The Best Ways To Use Leftover Juice From Canned Tomatoes

If you're a tomato fan, then you know how versatile this juicy fruit really is. And if you're a bonafide tomato lover, then any time you try a recipe that directs you to drain a can of tomatoes, you always save the tasty juices left behind instead of pouring them out. Not only are you preventing precious ingredients from going to waste, but you're also ready to complement a future dish with an added burst of flavor. Just seal your extra tomato juice in an airtight box or jar — make sure you know the easiest way to remove tomato stains from your favorite containers — and it will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Or, if you'd prefer to preserve the juice for a while longer, leave a half-inch of empty space in the container before freezing it to save room for expansion, and it will stay fresh anywhere from 8 months to a year.

Once you're ready to use your leftover canned tomato juices, the possibilities are endless. Whether you're working with Ina Garten's favorite canned tomatoes or the first thing you found on the store shelf, there's always something delicious to create with a little help from this miracle liquid.

Tomato juice adds a richer flavor to starches, proteins, and more

Any starch-based dishes, especially rice or pasta recipes that already call for tomatoes or tomato-compatible flavors, are perfect for soaking up that tangy zing from your tomato juice. Couscous, quinoa, and risotto are all excellent choices, as well, and they can be cooked directly in the boiling juices with some extra stock or water. The "same goes for many soup broths — just add the juice and cut down on the water by that same amount," advises HowStuffWorks

If you're more in the mood for a protein, you can instead sear some chicken, pork, or fish, then remove it from the skillet and use the remaining crusty bits to create a tasty pan sauce with butter, tomato juices, and your favorite seasonings. And to wash it all down, what about drinking your surplus tomato juice? Depending on how you season it, you could turn it into a sweet fruit juice, refreshing smoothie, or even some flavored ice cubes to sink into a Bloody Mary. 

Tomato juice is packed with a zesty acidity and mild sweetness that makes it the perfect addition to an array of your favorite foods and drinks. Plus, tomatoes boast essential vitamins and antioxidants — enough benefits to categorize them as a superfood. Clearly, saving the juice from your canned tomatoes could mean the difference between an appetizing dinner feast and a mouthwatering, full-bodied, nutrient-rich plate of heaven.