5 Best Substitutes For Crushed Tomatoes (With IMAGES!)

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Substitutes For Crushed Tomatoes



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It’s almost magical what a can of crushed tomatoes does to a dish recipe. This go-to and simple ingredient goes a long way to give us the desired taste and look for our favorite Italian dishes.

You can prepare a range of dishes with crushed tomatoes, from the spaghetti and marina pasta to soups, beef, chili and chicken stews, and your favorite salsa.

But what happens when you run out of your grocery supply of crushed tomatoes in the middle of the night when cooking?

Now, this is where the best substitutes for crushed tomatoes come in handy. Some of the best crushed tomatoes substitutes are tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes.

What Are Crushed Tomatoes?

What Are Crushed Tomatoes

Crushed tomatoes are simply fresh tomato fruits that have been finely diced into an even texture, crushed, cooked partly, stored, and preserved in a tin or can.

Most brands are specific in their processing methods, but it’s mostly diced tomatoes in their puree. Crushed tomatoes are thick enough to be used in the recipe for pasta sauce.

Best Substitutes for Crushed Tomatoes

Are you out of crushed tomatoes, and your recipes demand it? Don’t you fret; here’s a comprehensive list of the best substitutes for crushed tomatoes in your dish.

Practically, any recipe that requires the crushed tomatoes for the sauce can equally use its substitutes for a base. In a crushed tomato emergency?  Here’s how to make the best out of it with this carefully drawn-out list below.

1. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste

In a completely ground form, this alternative’s thickness density is relatively higher than the crushed tomatoes, so it’s best to add diced fresh tomatoes and blend together or add a small quantity of water to achieve consistency.  

It’s important to note that with tomato paste, you won’t be needing as much as with crushed tomatoes.

2. Diced Tomatoes

diced tomatoes

You would easily walk into a world of different brands of canned diced tomatoes in any grocery store, or you can simply make yours at home.

All it requires is chopping your fresh tomatoes into chunks and blend in together with your tomato puree or paste to achieve texture.

3. Sun-dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried Tomatoes

Tomatoes, when ripe, are harvested and passed through rigorous preservation techniques, after which they are dried up under the sun.

Large quantities of salts are used in the preservation process, and tomatoes lose their moisture and shrink up when dried.

This substitute gives a savory taste and should be used fairly.

4. Whole Peeled Tomatoes

Whole Peeled Tomatoes

This is an easy method. Here, dice the tomatoes into sections. After which, you pour them into a bowl, mash them with a spoon or masher and allow them to boil over medium-high heat.

In three minutes, they would be soft and slightly cooked.

5. Homemade Crushed Tomatoes

Homemade Crushed Tomatoes

This is the best alternative to canned crushed tomatoes. It’s healthy and fresh and has minimal to zero preservation salt content.

How To Make Homemade Crushed Tomatoes


  • 10 or more medium-sized fresh tomatoes (depending on size)
  • 3-4 liters of water
  • Salt or olive oil (optional)


  • Wash your fresh tomatoes. Do this with salt to ensure it’s properly washed.
  • Allow to dry or dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Cut the tomatoes from the top part (the point of attachment to the brand).
  • Rinse a big deep pot and pour 3-4 liters of water in it.
  • For flavor and taste, you could add a tablespoon of olive oil and salt, if desired.
  • Bring the water to boil, add in your tomatoes, and steam for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  • After 10 minutes, the tomato flesh should be softer and skin peeling. At this point, you can bring down and strain. The broth should be kept for future use.
  • Allow tomatoes to cool for 3-5 minutes.
  • Once it’s cool enough, peel the skin from the tomatoes.
  • Pour the peeled tomatoes into a big container and mash them using a potato masher or fork.
  • And your homemade crushed tomatoes are now ready to use for any recipe and dishes!
  • Preserve your crushed tomatoes in an airtight jar or container. 
  • Its shelf life can last up to a week when frozen can stay up to a month.

Crushed Tomatoes And Its Substitutes Are Ideal For:

  • Pizza sauce
  • Tomato soup
  • Chili
  • Salsa
  • Meatball dishes
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Marinara sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Difference Between Crushed Tomatoes And Diced Tomatoes?

Diced tomatoes are tomato chunks stuffed in tomato juice. They save a lot of time. Crushed tomatoes are a mixture of diced tomatoes and tomato puree or paste.

Can Diced Tomatoes Be Used Instead Of Crushed Tomatoes?

Yes, diced tomatoes can be used instead of crushed tomatoes, except you’ll need to intensify the cooking time to break down the chunks.

You could also blend and add a bit of tomato paste to them to achieve a similar consistency to that of crushed tomatoes.

Can I Substitute Tomato Paste For Crushed Tomatoes?

Tomato paste can be an alternative as it is nice and thicker than expected to crushed tomatoes.

Can I Substitute Tomato Sauce For Crushed Tomatoes?

Yes, you can, but then your consistency won’t be entirely on point. You can use a combination of tomato paste + tomato sauce to achieve consistency.

Can I Substitute Tomato Puree For Crushed Tomatoes?

Tomato puree is not quite as thick as the crushed tomatoes; You might want to adjust the volume of other liquid ingredients and increase the cooking time to achieve desired consistency.

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Due to the crazy busy schedule of our lives, canned foods are an excellent time-saver. But then, it’s vital to our health that we minimize our rate of canned food consumption.

Homemade crushed tomatoes are the best option in our list of best substitutes for crushed tomatoes.


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