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Tomato Tango: 5 Creative Substitutes for Plum Tomatoes

Plum tomatoes are overrated. Seriously, so many other tomatoes are out there, just waiting for their moment in the spotlight.

Whether you’re whipping up a fresh salad, a hearty sauce, or a batch of salsa, you only sometimes need to reach for those plum tomatoes.

In this article, we will introduce you to five creative and delicious substitutes that can bring a new level of flavor and texture to your dishes.

We’ve got you covered, from sweet cherry tomatoes to the famous tomato sauce. Get ready to give your meals a makeover with these tomato alternatives.

1 – Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes might be the unsung heroes of the kitchen. Why? Because they’re super versatile and can save the day when fresh tomatoes are out of season, or your pantry is looking a bit bare.

They bring a rich, concentrated tomato flavor that’s perfect for sauces, stews, and soups. Plus, they’re already peeled, which is a nice little shortcut.

Using canned tomatoes instead of fresh plum tomatoes is a breeze. When your recipe calls for plum tomatoes, swap in an equal amount of canned tomatoes. That means if your recipe needs two cups of fresh tomatoes, you’ll use two cups of canned tomatoes. Easy, right? 

The best part is you can crush, dice, or blend them to fit whatever you’re cooking. Whether you’re stirring up a quick pasta sauce or slow-cooking a hearty chili, canned tomatoes are your go-to. 

And if canned tomatoes have piqued your interest, check out more awesome swaps over at this guide for when you’re looking to mix things up.

2 – Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste is a thick concentrate that packs a punch. It’s like taking the essence of tomatoes and concentrating it into a super flavorful, thick paste. It is ideal for when you want that tomato flavor to really stand out in your dish without adding extra liquid. 

Tomato paste works wonders as a substitute because it brings a depth of flavor that fresh tomatoes sometimes can’t match. You know, it adds that “cooked all day” taste to dishes even when you’re short on time. 

Using tomato paste is simple. If your recipe calls for plum tomatoes, use one tablespoon of tomato paste for every medium-sized tomato. It’s strong so that you won’t need a lot. Just add water to balance out the consistency if it’s needed for the recipe.

It’s perfect for thickening sauces and adding a rich tomato base to soups and stews. Just remember, because it’s concentrated, start small and adjust according to taste.

And hey, if you’re wondering what to do when you’re out of tomato paste, no worries! Check out these handy tomato paste swaps that’ll keep your cooking game strong.

3 – Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-Dried Tomatoes are the flavor-packed gems that your dishes have been missing. They’re tomatoes that have been dried out in the sun or a dehydrator, leaving them with a sweet, tangy taste and chewy texture.

They’re a fantastic substitute because they add a burst of tomato flavor without the water content you’d get from fresh ones. Plus, they’re super convenient.

To use sun-dried tomatoes in place of plum tomatoes, chop them up and use a half cup for every cup of fresh tomatoes your recipe calls for. They’re especially great in recipes where you want a stronger tomato taste without added moisture, like in pestos, salads, or spreads.

Remember, because they’re so flavorful, a little goes a long way. Start with a bit and add more as you go. And if you find yourself out of sun-dried tomatoes or just curious about other options, take a peek at these sun-dried tomato substitutes. Trust me, they’re worth checking out.

4 – Sweet Cherry Tomatoes

Sweet Cherry Tomatoes are like little bursts of sunshine in your dishes. They’re smaller, yes, but they pack a sweet, juicy punch that can make any meal pop. Why are they a fantastic stand-in for plum tomatoes? They bring a fresh, vibrant flavor and a touch of sweetness that can lighten up any dish.

Using these as a swap is super straightforward. If your recipe calls for plum tomatoes, you can use a cup of cherry tomatoes for every plum tomato needed. Just halve them or throw them in whole if you’re feeling adventurous. They work wonders in salads, pasta, and even roasted dishes.

Cherry tomatoes can easily brighten up your cooking with their fresh flavor. Plus, they’re pretty to look at, which never hurts. They’re especially perfect when you’re aiming for a dish that’s more on the refreshing side.

5 – Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce is your kitchen’s secret weapon for that rich tomato taste. It’s smooth, it’s flavorful, and it’s extremely versatile.

Why is it such a great swap for plum tomatoes? It slides right into any dish, bringing a cozy, home-cooked vibe without needing the actual tomatoes. It’s all about that slow-simmered flavor, even when you’re in a rush.

Using tomato sauce as a substitute is a no-brainer. Swap in about 1 cup of tomato sauce for every 2 to 3 plum tomatoes your recipe needs. This makes it perfect for soups, stews, and anywhere you need that tomato goodness without the chunks.

The Sauce keeps your dishes moist and flavorful. Plus, you can jazz it up with herbs or spices to match whatever you’re cooking.

In case you run out of tomato sauce or just feel like trying something new, definitely take a look at these tomato sauce substitutes. Having a backup plan is always a smart move.