Well, many recipes use tomatoes as one of its main ingredients because of its juices and flavor. When you add this ingredient when preparing a meal, it will make it more delicious and juicy. The most common type of tomatoes used is diced tomatoes.
But what if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have diced tomatoes and the recipe requires, can you use a substitute? Before you go on, it’s important to keep in mind that each ingredient in a recipe is something that requires a substitute that is as almost as good as its original ingredient.
Can diced tomatoes be replaced with other forms of tomatoes? Of course, it can. The most common substitutes for diced tomatoes are fresh tomatoes, whole peeled tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and tomato juice.
In this article I will share more information on these substitutes and how to use them properly when cooking, so your final result will be a tasteful dish.
What are diced tomatoes used for?
Diced tomatoes are those who have been diced, meaning that they are cut in a fully symmetrical form. They are usually canned chins of plum tomatoes in tomato juice or puree. They became popular around the mid-90s and they have been used in many recipes ever since.
Canned diced tomatoes are usually used in Italian-American cuisine. Also if you don’t want to buy them in cans, this is something that you can do at home as well. It’s very easy and convenient, even better than those you buy in the supermarket.
There are many types of dishes that use diced tomatoes as one of its main ingredients in the sauces. Read below as I’ll share with you some of the most common recipe use of these tomatoes:
- Diced tomatoes are very good for making sauces. So If you are planning to make a chili sauce, then diced tomatoes are usually the main ingredient that you’ll need.
- Instead of using ketchup or other pizza sauces, you can also put diced tomatoes to make your own pizza sauce.
- Use diced tomatoes to make salsa as well. Just put them in the blender with cilantro, red onion, garlic, jalapeños, lime juice and you are good to go.
- You can add diced tomatoes as well when you are making mac and cheese.
- Soups with diced tomatoes are something that is very delicious, and if you haven’t tried it, you should definitely do it.
List of substitutes for diced tomatoes:
Whether you are making soups, chilis, sauces or casserole then diced tomatoes are the ingredients that you need for the recipes. However, if you are out of diced tomatoes, read below so you can find what to use instead and how:
1. Fresh tomatoes:
Fresh is always better. If you are out of diced tomatoes, then use two cups of chopped tomatoes in your recipe. In the can of diced tomatoes, you have juices, but in this case, you can use the juices from the freshly cut tomatoes while you are chopping them.
Roma and San Marzano tomatoes are the best for this use, but there is no harm if you use any type of tomato to get a good result at the end.
When to use?
The fresh tomatoes have the same use as diced tomatoes in recipes. The only difference is in the freshness of the tomatoes.
2. Whole peeled tomatoes
These types of tomatoes are also a good replacement for diced ones. You can use a quarter of the tomatoes and remove the seeds and cores. Finish up by dicing the tomatoes. Also, the juices are very important so add the tomatoes and the juice in your recipe.
If you are not in a hurry, put the whole mixture in a saucepan to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer till the juices start to get thicker.
When to use?
You can turn these types of tomatoes as a substitute in the same way as the diced ones when you cook pasta, meat, or even a marinara sauce. The texture and flavor won’t change.
3. Tomato puree
When using tomato puree, it is important to make sure to use an amount equal to the amount of diced tomatoes, which is required in the recipe. Another important thing to know is that you should add the tomato puree to the recipe before it is asked to put diced tomatoes.
This is because the puree can be cooked for a longer period. If you do this with the diced tomatoes they will become soggy and will disintegrate. Cook the puree longer as it will add more flavor and texture to the recipe and the dish.
When to use?
Before using it carefully read the label, because some brands include significant amounts of salt and sugar in the puree, which is not present in the diced tomatoes.
Use the puree as a substitute when making fairly wet, liquid dishes like stew, chili, or soup. The taste may be a bit different, but it’ll be very delicious. Another thing, when making salsa do not use the puree as a substitute.
4. Tomato paste
This is actually a mixture of diced tomatoes and tomato puree. The tomatoes that have their skin and seed removed and they have been cooked until the texture becomes dense and paste-like. It is concentrated and has an almost meaty taste.
When to use?
This tomato paste is used to thicken sauces. Use is as a substitute when cooking marinara or bolognese. The results will not disappoint you, but instead, you’ll be surprised.
5. Tomato juice
Just put the diced tomatoes in a blender and you’ll have tasty tomato juice. Inside the juices will blend until the whole texture is smooth. You can remove the seeds and pulp if you like.
When to use?
You can use the tomato juice in recipes that include meat, poultry, or fish. It can be used instead of adding water or broth to stew or braise meat. Tomato juice has more acid so it helps to break the toughness of the meat.
Read the answers to these FAQs that will help you further in your cooking:
What can I use instead of diced tomatoes in chili?
There are many recipes for chili that don’t require tomatoes. They can range from beans such as black, kidney, and pinto to vegetables like corn and zucchini. If you feel like using tomatoes, you can use a tomato paste instead.
Can you eat diced tomatoes raw?
No, you can’t. They should always be cooked, a long simmer in soups, braises, and sauces can soften them up and concentrate their flavor. Also, it gets rid of any bitter or tiny tastes.
Will diced tomatoes cook down?
When you make dishes that take a longer period to cook, then you should use something solid like whole-peeled tomatoes. Tomatoes will meltdown on their own if they are cooked on prolonged heat, so you shouldn’t cut them.