What Is The Best Stewed Tomatoes Substitute? 5 Common Alternatives

Looking for a stewed tomatoes substitute to spice up your dinners? The five options detailed in this article will satisfy your burning demands. Click to read more!

What Is The Best Stewed Tomatoes Substitute 5 Common Alternatives


With their rich texture and mouth-watering crunch, stewed tomatoes are one of the finest appetizers ever! They are salted and cooked with spices, herbs, and sugar before getting coated with peppers and onions. These robust and distinct aromas combine to make stews a great decoration for any delicacy, from minestrone and fried cabbage to stale bread.

Unfortunately, the truth is that they are not always accessible. Certain regions do not offer these vegetables in their retail shops, and manual stewing might take quite a while. 

Does that signify the end of our culinary ambitions, however? Thankfully, the answer is negative! Major marketplaces still deliver the most awesome stewed tomatoes substitute that yields equal flavors and aromas. 

Stewed tomatoes can spice up any food

And what precisely are they? We have around five options: diced or crushed tomatoes, tomato-sauce, tomato-paste, and full canned tomatoes.

From a more critical perspective, they may lack one or two attributes compared to their stewed counterparts. But adding a few basic ingredients will remedy such deficiency in a blink!

Now, let’s examine each option in further detail. Evaluate each key facet to pick out the best solution for your cuisine! 

What Are The 5 Stewed Tomatoes Substitute Options? 

1. Diced Tomato

Diced-tomato omelet

Take a quick look inside your cupboards. Find some unused diced-tomato cans stored deep within? Congratulations! You have come across a terrific stewed tomato alternative.

Of course, as already established, both are not identical. The stew variant, for starters, consists of bigger chunks that have already gone through intricate processes of spicing and seasoning. 

On the other hand, stewed tomatoes substitute diced alternative comprise smaller bits packed with tomatoey liquid. Both spiced and unseasoned by-products are available! Some labels even opt for thorough roasting before canning the tomato, imparting a sense of smokiness and a more scorched aroma.

This difference barely matters if you are willing to spend a bit more extra cooking time. There are no issues for certain diners who prefer harder bits, though: you can prepare them almost the same way as stew tomatoes! In my experience, these alternatives best suit soup, pasta sauce, chili, omelets, and salsa.

2. Crushed Tomato

Crushed-tomato pizza

The title “crushed” might put off some chefs at first glance. I was not an exception! But contrary to my first impression, crushed tomatoes turn out to be an excellent source of seasonings. 

They stem from fresh tomato meats, crushed for a smooth consistency, and canned with a purée combination. Hence, they yield a much more chalky and rich flavor than stews. Tomato chunks are omnipresent for certain manufacturers and not for others, so keep a close eye on this facet!

The stewed tomatoes substitute crushed alternatives offer minor – yet still sufficient – modifications to the recipe’s viscosity. They suit most slow-cooked dishes, though experienced cooks suggest that crushed solutions thrive better in soup, pizzas, creamy stew, or sauce.

Their textures blend nicely in these dishes (even better than stews), so there is no need for caution. Still, you might season the mixture to your liking before usage for a more flavorful and satisfying outcome. Another tactic is to wait a few minutes till the tomato is added and then salt the dish as you wish. 

3. Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce with beans

Tomato sauce is a larder staple for soup, stews, and casserole due to its well-seasoned and robust taste. It also serves as a terrific alternative when your fridge runs out of stews. 

My verdict is that these sauces are better suited to long-cooked foods than other slow-heated alternatives, which are among the first transparent differences between them and the stews. The latter also enjoys a more chunky and luscious texture, an attribute that tomato sauce lacks. 

But no worry, though; this deficiency will be less obvious in a dish combined with meat and other veggies.

It is quite clear that the sauce density plays a decisive role in the recipe’s consistency. Hence, about three-quarters of a cup is enough to substitute one pint of stews. Also, from my observation, it would be preferable to purchase the unseasoned variety, as it allows more flexible customization suited to your unique tastes.

