5 Substitutes for Stewed Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a key ingredient in many dishes. They can be used as a base for sauces, as well as an accompaniment to meats and vegetables, and even a topping for pizza!

When you don’t want to use other ingredients that cannot match stewed tomatoes, you take advantage of other ways around this problem by using other forms of tomatoes! 

There are several ways to substitute stewed tomatoes, which can still provide the same flavor to your dishes. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to substitute stewed tomatoes.

5 Substitutes for Stewed Tomatoes

1. Fresh Tomatoes

The first substitute for stewed tomatoes is to use fresh tomatoes. Although this may seem like an obvious solution, there are a few things to be aware of when cooking with fresh tomatoes.

First, make sure you cook the tomato long enough so that it breaks down and becomes saucy. Also, don’t add too much salt if they’re canned because canned tomatoes already have a lot of sodium!

  • Use fresh tomatoes for stewed tomato recipes
  • Don’t add too much salt if they’re canned
  • Make sure the tomatoes cook long enough before serving

2. Marinara Sauce

Another substitute for stewed tomatoes is using marinara sauce instead of plain diced or crushed tomatoes! Try this substitute in your favorite pasta sauce recipe to get the same tomato flavor, but for its shelf-stable until opened at a fraction of the price! 

Plus, marinara sauce can have extra seasonings added in if you are looking for more flavor. Not to mention, it often comes in a resealable jar, so it can be stored in your fridge for longer!

  • Save money and get the same flavor with a jar of marinara sauce
  • Add more seasonings for even more variety and flavor
  • Save time by using a resealable jar and saving some dishes!

3. Crushed Tomatoes

Because they have the right consistency and cook quickly, crushed tomatoes can work. If you don’t want them too spicy, simply add some basil and garlic powder for a different level of flavor!

You can also use diced tomatoes if you prefer large chunks in your pasta or soups. These take a little longer than whole peeled tomatoes but provide great flavor without requiring you to chop any vegetables yourself.

  • Save time by using crushed tomatoes when you don’t want to peel whole tomatoes
  • Get the right consistency in your sauces and soups quickly
  • Experiment with flavors in one easy step

4. Tomato Paste

Another method for substituting stewed tomatoes is to use tomato paste, which has already been cooked down so that all you need to do is add water and spices.

This option is great because it takes very little time to cook your sauce with this ingredient as opposed to whole peeled tomatoes, which require a longer cooking time!

  • Save time with a fast-cooking method
  • Add extra flavor to your dishes by adding spices when preparing the sauce
  • Use fewer ingredients which saves you money in the long run

5. Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is great for adding flavor quickly when you’re in a hurry, but the consistency differs from stewed tomatoes, so keep that in mind when following recipes.

To make it a little more exciting, try using browned ground beef in your sauce recipe for an extra tasty dish! Sausage may suit some dishes better, depending on your taste!

  • Tomato sauce is versatile, just like stewed tomatoes
  • Brown ground beef in the sauce for more flavor!  
  • Use sausage to upgrade your recipe even more!


Substituting stewed tomatoes is easier than you’d think. There are a lot of options that can help you achieve your goal of getting that flavor in a hurry. 

Everything we’ve listed is a solid substitute, so if you’re in a hurry and need to make dinner quickly, try one of these recipes!