10 Delicious Substitutes for Crushed Tomatoes (Try These First)

Crushed tomatoes are a staple in many recipes. However, what do you do when you’re out of them or they’re not in season? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll list 5 substitutes for crushed tomatoes that will make your dish just as delicious.

Read on if you’re trying to find the most similar replacements for crushed tomatoes.

Substitutes for Crushed Tomatoes

  1. Tomato Paste
  2. Smoked Tomatoes
  3. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  4. Canned Tomato Chunks
  5. Fresh Tomatoes
  6. Diced Tomatoes
  7. Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
  8. Tomato Puree
  9. Marinara Sauce
  10. Pizza Sauce

Tomato Paste

One of my favorite shortcuts is using tomato paste as a substitute for crushed tomatoes.

This works well in recipes that call for a small amount of tomato product, such as marinara sauce or tomato soup.

It also works well when I want a thicker sauce or soup without having to cook the tomatoes down for a long time.

Tomato paste is also a good option when I want to add a boost of flavor without adding extra liquid.

Finally, tomato paste is shelf-stable and can be stored in the pantry for months, whereas crushed tomatoes must be refrigerated and used within a few days.

Smoked Tomatoes

Smoked tomatoes have a rich, complex flavor that pairs well with other robust ingredients.

They also tend to be much easier to find than crushed tomatoes. One important note: because smoked tomatoes are very concentrated, you may need to use less than the recipe calls for.

Additionally, you may want to add a bit of water to thin out the sauce or stew.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are a delicious and healthy alternative to fresh tomatoes.

While they do have a slightly different flavor, sun-dried tomatoes can be used in many of the same dishes as their fresh counterparts.

One benefit of using sun-dried tomatoes is that they are much lower in water content than fresh tomatoes.

This makes them ideal for use in recipes where you want a concentrated tomato flavor, such as sauces or stews.

Sun-dried tomatoes are also a good source of antioxidants and vitamins A and C.

Another benefit of using sun-dried tomatoes is that they are much easier to store than fresh tomatoes.

Dried tomatoes can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

When choosing sun-dried tomatoes, look for ones that are plump and vibrant in color. Avoid those that are shriveled or have any mold growth.

For the best flavor, rehydrate the sun-dried tomatoes in warm water for about 30 minutes before using them in your recipe.

Canned Tomato Chunks

Canned tomato chunks are a great substitute for crushed tomatoes. They can be used in recipes that call for stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce.

The benefits of using canned tomato chunks include convenience and cost savings.

Canned tomatoes are typically less expensive than fresh tomatoes, and they can be stored for long periods of time.

Additionally, canned tomato chunks are a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to several health benefits.

When substituting canned tomato chunks for crushed tomatoes, it is important to take into account the different textures of the two ingredients.

Canned tomato chunks will not break down as easily as crushed tomatoes, so they may require longer cooking times.

Additionally, the chunks may not blend as smoothly into sauces and soups, so it is best to use them in recipes that do not require a smooth consistency.

Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes can be a great substitute for crushed tomatoes. They are especially good in dishes where you want the tomato flavor to be pronounced, such as in a soup or sauce.

Fresh tomatoes also have the advantage of being more versatile than their canned counterparts.

You can use them in both cooked and raw dishes, and they can be easily chopped or pureed to the desired consistency. Plus, fresh tomatoes add a lovely pop of color to any dish.

When substituting fresh tomatoes for crushed tomatoes, you may need to add a little extra water or cooking time to account for their higher water content.

Diced Tomatoes

Diced tomatoes can be used as a replacement for crushed tomatoes in many recipes.

The benefits of using diced tomatoes include the convenience of not having to crush the tomatoes yourself and the ability to control the size of the pieces.

Diced tomatoes are also a suitable substitute for crushed tomatoes in recipes that call for cubed or chopped tomatoes, such as salsa or tomato soup.

When substituting diced tomatoes for crushed tomatoes, it is important to keep in mind that the smaller pieces may cook more quickly.

As a result, you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

If you’re looking for a flavorful tomato-based sauce or soup, you can’t go wrong with fire-roasted tomatoes.

These tomatoes are roasted over an open flame, which gives them a smoky flavor that pairs well with other savory ingredients.

Plus, the roasting process helps to intensify the natural sweetness of the tomato.

If you’re aiming for a more traditional flavor, you can always substitute crushed tomatoes for the fire-roasted variety.

However, keep in mind that crushed tomatoes will yield a thinner sauce or soup.

If you want a heartier consistency, try using diced tomatoes instead. either way, your dish is sure to be delicious!

Tomato Puree

Tomato puree can be used as a substitute for crushed tomatoes in many recipes.

The main benefit of using puree is that it eliminates the need to peel and seed the tomatoes, saving time and effort.

Additionally, puree provides a consistent texture and flavor, which can be difficult to achieve with crushed tomatoes.

When substituting puree for crushed tomatoes, you may need to add additional water or broth to thin out the mixture.

Additionally, the flavor of the dish may be slightly milder due to the lack of seeds and skin.

Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is a type of tomato sauce that originated in Italy. It is typically made with crushed tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and olive oil.

While it is commonly used as a pasta sauce, it can also be used as a pizza sauce or as a dipping sauce for breadsticks or other Italian-style appetizers.

In many cases, marinara sauce can be used as a substitute for crushed tomatoes.

This is because the sauce already contains some of the ingredients that are often added to crushed tomatoes, such as garlic and herbs.

As a result, using marinara sauce as a substitute can help to simplify the preparation of a dish.

Additionally, the sauce typically has a more robust flavor than crushed tomatoes, which can enhance the overall flavor of a dish.

When choosing a substitute for crushed tomatoes, it is important to select a marinara sauce that is high quality and does not contain any unnecessary additives.

There are many commercially-available varieties of marinara sauce that meet these criteria.

If you cannot find a suitable marinara sauce at your local grocery store, you can also make your own using fresh tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.

Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce is a great substitute for crushed tomatoes. You can use it in any recipe that calls for crushed tomatoes, and it will add a delicious depth of flavor to your dish.

The benefits of using pizza sauce as a substitute for crushed tomatoes are numerous.

First, pizza sauce is already cooked, so it will save you time in the kitchen.

Second, pizza sauce is usually made with high-quality ingredients, like fresh tomatoes, herbs, and spices.

Third, pizza sauce is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes.

Finally, pizza sauce is a great way to add flavor to your dishes without making them overly heavy or greasy.

Commonly Asked Questions When Choosing Substitutes for Crushed Tomatoes

What can I use if I don’t have crushed tomatoes?

There are many substitutes for crushed tomatoes, including fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato puree, marinara sauce, and pizza sauce.

What is the best substitute for crushed tomatoes?

The best substitute for crushed tomatoes depends on your personal preferences and the dish that you’re preparing.

What can I use crushed tomatoes for?

Crushed tomatoes can be used in a variety of recipes, including pasta sauce, pizza sauce, soup, and stew.


There are many substitutes for crushed tomatoes, so you’re sure to find one that meets your needs.

Whether you’re looking for a time-saving option or a flavor-packed alternative, there’s a crushed tomato substitute out there for you.

Experiment with different substitutes until you find the perfect one for your next dish!