Whether you're a full-time student, a nine-to-fiver, or on a budget, you'll probably welcome ideas for quick, simple one-pot dinners made with cheap, household staples. If you're tired of spaghetti and jarred pasta sauce, canned tomatoes and beans are all you need to throw together a delicious meal on the cheap without dirtying too many dishes.
Both ingredients are pre-cooked, budget-friendly, and have extensive shelf lives, making them the perfect sweet and savory, protein and carbohydrate-rich foundation for an endless variety of one-pot dinners. While a pot of meat or veggie chili or simple charro beans may come to mind when you think of canned beans and tomatoes, novel recipes have emerged that use completely different beans, flavors, and methodology.
Instead of stovetop soups and stews, you can use a Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet to create an oven-baked bean dish. Baking beans and tomatoes changes their flavor and texture; you'll get a thicker, creamier, and more cohesive texture with richer umami and sweetness from the tomatoes and a caramelized savoriness from the beans. Furthermore, you have a variety of beans and tomatoes to choose from, so you could create a different variation of one-pot baked beans for every day of the week.
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Endless Dinner Possibilities
Baking beans and tomatoes into a one-pot dinner unleashes novel flavors and textures that require only a few extra ingredients to mold them into any global cuisine. Whether you want Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern, or Mediterranean, there's a bean and tomato foundation for it and a spice, aromatic, dairy, or vegetable pairing that brings it all together.
An Italian twist on baked tomatoes and beans uses cannellini white beans, whole canned tomatoes, fresh Italian herbs, onions, and fresh mozzarella for a flavor profile similar to lasagna. You can eat it plain, or pair it with crusty bread. If you're more in the mood for Middle Eastern or North African food, you could bake garbanzos and crushed fire-roasted tomatoes in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven with cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, ginger, onion, garlic, raisins, and green olives for a twist on the classic tagine. For a Mexican baked casserole, you could use Ro-Tel canned tomatoes and green chilies, black beans, canned corn, taco seasoning, and Oaxacan cheese. Then, spoon the result onto fresh tortillas or over a bed of corn chips.
Another sweet-and-savory American-inspired variation could consist of canned pork and beans with crushed tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions, a jar of sweet barbecue sauce, brown sugar, and thick-cut bacon pieces for a crispy top. No matter what cuisine you have in mind, there's a bean and tomato casserole to fit the mold.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.