Do you love stewed tomatoes? Are stewed tomatoes the main ingredient of your dishes? Well, you are not alone in the stewed tomatoes’ fan list. Stewed tomatoes are the smartest, straightforward, and quick way to add flavor to the meals as it reduces your effort of tomato preparation and other vegetables.
Stew tomatoes can be used in multiple recipes to add flavor or to prepare the recipe quickly; you can use stewed tomatoes in preparation of soup, sauce, and stew, etc. You can purchase stewed tomatoes from the market, packed in jars, but preparing them at home is also simple; moreover, you can also store them for future use.
However, many times it happens that your cooking is in full swing, and you realize that your most necessary can of stewed tomato is empty. There is no more pain than realizing that your most favorite ingredient is no more in the kitchen. Anyhow, no need to panic because we are going to introduce the most common and handy substitutes that are always available in your kitchen, and you can confidently use them in recipes without losing the basic taste of your dish.
Are you pondering what those substitutes are? Well, scroll down to explore the ingredients that will give you a stewed tomato-like taste.
Instead of directly jumping on the stewed tomato substitutes, let’s explore what stewed tomatoes are!
Stewed tomato is the dish of the US, and stew refers to the mixture of vegetables and other food ingredients prepared in a liquid medium. Tomatoes that are fresh and cooked with salt and various seasonings are called the stewed tomatoes.
Usually, stewed tomatoes contain onions, garlic, bell pepper, and celery, consumed with bread and meat. These ingredients can be used as a side dish or heated and added to sauces, soups, and stews.
Every American prepares these stewed tomatoes in different ways; some may add vegetables or recommend the old cooking style just with herbs and tomatoes. There are numerous variations of tomatoes all over the world in the form of tomato sauces and stews.
If a recipe shouts for “Stewed Tomatoes,” then you can use canned tomatoes instead of stewed tomatoes, but you may have to add a little extra seasoning. You can also use Fresh Tomatoes, Basted Tomatoes, Diced Tomatoes, Crushed Tomatoes, Whole Tomatoes, and Tomato Paste.
It is essential to know about the substitutions of stewed tomatoes so as not to lose the dish’s taste. Substitutions of stewed tomatoes depend on the dish; if the dish is tomato flavored and colored, the acidity and bit of sour, then stewed tomatoes can be replaced with the sweet paprika, a bit of sugar, and with the juice from sauerkraut in a soup or the stew.
There is not much difference between these substitutions of stewed tomatoes except their brand, and you need to know that in a recipe which tomato substitute you should use in the form of texture, size, and taste. For example, a plum tomato does not equate to a cherry tomato.
Let’s get into the details of substitutions for stewed tomatoes!
Diced tomatoes are small and have solid chunks, while stewed tomatoes are big and soft chunks. Diced tomatoes are simple tomatoes cut into small square pieces and then canned into tomato juice; diced tomatoes can be cooked a bit, but they are not stewed like stewed tomatoes.
Diced tomatoes contain salt and other seasonings; these can also be fire-roasted before canning for an additional layer of smoky flavor. Diced tomatoes can be a replacement for stewed tomatoes in soups, stews, pasta, and other recipes.
If you cook diced tomatoes for a long time and add some vegetables, then you can use them in the place of stewed tomatoes.
Diced tomatoes are salty and delightful because of stewing them with onions, garlic, peppers, and spices. If you want to make stewed tomatoes, then take fresh tomatoes and peel them off, chop them and then stew in their liquid.
Another substitute for stewed tomatoes is crushed tomatoes. They are crushed until they have a smooth texture and are often mixed with a bit of tomato puree. It is an excellent replacement for stewed tomatoes.
Crushed tomatoes are a mixture of fresh tomatoes crushed and tomato puree, and they are easy to pour. These tomatoes are thick in texture and have small chunks of tomatoes, and the texture of tomatoes is actually between the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. One brand’s crushed tomatoes can be chunky mash, while the other can be nearly a smooth puree.
