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Are you making a dish that calls for crushed tomatoes. Did you just notice that you have no crushed tomatoes on hand? If so, then you will be glad to come across this list of the 6 best substitutes for crushed tomatoes.
Crushed tomatoes are generally made with finely diced tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes that have been packed in tomato purée or tomato paste. Crushed tomatoes are usually made with zero preservatives or additives which makes them very easy to breakdown during cooking.
Crushed tomatoes, also sometimes referred to as canned crushed tomatoes are used in many recipes including pizza, sauces like tomato sauce, bruschetta, chili, pasta dishes, salsa and more.
However, if you’re making a recipe that calls for some crushed tomatoes, and you have none, keep reading to find all the canned crushed tomato substitutes that can actually work in most recipes.
Substitutes for crushed tomatoes
Tomato purée is a great substitute for crushed tomatoes. Tomato purée is usually a combination of tomato paste, water and citric acid. Because canned crushed tomatoes are made using finely diced tomatoes, tomato purée and tomato paste, this makes this ingredient a natural substitute. Of course the puréed tomatoes are less chunky and pulpy.
Tomato purée is also less watery than crushed tomatoes, but it will work in its place with a 1:1 sub ratio. Reserve the use of tomato purée to replace crushed tomatoes for recipes like soups, stews, sauces and other recipes where the chunks aren’t a necessity.
The best part is that some brands make it so that their crushed tomatoes and tomato purée are basically the same texture so you can’t even tell the difference! Also, read more about the best tomato puree replacements here.
Another amazing substitute for crushed tomatoes are diced tomatoes. They are somewhat different in that diced tomatoes are firmer chunks of tomatoes in tomato juice while crushed tomatoes are finer tomato chunks in tomato purée.
Also, diced tomatoes work better for dishes that require a longer cook time compared to crushed tomatoes that works great for recipes with shorter cook times.
Nonetheless, for recipes like chilis that require a longer cooking time, canned diced tomatoes can be used in place of crushed. And for other recipes where the cooking time is shorter, simply give the diced tomatoes a little blend before you use it to help shorten the cooking time and make it more like crushed tomatoes. Also, feel free to add some tomato paste to the slightly pulverized diced tomatoes to improve the texture and you will have yourself a fairly good crushed tomatoes substitute.
Substitute with a 1:1 conversion ratio and feel free to check out the canned diced tomato substitute options here.
Fresh tomatoes are another natural substitute for crushed tomatoes. To use fresh tomatoes as a substitute it is best to find juicy ripe tomatoes, then peel them, remove all seeds and pulverize lightly making sure some chunks remain and the pulverized fresh tomatoes. Ensure that the texture is a mix between chunky and saucy.
Substitute on a 1:1 substitute ratio
Stewed tomatoes are also another suitable option for replacing crushed tomatoes. In order to turn stewed tomatoes into a more suitable alternative, simply pulverize them a bit. That way you will get some chunks and pulp.
They are seasoned and more cooked than crushed tomatoes so keep this in mind when adding them to your dish. In fact, I would suggest you add the stewed tomatoes towards the end of the cooking time. Also, adjust the other seasonings and spices in the dish accordingly. Read more about good substitutes for stewed tomatoes here.
If tomato paste is the only other canned tomato product you have in your pantry, then tomato paste can also make an okay replacement for crushed tomatoes.
Tomato paste has a rich, deep concentrated flavor compared to the more watery flavor of crushed tomatoes. Therefore, to make it so that tomato paste is a suitable crushed tomatoes substitute, use some water to help thin out and water down the flavor of the paste and use it to replace crushed tomatoes.
Tomato paste is versatile so it can work in recipes where the slightly chunky texture of the crushed tomatoes won’t be missed too much.
Whole peeled tomatoes
Last but not least you can use whole tomatoes as an alternative to crushed tomatoes. Peeled whole tomatoes are sold in either tomato juice or tomato purée. Therefore, the best option is to use whole tomatoes in tomato purée, but any other will do.
To make it a suitable crushed tomato sub, place the contents of the can of plum tomatoes in a blender or food processor and pulverize until it has broken down significantly. Make sure chunks and pulp remain and it is not too smooth for a good crushed tomato substitute.
Substitute on a 1:1 ratio.