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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for San Marzano Tomatoes

Finding the perfect San Marzano tomatoes can sometimes be a real hassle.

Good news, though, we’ve got your back.

In a pinch, there are some great alternatives that’ll keep your dishes delicious.

Who said gourmet cooking has to be hard? Certainly not us.

We’re here to simplify your kitchen adventures with some top-notch San Marzano substitutes.

No need to scour the globe or break the bank.

These options are probably right in your local store.

Stay tuned; we’re about to make your cooking life a whole lot easier.

The 5 Best Substitutes for San Marzano Tomatoes

San Marzano tomatoes are highly prized for their sweet flavor and low acidity, making them a popular choice for Italian sauces and dishes.

However, if you’re unable to find San Marzano tomatoes or need alternatives, there are several substitutes available.

In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for San Marzano tomatoes, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you achieve similar results in your recipes.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Canned TomatoesConvenient and readily available; offer a balance of sweetness and acidityUse an equal amount of canned tomatoes as a substitute for San Marzano tomatoes
Cherry TomatoesSmall and sweet with a burst of flavor; provide a vibrant pop of color and freshnessUse an equal amount of cherry tomatoes as a substitute for San Marzano tomatoes
Roma TomatoesMeaty and flavorful; have a good balance of sweetness and acidityUse an equal amount of Roma tomatoes as a substitute for San Marzano tomatoes
Sun-dried TomatoesIntense and concentrated flavor; add richness and depth to dishesUse a smaller amount of sun-dried tomatoes compared to San Marzano tomatoes
Tomato PasteThick and concentrated; provides a deep tomato flavor and richnessUse a smaller amount of tomato paste compared to San Marzano tomatoes

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Canned Tomatoes

canned tomatoes

If you come across San Marzano Tomatoes, taste them.

If they are not your liking, you can choose another domestically grown tomato.

However, certain circumstances allow for better alternatives than others.

For example, if it’s winter and the only San Marzano Tomatoes available are pale compared to the vibrant colors of summer, they are likely to be bland.

However, if you come across good-quality San Marzano Tomatoes in winter, by all means, go for it.

Most canned fruits and vegetables will not live up to the expectations set by Italian farmers and growers.

This is because they receive their supplies from afar, resulting in lower quality products.

If you can find locally grown and sourced canned tomatoes, it may be worth using them in place of San Marzano Tomatoes.

  • Key Characteristics: Canned tomatoes are a convenient substitute and are widely available. They offer a balance of sweetness and acidity, providing a good base for sauces and soups.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of canned tomatoes as a substitute for San Marzano tomatoes. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements.

2 – Cherry Tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are generally sweeter than their regular-sized cousins, and this is why they tend to be more palatable.

Many consider them one of the best substitutes for San Marzano Tomatoes.

They also have slightly higher water content and lower acidity than regular tomatoes, although this is less noticeable in sweeter varieties such as grape tomatoes.

However, you should keep in mind that they lack the robust flavor which makes San Marzano Tomatoes so sought-after.

Also, this is not always a bad thing.

If you plan to use them in salads or sandwiches where they will be mixed with mayonnaise and other strong flavors, using sweeter tomatoes can provide more subtlety.

  • Key Characteristics: Cherry tomatoes are small and sweet, bursting with flavor. They add a vibrant pop of color and freshness to dishes, making them a suitable substitute for San Marzano tomatoes in salads and sauces.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of cherry tomatoes as a substitute for San Marzano tomatoes. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements.

3 – Roma Tomatoes

roma tomatoes

Roma Tomatoes are a good option if you want to prepare something quickly without spending too much time on it.

Also, because of their thick skin, they are sometimes preserved in jars after maturation is complete.

This makes them available year-round, and their taste can be compared to that of San Marzano Tomatoes even though they may not be as juicy.

Even though Roma Tomatoes can be used in place of San Marzano Tomatoes, the fact that they lack moisture and juice makes them unsuitable for many dishes.

If you’re planning to make a soup or another dish that requires adding water, using Canned Tomatoes would be more appropriate.

  • Key Characteristics: Roma tomatoes are meaty and flavorful, with a good balance of sweetness and acidity. They are an excellent substitute for San Marzano tomatoes, especially in sauces and salsas.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of Roma tomatoes as a substitute for San Marzano tomatoes. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements.

4 – Sun-dried Tomatoes

sundried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes have been dried in the sun, which often results in a much sweeter flavor.

They are a great way to bring a rich tomato flavor to your dishes if you don’t want to use canned or fresh tomatoes.

Combined with sugars and oils, they make an interesting ingredient for marinades.

As with many other dried alternatives to fresh produce, sun-dried tomatoes are sometimes used in preserving.

This is because they have a longer shelf life than their native counterparts, which allows them to be kept for long periods without losing freshness or flavor.

Also, there is no need to cook them before using them.

Their rich tomato flavor usually doesn’t require any further preparation.

  • Key Characteristics: Sun-dried tomatoes have an intense and concentrated flavor. They add richness and depth to dishes, making them a great substitute for San Marzano tomatoes when you want to enhance the tomato profile.
  • Proper Ratio: Use a smaller amount of sun-dried tomatoes compared to San Marzano tomatoes. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements, keeping in mind their intense flavor.

5 – Tomato Paste

tomato paste

Tomato paste is another option for those of us who love a juicy, flavorful tomato taste but do not have access to San Marzano Tomatoes or the time to spend preparing meals from scratch.

The paste can be mixed with water or stock and used in soups, stews, and sauces.

For best results, you should use unsalted Tomato Paste to ensure that the end product has a rich tomato flavor instead of becoming overly salty.

Also, adding vegetables such as carrots or celery can enhance this by providing additional flavors.

Depending on what dish you are preparing, you may even want to add garlic or onion.

  • Key Characteristics: Tomato paste is thick and concentrated, providing a deep tomato flavor and richness. It is a suitable substitute for San Marzano tomatoes when you desire a more robust taste in your recipes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use a smaller amount of tomato paste compared to San Marzano tomatoes. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements, as it is highly concentrated.

The 5 Best Substitutes for San Marzano Tomatoes

Searching for the perfect alternatives to San Marzano tomatoes? Your quest ends here! Delve into our list of the 5 best substitutes that seamlessly replace San Marzano tomatoes, ensuring your culinary creations maintain that rich and authentic flavor profile.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste

Instructions
 

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