Skip to Content

9 Best And Easy To Use Substitute For Diced Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the star ingredients in many recipes, all thanks to their tangy flavor and juicy consistency. Adding tomatoes to any recipe can make it more juicy and rich, enhancing the flavor in the best way. However, there are best substitutes for diced tomatoes.

Diced tomatoes are the most common type of tomatoes used for preparing any recipe. Let’s agree, though, that they are not always available.

Substitutes For Diced Tomatoes 

Now let’s check out the best substitutes for diced tomatoes!

Our Options Are: 

  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • Whole peeled tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato juice
  • Sun Dried tomatoes
  • Tomato passata
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce

Now let’s check these substitutes one by one to see how they work for your next best dish!

1. Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh Tomatoes Best Substitutes For Diced Tomatoes

Always the best option. If you have run out of diced tomatoes, you can simply use fresh tomatoes in place. 

Depending on your requirement, you can use one or two tomatoes and chop them up. While diced tomatoes from supermarkets have juices in the cans, you can use fresh juice from the tomatoes instead.

Will the taste differ? Well, not so much, honestly. The freshly chopped tomatoes are pretty much the same in taste as the diced ones. 

Once they have been added to the recipe, you won’t notice a difference in the overall taste. 

The best type of tomato for this preparation would be Roma or San Marzano. If you don’t have these two, any other type of tomato is also great.

Fresh tomatoes have a very strong flavor, so go easy with them. Don’t add too much of them, or it might ruin your recipe.

How To Substitute

You can substitute about one cup of diced tomatoes with one cup of fresh tomatoes. To use the fresh tomatoes as a substitute, chop them up and then stew them for about 15 minutes. They are all set to be used now.

2. Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree Substitutes For Diced Tomatoes

When you are using tomato puree, it can be confusing how much to use. For the sake of the recipe, the amount of tomato puree must be equal to the amount of diced tomatoes.

Also, if you are using tomato puree, it has to be used a step or two before you were to use diced tomatoes in the recipe. 

Why do we need to mess with recipe steps? It’s because tomato puree can easily be cooked longer than diced tomatoes. 

The diced tomatoes can become lumpy when overcooked and ruin the texture of the dish. The same is not true for tomato puree

On the contrary, adding it earlier in the recipe ensures the flavor seeps through the other ingredients and mixes well with them.

You can either prepare tomato puree at home or buy it from the market. If you are buying ready-to-use tomato puree, make sure you know if they have added salt or sugar in them. This way, you can use them in a better way.

How To Substitute

The amount of tomato puree you use should be equal to the amount of diced tomatoes you would have used. You can use the tomato puree a few steps earlier in the recipe for rich flavor and texture.

Preparing Tomato Puree At Home

Here’s how you can prepare tomato puree at home in simple steps:

  • Wash the tomatoes well and make a criss-cross cut at the base of the tomatoes
  • Now take a large pan and add water to heat. Water should be enough to fully submerge the tomatoes 
  • Make sure there’s enough space in the pan for the tomatoes to move and it’s not too crowded
  • Add approximately two tablespoons of salt for 1 kg of tomatoes. You can either increase or decrease the amount of salt depending on the number of tomatoes you are using.
  • Bring the water to boil and cook the tomatoes in them for 2 minutes
  • Now, turn the flame off and let the tomatoes sit in hot water for about 10-15 minutes
  • Strain the tomatoes and let them cool down at room temperature 
  • Now peel the tomatoes and throw away the skin along with the hard stalk part (eye of the tomato)
  • Now use a blender and blend the tomatoes in it. If you don’t have a powerful blender, then first chop these tomatoes on a clean chopping board, using a clean knife and hands
  • Blend the chopped tomatoes until they attain a pure smoothie-like texture
  • Now strain this tomato pulp/smoothie into a bowl
  • Store this puree in a clean glass container and put it in the refrigerator

3. Whole Peeled Tomatoes

Whole Peeled Tomatoes Best Substitutes For Diced Tomatoes

Whole peeled tomatoes are a great replacement for diced ones. These tomatoes are often used in pasta sauces by many people.

Plum tomatoes are nothing, but whole tomatoes pressed into a can with juice. These tomatoes don’t have peels on them, but they definitely have the seeds intact.

You can use these whole tomatoes as you see fit. Many people prefer squashing them whole before adding them to a dish.

You can also chop them neatly before adding them to various dishes. Peeled whole tomatoes are often more flavourful than diced tomatoes.

How To Substitute

Chop the whole peeled tomatoes and use them in the same quantity as you would use the diced tomatoes.

4. Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste Best Substitutes For Diced Tomatoes

Tomato pastes are a thicker and more concentrated form of your regular tomatoes. 

Tomato pastes often have a very strong flavor – it’s much better to use them in a smaller quantity and avoid adding too many extra spices and herbs to the recipe.

Tomato pastes are thicker than puree and have almost the same flavor as diced tomatoes. When added to a recipe, they will improve the denser consistency of the dish and add more flavor to it. 

How To Substitute

You should use ⅓ tablespoon of tomato paste for every full spoon of diced tomatoes.

