Crushed tomatoes are an essential ingredient in most tomato-based recipes, such as pasta sauce, meatloaf, and pizza.
They come in handy cans or glass jars and can easily transform simple dishes into something much tastier and more flavorful.
However, when you have no crushed tomatoes in your pantry, you are left with limited options.
In this post, we will share 13 quick substitutes for crushed tomatoes that you can use in your favorite recipes without any hassle.
These substitutes are easy to find, inexpensive, and can save you a trip to the grocery store.
In short, " What can I use instead of crushed tomatoes?" Tomato Sauce, Fresh Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Ketchup, Tomato Paste, Salsa, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Roasted Tomatoes, Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, Canned diced tomatoes, Canned whole tomatoes, Jarred salsa, Roasted red peppers.
What are crushed tomatoes, and what do crushed tomatoes taste like?
Crushed tomatoes are a type of canned tomato product. They are made from ripe tomatoes that have been peeled, crushed and combined with juice, salt and other seasonings.
The texture of the finished product is slightly chunky but not as coarse as diced or stewed tomatoes.
Crushed tomatoes have a sweet, juicy flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes, ranging from soups to sauces.
They work especially well in slow-cooked Italian recipes because they add body to the sauce without having to use large chunks of tomato.
When using crushed tomatoes in recipes, it’s important to taste the dish before adding any additional seasonings since the salt content will vary depending on the brand and recipe used.
Many cooks also prefer to give their sauces a bit more flavor by adding additional spices such as oregano, basil and garlic.
Crushed tomatoes are also an easy way to add some natural sweetness to recipes without having to use added sugar.
They are also popular in Mexican and Latin American cuisine, where they are often combined with peppers, onions, garlic and herbs to make flavorful salsas.
When used in sauces or salsas, it’s important not to cook them for too long since their texture will become mushy if overcooked.
Uses of crushed tomatoes
Crushed tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways in the kitchen. Here are some common uses of crushed tomatoes:
1. As a base for tomato sauce: Crushed tomatoes can be used as the base for a variety of tomato sauces, from classic marinara sauce to meat sauces and more.
The crushed tomatoes add flavor and texture to the sauce and can be seasoned with herbs and spices to taste.
2. In soups and stews: Crushed tomatoes can also be used as a flavorful base for soups and stews, such as tomato soup, chili, and minestrone. They also added an extra depth of flavor and richness to the dish.
3. In pizza toppings: Crushed tomatoes are often used as a pizza topping, either on their own or mixed with tomato sauce.
They also add a bright, fresh flavor to the pizza and can be seasoned with herbs and spices to complement the other toppings.
4. In pasta dishes: Crushed tomatoes can also be used as a sauce for pasta dishes, such as spaghetti with tomato sauce or penne with tomato cream sauce.
They add a rich tomato flavor to the dish and pair well with a variety of pasta shapes and toppings.
5. In vegetable dishes: Crushed tomatoes can also be used as a base for vegetable dishes, such as ratatouille or stuffed peppers.
They add a rich tomato flavor to the dish and help to bind the ingredients together.
Overall, crushed tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways in the kitchen.
Whether you’re making a classic tomato sauce or experimenting with new recipes, crushed tomatoes are a flavorful and convenient option to have on hand.
Where to buy crushed tomatoes?
If you’re searching for where to buy crushed tomatoes, there are a few different places you can go. Many specialty food stores carry it, as do some international grocery stores.
You can also order online from many retailers that provide a variety of diverse flavors and types of crushed tomatoes.
Best substitutes for crushed tomatoes
1. Tomato Sauce
If you have a jar or can of tomato sauce, it will work as a quick substitute for crushed tomatoes. You should add some water, depending on the consistency required.
Ratio or measurement: Use one can of tomato sauce instead of one can of crushed tomatoes.
Then add 1 teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt for every 14-16 ounces of tomato sauce used to mimic the flavor.
2. Fresh Tomatoes
Blanching a few ripe tomatoes by dropping them in boiling water and then moving them to an ice bath is an excellent substitute for crushed tomatoes.
To make tomato puree, blend the peeled tomatoes in a food processor or blender until smooth, then pass them through a sieve to remove excess liquid.
