Use Leftover Tomato Soup to Make an Amazing Pasta Sauce

Use Leftover Tomato Soup to Make an Amazing Pasta Sauce

A while back I made some truly incredible tomato soup, from The No-Fuss Family Cookbook, that completely blew our minds. It tasted rich, restaurant quality, and we couldn’t get enough of it. Since it also had you make waffle dippers to go along with it we managed to leave about four cups of the soup uneatened which I stored in a canning jar in the fridge. I considered simply reheating the leftovers for the kids but worried they’d be disappointed with the meal as we had already consumed all of the waffle dippers and there wasn’t enough leftover soup to justify making another batch. Finally I decided to treat the soup like jarred tomato sauce and turned it into an amazing meat sauce for our pasta. It turned into an incredible meal that was enjoyed by all. As such I had to share the process with you in case you’re looking to use up some leftover tomato soup yourself or are looking for ways to change up your go to meat sauce.

Pinterest geared image showing the post's title. the main URL, and three images. The topmost image shows the stove top with a frying pan half filled with ground beef and diced red pepper. To the left its the jar of leftover tomato soup and to the right a pot filled with boiling pasta water. Underneath it sits two images. The leftmost shows the filled skillet this time with the meat sauce and, on the right, a bowl with macaroni topped with meat sauce.

The tomato soup recipe I used was taken from The No-Fuss Family Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Everyday Life by Ryan Scott that I had reviewed in this previous post here. It’s a simple recipe that has you throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker, keep it on high for four hours, and then blend together. I used an immersion blender making even that last step easy as I didn’t have to transfer the soup, in batches, into a blender. The only downside to the immersion blender was that sometimes it missed garlic chunks so I could see dicing them, the next time, before tossing them into the slow cooker but even then they still tasted fine. Technically, the recipe is a bit more complicated than that if you choose to make the accompanying waffle dippers that are essentially cheesy waffles cut into strips. The first time we devoured the waffle dippers and were left with only four cups of tomato soup. The resulting meat sauce I made from that soup was so good that the next time I doubled both the soup and the waffles. Those waffles dippers were served with smaller cups of soup, rather than larger bowls, so that there would be more leftover soup which could go towards another batch of meat sauce. That time the meat sauce was again eaten over pasta and then those leftovers were turned into a lasagna. So many great meals resulted from that double batch. Finally I made the soup a third time but this time skipped the waffles all together so that the meal was even quicker to make. That’s saying something when the kids were still excited with the thought of having this soup for supper even though there were no waffles to go with it. Like the last time I doubled the soup and this time served it with toast so we’d have lots of leftovers again (three and a half canning jars full!). One leftover jar became another batch of meat sauce, two went into the freezer (one became meat sauce a while later and the other stayed as soup), and the last half canning jar was mixed into leftover plain pasta and microwaved for an incredible simple and delicious meal for the girls. Anyway… enough about the soup as you’re here to see how I used it to make my meat sauce. And if you don’t have the soup don’t worry as you could simply do the same with some store-bought tomato soup or sauce and, if needed, add your normal go to seasonings.

I started out by grabbing my large pot, filled it with water, and started bringing it to a boil so I could cook a pound or two of pasta while the sauce simmered. Once the water was heating I grabbed my tall edged skillet and started heating it on the burner, under medium high heat, before tossing a pound or two of ground beef on. I used a wooden spoon to break the meat apart and mix it up while it cooked. I had some diced peppers in the fridge we needed to use so I tossed them in while the ground beef was cooking away along with a single diced garlic clove. Any veggies you may want cooked a bit more can be tossed in at this step.

Image shows a skillet with ground beef, red bell pepper, grease, and a wooden flipper. To the right is a boiling pot of pasta in water and to the left is an opened canning jar of leftover soup.
I started out browning my ground beef and added a bit of minced garlic and diced red peppers as it cooked. The great thing about using seasoned soup is that you don’t need to add too much seasonings to your meat to make an amazing sauce. During this process I brought water to a boil in a larger pot and started my pasta.

Once the ground beef was fully cooked it was time to pour the leftover four cups of soup into the pan. This is why I made sure I used a taller skillet rather than a short frying pan. I then added some water to the canning jar, added a lid, shook it up, and poured that over the skillet too so I didn’t waste any of the leftover soup. After stirring it all together to combine I brought it back to a boil, turned down the burner, and simmered it while the pasta finished boiling so the flavors would all meld together. At this time you could take a quick taste and confirm it’s to your preference or if you may want to add a final seasoning.

Image shows a closeup of the skillet with the wooden spatula laid in it. The sauce is orangey-red with floating bits of ground beef, red pepper, and spices in it.
I love how simple this sauce was to throw together and how I didn’t need to add tons of spices as the soup carried the dish.

Once the pasta was ready and the excess water was drained from the pasta with the strainer it was time to eat. This meat sauce was truly sublime on the pasta. I’m assuming part of this awesomeness could be attributed by the heavy cream in the original soup but the final sauce tasted so creamy and slightly as if we had already topped it with cheese even though we didn’t. We finished the food way too quickly and knew we needed to make it again!

Image shows the kids sitting and eating from their white plates with macaroni and the meat sauce. One is closer to the camera and the other is a bit further back.
The final sauce tasted amazing on the pasta. The kids had more pasta with less sauce, compare to us, and love it too!
Image shows a bowl with pasta and meat sauce on top. A fork and spoon rest to the left of the bowl with two rye pieces of toast resting on top.
Matt and I served ours with more sauce and a side of toast we needed to use up. It was delicious!
Image shows a large pot of meat sauce with a soup ladle in it to the right. To the left is a mostly filled 9 by 13 inch glass casserole dish and in the back is a mostly filled 8 by 8 dish.
One time I made a large batch of tomato soup specifically for the leftovers, turned it into a large pot of meat sauce, and then turned those leftovers into two lasagnas (one small one for the fridge and a larger one for the freezer). It was amazing!
A white bowl with a mound of quinoa sits topped in ground beef, diced tomatoes, and tomato soup leftover sauce.
Another time I made up a batch of quinoa so the kids could have their meat sauce, with added diced tomatoes, on leftover microwaved pasta while Matt and I could have ours on quinoa instead. It also tasted so good!

I am so glad I had that one lonely canning jar of leftover tomato soup the first time I made The No-Fuss Family Cookbook’s slow cooker creamy tomato soup with cheesy waffle dippers as without it I wouldn’t have thought to up my meat sauce game. I absolutely love this recipe and just typing it up for you makes me really want to make it again. I don’t know if you have a similar tomato soup recipe you love or not but I hope this post helps you turn your leftovers into another incredible meal. If you did the same, or something similar, before please share in the comments below. I hope your week is going awesome.

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