Crushed tomatoes maintain a bright flavor; the texture and consistency will be a little different from stewed tomatoes, but it’s okay. These are suitable for pasta sauces and creamier soups, and they can be the main ingredient in your spaghetti and pasta sauces recipe.
Plum tomatoes are called whole tomatoes packed in juice within a can, and these tomatoes are peeled off, but still, their seeds are undamaged and whole. Most people use whole tomatoes in the soups and pasta sauces etc., and before tossing them in, smash them on their own.
You can add the juices to the recipe if you need more bulk and tomato flavor, and whole tomatoes offer you many options that you can add seasonings according to your own choice.
If you want to turn the whole tomatoes into stewed tomatoes, then you need to work a little more because of seasonings. You can cook canned whole tomatoes with ¼ cup of chopped bell pepper and ¼ cup of chopped onions. It will give a better, even fresher flavor than the canned stewed tomatoes.
When you find nothing in your kitchen quickly, make tomato paste because it’s easy and quick to make. It is the ability of the tomatoes that preserve most of their beneficial properties during the heat treatment. The natural tomato paste is an excellent healthy product.
The paste of the tomatoes is different from the tomato puree due to its high solid contents, about 25 to 40 percent. Tomato paste improves the taste of marinades, soups, Lechon, and sauces and makes them thicker, and the color becomes more attractive, bright, and intense.
Tomato paste can be an excellent substitution for the stewed tomatoes in soups, and it can help to give you the same intense flavor of tomato. If you add other ingredients like onions and bell pepper, you will not feel any difference between the tomato paste and stewed tomatoes. It is also best for meat dishes as well as stewed tomatoes.
When you boil, peel, seed, and fresh puree tomatoes, you get the tomato sauce. It is like tomato paste but thicker with additional ingredients of some brands like Parmesan cheese, basil, and sugar.
Tomato sauce doesn’t have small chunks of tomatoes like tomato paste; it can work best in stews, pizza toppings, and sauces. The thickness and consistency affect the recipe’s texture, and the ¾ cup of tomato sauce is enough to replace the one cup of stewed tomatoes.
The quality of tomato sauce adds brightness and flavor to recipes. It is best to use the unseasoned brand to adjust the recipe’s flavor by adding different seasonings and spices according to your own wish.
Ketchup can be used as a substitute for stewed tomatoes because it is a recipe that includes spice, vinegar, and sugar. It is sweet, and it also can be used to prepare such meals that are prepared by using stewed tomatoes.
Ketchup can be taken in small amounts because it is not as thick as stewed tomatoes because of its sugar content, but it gives an excellent taste to meals.
If you want to make a quick replacement of stewed tomatoes from scratch, then use ripped tomatoes, and this entire process will take less than 25 minutes approximately. The process needs a little more than chopping and cooking ingredients.
For this procedure, you need 3 to 4 large-sized tomatoes to make the equivalent of a 14.5-ounce sized can and 6 to 8 tomatoes to make the equivalent of a 28 ounce sized can.
So these were the substitutes of steed tomatoes; the use of substitute depends upon the dish you are making and the reason behind its use. The below are some more replacements that you can use if you are making Mexican or Italian dishes.
In Mexican Stewed Tomatoes, there are more chilies and spices added to the basic stewed tomato recipes. There’s an option for you that you can replace Mexican stewed tomatoes with diced tomatoes with green chilies.
Italian stewed tomatoes are quite different from the basic stewed tomatoes because they have additional herbs and seasonings such as the dried parsley and Italian spices. Italian stewed tomatoes also have a different taste in comparison with basic stewed tomatoes.
Suppose you want to replace Italian stewed tomatoes. In that case, you can use all the substitutes mentioned above, but make sure to use those extra Italian spices and the dried herbs because these will give a matched flavor to the Italian stewed tomatoes.
Stewed tomatoes contain many health benefits, such as a good amount of vitamin A and C along with lots of fibers and antioxidants are included in them. Due to the addition of other vegetables, this cooked tomato mixture has more nutrients than other plain tomato paste and sauces.
