10 Best Substitutes for Plum Tomatoes (Must Try Alternatives)

I was making my signature tomato sauce and realized that I was plum out of plum tomatoes.

I had to scramble to find a substitute.

I grabbed a can of crushed tomatoes and added garlic, onion, and Italian seasoning. It wasn’t the same as my sauce with plum tomatoes, but it was close.

And, to be honest, I actually liked it better.

Frankly, there are times when we just can’t get our hands on plum tomatoes.

Whether it’s because they’re out of season or the grocery store is all out, there are plenty of substitutes that can give us the same flavors we love.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few different plum tomato substitutes and how to use them in your cooking.

Substitutes for Plum Tomatoes

  1.  Tomato paste
  2. Cherry tomatoes
  3. Beefsteak tomatoes
  4. San Marzano tomatoes
  5. Grape tomatoes
  6. Canned tomatoes
  7. Sun-dried tomatoes
  8. Heirloom tomatoes
  9. Peppers
  10. Regular tomatoes

Tomato paste

Tomato paste and plum tomatoes may not look alike, but they actually have a lot in common.

Consequently, tomato paste makes a great 1:1 substitute for plum tomatoes.

It is concentrated, so it has a strong tomato flavor.

It is also thick and rich, making it a great choice for lasagna and pasta dishes where the substitution will be virtually undetectable

Additionally, tomato paste is high in iron and B vitamins.

Cherry tomatoes

 As a good substitute should, cherry tomatoes can be used in any dish that calls for plum tomatoes.

More saturated than their watery brothers and sisters, cherry tomatoes pack more of a flavor punch and can easily stand up to bold spices.

Plus, they’re about the same size as plum tomatoes, making them a perfect 1-to-1 substitute.

Not to mention, these little vitamin-packed powerhouses are low in calories and high in antioxidants.

So whether you’re whipping up a quick Frittata or slow-cooking a hearty tomato sauce, go forth in confidence that cherry tomatoes will get the job done.

Beefsteak tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes are a great substitute for plum tomatoes. They have a milder taste and are larger and heartier in structure.

Beefsteak tomatoes also offer a number of health benefits.

They are high in lycopene, which has been shown to help prevent bone loss, and they also contain alpha-tomatine, which has been linked to reduced rates of cancer.

When preparing dishes that call for plum tomatoes, for example, Tomato Galette or Cheese Burger.

Simply substitute in beefsteak tomatoes using a 1 to 1 ratio.

You may find that you like the milder flavor and larger size of these tomatoes better than the traditional plum variety.

San Marzano tomatoes

San Marzano tomatoes, well-known for sauce making, can be used as a 1:1 replacement for Plum Tomatoes.

These substitutes are guaranteed to provide stunning flavors in any dish, while also being rich in vitamins A and C.

Some popular dishes that use these substitutes include salsa, spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce.

While plum tomatoes are also great for sauce making, they can sometimes lack the bold flavors that San Marzano tomatoes provide. This makes the latter a more ideal choice for those who want to take their sauces to the next level.

In addition, the higher vitamin content of San Marzano tomatoes means that they can also be used as a healthy alternative to other ingredients in a dish.

Grape tomatoes

When it comes to tomatoes, there are plenty of varieties to choose from. However, when it comes to cooking, not all tomatoes are created equal.

For example, while plum tomatoes are perfect for making sauce, their smaller cousins, grape tomatoes, make an excellent replacement in salads, grilled pizzas, and other dishes.

Not only are grape tomatoes a more zesty red, but they also pack a high fiber punch and contain plenty of eye-supporting vitamins.

Plus, they’re a 1:1 swap, so you don’t have to worry about adjusting your recipe.

So go ahead and enjoy this delicious and nutritious summertime staple!

Canned tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are an ideal replacement for plum tomatoes.

They are readily sourced and usually much less expensive than fresh plum tomatoes.

