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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Oven-roasted canned tomatoes

We are nowhere near fresh tomato season, here. My plants in the garden have only recently been set out. But, oven-roasted tomatoes are still a possibility, at this time of year.

Remember all of those canned tomatoes that I bought in the fall? Okay, so you don't remember. But I do. They stare me in the face every time I step into the pantry.

Here is a delicious way to use those canned, whole tomatoes. Yes, I did say CANNED tomatoes!

Oven-roasted Canned Tomatoes

4 to 5 cups of canned, whole, peeled tomatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons of oil (olive or vegetable, but olive will taste even better)
pinch of black pepper
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 F

Fill a sieve or strainer with canned tomatoes, over a dish (I use a glass pie plate).

Cut tomatoes in half, lengthwise. Gently squeeze out juice and seeds over the bowl or plate. Save those juices!

Place tomato halves, cut side up, single layer, in a jelly roll pan (baking sheet with rim) or shallow roasting pan. Place the largest tomato halves in the corners and around the edges of the pan (for more even roasting).

Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with pepper and salt.

Roast for 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven. Turn tomatoes over.
Remove any very caramelized tomatoes from the baking sheet.

Reduce oven temp to 325 F. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove very caramelized tomatoes.

Bake another 15 minutes. Adjust time, as needed, for your oven and pan. If your oven has a "hot spot", or if your pan is warped, you may need to turn pan around, and/or redistribute the juices by tilting pan for a few seconds.

Scoop tomatoes and juices into a glass bowl. Sprinkle with herbs, as desired (minced basil, parsley, fresh thyme, oregano, fresh rosemary, garlic powder).

Serve immediately as a warm side dish. Or cool, to serve at room temperature.

I love these, sliced and added to sandwiches. Really delish! Feast your mind on this -- pocket bread, filled with avocado, roasted canned tomatoes, sprouts, grated mozzarella. Or, turkey breast, on wheat bread smeared with roasted garlic, roasted canned tomatoes and fresh baby spinach. I'm getting hungry for lunch already!

These roasted tomatoes also make a wonderful, rich addition to pasta dishes and salads, and cooked rice dishes, chopped and tossed in.

Puree with an immersion blender, for a rich sauce for pasta (add back some of the reserved straining liquid), or, to make roasted tomato soup (add some chicken or veggie stock).

Chilled and sliced into long strips, these oven-roasted tomatoes are a family favorite for topping Italian salads. Some Romaine lettuce, olives, garbanzo beans, crusty homemade croutons, mozzarella/provolone cheese and these tomatoes.

Save the liquid from straining and juicing the tomatoes to add to marinara sauce, soup or for part of the liquid in cooking rice.

Do not discard the oil from the roasted tomatoes! It is infused with tomato-ey goodness. Use as the oil in dressing cold or hot pasta, or for drizzling over toasted French bread, before adding any other toppings.

If you have any left, store the roasted tomatoes in a glass bowl in the fridge, for up to 5 days.

Buon appetito!



  1. Lili--

    What a wonderful idea! I'm a little short on veggies today (limited local grocery options) AND I have a few cans of whole tomatoes I don't use for anything that were purchased accidentally because they look just like crushed tomatoes (which I use all the time). I know I could just crush these, too, but it always seems silly not to save them for something they are meant for. Now, I know something to make out of them!

    Thanks! Sara

    1. Hello, again, Lili, et al--
      Anyone who's considering this, definitely DO try it. I made some tonight, and they were delicious! I had to leave the house, so I turned the heat down to 350, roasted them for an hour, turned them over, and left them an hour and a half in the oven as it cooled. I only did peanut oil, pressed garlic, salt and pepper, but they are delicious.
      I enjoyed one tonight with my supper, and think I'll use a couple in omelettes in the morning with some leftover Italian sausage. The rest I think might make a nice base for salsa.
      YUUUUUUMMMMY! Thanks, again, Lili! Sara

    2. Hi Sara,
      I'm so glad that you enjoyed them! I snack on them straight out of the bowl. But also, I am a huge fan of oven-roasted tomatoes on sandwiches. I had an open-faced broiled cheese sandwich the other day, topped with the tomatoes. And I wound up using the oil from my latest batch to top focaccia.

      I think they'd be super yummy in salsa!

  2. Now this is something I've never done--roast canned tomatoes. I've only done fresh ones.Thanks for the idea.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      If you happen to have some canned, whole tomatoes, give it a try. I think you'd like them, given that you enjoy other veggies roasted.

  3. I often make something like this with fresh
    tomatoes that aren't quite ripe - but I put in
    balsamic vinegar and, if I have it, basil.

    1. Hi Barbara,
      Oh, now with balsamic vinegar! Yummy! I'll try that. hanks for the idea.

  4. Wonder if I can do the same to diced tomatoes? I have 13 cans to use by the end of May (expiration date). Bought it at a good price from Costco or Sam's.


    1. Hi YHF,
      I think you could roast the diced ones, too. You might need to watch and stir. But you could try it with one can just to see how you liked it. Might be really delicious tossed with pasta.

      Did you know that you can open those cans and freeze the contents? It would give you several more months to deal with them all. I freeze canned tomatoes to use later in cooking all of the time. that's how I deal with those super large institutional-size cans of tomatoes. I freeze in recipe-sized quantities.


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