Crushed Tomato Substitute

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Crushed Tomatoes

Making sauce, soup or a casserole, and need a can or two of crushed tomatoes? If you don’t have any in your pantry, here are a few substitutes that will do the job.

Tomato Puree

Replace the crushed tomatoes called for in your recipe with an equal amount of tomato puree. Some brands make their crushed tomatoes a bit chunkier than their tomato puree, but other brand make very little distinction between the two. So, if you swap them out, you probably won’t even notice the difference.

Whole Peeled Tomatoes

Turn a can of whole peeled tomatoes into a can of crushed tomatoes. It’s easy. Just chop the tomatoes into quarters. Then, transfer them to a pot; crush them with a potato masher or spoon; and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Keep them at a boil, until they soften and cook down slightly. This will take less than five minutes.

Pot of Crushed Tomatoes

Fresh Tomatoes

Crushed tomatoes are nothing more than tomatoes that have been quartered, crushed and cooked briefly. So, if you happen to have some fresh tomatoes on hand, you can easily make your own. Paste tomatoes, like Roma and San Marzano work best, but any tomato will do. You’ll need approximately 2-3/4 pounds of tomatoes for every 28-oz. can that you need to replace. Here are step-by-step instructions for making your own crushed tomatoes. The whole process will take you less than 10 minutes.

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Crushed Tomatoes

Crushed Tomato Substitute

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Here are three things that you can use as a substitute for crushed tomatoes.

  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 28 oz.


  • Tomato puree, whole peeled tomatoes or fresh tomatoes


  • From Tomato Puree: Replace 1:1
  • From Whole Peeled Tomatoes: Quarter a can of whole peeled tomatoes. Then, transfer to a pot; and crush with a potato masher or spoon. Bring tomatoes to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue boiling, until they soften and cook down slightly (less than five minutes).
  • From Fresh Tomatoes: Follow these instructions to turn fresh tomatoes into crushed tomatoes. You’ll need 2-3/4 lbs. to replace one 28-oz. can.


*Nutrition facts are based off of using tomato puree as the substitute

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  1. I really appreciated your instructions. Thank you for not assuming that I knew more about how to do this than I actually do! And thank you for not being so verbose that I had to scroll and scroll through text to get to the instructions. This is really helpful.

  2. Thank you. I was wondering what I was going to do because I had all my other ingredients for my recipe. I found this VERY helpful.

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