Stewed tomatoes give you a smart and easy way to add flavors to any meal without going through the struggle of preparing tomatoes and other vegetables separately.
You can say stewed tomatoes are time savers, and they ensure convenience whenever you are cooking a soup, stew or sauces.
Stewed tomatoes come in packed cans, but you can make and store them at home just as easily.
However, if you ever get to a point where you cannot find stewed tomatoes in your kitchen, you can always find few easy substitutes for stewed tomatoes like diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, canned tomatoes or the tomato sauce etc.
How can you replace the stewed tomatoes with all those substitutes? Well, to learn all about them, continue to scroll on and discover clever techniques to enjoy the stewed tomato-like flavors using other ingredients.
What are Stewed Tomatoes?
When you stew the fresh tomatoes by cooking them with side veggies like onion, celery, bell pepper and some seasoning, you get “stewed tomatoes.”
There are many recipes that call for such a combination of tomatoes with vegetables and spices. So instead of adding them separately, you can simply use the stewed tomatoes.
In other words, they make the cooking of soups, stews and sauce easier. Even you can heat the stewed tomatoes to serve directly as a side meal with some entrees or snacks.
Benefits of using Stewed Tomatoes
Stewed tomatoes are super healthy as they contain a good amount of vitamin A and C along with lots of fibers and anti-oxidants. Due to the addition of other vegetables, this cooked tomato mixture has more nutrients than other plain tomato paste and sauces.
When compared to raw tomatoes, stewed tomatoes have a higher concentration of lycopene as well because when the veggies are cooked together for a while, all the nutrients are released slowly into the mixture, which makes their absorption easy.
5 Easy Substitutes for Stewed Tomatoes
Stewed tomatoes have a chunky texture with a mix of flavors. This is what we should be looking for in our substitutes for stewed tomatoes.
So, if you are asking yourself what I can use as a substitute for stewed tomatoes? Then here are our top 5 picks:
1. Diced Tomatoes
If you are wondering, “can I use diced tomatoes instead of stewed tomatoes?” then the answer is YES.
Diced tomatoes are packed with tomato juice, and they are cut into small pieces, so it is easier to use them instead of stewed tomatoes.
However, diced tomatoes do not carry the same flavor as stewed tomatoes because they lack the seasoning and salt that the stewed tomatoes have.
You can add the salt and seasonings to the diced tomatoes or fire roast and do the canning to give them the stewed tomato flavor.
How to substitute diced tomatoes for stewed tomatoes?
They can be a good substitute for stewed tomatoes in chilies, pasta, soups, sauces and other meals.
Cook the diced tomatoes with peppers, onions, garlic and spices in a cooking pot on a simmer for 10 minutes and use them to replace an equal amount of stewed tomatoes.
2. Crushed Tomatoes
Crushed tomatoes can be an excellent substitute for stewed tomatoes in soups and other similar meals.
They are slightly smoother than the stewed tomatoes and contain smaller chunks of tomatoes. Their texture is in-between the texture of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Consider this texture before adding them as a substitute for stewed tomatoes in recipes.
How to substitute crushed tomatoes for stewed tomatoes?
Use crushed tomatoes to replace stewed tomatoes in recipes like pasta or spaghetti sauces. They are good to make cream soups and thick tomato sauces.
3. Whole Tomatoes
Whole plum tomatoes come in cans, and they are packed with juices. These whole tomatoes are a good option to replace the stewed tomatoes in a recipe.
Ways to relace stewed tomatoes with whole tomatoes
To replace stewed tomatoes with whole tomatoes, you will have to work on their flavors. Chop the whole tomatoes and cook them with 1 chopped white onion and half of chopped bell pepper in a pan for 10 minutes on a simmer. Now they will taste exactly like the stewed tomatoes.
4. Canned Tomatoes
Canned tomatoes are another great substitute for stewed tomatoes. Canned tomatoes are a good ingredient to make stewed tomatoes at home.
To replace the stewed tomatoes with canned tomatoes, make sure to chop them first, then cook them with other chopped vegetables like onion, garlic and bell peppers on a simmer. Add salt and other seasonings to this mixture. Use an equal amount of canned tomatoes to replace the stewed tomatoes
5. Tomato Paste
Suppose you have no other substitute for stewed tomatoes, then tomato paste is a good option to use in different meals.
Tomato paste is thick and a little chunky as well, but it does not contain the stewed veggies and seasonings. Tomato paste is 40 percent chunkier than tomato puree, so it is a good option to replace stewed tomatoes.
Substituting stewed tomatoes with tomato paste
Tomato paste is a great ingredient to add the desired thickness and flavor to a recipe. It can replace stewed tomatoes in recipes like soups, sauces, marinades etc. When you add tomato paste to a meal, it gets a tempting color and taste.
And if you will cook this paste with chopped onions, bell pepper and celery a bit, then it will taste exactly like the stewed tomatoes.
Mexican Stewed Tomatoes Substitute
The Mexican stewed tomatoes have more spices and chillies added to the basic stewed tomato recipes. You can replace Mexican stewed tomatoes with diced tomatoes with green chillies.
Italian Stewed Tomatoes Substitute
Italian stewed tomatoes are different from the basic stewed tomatoes because they contain additional herbs and seasonings like the Italian spices and dried parsley. So, they have a slightly different taste from the basic stewed tomatoes. You can use all the above-mentioned stewed tomato substitutes to substitute for Italian stewed tomatoes; just make sure to add those extra Italian spices and dried herbs to match the flavors of the Italian stewed tomatoes.
How to make stewed tomatoes from scratch?
So, what if you can’t find the stewed tomatoes in the stores! You can make your own stewed tomatoes at home using fresh tomatoes.
Homemade stewed tomatoes are much healthier than market bought ones. Once prepared, these tomatoes can easily be stored for long term use as well.
To make the stewed tomatoes, here is what you will need:
- Vegetables like onion, celery and bell pepper
- Cooking pot
To make the stewed tomatoes, you need to peel the tomatoes first, then cut them in half. Remove their seeds using a scraper and chop them into small cubes.
Once the tomatoes are ready, transfer to a cooking pot. Chop the other vegetables as well and add to the tomatoes. Without adding any water, cook these veggies together. Make sure to cover the pot and cook on a low simmer for 15 minutes with occasional stirring. Add some seasoning and sugar as per taste and mix well.
Canned Stewed Tomatoes or Homemade Stewed Tomatoes?
It’s all about your personal preferences. If you don’t have the time and energy to make the stewed tomatoes at home, then you can easily get the canned stewed tomatoes, and in that case, that is the only smart choice.
But if you don’t rely on the market bought products and want to avoid certain preservatives or additives, then cooking the stewed tomatoes from fresh tomatoes and vegetables is always a healthy option. The stewing process is simple and quick, so it won’t put you in too much trouble.
Stewed tomatoes come in different quantities, mainly in 14 and 28-ounce cans. To replace 14 ounces of stewed tomatoes, use 2 cups of fresh whole tomatoes with 1¾ cup of chopped vegetables.
How to make Stewed tomatoes from canned tomatoes?
You can always make stewed tomatoes from canned or crushed tomatoes. The recipe is pretty much the same as the one with fresh tomatoes; just make sure to chop the canned tomatoes before cooking with the veggies.
Tips for Storing The Homemade Stewed Tomatoes
Stewed tomatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for short term use and in the freezer for long term use.
To store the stewed tomatoes in the refrigerator, simply add them to a large sealable glass jar. Cover its lid and refrigerate for up to 7-14 days.
But if you want to store them for months, then store them in the freezer. Divide them into small ziplock bags, remove all the air and seal the bag then freeze.