Ratio or measurement: Use three blanched and pureed tomatoes for every 14-16 ounces of crushed tomatoes needed in your recipe.
3. Tomato Juice
If you have some tomato juice, you can use it to make a tomato sauce or soup.
Ratio or measurement: Use a ratio of one cup of tomato juice to one tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
Alternatively, you can simmer the tomato juice with some onions, garlic, and herbs to make a tomato broth.
Ketchup works surprisingly well as a substitute for crushed tomatoes. Add more water to thin it down as needed.
Ratio or measurement: For every 14-16 ounces of crushed tomatoes required in your recipe, use one cup of ketchup.
You may need to modify the seasoning and add some tomato paste if it is too sweet.
5. Tomato Paste
You can use tomato paste as a good alternative for crushed tomatoes in a pinch. Tomato paste is thicker than crushed tomatoes, so you will need to add some water to dilute it.
Ratio or measurement: Use two tablespoons of tomato paste and one cup of water to substitute one cup of crushed tomatoes.
You may need to modify the seasonings and add some sugar if it is too acidic.
If you have some salsa in your fridge, use that as a substitute for crushed tomatoes. It will add some heat and flavor to your dish, so adjust the spices accordingly.
7. Sun-dried Tomatoes
You can use sun-dried tomatoes to make DIY crushed tomatoes. Deep the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 minutes, then blitz them in a food processor with some olive oil, garlic, and salt.
8. Roasted Tomatoes
Roasting tomatoes adds a depth of flavor that can elevate your recipe. Cut the tomatoes in half, drizzle some olive oil and salt, and roast them in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 400°F.
Once roasted, blend the tomatoes in a food processor or mash them with a fork.
9. Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
Fire-roasted tomatoes have a smoky flavor that can add an extra dimension to your dish. You can find them canned or make your own by charring tomatoes on the stovetop or on a grill.
10. Canned diced tomatoes
Canned diced tomatoes can also be a substitute for crushed tomatoes, especially if you have a blender or food processor.
Puree canned diced tomatoes in a blender or food processor until they reach the consistency of crushed tomatoes.
Ratio or measurement: Use one cup of pureed canned diced tomatoes to replace one cup of crushed tomatoes.
11. Canned whole tomatoes
Whole canned tomatoes are another substitute for crushed tomatoes. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hands or pulse them in a food processor before using them as a substitute.
Ratio or measurement: Use one can of canned whole tomatoes and one teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of salt for every 14-16 ounces used in the recipe.
12. Jarred salsa
If you’re looking for a quicker substitute for crushed tomatoes, jarred salsa is an excellent option. Just be sure to select a salsa that contains tomatoes as the primary ingredients.
Ratio or measurement: Use one cup of salsa for every 14-16 ounces of crushed tomatoes required in the recipe.
13. Roasted red peppers
Roasted red peppers may not be a natural choice to substitute for crushed tomatoes, but they work well in some recipes.
Ratio or measurement: Puree the roasted peppers and use them as a substitute in equal parts.
You may need to adjust the acidity by adding lemon juice to mimic the taste of tomatoes.
Discover more: Easily available substitute for Rotel tomatoes
how to make crushed tomatoes
Crushed tomatoes are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes. To make crushed tomatoes, you will need fresh tomatoes, a sharp knife, and a large bowl.
Start by washing the tomatoes thoroughly and patting them dry with paper towels.
Slice the tomatoes into quarters, then place them in the bowl. Utilizing a wooden spoon or potato masher, begin to mash the tomatoes until they are broken down into small chunks.
If you want your crushed tomatoes to be smoother, you can use an immersion blender or food processor to puree them until they reach your desired consistency.
Ultimately, season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
You can also add additional flavorful ingredients to your crushed tomatoes for extra depth of flavor. Garlic, onions, herbs like basil or oregano, chili peppers, and balsamic vinegar are all great options.
Experiment with other flavor combinations to come up with something unique that you love!
Crushed tomatoes can be served warm or cold; if serving cold, it’s best to let them sit for several hours before you serve them so the flavors have time to blend with each other.
Substitute for crushed tomatoes in chili
Chili can be easily adapted to accommodate a variety of ingredients and flavors.
For an alternative to crushed tomatoes, you could use diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, canned tomato puree, ed tomatoes, or even ketchup.
