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Crushed tomatoes can often be found in the pantries of many homes, especially of those who can their foods. This form of tomatoes works well with many, many recipes and can add tang and flavor to a multitude of dishes and meals.
If you’re not into canning foods — it is a dying art, after all — it might be a long shot for you to have crushed tomatoes in your home. But what are you supposed to do when you have company coming over, and you don’t have time to run to the grocer to get crushed tomatoes for a recipe you’re planning to serve?
In situations like this, there’s only one solution: find a viable alternative. But what exactly are the best substitutes for crushed tomatoes? If you have the time (and tomatoes), the best substitute is one you prepare yourself. It takes some time, but the results make it worth the time and effort.
Of course, not everyone has the time to do this. The good news is that you can choose other alternatives. So today, we’re sharing with you the most suitable substitutes for crushed tomatoes. We think you will be quite pleased with the outcomes these alternatives provide, so let’s get right into it.
If there aren’t any crushed tomatoes in your house, but you have fresh ones, then you don’t need to worry about a thing. Simply follow the steps below to get your very own crushed tomatoes.
- Peel your desired amount of tomatoes
- Remove both the seeds and core
- Blend them in a blender
If you wish for your crushed tomatoes to have a texture like those found in the canned crushed variety, be sure that you don’t blend to a smooth texture. Instead, blend for a much shorter time to get the consistency you need.
Granted, there are certain dishes that may benefit from having a smooth blend of tomatoes. When ready, add seasoning to taste. Feel free to add salt, pepper, herbs as desired, as long as they go well with what you’re serving.
In order to obtain the best crushed tomato taste, add very little tomato paste. This will serve to increase the richness of the taste while adjusting the texture.
It is always good for your pantry to have some canned diced tomatoes. That’s because you can use them in many unique ways. Plus, they work well in place of crushed tomatoes.
We should add that there seems to be a lot of confusion over how diced and crushed tomatoes differ. The primary difference is simply that the diced variety is thicker. Fortunately, this is a problem that you can easily solve.
Using a potato masher, work the diced tomatoes until they aren’t as chunky. You may also blend diced tomatoes quickly to give them a texture similar to crushed tomatoes.
Depending on both the type and brand of diced tomatoes that you’re using, you may notice slight flavor variations. You can find diced tomatoes in stores and grocers that consist of fire-roasted, Italian style, without salt, and with chili, among others.
Adding tomato puree or paste to diced tomatoes helps improve texture while making them more like crushed tomatoes.
It might not be the most similar alternative to crushed tomatoes, but in the event that it is the only canned tomato product in your house, it can work.
However, some dishes only need tomato juice and flavoring. If that’s the case with your recipe, you may dilute a tiny portion of tomato paste using water. Therefore, you can use the mixture in place of crushed tomatoes. Just try to remember that the taste of tomato sauce is very strong, and even the smallest amounts go a long way. Don’t overdo it, and you should be in good shape.
When you use tomato paste, it’s best to mix fresh tomatoes with it (or other types of canned tomatoes) to produce a flavor that is similar to crushed tomatoes.
Compared with crushed tomatoes, the texture of tomato puree is smoother. But it will depend on what brand you use. Some crushed tomato brands make their products less thick than others. Therefore, if the crushed tomatoes you buy are brands that make them smoother, you won’t be able to tell much difference.
However, it’s worth noting that the taste of tomato puree might be slightly stronger compared to crushed tomatoes. However, it’s not nearly as concentrated as tomato paste. As such, you may substitute a portion of tomato puree for a portion of crushed tomatoes.
Whole Peeled Tomato
Do you have whole peeled canned tomatoes in your kitchen? If so, the crushed tomatoes on hand are almost ready. The only thing you need to do is chop them up to get a texture like crushed tomatoes. Boil the tomatoes using high heat, as this will serve to soften them up. Feel free to crush them with a potato masher if you need them to be even finer.
This will help make them much closer to crushed tomatoes, so you can use your whole peeled tomatoes in your recipe without compromising texture or taste.
There’s nothing wrong with using jarred tomato sauces like marinara. But you’ll want to use this variety typically when making pizza sauce or a pasta creation. The only thing you really want to keep in mind is that jarred tomato sauces contain a variety of spices and seasonings that aren’t on crushed tomatoes.
You can balance this out by foregoing the seasonings that your recipe calls for. You will have to keep taste-testing your recipe as you prepare it, though, to ensure that you get the perfect flavor.
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