From pasta sauces to soups, stewed tomatoes will make a great ingredient. It adds eye-pleasing colors and tongue-tingling flavors in any dish. With other ingredients like bell peppers, onion, and garlic, it is sure to be a delicious treat.
If a recipe calls for stewed tomatoes but it isn’t available, what can you use instead? This short guide lists some of the top options for a substitute for stewed tomatoes. We’ll also let you know how you can make stewed tomatoes yourself.
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Top 6 Best Stewed Tomatoes Substitutes
It can be annoying when you are cooking only to find out that one of the main ingredients in your dish – stewed tomatoes – is unavailable in the kitchen. No worries! You can experiment with different substitutes, including those we’ll list below.
1. Diced Tomatoes
No time to buy canned stewed tomatoes? Too lazy to make one from scratch? You can consider using diced tomatoes instead. Since it is also basically tomato, then you can expect to achieve the same flavor and texture.
While you can use freshly sliced diced tomatoes, you can also buy one in a store. Most will have smaller chunks compared to stewed tomatoes. Some are plain, but others can be seasoned, which will depend on the specific brand that you will be using.
If your goal is to replicate the consistency of stewed tomatoes, then you should cook the diced tomatoes longer. This will help you achieve a softer texture. Nonetheless, take note that if you cook too long, it will end up being mushy, almost turning into a thick sauce or soup.
You can use diced tomatoes when cooking soups, stews, and pasta sauces that call for stewed tomatoes.
How to Dice Tomatoes // 10 Second Living
2. Crushed Tomatoes
Like diced tomatoes, crushed tomato is another obvious alternative when you cannot access stewed tomatoes. It has a smooth texture, with the tomatoes almost unnoticeable except for the distinct color.
Crushed tomatoes are also available in can, which makes it convenient. Most will be smooth, making them easy to pour straight out of the packaging. There are also some with smaller chunks, which will give you a more similar texture to stewed tomatoes.
The sweet and bright flavor of crushed tomatoes make it a great option when stewed tomatoes are nowhere to be found. To achieve a similar consistency, you might want to consider adding sliced fresh tomatoes.
Our Taste Test of Crushed Tomatoes
3. Canned Whole Tomatoes
Any tomato will make a great substitute to stewed tomatoes, including those that are whole and in can. These tomatoes are peeled and ready to be used in any dish. You can even eat them raw if you prefer or add to healthy smoothies.
Most of the canned whole tomatoes use plum tomatoes. The latter is known for its firm texture, so it won’t easily deteriorate in can. These tomatoes also have delicious juices, which can add savory flavors to any dish.
The best thing about canned tomatoes is that you can transform the texture and size whatever you want it to be. You can cook it with onion, garlic, bell peppers, and other ingredients that will make it yield flavors that are comparable to stewed tomatoes.
Canning Whole Tomatoes The Way Italian Grandmas Have Been Doing it For Centuries
4. Tomato Paste
If you love making red pasta, chances are, you have tomato paste in your kitchen. This is another viable pick if you need stewed tomatoes. This thick paste is made by cooking tomatoes for quite some time to reduce moisture to create a rich concentrate.
From soups to stews, tomato paste will add color to any dish while also making the flavor brighter. It can be acidic, so make sure to balance it out with other ingredients.
However, take note that tomato paste often has a robust flavor. The best thing to do is to add water. This will make the taste less evident, so you can use the same measurement as you would with stewed tomatoes.
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5. Tomato Puree
Making tomato puree is easy, even for someone who does not have experience in the kitchen. The most important is your choice of tomatoes, which should match the flavor profile that you anticipate. Make sure to use only the freshest tomatoes available.
You won’t need more than five minutes to prepare your version of tomato puree. Choose firm, ripe, and red tomatoes. Rinse in running water and make perpendicular cuts at the top. Boil over medium flame, peel, and cut into half. Blend until you achieve the desired consistency.
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6. Tomato Soup
If you have leftover tomato soup, it can also make a great stewed tomatoes substitute. The flavor is comparable to the latter, but it has a smoother texture because there are no chunks.
However, tomato soup will not have the same consistency as stewed tomatoes. As mentioned, it has a smooth texture, so it is lacking chunkiness. It also often has a diluted flavor, so it won’t be as strong as what you will taste in stewed tomatoes.
Gordon Ramsay’s Roasted Tomato Soup
How to Make Stewed Tomatoes
If you have the luxury of time and you do not mind exerting a bit of an effort, you can make stewed tomatoes yourself. This is better than buying canned stewed tomatoes since you can enjoy it fresh and add the ingredients or seasonings that suit your taste.
Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to make stewed tomatoes:
- Start by peeling the tomatoes. For this recipe, you will need six medium or four large tomatoes.
- After peeling, cut the tomatoes into chunks. Be careful not to squish them, since the best stewed tomatoes have bits and pieces that add texture.
- Put a medium saucepan on medium-low heat. Add the tomatoes and stir constantly for at least five minutes.
- Cook the tomatoes for up to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to achieve the consistency that you want.
- Once cooked, add flavorings. This will depend on your taste preference. For this recipe, we recommend adding one tablespoon butter, one teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar, and ground black pepper.
- Enjoy your stewed tomatoes. For long-term storage, keep in an air-tight container and put in the fridge for five days. If you want it to last longer, then keep your stewed tomatoes in the freezer.
How to make STEWED TOMATOES! No can, NO PROBLEM! Quick and Easy Tomatoes!