You’re in the middle of cooking, in your groove, and you realize you’re missing an ingredient. You’re using a recipe that calls for strained tomatoes and have just realized that you forgot to get them at the store. We’ve all been there before. Luckily, there are many substitutes you can use or whip up easily to replace your strained tomatoes.
You can substitute strained tomatoes with canned tomatoes, canned tomato paste, or tomato puree. If you’re using canned tomatoes, you’ll want to strain them first to remove all of the excess water and seeds. You may want to blend any substitute you use, so the texture is smoother. You can also make your own strained tomatoes from fresh, whole tomatoes, but using a canned option is easier.
What Can I Substitute for Strained Tomatoes?
Tomato puree and strained tomatoes are often substituted for each other, as they are very similar. They will have a similar taste and texture.
Another good substitute is crushed tomatoes, which you can blend so they are smoother. Crushed tomatoes on their own will taste similar, but they will have a different texture. Blending them will make the texture similar to that of strained tomatoes.
In a real pinch, you can use a jar of plain marinara sauce. Marinara sauce is a similar texture to strained tomatoes, but it will have spices and other flavors.
Homemade Strained Tomatoes
If you don’t have any canned options available, you can make your own strained tomatoes from scratch! Using fresh tomatoes, you’ll want to chop them up a bit, cook them for a few minutes (5 minutes maximum). Once cooked, strain and blend your tomatoes.
What is the Difference Between Strained, Crushed, and Pureed Tomatoes?
Strained tomatoes are tomatoes that have been cooked briefly and strained, getting rid of excess liquid and seeds.
Crushed tomatoes are diced and then mixed with a paste or pureed.
Pureed tomatoes are similar to strained tomatoes, they are just cooked longer and are thicker.