When it comes to making homemade sauces, pizza, soups/stews and a ton of other recipes, canned tomatoes are an easy and affordable ingredient to use. They also have the added bonus of helping to hedge against seasonal shortages of tomatoes, ensuring that you can whip up your favorite meal any time of year. Head down any canned food isle in your local grocery, and the options are endless. It can also be a bit overwhelming. So it begs the question: with so many options, which brand of canned tomatoes are the best?
Before we get into the best of the best, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when it comes to canned tomatoes. Canned tomatoes can be a healthy addition to any recipe. They’re jam-packed with Vitamin C and fiber, and most canned tomatoes are also bound in lycopene, which offers impressive health benefits. Lycopene is an antioxidant found in most red fruits and vegetables, and helps protect your skin from the sun, and can lower the risk of cancer, eye, and heart related disease. Pretty neat, right?
For shoppers who are leery of buying canned goods due to the preconceived notion that they can be packed with harmful additives and preservatives, fear not. While sugar and sodium is commonly added to canned tomatoes, there are plenty of brands to be found with no additives, or all natural offerings. Just make sure to check out the label if concerns arise.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking to limit added preservatives, go for cans of whole-peeled tomatoes. Varieties that boast of being diced or crushed tend to have more additives to keep them fresh, and they also tend to be harder to breakdown when making sauces or soups. If theres one thing sure to mess up the consistency of a creamy sauce, it’s chunky lumps of tomato.
Canned tomatoes are healthy and versatile options for any dish that lend supreme flavor and wonderful texture. They can even be enjoyed on their own, right out of the can! If you’re looking to skew pre-made sauces, canned tomatoes are ideal for creating something from scratch.
We’ve been told for years that San Marzano tomatoes are the best of the best. And while they are certainly delicious, shoppers should be very wary of simply grabbing any can with a label promoting “San Marzano“. There are a bunch of brands that don’t advertise using San Marzano that are exceptional, delicious, and cheaper than their more heralded counterparts.
While canned tomatoes from Italy remain a sexy pick in general, don’t sleep on offerings from America. They’re generally cheaper, and just as tasty as their foreign imported counterparts.
The criteria for the best canned tomatoes comes down to taste, cooking functionality, and price. With that in mind, here are our top brands to know.