As far as storage goes, according to the Agriculture Department, “Most shelf-stable foods are safe indefinitely. In fact, canned goods will last for years, as long as the can itself is in good condition (no rust, dents, or swelling).” Don’t worry too much about the dates, the agency says. These indicate peak quality, but know that low-acid canned foods such as beans, corn, peas and green vegetables can be stored for two to five years. High-acid foods, such as tomatoes, should be consumed within 12 to 18 months.
Easy pantry recipes for quick and thrifty meals
If you’re looking for ideas on how to make the most of some common canned vegetables, check out these recipes from our archives.
Mushroom Dumplings. Keep a stash of these dumplings, which use canned mushrooms and canned bamboo shoots, in the freezer. You’ll thank yourself later.
Mushroom, White Bean and Rice Skillet, pictured at top. In addition to canned mushrooms, this cozy recipe uses canned white beans, a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup and French’s crispy fried onions, for a little green bean casserole vibe.
Wine-Braised Chicken With Mushrooms. I adapted my mom’s version of our family recipe to use fresh mushrooms, but canned will work just as well here. Use as many as you want; the amount is not that consequential.
A guide to cooking mushrooms, for lovers and skeptics alike
Baked Tomatoes, Shrimp and Chickpeas With Feta and Breadcrumbs. Canned tomatoes in a variety of forms are a must-have in my pantry, especially as they’re more reliable than what you can buy fresh at the store for much of the year. Here, whole peeled tomatoes form the basis of a sauce in an elegant skillet meal.
Chicken Wings With Tomatoes (Mbawa Ya Tomati). You won’t be able to get enough of these one-pot chicken wings, which employ a can of diced tomatoes.
How to make chicken wings — fried, air-fried or baked — with sauces to match
No-Fry Eggplant Parmesan. Canned crushed tomatoes are so great when you want to satisfy your red-sauce craving, and this dish is no exception. You’ll find similar sauces in Sicilian Slab and my Sausage, Spinach and Goat Cheese Lasagna.
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Corn Pudding. This dish will remind you of a souffle without all the fuss. Use canned, fresh or frozen corn.
Corn and Cheese Oatmeal With Crispy Pepperoni. Sweet, plump kernels of corn are lovely in a savory oatmeal that channels the spirit of risotto.
Sheet Pan Chow Mein. It can be hard to find baby corn in any way other than canned, so put it to good use in this fun, ingenious and meatless dish. Baby corn also plays into Must-Go Edamame Salad. For more noodles, see Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles With Green Beans, which highlight much-maligned canned green beans.
Easy Chickpea Curry. Canned beans pack a lot of nutrition into an inexpensive little package. In this curry, chickpeas share the spotlight with potatoes in a cilantro-and-tomato sauce.
Roasted Potato Wedges With Black Bean Chili. Jarred salsa and canned black beans make for a quick topping in what is sort of a riff on chili fries.
White Bean Soup With Calabrian Chile Oil. Pureeing beans for dips or soups is a great idea. This soup amps up cannellini beans with Calabrian chile oil and Parmesan rinds.
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches. Sure, it’s technically a fruit, but since you often use it in savory settings, I’m rolling with jackfruit in a vegetable roundup. Since it behaves similar to pulled meat, you’ll appreciate it in these fit-for-summer sandwiches.
Jackfruit or Chicken Tinga. Go meatless (or not) with a saucy tinga you can pile into tacos, onto tostadas or over rice or cabbage.
Chipotle Jackfruit and Black Bean Tacos. Here’s another twofer, showcasing canned jackfruit and black beans, plus canned chipotle sauce.