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How to Make Stewed Tomatoes

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How to Make Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes are delicious served as a main course or as a side dish, and they’re a frequent ingredient in chili, soup, stew and casserole recipes. If you’re looking for a simple way to use up some of the excess tomatoes from your garden, you should definitely consider stewing some of your harvest. It’s a quick and easy process, and it doesn’t require canning. Here’s how to make stewed tomatoes from fresh tomatoes, plus how to make stewed tomatoes, when you only have canned tomatoes on hand.

How to Make Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed Tomato Recipe

Learn how to make stewed tomatoes that taste just like the ones your mom or grandma used to make.

Stewed Tomato Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

What You Do:

Cutting Board Inside Rimmed Baking Sheet to Catch Juices

Peel, core, seed and dice your tomatoes. Need a quick lesson on how to do this? Here’s how to peel tomatoes, and here’s how to core and seed tomatoes.

Tip:

  • Tomatoes contain a lot of water. Stick your cutting board inside a rimmed baking sheet to capture the juices, so they don’t drip onto the counter and floor, while you’re cutting.
Cooking Stewed Tomatoes

Bring the tomatoes, onions, pepper and celery to a boil in a non-reactive pot. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer; cover; and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the celery, peppers and onions are soft.

Pot of Stewed Tomatoes

Add the sugar and seasonings, and stir to combine. The sugar will help to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes, so don’t leave it out unless you have to.

Enjoy your stewed tomatoes right away, or freeze them to use later. If you freeze your stewed tomatoes in pint-sized freezer containers, one jar of homemade will be the equivalent of 1 (15-ounce) store-bought can.

This recipe has not been developed or tested for home canning, so it should only be preserved by freezing.

Recipe Variations

Many old-fashioned stewed tomato recipes call for thickening the finished dish with a bit of cornstarch, bread crumbs or cubed bread. Still others call for adding a tablespoon or two of butter. There’s plenty of room to make this recipe your own. Experiment with different spice combinations; omit the salt for a sodium-free version; or add a splash of hot sauce for some heat.

Yield

This recipe makes between 1 and 1 1/2 quarts of stewed tomatoes. If you have loads of tomatoes on your hands, just double, triple or quadruple the ingredients to make a bigger batch. You’ll need to extend the cooking time a bit, but no other adjustments are necessary.

How to Make Stewed Tomatoes From Canned Tomatoes

If you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, substitute 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes or 2 (15-ounce) cans of diced tomatoes. Canned crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes will also work. Just dice them up before you add them to the pot.

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Homemade Stewed Tomatoes

How to Make Stewed Tomatoes

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5 from 4 reviews

This stewed tomato recipe can be enjoyed as a main course or side dish, or used in recipes that call for a can of stewed tomatoes.

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 to 1-1/2 quarts 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 68 large tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

Peel, core, seed and dice tomatoes.

Place tomatoes, onion, pepper and celery in a non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat; cover; and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

Stir in sugar and seasonings.

Serve hot; or allow it to cool; then, freeze for later.

Notes

  • This recipe has not been developed or tested for home canning. It should only be preserved by freezing.
  • Use 1 pint of homemade stewed tomatoes in place of 1 (15-ounce) store-bought can. Use 1 quart in place of 1 (28-ounce) store-bought can.
  • For thicker stewed tomatoes, add cornstarch, bread crumbs or cubed bread.
  • How to Make Stewed Tomatoes From Canned Tomatoes: Use 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes or 2 (15-ounce) cans of diced tomatoes in place of the fresh tomatoes called for. You can also use canned crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes, if you dice them up, before you add them to the pot.

More Tomato Recipes

Dealing with a bumper crop of tomatoes? Here are more recipes to help you use up your harvest.

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10 Comments

  1. This is the best stewed tomato recipe ever. I finally found the recipe I have been looking for all these years. I recognized it just from the ingredients. The first time I ever had stewed tomatoes was in the mid 1970’s at a restaurant in south central Missouri that was popular with tourists, and I fell in love with them. Before that, I never had much use for a tomato. That recipe was subtly spiced with a hint of sweetness, just like this recipe. Thanks for posting this recipe.






  2. Erin, thanks for this recipe. This is just like my Grandmothers. I have tried a lot of stewed tomatoe recipes, and now I have found the one, that takes me back to Grandmas kitchen. Thanks, and have a great day. Alida






  3. Hello is it possible to ferment stewed tomatoes. If not I can freeze them but I’ve been doing a lot of fermented things and I just thought maybe it would be okay but I don’t want to do it on my own. Thank you for your help if it’s okay can I have a recipe I haven’t found one.. your house looks beautiful have a blessed day thank you Regina

    1. Hi Maurine, just thaw your frozen tomatoes, and proceed with the recipe as written. Frozen and thawed tomatoes are actually easier to peel, so it’ll save you a bit of work.

  4. This recipe is absolutely delicious and oh so easy!! I canned all my tomatoes except for the last ons left on the vine to ripen and I really needed to do something with them. I came across this easy recipe and voila! I have a whole new way to use tomatoes! I’m sharing rhis with all my family. Thank you so much for sharing!!






  5. Oh YAY – I finally found a recipe for stewed tomatoes with all of the ingredients just like I used to have them when I grew up. I now use them in so many of my vegetarian recipes. Thank-you!






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