When any of these substitutions are in place of crushed tomatoes, it is important to adjust the additional seasonings accordingly.
For example, diced tomatoes require more herbs and spices than crushed tomatoes since they do not come pre-seasoned in the same way crushed tomatoes are.
Additionally, ketchup should be used sparingly since it has a higher sugar content than other substitution options.
To ensure that your chili is flavorful and balanced for all substitutions listed above, add herbs such as oregano and basil along with garlic powder or minced garlic for an added punch of flavor.
Substitute for crushed tomatoes in soup
Crushed tomatoes can be substituted with a variety of ingredients to create hearty and flavorful soups.
Diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, pureed roasted red peppers, V8 juice, and fresh or dried herbs are all excellent options for adding savory flavor to soup without the use of crushed tomatoes.
Diced tomatoes are a great substitution as they provide chunks of tomato in the soup. The addition of tomato sauce will give the soup a bit more depth by adding a hint of sweetness and acidity.
Canned tomatoes add similar flavorings as diced tomato sauce but without any large chunks. Tomato paste provides similar flavorings again but with an even thicker consistency that can help thicken up thinner soups.
Pureed roasted red peppers will give your soup an earthy smokiness that can also contribute to its overall thickness.
V8 juice is another great option for providing intense flavors from a variety of vegetables combined into one versatile ingredient.
Finally, adding fresh or dried herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, or marjoram will bring out the taste in your soup while helping to mask any unpleasant flavors created by substituting the crushed tomatoes.
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Substitute crushed tomatoes in lasagna
In place of crushed tomatoes in lasagna, a variety of other ingredients can be used to create a delicious sauce.
Marinara sauce created with canned or fresh tomatoes can be used as an easy substitute.
Other flavorful options include pesto, Alfredo sauce, and Bolognese. Making a homemade Bolognese is perhaps the most time-intensive option, but it yields a complex flavor that is perfect for lasagna.
To make this classic Italian dish, you will need ingredients such as ground beef, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, olive oil, red wine, milk or cream (optional), tomato paste and fresh herbs such as oregano and basil.
These ingredients are cooked together over low heat until the meats are fully cooked, and the vegetables are tender.
The resulting sauce should be thick and full of flavor – perfect for smothering layers of lasagna noodles with ricotta cheese!
Substitute for crushed tomatoes in curry
There are several suitable substitutes for crushed tomatoes in curry.
Chopped plum or Roma tomatoes, tomato paste, roasted red peppers, blended soaked sun-dried tomatoes, and even canned diced tomatoes can all work as a substitute for crushed tomatoes in curry.
When using chopped fresh tomatoes, it is best to remove the seeds and juice first, as these can make the curry too watery.
Tomato paste can be mixed with a bit of water or broth to make a thicker sauce without extra moisture.
Roasted red peppers add sweetness and smokiness to the curry, which adds an interesting flavor dimension.
Blended-soaked sun-dried tomatoes also add more flavor complexity than regular crushed tomatoes would.
Lastly, canned diced tomatoes make the curry taste fresher than using traditional crushed tomatoes.
Substitute for crushed tomatoes in puree
Crushed tomatoes in puree can be substituted with a variety of other ingredients to create flavorful dishes.
These include diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, vegetable or chicken broth, k, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salsa, and even pureed vegetables such as carrots or squash.
For a heartier dish, using fresh ripe tomatoes can add an extra layer of flavor. Simmering the tomatoes creates a rich tomato flavor that can stand up to other bold-tasting ingredients.
Adding herbs and spices like oregano and basil can also help to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes.
For dishes where texture is important, crushed crackers or cooked grains such as quinoa or farro can be used instead of puree for an interesting twist on traditional recipes.
Wrap up on substitute for crushed tomatoes
There you have it, the top 13 quick substitutes for crushed tomatoes. From tomato sauce to fire-roasted tomatoes, you now have several alternatives to choose from.
Surely, nothing can beat the taste of fresh, ripe tomatoes, but in a pinch, you can use any of these substitutes to make your favorite recipes.
Just remember to adjust the seasoning and consistency as needed, and you are good to go. Happy cooking!
FAQs on substitute for crushed tomatoes
Q1. What is the same as crushed tomatoes?
