10 Best Stewed Tomatoes Substitutes

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Do you know what’s a great companion for your dumplings? Do you relish it so much that you are branded as suffering from tomatophagia? Believe me; you needn’t be fretting about an intense craving for tomatoes. *chuckle*

Stewed Tomatoes

Tomatoes are called love apples. I am not sure if tomatoes are potent enough to spark a fiery romance between two people, but I can assure you it is truly capable of making us fall in love with them!

Tomatoes have multitudinous applications when it comes to cooking. They are also used in various forms, and we are going to discuss the most popular among them – stewed tomatoes.

Stewed tomatoes are basically fresh tomatoes that are cooked with salt and other seasoning agents. Mostly available in cans, they are a potpourri of flavors all at once that is a wonderful delight to our taste buds.

But what can you do if you are out of stewed tomatoes? You definitely need a bunch of substitutes to get the job done (which is to savor those holy dumplings). Have you had any good luck finding the substitutes on your own?

Worry not. Some of the best stewed tomato substitutes are diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato puree.

Let us explore stewed tomatoes for a while before getting onto their best substitutes.

Quick Peek: Stewed Tomatoes

Ready to dig into stewed tomatoes, their flavor, texture, uses, and health benefits? Hop on!

What Are Stewed Tomatoes?

Stewed tomatoes are fresh tomatoes squirming in a flavorful mix of salt and seasoning agents. They can be used as a dish or as an ingredient in recipes. (Stewed tomatoes is a classic American dish, by the way).

Tomatoes are peeled and diced before they are simmered with a yummy blend of peppers, garlic, onions, sugar, and salt. 

Describing Stewed Tomatoes: Flavor and Texture

Stewed tomatoes have a unique flavor – they taste sweet, sour, spicy, and umami – all at once. This makes it truly yummy and pleasure on your palate!

Since the tomatoes are boiled and blended with seasonings, stewed tomatoes have a soft, firm texture to regular, canned tomatoes.

Uses of Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes are versatile ingredients that find applications in cuisines worldwide. They are a major ingredient in many French and Italian recipes. They also feature in Asian dishes and are a classic dish enjoyed by Americans.

Stewed tomatoes are used as delightful complimentary side dishes to roast chicken, beef, veggies, fish recipes, salsas, bruschetta, soups, and pasta. Try relishing mac and cheese with stewed tomatoes, and I am sure you will simply love it.

Stewed tomatoes also work well in exotic recipes such as toppings, main dishes, or side dishes.

They are a flavorful bunch of ingredients used to enhance flavor in sauces, soups, or salads. Some popular recipes using stewed tomatoes include southern stewed tomatoes and chicken cacciatore.

Stewed Tomatoes On The Health Radar/ Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Stewed tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and low in calories and fats. They contain vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, manganese, iron, and dietary fiber. 

Lycopene present in stewed tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant that also mitigates the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. They enhance good vision and strong immunity. They have a low glycemic index, which makes them healthy food.

Why Should We Substitute Stewed Tomatoes?

So when everything is fine, why should you bother about substitutes, you ask? 

Stewed tomatoes can be adored for their rich nutritional profile, but what can you do if you are out of them? You need a list of substitutes so that your cooking goes unhampered. 

Also, what’s the harm in being slightly experimental and creative and trying out various substitutes for stewed tomatoes in recipes?

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

10 Best Stewed Tomatoes Substitutes 

The list of ten best substitutes for stewed tomatoes are as follows:

1. Diced Tomatoes

Diced tomatoes are fresh tomatoes sliced into small, chunky pieces. They have the characteristic sweet and sour taste of tomatoes and a firm texture. 

Diced tomatoes differ from stewed tomatoes with respect to the texture mainly. Diced tomatoes are small and firm, while stewed tomatoes are soft and big. 

Diced tomatoes can be considered one of the best substitutes for stewed tomatoes due to their similar flavor profiles and easy availability.

With the right seasonings, you can easily replace stewed tomatoes with diced tomatoes in your recipes. You can cook diced tomatoes for a longer time for a soft texture, making them perfect as stewed tomato substitutes.

Here’s the recipe for Texas stew you can make using diced tomatoes. Do give it a try!

2. Crushed Tomatoes

Crushed tomatoes are a blend of mashed tomatoes and tomato puree. They have a smooth, semi-liquid consistency with a sweet flavor. Some of the brands which offer crushed tomatoes may have chunks of tomatoes, making the overall texture thick.

Crushed tomatoes have a texture and flavor similar to stewed tomatoes with added seasonings, making them a versatile alternative to stewed tomatoes. Here’s how you can

3. Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes can rescue you in a really unfortunate cooking glitch where you don’t have stewed tomatoes. A bottle of canned tomatoes has a sweet taste with a subtle acidic tang. 

The level of sweetness may vary depending on the brands. You can grind canned tomatoes to make them softer as in stewed tomatoes.

Canned tomatoes may not be a healthy alternative simply because they are not fresh. Even then, they have the essential nutrients and much-needed flavors to be used as an alternative for stewed tomatoes.

4. Tomato Paste

Preparing a tomato paste is simple. Tomatoes are cooked and strained over many hours. The result is thickly concentrated tomato paste. It has a thick texture and an intensely sweet flavor of tomatoes. 

Substituting stewed tomatoes with tomato paste works well due to the similarities in flavor profiles. But you have to be extremely wary of the concentrated flavor of tomato paste. 