4. Tomato Paste

Chicken curry with tomato paste

Tomato paste is shaped by thorough slow-cooking and compression procedures, which squeezes the tomato into a dense, nearly solid paste. 

This ingredient is best used as a condiment, particularly when you aim for an underlying tomato taste for your pizza, casserole, soup, pasta sauce, and marinade – or wish to enrich other tomatoes.

Since its usage is not prevalent, the paste often comes in small tins, tubes, or foil packs. Using it as a substitute is feasible, though you might need to brace yourselves for two palpable obstacles. 

First, this paste has an overbearing flavor that might make your dish taste less like real tomatoes. Secondly, its texture is very dense and strong. Therefore, you should include a very moderate volume of tomato paste for each delicacy. 

Remember to utilize brands with the fewest artificial components for optimal outcomes. Adding more onion, celery, and bell peppers also helps yield the same malty taste as a stewed tomato! 

Yes, I know these challenges might be somewhat of a deal-breaker. Nevertheless, tomato paste adds vibrant and earthy fragrance to the cuisine, so do not hurry to cross them out of your consideration list!

5. Whole Canned Tomatoes

Garlic chili chicken with whole canned potatoes

Whole canned variants are among the finest-quality vegetables you might find. As their names imply, they are peeled ripe tomatoes packed in a can retaining tomato juice. Since plum tomatoes are tougher and preserve their shapes longer within constrained boxes, they are the most popular ingredients for these canned products.

Why do I say whole canned tomatoes are an excellent alternative? These variants can work wonders in almost any dish, including soups, sauces, pizzas, and casseroles. You may either chop or crush them to achieve similar textures as stews; adding puree and juices might further boost the jammy and sweet odor to new heights!

One minor concern lies in their texture, which is firmer than stewed tomato solutions. Hence, they call for a longer period of simmering; but as you can see, the prosperous fragrances they bring about more than compensate for such an insignificant hassle. Also, salt, celery, bell, and onion peppers will speed up the process a little bit for you.

Stewed Tomato Nutrition Facts: What Does It Contain?

It is nutritious

Vitamin A and C

The nutritional value of tomato stew is exceptional. For starters, this appetizer includes a high concentration of vitamins A and C. Vitamin A is a strong source of natural antioxidants for potent retainment of the body’s nervous system, while vitamin C conserves internal immunity and bolsters healthy skin

Carotenoids and Iron

Furthermore, the carotenoids found in stews include beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene, which safeguard your body against severe chronological disorders (especially lycopene). They are also pretty prosperous in iron, facilitating the human metabolic process and antibody formation.

To round off the deal, scientific tests report more satisfactory health conditions – and decreased chance of influenza – in clients who consume them daily.


Also, one cup of stews has around 75 calories and 7.6 grams of fiber, posing immense benefits for your digestive and intestinal tracts.

On another note, the exceptional fiber content is tactful during constipating prevention. Most impressively, due to the almost negative link between tomato consumption and cancers, studies deduce that it might boast a more reduced risk of cancer-related ailments (particularly breast cancers) than other vegetables.

Also, due to the increasing dilemma of preadolescence obesity, several daycare centers in North America have incorporated stews into their kid’s weekly menus.


And that is still not even the end of the story; these ingredients are abundant in potassium, which surpasses the recommended daily potassium intakes. Long-term digestion serves as an antidote against cardiac issues and sustains decent blood pressure levels for you.

Magnesium and Folate

The inclusion of other seasonings such as celery, onion, mushrooms, and bell peppers only boosts the Magnesium and Folate content to an even higher benchmark. They foster brain metabolism, strengthening your cognitive capabilities.

Not to mention, their combined tastes are tailored to younger kids and simple to digest. As a result, simmered-tomato solutions are prevalent delicacies for most infants and children.