Preparing Tomato Paste At Home

Let’s see how you can prepare tomato pastes at home:

  • Get only the ripe tomatoes and wash them well
  • Chop the tomatoes roughly – don’t worry about the shape
  • If the tomatoes are too juicy, squeeze out the juice and seeds from them
  • Now add water to a large container and bring it to boil
  • Cook the chopped tomatoes on high flame for about 2-5 minutes until they are soft
  • Now puree the tomatoes and strain them into another container
  • You can proceed to boil the tomato puree on the stove until they are half
  • Now pour this tomato mixture onto a rimmed sheet pan and put it in a preheated 300 F oven
  • If you don’t have an oven – or don’t want to use one – you can simply keep boiling the puree on the stove itself until it has been reduced to a paste
  • Don’t forget to stir the puree regularly – or else the puree might stick to the base of the pan and get burnt
  • Your homemade tomato paste is ready to be stored in clean glass jars and refrigerated 

RELATED: How Long Do Cherry Tomatoes Last? (And How to Store Them)

5. Tomato Juice

Tomato Juice

Tomato juice is another great substitute that can be used in various dishes. Often used as refreshments, tomato juice is easy to make at home.

All you have to do is put some chopped tomatoes in a blender and prepare the smoothie. Now strain this smoothie, and you will have the tasty tomato juice already.

Tomato juice is best used in poultry, fish, or meat dishes. You can use tomato juice instead of water in these dishes for stewing the ingredients.

How To Substitute

When using tomato juice, substitute two spoons of tomato juice for one spoon of diced tomato in your recipe.

6. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are not the favorite substitute for most people, but if you don’t have anything else, they definitely are a good alternative to keep around.

Don’t worry, they aren’t exactly bad – many people just don’t know how to use them. Sun-dried tomatoes are a staple in many places.

They have a sharper, intense flavor than fresh or diced tomatoes. Use them wisely and minimally to get the best flavor out of them.

How To Substitute

For every three-fourths cup of diced tomatoes you use, use one-fourth cup of dried tomatoes in your recipe. As we mentioned, dried tomatoes have a sharper and more intense flavor.

7. Tomato Passata

Tomato Passata

Tomato passata is a wonderful substitute for diced tomatoes. It’s nothing but uncooked tomato puree free of tomato skin and seeds.

Basically, any recipe that requires tomato can use tomato passata as a substitute – and it’s delicious!

Passata is even better than the cooked tomato puree because it provides your dish with a raw and fresh flavor. 

It is used best when you need tomato puree or even used as a pizza sauce! 

How To Substitute

Tomato passata is nothing but an uncooked puree of tomatoes. Therefore, you have to use as much tomato passata in your recipe as you would use diced tomatoes.

8. Canned Tomatoes

Tomato Passata

As the name suggests, canned tomatoes are prepared using heat and then sealed off in cans for later uses.

Canned tomatoes are also a great substitute for diced tomatoes

Canned tomatoes can be easily found in most stores, and they work with almost any dish you want to prepare using tomatoes.

You can easily avoid making your dish extremely juicy and running in fluids using canned tomatoes. 

How To Substitute

When substituting diced tomatoes with canned tomatoes, use a half tablespoon for every spoon of diced tomato.

RELATED: Is Tomatillo A Tomato (Difference Between Tomatoes And Tomatillos)

9. Tomato Sauce

Another great substitute – and often the favorite one – for diced tomatoes! 

Tomato sauce is often quite thin, and if you like dense consistency, you have to cook it and reduce the fluid content to suit your preference.

Another thing to remember when using tomato sauce is that they often come already flavored with spices, herbs, salt, and sugar.

Your usual diced tomatoes are not flavored. So when using tomato sauce as a replacement, ensure you’ve read the ingredients and their ratio in the sauce. 

How To Substitute

When using tomato sauce as a substitute, use one-third cup of tomato sauce with two-thirds cup of tomato puree for every cup of diced tomatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Canned Tomatoes Without Cooking Them?

No. Canned tomatoes should always be used after cooking them well. 

What Is The Difference Between Crushed And Diced Tomatoes?

The biggest difference between crushed and diced tomatoes comes due to their form and texture. 

What Are Diced Tomatoes Made Of?

Diced tomatoes are a combination of tomato lumps and their juice. 

What Are Crushed Tomatoes Made Of?

Crushed tomatoes are a combination of tomato lumps and their puree/paste.

How Is Tomato Sauce Different From Diced Tomatoes?

Tomato sauce comes with added flavor and is a thin puree of tomatoes. Diced tomatoes come without added flavors and have a thick consistency with lumps in them.

Are Sun-Dried Tomatoes Nutritious?

Sun-dried tomatoes are definitely nutritious enough, although they do lack water-soluble nutrients.

How Long Does Homemade Tomato Puree Last?

Homemade tomato puree lasts about 15 days in the fridge and approximately 2-3 months when stored properly in the freezer.

How Long Does Homemade Tomato Paste Last?

Tomate paste will last about 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator and almost 9 months in the freezer.

What Would Be The Best Substitute For Diced Tomatoes?

Depends on your requirements. Canned, fresh, crushed tomatoes are the closest and best substitute for diced tomatoes.

How Is Tomato Paste Different From Tomato Sauce?

Tomato paste is extremely thick and prepared by cooking tomatoes at a high temperature. Tomato sauce is much thinner in consistency, and it’s prepared using different flavors. 

What Makes For A Good Quality Tomato Paste?

A good quality tomato paste is prepared using only tomatoes – there are no added starch or other ingredients to enhance the density or texture of the pulp. 

What Kind Of Tomato Is Best Suited For Drying In The Sun And Later Use?

Although all tomatoes are fine for sun drying, cherry tomatoes are considered the best for this purpose. 

How Long Does Homemade Tomato Paste Last In The Refrigerator?

When stored in airtight containers at freezing temperatures, homemade tomato paste can last nearly 9 months.

Jess Smith