How to Make Canned Mixed Vegetables Taste Good

Can of mixed vegetables

Who hasn’t cooked up a can of vegetables as a quick side dish before? They’re simple and inexpensive, but their flavor leaves a lot to be desired. Learn how to elevate this kitchen staple with these great ideas!

Canned mixed vegetables are a familiar standard for anyone who has ever known lean times. They are inexpensive and always ready to eat, so they are a budget must, but do they have to taste so bland? How can you turn canned green into solid gold? With these ideas, you can make canned vegetables taste farm fresh!


What are Canned Mixed Vegetables?

Canned mixed vegetables are a pantry standard. Open your cupboards, and there’s likely a can there! They are a common canned good but also commonly avoided, but we will help change that!

The exact mixture of veggies for canned mixed vegetables will vary between brands. The blends are known to include potatoes, carrots, lima beans, green beans, celery, and corn. All of the veggies are fully cooked before canning, so they are ready to eat when you get them.

The produce used for these cans is picked at the peak of freshness and packaged in a way that seals in the flavors. The mix is commonly packed in water to help the veggies stay fresh.


How to Cook Canned Mixed Vegetables

a can of Green Giant mixed vegetables

Canned vegetables are ready to eat straight from the can. If you want to enjoy a crisp, cool vegetable, you can eat these veggies straight out of the can. If you want to warm them up, follow these simple steps:

To Steam

  • Fill a medium pot with water about 1 inch deep. Place a steamer basket on top of the water. Bring the water to a boil.
  • Add the veggies to the basket, cover, and steam for 5-8 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Enjoy.


To Boil

  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot.
  • Carefully add the contents of the can, cover, and boil for 6-8 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Drain the water and enjoy.



How to Make Canned Mixed Vegetables Better

Amazon brand canned mixed vegetables

Canned mixed vegetables have the perfect medley of vegetables to add interest to your plate, but how do you make them more interesting? Use these awesome ideas to bring some life to your canned mixed vegetables!


Pepper, Please!

Oftentimes, simple is better, and that is true of mixed veggies. You can go wild with upgrades to this basic dish, but sometimes simple improvements are all it takes! This trick is the ultimate in simplicity and flavor!

Dried pepper flakes can instantly turn sad canned food into happy food! Sprinkle some dried pepper onto your cooked vegetables for a simply delicious way to get your daily greens!


Butter Me Up!

Butter and vegetables just belong together. The rich, salty, and creamy flavors of butter bring out the best in these vegetables. Plus, butter is almost always already on-hand, so this trick is a no-brainer!

After cooking your canned vegetables, throw a pat of butter into the pan with them and stir until they’re fully coated. Optionally, add in some salt and pepper or other seasonings. That is all it takes to make a beautiful and easy side dish that is ready in no time!


Bacon is Better!

The rich fattiness of bacon can make almost any dish sing, especially canned mixed vegetables. Bacon has salt and smoke that turns up the volume on a basic vegetable medley.

Cook some bacon and remove it from the pan, leaving the grease. Turn the heat down and carefully add the uncooked canned mixed vegetables. Cook them down in the bacon fat for 3-5 minutes before turning off the heat and crumbling the bacon back into the pan.


Slather in Sauce!

Every parent knows that sometimes the biggest achievements come in small packages. It’s a huge moment when a picky eater finishes their vegetables, and sometimes you have to pull out the big guns. This tip may not be for the most mature palates, but it’s sure to get some little ones interested in veggies!

After finishing cooking your canned mixed veggies, stir in marinara sauce. If the veggies have cooled, turn the heat on low and cook for a minute or so. Serve warm to little eaters, and get ready to be amazed at how much of formerly forbidden veggies they will put down!


Chow Down on Cheese!

This is another great trick for getting picky eaters to try their vegetables. This one is suitable for all ages and downright delicious! Try topping your cooked canned mixed vegetables with cheese!

Whether you opt for a cheese sauce, shreds, or shavings, this add-in will transform your vegetables. Cheese has just the right degree of salt and smoothness to make vegetables truly shine. So when someone asks if you’d like parmesan on that, just say when!



can of Libby's mixed vegetables

Are Canned Mixed Vegetables Cooked?

Yes, canned vegetables are typically flash steamed to capture their fresh flavor and make them safe to enjoy fresh from the can!


Additional Kitchen Resources

If you enjoyed learning all about leveling up this canned food, try these hacks for other canned favorites:

Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.