Do you love the taste of fresh tomatoes but hate the seeds and skin? If so, then you’ll love strained tomatoes.
Strained tomatoes are made by removing the seeds and skin from fresh tomatoes and pureeing the flesh.
This results in a smooth, thick sauce that is perfect for all kinds of recipes.
While strained tomatoes are traditionally used in Italian cooking, they can also be used in various other dishes.
So, how do you cook with strained tomatoes? And what are the best substitutes if you can’t find them at your local grocery store? Read on to find out.
What are Strained Tomatoes?
You may have seen jars of “strained tomatoes” at the grocery store and wondered what they are.
Strained tomatoes are simply tomatoes that have been peeled and seeded.
The peeling and seeding process removes the tough skin and seeds, leaving behind a smooth tomato puree.
While you can undoubtedly strain tomatoes yourself, buying them already prepared is often more convenient.
Strained tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in various recipes.
They can be added to soups and stews for extra flavor or used as a base for homemade tomato sauce.
You can also use them in place of fresh tomatoes in recipes that call for cooking, such as casseroles and slow cooker dishes.
So next time you’re looking for an easy way to add extra flavor to your cooking, reach for a jar of strained tomatoes.
The 3 Best Substitutes for Strained Tomatoes
For many recipes, you can use diced tomatoes instead of strained tomatoes.
This will change the consistency of your dish slightly, but it will still be delicious.
However, if you want to keep the same consistency, you can try one of these three substitutes.
1 – Tomato Puree
Tomato puree is a thick, smooth sauce made from cooked and strained tomatoes.
It is commonly used as a base for other sauces and soups or as an ingredient in casseroles and other dishes.
Tomato puree can be made at home by cooking tomatoes until they are soft and then passing them through a food mill or strainer.
It can also be purchased at most grocery stores, either in cans or in jars.
While tomato puree can be used interchangeably with crushed tomatoes, it has a slightly different flavor and texture.
Crushed tomatoes are coarse and chunky, while tomato puree is smooth and creamy.
As a result, many people prefer to use tomato puree in recipes that call for a smooth sauce or soup.
2 – Crushed Tomatoes
Crushed tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.
They are perfect for making homemade tomato sauce and can also be added to stews and soups for extra flavor.
When purchasing crushed tomatoes, look for cans that are labeled “peeled” or “triple-washed”.
This means that the tomatoes have been processed and are free of harsh chemicals.
Once opened, crushed tomatoes should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used within two days.
When cooking with crushed tomatoes, be sure to add them early in the process so that they have time to soften and release their flavor.
With some experimentation, you’ll be amazed at how you can use this versatile ingredient.
3 – Tomato Paste and Water
They don’t call it the “love apple” for nothing.
The tomato has been a staple in cuisines around the world for centuries, and its versatility is one of the things that makes it so beloved.
Whether used as a simple sauce or as an ingredient in a complicated dish, the tomato always brings flavor to the table.
And while fresh tomatoes are certainly delicious, there’s something to be said for the convenience of tomato paste.
This concentrated form of fruit can be stored for long periods, making it a handy kitchen pantry staple.
Plus, it’s easy to use: add water to create a rich and flavorful tomato sauce in minutes.
In conclusion, there are many possible substitutes for strained tomatoes.
Some substitutes include tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste.
Each of these substitutes has its unique flavor and texture that can contribute to a dish differently.
Experiment with different substitutes to find the combination that you like the best.