Diced tomatoes, also known as chopped tomatoes, can be prepared fresh but often come canned in a tin and are then used as an ingredient in dozens of recipes. Sometimes you need a diced tomato substitute, which we will explore in this article.
Diced tomato is an essential ingredient in Italian dishes such as Spaghetti Bolognese and more. The tomatoes sit in a liquid of their tomato juices and sometimes contain added ingredients such as basil. As you can use them to make sauces, they are versatile ingredients that you will find listed in dozens of recipes.
Read on to find out the best alternatives you can use for diced tomatoes in any recipe or situation.
Substitutes for Diced Tomatoes
1. Fresh Tomatoes
One of the better replacements for diced tomatoes is fresh tomatoes. You can chop and dice them fresh for your recipe.
Keep in mind that you might want to use extra tomatoes and collect the pulp for the juices. The consequence means that there would be a little waste unless you want to save the tomatoes you’re not chopping for later.
Just about any tomato should be fine to use, but you will often find that diced tomatoes are of the San Marzano variety. So for the closest possible flavor, you should opt for that kind.
2. Tomato Paste
Tomato Paste or ‘Passata’ is a mixture of diced tomatoes and tomato puree that you refine into a paste. It is rich and delicious without the sharp taste that you might expect from something like tomato puree.
Using Passata as an alternative to diced tomatoes is a good option in dishes where you need to thicken sauces such as bolognese, chili con carne, marinara, and similar.
Tomato Paste can also be combined with freshly diced tomatoes because fresh tomatoes are not the best choice for cooking a sauce.
3. Blended Tomatoes
Blended tomatoes or ‘tomato juice’ is something you can make from home with a blender. Just take some fresh Roma or San Marzano tomatoes, dice them into quarters, and blend them.
You might want to add a little salt and possibly even a teaspoon of sugar to account for the fact that sometimes tomato juice can be a little sharp.
Blend your tomatoes to get the benefits of fresh tomatoes and the ability to create delicious soups and sauces with ease.
4. Tomato Puree
Tomato puree is a thick, dense paste that makes an excellent alternative option to diced tomatoes from a can. You can’t go wrong with it if you want to create thick delicious soups and sauces. However, you should be aware that it can add a trace of bitterness to your dish if you use too much.
If you want a thin sauce or soup, you can add it to a dish and add a little hot water to create the desired consistency. You can also do this with tomato puree to add to other kinds of sauces for extra richness.
Are you using diced tomatoes for pizza? Combine 1 tablespoon of tomato puree with 3 tablespoons of passata and mix well to create the perfect tomato base for the most delicious homemade pizza you’ll ever make.
5. Peeled Tomatoes
Peeled tomatoes make another ideal substitute for diced ones. They offer a nicer texture with no skin on, but you should take care to remove the cores so that you don’t bite into something hard when eating.
Peeled tomatoes come with plenty of juice to add to your cooking, so that shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you want something extra special… Try mixing them into a saucepan, add a pinch of salt and simmer with the lid on until the tomatoes start to reduce and thicken. This approach makes the perfect basis for the sauce in a mouthwatering marinara.
When you need a diced tomato substitute, there are only a handful of good options that you need to know about. One of the above substitutions should come in handy in almost any situation.