5 Best Substitute for Stewed Tomatoes You Can Use in Recipes

For those who don’t know, stewed tomatoes are fresh tomatoes cooked with salt and seasonings. They contain bell peppers, celery, garlic, and onion. These are mostly used as a side dish or in soups, and sauces.

It’s not a common ingredient, so it’s typical to run out of it while you are cooking. Don’t worry as to deal with the situation, all you need are substitutes for stewed tomatoes to make the dish.

Stewed tomatoes are common in marketplaces as they come packed in cans or jars. However, my family makes the stewed tomatoes at home because it’s more yummy and gives an umami flavor.

5 Best Substitutes For Stewed Tomatoes

If you are out of choices, here are some of the best substitutes for stewed tomatoes that you can use in your recipes, and they will yield similar results.

1. Diced Tomatoes


Diced tomato is the easiest substitute. It’s basically fresh tomatoes cut into small pieces with tomato juice. In comparison, diced tomatoes are smaller, and more firm chunks, while stewed tomatoes are soft and big pieces.

You can cook diced tomatoes a bit to make them soft, but they are not simmered. Some brands add salt and seasoning to tomatoes and are roasted before canning to add a smoky flavor to tomatoes.

Diced tomatoes are a perfect substitute for pasta, stews, and soups. If you wish to turn them into stewed tomatoes, you can cook them longer and add spices and vegetables of your choice.

2. Crushed Tomatoes


Crushed tomatoes are smooth in texture and are often mixed in tomato puree. It’s a mix of fresh crushed tomatoes in a little bit of tomato puree. It’s thick in texture and is pourable with small chunks of tomatoes.

When buying crushed tomatoes, pay attention to the brand as some are chunky mash, while others are smooth. Nonetheless, it’s an ideal substitute for stewed tomatoes.

You can easily make it at home yourself by mashing tomatoes, lemon juice, and salt using a potato masher. Crushed tomatoes are great for creamy pasta sauce, soups, spaghetti, and pizza.

3. Tomato Paste


Tomato paste is a concentrated version of tomato sauce without any seeds or skin. It does not have any chunks, making it a good substitute. It’s a concentrated version so it packs more flavor, elevating the color and flavor of your dishes while improving the consistency of soups, and sauces.

Tomato paste is the main ingredient for meaty dishes like chicken, and beef. When adding tomato paste to your recipe, consider the amount because one cup of paste is equal to three cups of stewed tomatoes as tomato paste is super concentrated.

If you’re using it in pasta, chicken, or soups, 2-3 tbsp are more than enough. If you want to achieve the stewed tomato consistency, you can add water to paste, with vegetables and simmer.

4. Tomato Sauce


Tomato sauce is like tomato paste but it’s less concentrated. Most tomato sauce brands contain garlic, onions, sugar, and basil. However, unlike tomato paste, it lacks tomato chunks making it a perfect substitute to use as pizza toppings, stews, and sauces.

Tomato sauce is thicker than stewed tomatoes, and it packs more flavor as well, so a little amount goes a long way.

If you want to turn the sauce into stewed tomatoes, you can choose a brand that offers unseasoned sauce and you can cook the sauce by adding bell pepper, onion, garlic, and other vegetables.

3. Tomato Puree


Tomato puree is an excellent substitute for stewed tomatoes. The puree is a thick liquid made from cooking tomatoes without skin and seeds. It’s somewhere between tomato paste, and tomato sauce when it comes to consistency. It tastes like tomato sauce, but most brands offer a simple combination of water and tomato paste.

With tomato puree, you can easily achieve any flavor you want. You can cook canned tomato puree with bell peppers, onions, garlic, and spices to enhance its flavor. It will help you achieve a similar texture and consistency.

Tomato Puree is a great ingredient for soups, pasta sauce, and chili.

How to Make Stewed Tomatoes at Home

If you are out of stewed tomatoes, you can either go for its substitute or make one at home, it’s very simple. All you need is tomatoes, onions, pepper, and celery. Here’s the recipe:

                    Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Serving: 20


  • 10 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp black pepper


  1. Place the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute and then transfer them into cold water.
  2. Peel the tomatoes, and place them in a saucepan.
  3. Add onion, salt, and pepper and simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes.
  4. When the mixture thickens, take it off the heat and transfer it to a jar or container once cold.

Emily is a tech and entertainment writer who loves the art of writing for research-based articles in different niches. As she translates her thoughts into words, they inspire others to do so too!