The Canned Shortcut You Should Be Using For Weeknight Soups And Stews

It's easy to feel pressured when making dinner on a weeknight to choose between healthy and quick, especially when it comes to making soups and stews. Some may suggest using a crockpot to aid in the cooking process, but there is still lots of prep work to be done first, such as peeling, chopping, and dicing vegetables. And that's not even including the time it takes to clean up all of the peels that landed on the table and the floor.

The secret to saving time while making a soup or a stew may lie in a pantry ingredient that, if you don't already have, you may want to buy and have on hand to save time when making a weeknight meal. One of the biggest guilty parties for requiring a lot of TLC before cooking is the potato. Delicious, filling, and nutritious, the potato is a frequent and much-loved ingredient in soups and stews. But they are also a source of frustration for the time-crunched cook who has to wash them, peel them, wash them again, and then cut them up. 

So, it's good to know that there is an easy swap for those spuds.

Save time with canned potatoes

Whether you are making your stew or soup on the stove or in a slow cooker, instead of prepping a pound of potatoes, grab a can of new potatoes and save on time, but not skimp on flavor. Canned new potatoes contain baby potatoes that have been dug up from the field, according to Loaves and Dishes. After being harvested, the small potatoes are canned. There is no need to cook canned potatoes as they have already been cooked before they were placed in the can.

Wipe Open Eats is a fan of using canned, new potatoes because they maintain their texture while being incorporated into recipes, such as homemade ham and potato chowder. Even with this shortcut, the chowder still is chunky. Don't feel limited to chowder, canned potatoes are suitable for use in any potato soup. For a thick and satisfying stew that takes less time to make, Allrecipes recommends using one 15-ounce can of new potatoes that have been drained and quartered. Some other benefits of using canned new potatoes, per Wide Open Eats, are that they are inexpensive and have a long shelf life. However, they tend to be salty, so remember to adjust the recipe's seasoning accordingly. It's also important to drain the potatoes and then pat them dry to avoid the chance of mushy potatoes.

Next time you want to make soup or stew, save some time and open a can of new potatoes for a delicious weeknight meal.