In addition, canned tomatoes are often vibrant in color and high in lycopene, an effective antioxidant that has been shown to be protective against some types of cancer.

When using canned tomatoes as a substitute for plum tomatoes, be sure to drain and rinse them before using, as they can be quite salty.

Tomato Rice and Chilli are the way to go using this 1 to 1 substitute.


Sun-dried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used as a 1 to 1 substitute for plum tomatoes in many dishes.

From beef stew to pasta sauce, sun-dried tomatoes will not disappoint!

Moreover, when used in beef stew, they add a succulent sweetness that complements the rich flavor of the meat.

Sun-dried tomatoes have a long shelf-life and retain their lively hue even when cooked.

They are also very fleshy once moistened, making them a great addition to any dish.

In addition, sun-dried tomatoes are packed with antioxidants, vitamins C and iron, making them a healthy option for your meals.

Heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes are the perfect substitute for plain old plum tomatoes!

These vibrant beauties come in a variety of colors and offer a deep, rich flavor when cooked.

Plus, they’re naturally sweeter than regular tomatoes, so you can use less sugar in your recipes. And don’t worry – you’ll still get similar results in terms of texture and heartiness.

And they pack a serious flavor punch, that doesn’t go unnoticed!

I love them in a BLT Wrap or in a freshly baked Tomato Flatbread.

Plus, they offer similar benefits to plum tomatoes when it comes to nutrition.

Heirloom varieties are rich in folate and lycopene, an antioxidant that supports heart health.


Peppers make a great substitute for plum tomatoes.

They may lack the tomato taste, but they add sweet highlights to the dishes.

They are also meaty, so they are perfect for sauces. Roasted red peppers offer amazing flavors to your Quiche, Pasta Salad or any other dish that require plum tomatoes.

Plus, they are healthy and help improve night vision as well as they are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate.

Regular tomatoes

Regular tomatoes are easily sourced and work well as a replacement for plum tomatoes.

They have more seeds and water than plum tomatoes, but they’re still a good option for salads and other savory dishes.

Plus, regular tomatoes contain vitamins B and E, as well as potassium – all of which are essential nutrients for good health.

I advice using a 2:1 ratio of plum tomatoes to regular ones. That means for every 2 cups of plum tomatoes use 1 cup regular tomatoes as substitute.


Are plum and chopped tomatoes the same?

Plum tomatoes are a type of whole tomato that is plum-shaped and has a dense flesh. Chopped tomatoes are, as the name suggests, chopped up tomatoes that can be of any variety.

Are canned plum tomatoes good?

Canned plum tomatoes are a good substitute for fresh plum tomatoes. They are often vibrant in color and higher in lycopene, an effective antioxidant that has been shown to be protective against some types of cancer.

When using canned tomatoes as a substitute for plum tomatoes, be sure to drain and rinse them before using, as they can be quite salty.

Can I use ketchup instead of plum tomatoes?

Yes, you can use ketchup as a replacement for plum tomatoes in some recipes. However, keep in mind that ketchup is usually quite sweet, so you may want to reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe if you use it as a substitute.

You will also want to use less ketchup than you would plum tomatoes, as it is more concentrated.

I would recommend using a ¼ cup of ketchup for every one cup of plum tomatoes called for in your recipe.

What is the best way to store plum tomatoes?

The best way to store plum tomatoes is in a cool, dark place. They can also be stored in the refrigerator, but they should be used within a few days as they will begin to lose their flavor.

If you need to store them for longer, you can freeze them. plum tomatoes can be frozen whole, in slices, or as puree. Just be sure to label and date your containers so you know how long they’ve been in the freezer.

In Conclusion

Plum tomatoes make a truly plummy treat however if you find yourself plum out of them, don’t fret!

Any of the substitutes listed above will work just as well in a pinch.

Just be sure to adjust the flavors accordingly and you’ll be good to go!

Now that you know all about plum tomato substitutes,

I hope you’ll give one of these a try the next time you’re in the kitchen.