stewed tomatoes

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Are you looking for the best substitute for stewed tomatoes? Well, how about 8 amazing stewed tomatoes substitute options that will work? Keep reading to see how you can use other tomato based items when you have no stewed tomatoes on hand.

stewed tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes are chunks of fresh tomatoes that have been seasoned with ingredients like salt, basil, garlic and oregano, stewed and most times sold canned for preservation.

Stewed tomatoes are very convenient to have on hand and are used for making pizza, soups, spaghetti dishes, pasta sauce, lasagna, and even served as a side for chicken, fish and other meats.

But, if you have no stewed tomatoes on hand but you have a recipe that calls for it, what do you do?

These are the best stewed tomatoes substitute options. Keep reading to find out the proper substitute ratios for each and the recipes each item works best in:

  • Homemade stewed tomatoes
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Peeled whole tomatoes
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomato puree

Stewed tomatoes substitute options

Homemade stewed tomatoes

homemade stewed tomatoes

The best substitute for canned stewed tomatoes are homemade stewed tomatoes. These can be used in much the same way as canned stewed tomatoes. This means you can use homemade stewed tomatoes to make homemade sauces, pizzas, spaghetti recipes, soups, stews and more.

To make it, you will need fresh tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, parsley, basil, oregano and garlic and a large pot. You can find a simple recipe for stewed tomatoes here. A 1:1 substitute ratio is ideal.

Diced tomatoes 

diced tomatoes

Diced tomatoes usually comes canned and are tomatoes chunks that are packed in tomato juice. They’re also usually seasoned with herbs and spices like oregano, basil and even garlic and onion powder which makes them a good substitute for stewed tomatoes. 

They’re great for soups and stews, as well as chilis, pizzas, sauces, lasagna, casseroles and more. Read more about the best ways to substitute for diced tomatoes here.

Fresh tomatoes

fresh tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes are another great stewed tomatoes substitute. Fresh tomatoes can be used in many of the same ways that one uses stewed tomatoes such as in sauces, stews and even pizza.

While fresh tomatoes do not taste like the more seasoned and cooked stewed tomatoes, it is quite an acceptable substitute in a pinch. One just needs to season those fresh tomatoes with ingredients like oregano, basil, salt, and pepper for a similar flavor and cook them.

Peeled whole tomatoes

peeled tomatoes

Peeled tomatoes can also be used as a replacement for stewed tomatoes. Peeled tomatoes are made with tomatoes with the outer skins removed. 

This means that the texture is somewhat different as it does not include the skins of the ripe tomatoes and it is whole. However, besides the texture and the fact that peeled tomatoes are whole, their flavors aren’t too different as most peeled tomatoes are canned with salt and basil leaves for flavor.

Some also come with no salt and no herbs, but you can always add your own salt and seasonings to get a flavor that is closer to that of stewed tomatoes.

If you do not mind using this ingredient, then 1 cup of peel tomatoes can be used in place of 1 cup of stewed tomatoes.

Crushed tomatoes (with basil and salt)

crushed tomatoes

Crushed tomatoes are made with the ripest tomatoes which are diced, and placed into cans with tomato puree or tomato paste.

Crushed tomatoes have a similar consistency to tomato sauce, except that crushed tomatoes contain some chunky pieces. Crushed tomatoes can also be fire roasted, plain with no salt added and even canned with basil and other herbs.

Crushed tomatoes make a suitable alternative for stewed tomatoes and are perfect for making stews, soups, sauces, lasagnas and so much more.

Use some other ingredients that are typically used in stewed tomatoes like sugar, salt, basil, oregano and garlic to sort of mimic the flavors of stewed tomatoes and use on a 1:1 ratio. Also, feel free to check out some crushed tomato substitutes here.

Tomato paste

Tomato paste

Tomato paste can also be used as a stewed tomato substitute.

Tomato paste and stewed tomatoes have very different textures and flavors. However, with a few adjustments you can get a good substitute that you can use in certain recipes when stewed tomatoes are not available. 

Tomato paste is very thick, so it needs to be diluted. Also, flavors need to be added to it so it can perform the same task as stewed tomatoes.

To make such a substitute, you will need 1 can of tomato paste, 1 1/2 cups of water, olive oil, chopped onions, fresh garlic, salt and your favorite herbs. Cook this down until a thick beautiful tomato paste sauce results and use for pasta, pasta sauce, lasagna, soups and more. Also, feel free to read more about the best tomato paste substitutes here.

Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce is another good option to use. Note that tomato sauce is smoother and does not have any of the chunks that are common in stewed tomatoes. Nonetheless, tomato sauce is usually tomato puree that has been well seasoned with salt, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper and herbs. It works great for topping pizzas, in soups and stews and even in chilis where other ingredients add that extra texture to the dish. 

If you do not mind the thick, smooth consistency of tomato sauce, you can use about ½ cup to replace 1 cup of stewed tomatoes.

Tomato puree

Tomato puree

Lastly, tomato puree also makes a good stewed tomato substitute. Tomato puree is a canned sauce made of cooked, strained tomatoes, or tomato paste and water, that is oftentimes seasoned with salt and preserved in a can.

Tomato puree works great for soups, sauces, casseroles, pizza, and more.

If you have a can of tomato puree in your pantry, feel free to use it in place of stewed tomatoes. ½ cup of tomato puree is enough to replace 1 cup of stewed tomatoes. 

Final thoughts

These are the 8 easy ways you can substitute for stewed tomatoes in most recipes. These substitutes are great because they are tomato based and can be used in dishes like lasagna, soups, stews and more.  The best part is that you are guaranteed to have at least one of these in your pantry or refrigerator. 

More vegetable substitutes

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