Diced Tomato Substitute

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Diced Tomatoes

Lots of soups, chilis, sauces and casseroles call for diced tomatoes. If you don’t have any on hand, use one of these substitutes instead.

Fresh Tomatoes

Substitute two cups of chopped tomatoes, for every 14.5-oz. can of diced tomatoes that your recipe calls for. Since canned diced tomatoes include both tomatoes and their juices, retain the juice that seeps out of your tomatoes, while you’re chopping them, and include it in your measurement. Commercially-produced diced tomatoes are typically peeled, cored and seeded, so if you have a few minutes to spare, consider taking these extra steps. You’ll be rewarded with a better substitute. Here’s how to peel tomatoes and here’s how to core and seed them. Paste tomatoes, like Roma and San Marzano work best for this, but any tomato will give you good results.

Whole Peeled Tomatoes

Turn a can of whole peeled tomatoes into the can of diced tomatoes that you need for your recipe. Just quarter the tomatoes, so you can remove the seeds and cores. Then, finish by dicing the tomatoes. Add both the tomatoes and their juice to your recipe. If you have time, toss the tomatoes and juice into a saucepan. Bring to a boil; then, reduce the heat; and simmer just until the juices start to thicken.

Homemade Diced Tomatoes

How to Make Diced Tomatoes

If tomatoes are in season, consider making a big batch of homemade diced tomatoes. This will give you the diced tomatoes you need now, plus more to put up for later. It’s easy to do. Here are step-by-step instructions to take you through the process. You’ll need one pound of tomatoes to make the equivalent of one store-bought can.

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Diced Tomatoes

Diced Tomato Substitute

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Need a can of diced tomatoes for a soup, chili, casserole or sauce recipe? Here’s what to use, when you don’t have any.

  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups


  • Fresh tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes


  • From Fresh Tomatoes: Use two cups chopped tomatoes in place of one 14.5 oz. can. If you have time, peel, core and seed the tomatoes.
  • From Whole Peeled Tomatoes: Quarter, core, seed and dice tomatoes. If time permits, transfer diced tomatoes and tomato juice to a saucepan. Bring to a boil; then, reduce heat; and simmer until juices begin to thicken. Use one 14.5 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes in place of one 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes.


*Nutrition facts are based on using 2 cups of chopped tomatoes as the substitute.

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