Culinary Uses for Leftover Juice From Canned Tomatoes

The juice from canned tomatoes is just as useful as the tomatoes. (Photo: marco mayer/Shutterstock).

Sometimes when a recipe calls for canned tomatoes, the directions say to drain the liquid from the tomatoes before using them. The tomato juice that’s leftover is useful, and it gets wasted when poured right down the drain. What can be done with it? There are so many possibilities.


Reserve the fresh juices in a non-plastic container (the tomato juice will stain plastic containers), refrigerate and use within a day or two.

  • Use the juice to make Spanish or Mexican rice.
  • Make gazpacho and add it to the soup.
  • Throw it into a pot of meatballs or sausages that are simmering in sauce.
  • Add some spices to it and drink it as tomato juice.
  • Use it to make Tomato Herb Salad Dressing.
  • Add it to meatloaf.


If you’re not going to use the juice from the drained tomatoes in the next day or two, freeze the leftover juice in ice cube trays. Once it’s frozen, pop the cubes out and keep them in a freezer-safe container for use in a variety of ways.

  • Use them in place of regular ice cubes in a Bloody Mary.
  • Throw them in the pot along with beef or vegetable broth when making soups for added flavor.
  • Add to the water when cooking pasta that will be topped with a tomato-based sauce. It will add more flavor to the end dish.
  • Throw them into the pot when you’re making veggie or beef stock.
  • Blend them in a smoothie or shake.

I am sure there are many other ways to use up leftover tomato juice that’s been drained from canned tomatoes. If you have any ideas, add them in the comments section, please.