8+ Roma Tomato Substitute Options

Roma tomatoes are plum tomatoes used for canning and can be purchased in supermarkets as a general food ingredient. In this article, we’ll be exploring the best alternative options for Roma tomatoes. So read on to find out what you need to know about similar options you can use in any situation!

What Are Roma Tomatoes?

The Roma Tomato is one of the most common tomatoes sold in grocery stores and supermarkets worldwide. They are primarily grown in the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Italy, and Australia. However, they are also grown all around the world.

They are a type of plum tomato, commonly used to make tomato paste, passata, and tomato sauce and in various other recipes.

The main difference between Roma tomatoes and regular tomatoes is the size, shape, and overall flavor. All plum tomatoes are slightly larger than regular tomatoes and less round. In terms of taste differences, you’ll find that Roma tomatoes are better for cooking because of a rich, savory flavor that combines well with the inherent sweetness of the tomato. Regular tomatoes are often better for salads, antipasto, etc.

Roma Tomato Substitute: Best Options

1. San Marzano

San Marzano tomatoes are one of the best plum tomatoes out there, and if you can get them, you’d be making a considerable upgrade to the Roma variety. The San Marzano is a mighty tomato with a rich meatiness and just enough sweetness.

This is the best option for when you want to make a sauce, paste, or similar. You can use them as a 1:1 replacement, meaning you can use them in the same quantities.

2. Ropreco

If you want a fresh tomato replacement for Roma, the Ropreco tomato is the one we would recommend as they taste even richer and more delicious than Roma tomatoes.

You can also find them canned, although it is not as common to see these on the shelves of supermarkets and grocery stores. These tomatoes are also popular for tomato paste, often being sold as ‘Ropreco paste.’

3. Plum Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are just one type of plum tomato.

Regular canned plum tomatoes have to come high up on the list for one good reason. Most canned tomatoes are, in fact, varieties of Roma tomato.

Many varieties of Roma tomatoes are cultivated, canned, and sold on the shelves of supermarkets. If you check the labels, you might find that you are looking at a lovely tin of Roma.

Should the plum tomatoes hanging around in your pantry not be Roma, then they still make an excellent option as a substitute since they will offer the same textures and much of the richness that all plum tomatoes boast.

4. Amish Paste

These tomatoes might have nothing to do with the Amish, and they aren’t sold only as a paste. But, if that all seems very confusing, then the taste won’t. One of the most sought-after tomatoes in recent years, the Amish Paste tomato won’t disappoint you if you can find it as a Roma replacement. It tastes similar to the premium quality of a San Marzano while also offering the delightful sweetness of the Roma.

5. Big Mama

Oh, mama mia! Do you want a plum tomato that makes you want to sing? The big mama is ideal for thick and creamy sauces, passatas for pizzas, and almost everything between, making them an excellent Roma tomato alternative.

Big Mama is quickly gaining popularity among home gardeners. Big Mama is a hybrid variety of tomato that is prized for its large, juicy tomatoes. The tomatoes are sweet and have a dense, meaty texture. Big Mama tomatoes can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to sauces. They are also an excellent choice for canning and preserving.

You can reduce whole big mama tomatoes into a sauce as they are famed for being easy peelers, while you can use the canned varieties for various uses.

6. Canned Tomatoes

You can use regular canned tomatoes in place of Roma tomatoes when cooking. The best use of canned tomatoes is for pasta sauces, chili dishes, and similar.

Canned tomatoes, whether diced/chopped or whole, are usually either Roma or San Marzano. If you want to match the overall flavor as much as possible, look in the store for canned plum tomatoes.

7. Campari Tomatoes

Campari tomatoes are versatile medium-sized tomatoes that taste good in almost any situation. They do make good substitutions for Roma tomatoes when you’re out of other options.

Thanks to their versatility, you can use Campari tomatoes for topping pizzas, sauces, sandwiches, and much more.

They’re both sweet and somewhat juicy with a fresh bite and a forgiving texture that isn’t soft nor chewy. However, the skins do not break down as easily in sauces as some of the plum tomatoes on this list.

8. Beefsteak Tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes can be a useful substitute when you need something that will give you the much-loved ‘meatiness’ that you get from Roma tomatoes.

Beefsteak tomatoes have fewer seeds than plum tomatoes such as the Roma. With more flesh and less overall liquid, they work well in sauces, except for the fact the skins are thicker. So if you can remove the skin with care, then these make unbelievable sauces, pastes, and more.

Often used for stuffing recipes, salads, and burger toppings, you can be assured that the flavor of these tomatoes goes well in virtually any dish. Just make sure you get them as fresh as possible if you want the best result!


There are many ideal options when looking for a good replacement for Roma tomatoes. The substitution you want will be based on what recipe you’re looking for, the flavor profile of the tomato, and occasionally the size and texture as well. Give one of the options above a go, and get back to cooking your meal!

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