The Best Tomato Substitute For Every Situation

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Tomatoes are one of the most widely consumed foods in the world, and are used in hundreds of dishes such as pizza, pasta, chili, and many more. In this post, we’ll look at what you may use in place of tomatoes in every circumstance.

What Are Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are both a botanical fruit and a culinary food that grow on the tomato plant. Tomatoes may be eaten fresh or cooked as a side dish or component. They both provide sweetness, acidity, and umami qualities.

Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes evolved in South America, Central America, and Mexico. Tomatoes are now utilized in hundreds of meals, salads, sauces, and beverages. There are presently over 10,000 identified tomato varieties grown throughout the globe.

Tomatoes, which are high in vitamins A, C, and K, are an essential element of a well-balanced diet for millions of people worldwide.

What Do Tomatoes Taste Like?

Tomato taste may be described in a variety of ways, including sweet, tangy, sour, and savory in certain kinds.

Some varieties have a bright and refreshing bite with sweet tomatoey juices that ooze out. Others have milder, less vibrant flavors and fleshier centers.

What Does Tomato Go With?

Tomatoes may be used in salads, sauces, marinades, spicy sauces, dipping sauces, and other dishes.

Some common foods that utilize tomatoes include:

  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches
  • Salads
  • Sauces
  • Chutneys
  • Soups

Tomatoes are used more often as an ingredient as a side dish in Mexican, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisines than in other cuisines.

Tomatoes are well-balanced, and with so many different sorts and types available, they are a flexible component that combines with virtually everything.

What Makes a Good Tomato Substitute?

Choosing the best tomato substitute depends depend on the meal you’re cooking or preparing. Some recipes call for certain sorts of tomatoes, while others are more dependent on personal taste.

Check out some of our other tomato substitution instructions below:

  • Canned Tomatoes Substitute
  • Cherry Tomatoes Substitute
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes Substitute
  • Plum Tomato Substitute

If you’re searching for an outstanding tomato substitute, it’s typically best to select one based on the kind, as shown above, or the meal itself, as shown below.

Note: Always choose the tomato or veggie that is most comparable to what the recipe asks for.

Best Tomato Substitutes – Recipes

Best For Curry: Tamarind Paste

When looking for a tomato alternative in a curry, tamarind paste is a good option. Tamarind paste is extensively used in many curry dishes, especially when tomatoes are not included.

Tamarind paste is prepared from the tamarind tree’s pod-like fruits. Despite their African origins, the fruits are most commonly used in Indian and Filipino cuisine.

Tamarind contains tartaric acid, which gives it a tart taste from the fruit’s sweetness and the additional acidity. This makes it an ideal substitute for tomatoes in all sorts of curries.

Best For Pasta: Red Bell Peppers

Many pasta-based dishes can be made with red bell peppers instead of tomatoes. Red bell peppers are a fantastic alternative to tomatoes when making a pasta sauce or adding them straight to the cooking process.

While the two do not taste identical, there are few foods that taste identical to tomatoes. So it’s more a matter of finding alternatives that complement the flavors.

Best For Sandwiches: Persimmon

Persimmon is a seasonal fruit that is mostly available in the fall. They have a tomato-like form and a delicate feel when eaten.

They have a mild sweetness and delicate acidic taste, making them a wonderful substitute for tomato in sandwiches with cheese. They also perform nicely as a tomato substitute in burgers.

These, like tomatoes, are members of the nightshade family, which means you’re out of luck if you’re allergic to tomatoes. However, for all other purposes, they can be an excellent substitute for tomatoes with bread. The biggest disadvantage is the restricted supply.

Substitute persimmon for tomatoes by slicing the fruit into tiny slices.

Best For Bolognese: Anything You’ve Got

Most people use chopped or canned tomatoes in their bolognese, but you may use fresh tomatoes or tomato paste instead.

Bolognese isn’t the same without tomatoes, so choose another tomato-based alternative. If you’re allergic to nightshades, try a nomato sauce.