Usually, a spoon of tomato paste will suffice. For using tomato paste in lieu of stewed tomatoes, add seasonings like garlic, thyme, or onion for a deep flavor. Here’s how you can make Gordon Ramsay’s marinara sauce at home using tomato paste.

5. Tomato Puree

Tomato puree is what you get by blending cooked tomatoes with salt and grinding them. It has a thick, syrupy consistency with a profound essence of tomatoes. Tomato puree is often the most-used form of tomatoes in many recipes.

Using tomato puree with suitable seasoning agents can work as a good replacement for stewed tomatoes, considering the semi-solid texture of tomato puree akin to stewed tomatoes. Here’s the recipe for tomato pudding using tomato puree.

6. Tomato Sauce

You need no introduction to this yummy condiment. Tomato sauce is a versatile, popular ingredient made using tomatoes. It has a syrupy consistency with a smooth texture.

Tomato sauce has a thicker consistency than stewed tomatoes. Some brands of tomato sauce contain onion, garlic, or pepper which can easily be used as an alternative for stewed tomatoes.

If you are going to choose an unseasoned sauce variety, add a few bell peppers or onion to tomato sauce for substituting stewed tomatoes.

7. Fresh Tomatoes

Have a little time to bother with all the cooking for stewed tomatoes? If yes, grab a couple of fresh tomatoes and get your job done.

Chop up some fresh tomatoes and simmer them in a mixture of salt, sugar, and pepper. A matter of thirty minutes and you get the delicious, soft-textured stewed tomatoes!

8. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are simply ripe tomatoes that are dried for a long time under the sun. With such long exposure to the sun, tomatoes lose the water content in them and their shape.

Before being exposed to the sun or dehydrated, tomatoes are treated with the salt of sulfur dioxide in order to further enrich the flavor and appearance of tomatoes.

Adding tomato puree or water to sun-dried tomatoes can emulate the flavor and texture of stewed tomatoes, making them a considerable alternative for stewed tomatoes.

9. Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is a soup that obviously has tomatoes as the major ingredient. A sizzling blend of tomato puree, salt, and pepper, tomato soup has a rich flavor of tomatoes alongside seasoning flavors.

Tomato soup works as a fine replacement for stewed tomatoes if only a few seasoning agents are used. Of course, both of them have textural differences, but they share similar flavor profiles.

If tomato soup is your last bet as an alternative to stewed tomatoes, you may have to adjust the other liquids you use in the recipe.

10. Roasted Bell Peppers

Shall we look at a substitute for stewed tomatoes that are not based on tomatoes? If you are suffering from a nightshade allergy, you need a substitute that has nothing to do with tomatoes.

Behold roasted bell peppers! Roasted bell peppers can offer a sweet, savory flavor, close to stewed tomatoes. If you don’t like tomatoes but still want their characteristic flavor, roasted bell peppers can help you simulate the flavor of stewed tomatoes.

How To Use Stewed Tomatoes Substitutes In A Recipe

Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed Tomatoes Substitutes

Stewed tomatoes are basically fresh tomatoes that are cooked with salt and other seasoning agents. Mostly available in cans, they are a potpourri of flavors all at once that is a wonderful delight to our taste buds. But what can you do if you are out of stewed tomatoes? You definitely need a bunch of substitutes to get the job done!
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  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Tomato Puree
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Tomato Soup
  • Roasted Bell Peppers


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Final Musings

That was all about the best substitutes for stewed tomatoes. Except for roasted bell peppers, all the above-mentioned tomato-based ingredients can successfully replace stewed tomatoes in recipes. 

However, depending on the expectations and preferences, choose one among them and let me know how they turned out. See you soon with another article and with another list!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Diced Tomatoes The Same As Canned Tomatoes?

Diced tomatoes are tomatoes that are finely chopped into small, squared pieces. Stewed tomatoes are also chopped tomatoes that are simmered and cooked with seasoning agents.

How To Make Diced Tomatoes Into Stewed Tomatoes?

Diced tomatoes are just tomatoes that have been cut into small pieces. They can be simmered in water with the addition of salt, sugar, and pepper to turn them into stewed tomatoes.

What Are The Seasonings Used In Stewed Tomatoes?

Seasonings used in stewed tomatoes can vary but mostly include salt, sugar, parsley, butter, and green pepper. Other seasonings comprise garlic, bay leaf, bell pepper, cumin, cajun seasoning, za’atar seasoning, thyme, and celery salt.

Can Stewed Tomatoes Be Substituted For Diced Tomatoes?

Stewed tomatoes have a distinctive flavor and texture, unlike diced tomatoes. They have the added flavors of seasoning agents and a semi-solid texture. If your recipe can accommodate this flavor and texture, you can use stewed tomatoes for substituting diced tomatoes.

What Can I Substitute For Mexican Style Stewed Tomatoes?

Fresh, canned, crushed, or diced tomatoes can be used to substitute for Mexican-style stewed tomatoes.

What Can Be The Substitutes For Stewed Tomatoes in Casseroles and Pizzas?

In casseroles, stewed tomatoes can be substituted with tomato soup, and sundried tomatoes can be used to substitute for stewed tomatoes in pizzas.

What Can Be The Substitute for Stewed Tomatoes In Chili?

Salsa is a good substitute for stewed tomatoes in chili. 

Can Rotel Tomatoes Be Used Instead Of Stewed Tomatoes?

Rotel is a brand that sells tomatoes mixed with green chilies, which is a fiery alternative to stewed tomatoes if you don’t mind a little spicy kick.

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