When the stewed tomatoes are compared to raw tomatoes, the stewed tomatoes have a higher concentration of lycopene as well because when the other veggies are cooked together for a while, all the nutrients release slowly into the mixture, which makes the absorption of them easy.
You can store stewed tomatoes in the refrigerator for short-term use and in the freezer for long-term use.
If you want to store the stewed tomatoes in the refrigerator, then you need to simply add them into a large sealable glass jar. And after that, cover the lid of the jar, and you can refrigerate them for up to 7 to 14 days.
But if you want to store them for the long term, then you can store them in the freezer. For that, you need to divide them into small ziplock bags, then remove all the air and seal the bags and freeze them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tomato puree is another substitute for stewed tomatoes, but it is thinner than the latte. It can be used to prepare meals of your own choice. To supplement it, you can add onion, pepper, and other essential ingredients before using them in your recipe.
It is the quality of tomato puree that offers the same nutritional benefits as stewed tomatoes do, and it is good to use them with rice. The only difference between tomato puree and stewed tomato is thickness because stewed tomatoes are thicker than tomato puree.
Stewed tomatoes are cooked and seasoned with herbs, spices, sugar, and some other flavors like onion, peppers, celery before they are canned. Stewed tomatoes are relatively sweeter and softer than whole tomatoes.
It’s up to you whether you want canned stewed tomatoes or you want to make it at home because canned one saves your time in the kitchen, and it has zero prep time. You can prepare it at home with fresh tomatoes through a quick process, and it does not require canning.
First of all you need to peel, core, seed, and diced tomatoes and add some onions, celery, and pepper, then reduce the heat to stew and cover it. Cook it for 10-15 minutes until the onions, pepper, and celery are not soft, then add some sugar and seasonings to it and mix. These homemade stewed tomatoes are ready, and you can enjoy them.
Some recipes demand a particular amount of tomatoes, and most of the cans come in 14 ounce and 28-ounce sizes. You need a 2 cup measuring cup if you want to replace that 14-ounce size can of stewed tomatoes. You need to spoon the cooked vegetables loosely until they reach the one ¾ cup mark, and after that, cover the vegetables with the tomato juices you set aside.
Tip: Fresh tomatoes can be stored for 28 days, but the quality can be reduced after that timespan.
If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, then there’s not a problem at all. You can also go for the Canned crushed tomatoes and whole tomatoes as well. Before adding them to the pot with the other vegetables, you need to dice them up.
For an emergency, it is convenient to have canned tomatoes at home or when you don’t have time to go to the store. Sometimes the fresh products decay quickly and force you to discard them. Buying canned tomatoes will save your money, and it will exceed the storage for them.
Stewed tomatoes are tasty and healthy as well, and they have high nutritional benefits and contain large amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and other vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, the addition of vegetables and herbs like garlic, celery, onion, and bell peppers also increases the nutritional benefits of the dishes.
So if you want to replace stewed tomatoes with some other types of canned tomatoes, you need to remember to add some extra veggies to your dish and make it more nutritious and tastier.
According to the research, if tomatoes are cooked a little bit, they will provide more health benefits than fresh tomatoes. According to the study conducted by the University of Lincoln, when you eat raw tomatoes, then only a tiny chunk of lycopene is absorbed, and it is about 4%.
The amount of lycopene is increased when the tomatoes are stewed, and it happens because the liquid evaporates during the heat treatment, and it is more practical dry matter remains.
Stewed tomato is a must-have ingredient for many dishes as it can be used in different recipes to get the flavor of tomato and to enhance the taste of the dish that is being cooked. But many times, the situation becomes challenging when you realize the stewed tomatoes are no more in your kitchen,
Anyhow, to reduce this stress, in this article, we have enlisted the seven best substitutes for stewed tomatoes that will make your recipe successful, and you will not even realize that substitute has been used.
So instead of panicking, try these substitutes and surprise your family with your smartness and palatable dishes.