How to Make Stewed Tomatoes? – Easy Delicious Recipes


  • 5 pounds: cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound: ripe, big tomatoes of any type
  • 1/4 cup: virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups: chopped medium onion
  • 1.5 cup: medium diced celery
  • 3 cups: medium chopped pepper (red or green or combining them is okay)
  • 1 big-sized: jalapeno, seeded, stemmed, and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup: chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 ounce: chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons: of freshly chopped mint
  • 1.5 teaspoon: sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoon: salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon: crushed red pepper

A detailed recipe

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1. Boil a big pot of simmering water. In the meantime, prepare a standby cold water basin and a tarantula or strainer. Bring out a tray to store the tomato once you remove it from the water bath.

Step 2: Remove the stems one by one and mark the base of each tomato with an X. Throw them into hot water – a couple at a time. About one minute later, the skins will separate themselves from the X.

Step 3. Remove them – using the tarantula or filter – to the ice bucket and, after that, to the tray. 

Step 4. Set that tray on the countertop. Bring out a standby dish with a colander and an additional bowl. Pull each peel one by one and position it in a strainer. Hold the tomato over a sieve as you seed it.

(For Roma variants, pierce the sides and scoop off the seeds, letting them fall into your colander).

Step 5. Arrange the emerald inner stem with the seeds. On the other hand, you should place the skin in the second dish. After peeling the bigger tomatoes, split them horizontally and scoop the seeds into a sieve. Extract the green, brittle inner stem and group it with the seeds. Place the meat and Roma’s in the same bowl.

Step 6. Once your tomatoes have been thoroughly washed, press on the seeds and peel to extract every last drop of juice (or puree) through the sieve. As you finish, discard all the skins and seeds.

Now, the fluid from the first dish might get transferred to the tomato flesh in the second bowl. About two pints should remain. There is no further need to slice the tomatoes (in my opinion, the wider, the better)

Step 7. In a large saucepan (or Dutch oven), blend the bell peppers, celery, onion, olive oil, jalapeño, sugar, mint, basil, parsley, and red chili flakes under medium-high heat. Sauté everything for around 10 minutes.

Step 8. Put in the tomatoes and bring them back to a low boil. Decrease the temp to a low simmer, and continue heating for another 10 minutes.

Step 9. Taste them, adjust the spices if needed, and serve the dish. You might fridge it for up to three days – or store everything within zip containers in a six-month timeframe. It is up to your decisions! 


What goes best with stews

1. What Distinguishes Stewed from Crushed Tomatoes?

The latter are produced with fresh tomato flesh that has been crushed to smooth consistencies and then canned with a puréed concoction. Hence, they provide a much more robust and chalky fragrance than stews, integrating well into most recipe textures.

2. What is Italian Tomato Stew?

It incorporates peppers, tomatoes, and peppers, which are heated until they reach the optimum degree of flavor and density. Basil ribbons and garlic are extra ingredients at times. An Italian style stewed tomatoes substitute can be  Rotel or fresh vegetables, aside from the above options.

3. What Are The Best Mexican Stewed Tomatoes Substitute?

You can use Rotel or Cherry tomatoes. Even ketchup might serve as a viable alternative, particularly in Mexican dishes.

4. Are Fresh Tomatoes A Good Substitute for Stews?

Yes, though they lack the strong tang of slow-cooking tomato stew. But no worry; spicing your dish with more seasonings will yield the same result.

5. What Cuisines Go Well With Stewed Tomato Treats?

It is a superb ingredient for most slow-cooking soups and pasta. Aside from that, these stews can even serve as a freestanding side dish to complement your main contenders of fish, eggs, or chickens.


This guideline has introduced you to the top five contenders for the best stewed tomatoes substitute. With a few more tweaks here and there, they will deliver the same flavors as the stews. 

Also, aside from these alternatives, I strongly suggest tomato-puree, a delicate balance of tomato sauce and pastes! But if you don’t get both at hands, the tomato sauce also does the trick for a flavor boost.

Do you still have more questions? Feel free to reach out. I am always open to all feedback and inquiries!

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