit myself to only one can of these because we don’t use them often enough. Those vegetables are:
- baby corn
- straw mushrooms
- bean sprouts
- water chestnuts
- bamboo shoots
We keep all of these on hand to add to stir fries to add different flavors and textures. The baby corn is delicious tossed into a Chinese Chicken Salad, too. Water chestnuts are delicious tossed into spinach dip.
That’s our list of our twelve favorite vegetables. What do you think? Occasionally, I buy cans of mixed vegetables, three bean salad, or potatoes, but those aren’t among the canned vegetables that I find myself reaching for most of the time.
Did we include your favorite canned vegetables on our list? Let us know by leaving a comment below. If you enjoyed this post, or found it educational, will you please consider sharing it on your social media, so we can reach more people? Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss a post.
Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.