Crushed tomatoes are the same as tomato sauce or tomato puree. They are both made from cooked and strained tomatoes that have been peeled, seeded and then mashed into a thick liquid. The difference is that crushed tomatoes contain some chunks of tomato in them, while tomato sauce and puree will be smoother in texture.
Whether you choose to use crushed tomatoes or another form of tomato product for your recipe depends on what kind of consistency you’re looking for. Crushed tomatoes are usually used in sauces, soups and stews because they add thickness and texture.
Tomato sauce is best suited for pasta dishes since it provides a smooth base for the flavors in the dish. Tomato puree is versatile and can provide a thicker consistency if needed but also works well as a base for sauces and soups.
Q2. Can I use diced tomatoes in place of crushed tomatoes?
Yes, you can also use diced tomatoes in place of crushed tomatoes. Diced tomatoes are processed more finely than crushed tomatoes, making them an excellent substitute. The texture of the finished dish may be slightly different since diced tomatoes tend to break down more quickly when cooked.
However, the flavor should remain similar since both types of tomato come from the same varieties and can be canned or fresh. Additionally, diced tomatoes may contain more liquid than crushed tomatoes, which could affect your recipe’s end result.
When using diced tomatoes as a replacement for crushed tomato products in recipes such as sauces or soups, you may want to reduce the amount of added liquid by about half to compensate for the extra moisture.
Q3. Can you make your own crushed tomatoes?
Yes, you can make your own crushed tomatoes! The process is moderately simple and requires only a few ingredients.
To start, gather fresh tomatoes from the market or your garden. You can choose to use Roma, San Marzano, or even cherry tomatoes for this recipe. After washing and drying them off, cut the tomatoes into quarters so that they are easier to handle.
Once your tomatoes are prepared, place them in a large pot and bring them to a boil over high heat. Simmer for 10 minutes until the tomato skins start to soften and separate from the fruit. Then strain the tomatoes through a sieve or colander to remove all liquid and seed material.
Now it’s time to get crushing! U can use a potato masher or a food processor to mash the tomatoes into small pieces until you reach desired texture – some prefer chunky, while others like their crushed tomatoes smoother. Once desired texture is achieved, add salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and any other herbs of choice (such as oregano) for added flavor.
Your homemade crushed tomatoes are now ready for use! You can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or frozen for later use – just make sure to label it with a date of preparation so you remember when it was made! You can enjoy your favorite pasta dishes or in sauces for pizza or lasagna.
Q4. How much tomato paste to replace crushed tomatoes?
In most recipes, a good rule of thumb is to replace one can of crushed tomatoes with 6 ounces of tomato paste. However, this ratio may alter depending on the dish being made and personal preference.
Tomato paste has a concentrated flavor, so if you want a more subtle tomato flavor, use less tomato paste and add some water to thin it out. If you are searching for a deeper, richer tomato flavor, you can use more than 6 ounces of tomato paste per can of crushed tomatoes.
Additionally, adding seasonings such as garlic powder or oregano will enhance the overall flavor profile.
Q5. How to turn diced tomatoes into crushed tomatoes?
Crushed tomatoes are a kitchen staple that adds flavor to a wide variety of dishes, from pasta sauces and pizzas to soups and stews. In most cases, you can turn diced tomatoes into crushed tomatoes without much effort. All you require is a blender or food processor, as well as some oil, salt and other seasonings if desired.
To start, place the diced tomatoes in the bowl of your food processor or blender. Pulse it for about 30 seconds until the tomatoes are chopped into small pieces. If you don’t have either of these gadgets, you can also use a potato masher or the back of a spoon to crush the tomatoes.
Once smashed, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the mixture. This will help keep all the pieces together while they process further. Add salt and other seasoning, such as garlic powder, oregano or basil, to give your crushed tomatoes an extra kick of flavor. Pulse everything again until it reaches your desired consistency. For example, if you want chunky crushed tomato sauce, leave some larger chunks intact while giving it one final pulse at low speed; if you prefer a smooth sauce, then mix everything well until a creamy texture is reached.
Finally, transfer your tomato mix into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze it for up to three months for future use in dishes such as lasagna and chili con carne. Enjoy!