The best choice is to use tomato paste and dilute it with 1 tablespoon of water for every tablespoon of tomato paste. Depending on whether you want it sweeter or less sweet, add a little of sugar or salt to taste.

Best For Chili: Tomatillo


While tomatillos have a similar name to tomatoes, they are not, contrary to popular belief, a type of tomato. They come in a husk that has be removed before eating, and they may be consumed cooked or uncooked.

Tomatillos are less sweet than tomatoes and have a more tart taste with moderate sweetness, slight earthiness, and a sharp bite due to their higher acidity. However, when cooked, they have a milder flavor than when eaten raw.

They are a good tomato alternative in chili because they give a punch of flavor and toughness to a meal that is recognized for not being light on taste!

Best For Allergies: Nomato Sauce

If you are allergic to tomatoes or foods from the nightshade family in general, you may substitute nomato sauce when making a sauce.

It is not the easiest to prepare since it contains onions, garlic, beets, carrots, white wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. To find out how, watch the video below.

Best Of The Rest: Options

If you’re still looking for an excellent tomato alternative for additional recipes or general usage, consider the items listed below:

  • Amla
  • Pumpkin
  • Mango
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Umeboshi Paste
  • Bilimbi
  • Green Bell Peppers
  • Yellow Bell Peppers


Whatever your reason for needing a tomato replacement, there are plenty of fantastic options accessible to you. We’ve showed you some of those possibilities in our comprehensive guide, as well as the knowledge you need to make an educated decision about substituting out tomatoes with other tomatoes or veggies in any circumstance!


What can I use instead of tomatoes for tomato allergy?

If tomato isn’t a key flavor in your recipe or you’re sensitive to it, roasted red peppers are a great substitute. Open a container or roast your own and blend in a food processor. They will provide a splash of color and taste but will lack the thickness of tomato paste.

Can you mimic the taste of a tomato without tomato?

To properly replicate the taste of tomatoes, add an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or Worcestershire sauce. It’s easy to overdo the acidity and end up with a meal that’s unpleasant to eat. Cooking Tip: Replace tomatoes with this substitute in a 1:1 ratio.

What is the best substitute for crushed tomatoes?

Make use of Tomato Paste

Because canned tomato paste is thicker than crushed tomatoes, you’ll need to add something to it to help with the texture. If you have fresh tomatoes or chopped tomatoes on hand, add them to the paste and mix it all together.

What vegetable can you substitute for tomatoes?

Zucchini and squash are also excellent tomato substitutes. These veggies may be prepared in the same manner as eggplant is. They may be grilled, roasted, or fried. Zucchini and squash have a meaty feel that works well as a substitute as well.

What is a less acidic substitute for tomatoes?

When looking for a tomato alternative, raspberry sauce (puree) is an excellent choice. Its acidity is comparable to that of tomatoes, making it perfect for use in sauces, soups, and stews.

What foods to avoid with a tomato allergy?

Raw tomatoes should be avoided if you have a tomato sensitivity or allergy.
Sauce for spaghetti.
Ketchup with barbecue sauce.
Tomatoes from a can.
Tomatoes that have been sun-dried.

Why am I allergic to tomatoes but not tomato sauce?

Is it possible to have a tomato allergy but not a ketchup allergy? Highly processed tomato products, including ketchup, may not elicit a response in some patients with pollen food allergy syndrome (also known as PFAS or OAS).

What neutralizes tomato taste?

If your tomato sauce is overly acidic and bordering on bitter, use baking soda instead of sugar. Yes, sugar will improve the flavor of the sauce, but baking soda is an alkaline that will help balance the excess acid. A little pinch should enough.

What is Italian passata?

What exactly is Passata? Passata is a fresh, in-season tomato purée that is often used as a foundation for pasta sauces, soups, stews, and other foods.

What is a substitute taste for dried tomatoes?

Sun-dried tomatoes may be replaced with roasted bell peppers. The flavor is slightly burnt and faintly sweet, adding a delightful taste and a nice finishing touch to your dish. Roasted red peppers are widely available at supermarkets.

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