Substitutes for Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

Fire-roasted tomatoes are delicious, smoky, and rich in flavor. They are used in numerous dishes and recipes such as pizza or pasta.

This dish-enhancing tomato can be used in dozens of recipes. So if you don’t have fire-roasted tomatoes on hand, or if they are unavailable at the grocery store, what should you do?

Check out these excellent substitutes, of course!

1. Sun-dried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes might be the best alternative for fire-roasted tomatoes, and not because they both have hyphens in the name. What both of these have in common is a unique and distinct flavor.

These tomatoes are baked in the sun to remove all moisture. They are then salted, drizzled with olive oil, and ready to eat. The result is a rich mouth-bursting flavor.

These can be easier to find in grocery stores and work well as a fire-roasted replacement in pizzas.

2. Seared tomatoes

It might not be the same as roasting a tomato over a fire, but seared tomatoes are still a fantastic option that unlocks many similar flavors through the cooking process.

Take some freshly diced tomatoes:

  • Grab a skillet (frying pan)
  • Add a little olive oil and brush it over the entire base of the pan
  • Cut tomatoes into halves
  • Use high heat to preheat the pan until the oil begins to smoke
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook until a browned crust begins to develop
  • Turn the tomato and repeat

The high heat and browning of the tomato lock in the delicious flavors.

3. Pan roasted tomatoes

pan roasted tomatoes on the vine

Pan-roasted tomatoes are a good substitute for fire-roasted tomatoes because they undergo a similar process of being cooked at a consistent heat that will cook evenly. This is also an easier option than searing tomatoes, but the result can be somewhat similar. 

  • Take your tomatoes and cut them in half
  • Add them to an oven dish
  • Drizzle in a small amount of olive oil
  • Add a little kosher salt or rock salt
  • Bake in the oven at high heat for 20-30 minutes

4. Freshly diced tomatoes

Using diced tomatoes over other options on this list is a good option when the flavor isn’t as important as the tomato itself. Some recipes taste perfectly fine without fire-roasted tomatoes and they have been recommended as a way to give the whole dish an extra dimension.

Salads are a good example of dishes where freshly-diced tomatoes can be used in place of fire-roasted and perhaps even taste better in some circumstances.

Because diced tomatoes haven’t undergone a cooking process they do retain water and this should be taken into account when using them as a substitute in other dishes or recipes.

5. Canned plum tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are a good option, but making sure that the tomatoes are plum tomatoes can be an even better idea. They are most similar to fire-roasted tomatoes in texture – although they won’t have the same skin.

Used in place of fire-roasted tomatoes when creating pasta dishes this can be a good alternative, especially if you remove excess sauce and cut the tomatoes into halves.