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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Crushed Tomato Substitutes

So, you’re at the store, and you reach for the can of crushed tomatoes, but it’s not there.

You check the shelf again, but still no crushed tomatoes.

Don’t worry; we’ve all been there.

Crushed tomatoes are a key ingredient in many recipes, so it can be frustrating when they’re not available.

But don’t despair; there are plenty of substitutes that will work just as well in your dish.

Here are five of the best substitutes for crushed tomatoes.

With any of these ingredients, your dish will still be delicious.

What are Crushed Tomatoes? Using Crushed Tomatoes

what are crushed tomatoes using crushed tomatoes

Crushed tomatoes are made from whole tomatoes peeled and seeded, then crushed into smaller pieces.

They have a slightly chunkier texture than canned tomato sauce or purée, and their flavor is slightly more concentrated.

Crushed tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes, from hearty pasta sauces to lighter soups and stews.

When cooking with crushed tomatoes, it is important to simmer them to bring out their full flavor.

This process can be accelerated by adding a splash of wine or vinegar to the pot.

Crushed tomatoes can also be used as a pizza sauce or as a base for homemade salsa.

Crushed tomatoes are an essential ingredient in any home cook’s repertoire with their bright flavor and true versatility.

Delight your family and friends with dishes made with this pantry staple today.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Crushed Tomatoes

For those who don’t like the texture of crushed tomatoes or can’t find them at the store, plenty of substitutes will work in a recipe.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsSubstitute Ratio
Fresh TomatoesJuicy and flavorful tomatoesUse 1.5 times the amount of crushed tomatoes for fresh tomatoes
Tomato PasteConcentrated tomato flavorDilute with water to achieve desired consistency
Canned TomatoesCooked and canned tomatoesUse 1:1 substitution for crushed tomatoes
Diced TomatoesChopped tomatoes in juiceUse 1:1 substitution for crushed tomatoes
Sun-dried TomatoesIntense and concentrated tomato flavorRehydrate in warm water and blend to desired consistency

When savoring Italian flavors and seeking substitutes for crushed tomatoes, consider the following options:

1 – Fresh Tomatoes

fresh tomatoes

There is nothing quite like the taste of fresh tomato for many people.

However, canned tomatoes are often more convenient when it comes to cooking.

But what if you want the flavor of a fresh tomato without all the hassle? In that case, you can substitute fresh tomatoes for canned crushed tomatoes.

Fresh tomatoes will need to be peeled and seeded before being used as a substitute.

However, the result will be worth the extra effort.

The tomatoes will retain their shape and texture, adding a bright pop of flavor to your dish.

To replace crushed tomatoes, use 1.5 times the amount of fresh tomatoes, as they contain more moisture. Dice or puree the fresh tomatoes to achieve the desired consistency.

2 – Tomato Paste

tomato paste

Tomato paste is made from concentrated tomatoes and typically has a thicker consistency than crushed tomatoes.

It can be found in the international aisle of most supermarkets.

When substituting tomato paste for crushed tomatoes, it is important to thin out the paste with water before adding it to the recipe.

For every six ounces of tomato paste, add one cup of water.

Then, add the tomato paste to the recipe as you would crushed tomatoes.

With this easy substitution, you can make your favorite recipes even when crushed tomatoes are unavailable.

To use tomato paste as a substitute for crushed tomatoes, dilute it with water to achieve the desired consistency.

Start with a small amount of tomato paste and gradually add water until you reach the desired thickness.

3 – Canned Tomatoes

canned tomatoes

While fresh tomatoes are always the best choice for recipes calling for crushed tomatoes, there are times when canned tomatoes are a better option.

For instance, canned tomatoes will do in a pinch if you need to make a dish at the last minute and don’t have time to wait for fresh tomatoes to ripen.

Additionally, certain dishes benefit from the longer cooking time that canned tomatoes undergo.

This extra time breaks down the tomato’s cell walls, resulting in a richer flavor and smoother texture.

Use a 1:1 substitution ratio when replacing crushed tomatoes with canned tomatoes. Make sure to drain any excess liquid before using them in your recipes.

4 – Diced Tomatoes

diced tomatoes

While diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes can be used in many of the same dishes, there are some key differences between the two products.

Crushed tomatoes have been cooked down into a thick sauce, while diced tomatoes retain their original shape and texture.

As a result, diced tomatoes can add a fresh, bright flavor to soup and stew recipes.

They can also be used as a healthy topping for pizza or tacos.

However, crushed tomatoes are better for dishes that require a longer cooking time, such as chili or marinara sauce.

Their smoother consistency makes them easier to work with when spreading on bread or crackers.

The next time you’re looking for a tomato product for your recipe, choose the one that best suits your needs.

They can be used as a 1:1 substitution for crushed tomatoes. The texture of diced tomatoes will be chunkier than crushed tomatoes, but they will still provide a similar tomato flavor.

5 – Sun-dried Tomatoes

sundried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are a delicious and convenient alternative.

Add them to your recipe in place of crushed tomatoes.

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for about 10 minutes, then drain and chop them.

You may need to add a little extra water or tomato paste to thin out the sauce, but the sun-dried tomatoes will add a deep, complex flavor that will take your dish to the next level.

To use sun-dried tomatoes as a substitute for crushed tomatoes, rehydrate them in warm water until soft.

Then, blend the sun-dried tomatoes to the desired consistency using a blender or food processor.


In conclusion, Crush tomatoes offer a convenient and delicious way to add flavor to your favorite dishes.

However, they can be difficult to find in stores.

Luckily, several substitutes can be used in their place.

These include fresh tomatoes, diced tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and sun-dried tomatoes.

You can easily find an ingredient that will work well in your recipe with a little creativity.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Crushed Tomatoes

Spice up your culinary creations with these 5 top substitutes for crushed tomatoes. Whether it's tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, or even fresh tomatoes, we've compiled the best alternatives to elevate your recipes. Say goodbye to kitchen dilemmas and hello to delicious flexibility with these fantastic tomato substitutes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for crushed tomatoes
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