Tomato Substitutes for Everyday Cooking

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Tomatoes are one of those foods that you just cannot live without. They are, after all, utilized in almost every dish for regular cookery.

When raw, they provide a fresh, acidic taste to your dish while also adding a wonderful firm texture, and when cooked, they add sweetness, thickness, and hearty characteristics to a variety of recipes such as soups, sauces, curries, and spreads.

This indicates that tomatoes are the most often used ingredient in the culinary world. But what if you’re allergic, sensitive, or intolerant to them? What if you don’t have any tomatoes on hand for an emergency meal? Are there any tomato replacements you can use? Let us investigate.

It is fairly typical to run out of ingredients when cooking. However, there are several excellent options that you might consider adopting during such situations.

6 Great Substitutes for Tomato

While finding tomato substitutes may seem to be a difficult task, keep in mind that you always have choices. The following are some excellent tomato alternatives that you should try utilizing the next time you run out of tomatoes or simply because you are allergic to them.

Red Bell Pepper


Red bell peppers are a fantastic substitute for tomatoes since they have a similar texture and color. Consider preparing a red pepper paste for a more robust taste profile.

If your recipe asks for tomato sauce or paste, mix some roasted peppers with some sugar, salt, and lemon to make a wonderful tomato paste replacement. Aside from cooked variations, red bell peppers are also delicious in salads and sandwiches.

Tamarind Paste

Tamarind is sweet, sour, and spicy, and its concentrate may be used to replace tomatoes in a variety of soups, sauces, and curries.

Tamarind paste is widely available in supermarkets as well as Latin American, Asian, and Indian markets. The nicest aspect about buying pre-made tamarind paste is that it has a long shelf life, so you can keep it in the fridge and use it whenever you need it.

Looking for some delicious soup recipes? This may be a fun read. Soups for the spirit.

Green Pesto

This option, once again, may take your cuisine in a somewhat different route. However, adding green pesto adds an intriguing taste and a similar texture to tomatoes. You never know, it may become your new favorite twist that you’ll want to use even when you’re out of tomatoes.


While they have a completely different taste profile, using olives as a tomato replacement may not be as horrible as you think. It has the same delicious savory umami qualities as tomatoes.

You won’t get the texture or color of a tomato, but you won’t be lacking in taste. So, if you don’t mind losing the texture of your dish, olives might be a terrific alternative for tomato.

Stock and Vinegar

If you don’t have most of the items listed above and don’t have time to go to the grocery store, consider this option for some flavor depth. Use your stock and season it with vinegar. This will provide the desired tanginess from tomatoes. This method, however, will only work in liquid dishes such as sauces and soups.

Raw Mango

Raw mango is another excellent option since it is as sour as tomatoes and adds a crisp acidity to your dishes. Furthermore, if cooked correctly, it has a similar texture.

If you want to substitute tomatoes with raw mangoes, make sure you have plenty since, unlike tomatoes, you will need less raw mangoes in your curry or other dish. Choose this option if you are creating sandwiches, salads, or salsas.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make tomato sauce without using tomatoes

Consider blending fresh red peppers until smooth and seasoning it to serve as a tomato sauce replacement. Alternatively, you might use red pepper sauce.

What can I use instead of tomatoes in curry?

Tamarind is the greatest tomato alternative in curry. Simply add a tiny spoonful to curries or other Indian-inspired dishes in place of tomatoes.

What can I substitute for tomatoes in chili?

If you’re making chili and don’t have any tomatoes on hand, roasted red peppers are your best choice. They’ll be more sweeter than tomatoes, but since they’re the same color and texture, they’re a perfect substitute. Season to taste if necessary to balance out the sweetness.


If going without tomatoes isn’t an option, the alternatives listed above might come in handy. While you may miss the color of tomatoes, you will not miss the texture or flavor if you use these items.


What is a healthy 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 vegetable is most like a tomato?

Red bell peppers are an excellent alternative for tomatoes. While no fruit or vegetable has the same taste as tomatoes, bell peppers have a comparable sweetness to tomatoes and may work well as the foundation of a sauce or stew.

What is the alternative ingredients if you don t have tomato sauce?

Tomato puree. Tomato paste, which is simply a concentrated tomato sauce, is a great substitute for tomato sauce in most recipes.
Tomatoes in Stewed Sauce from Can.
Tomatoes, diced, from a can.
Tomatoes, fresh.
Soup with tomatoes.
Eggplant puree.
Bell pepper puree.

What is a good substitute for tomatoes for allergies?

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.

Why can’t I eat tomatoes anymore?

When you have a tomato intolerance or sensitivity, your digestive system responds negatively after consuming tomatoes. When it comes to tomatoes, there are three categories of food sensitivities: chemical sensitivity to alkaloids, acid-related responses, and IgG reactivity to tomato proteins.

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 can I substitute for a can of tomatoes?

Canned tomatoes may be readily substituted with passata, storebought spaghetti sauce, or tomato paste diluted with water.

What is a fruit that is like a tomato?

The fuyu persimmon is a non-astringent persimmon that is squat like a tomato.

What else tastes like tomato?

Some of these may surprise you, so let’s go through them in more depth. Persimmon, tamarillo, and tomatillo are among the fruits that most closely resemble tomatoes. In terms of flavor, you may sometimes substitute tomatillos or pumpkins for tomatoes. Nothing compares to a tomato, but these fruits come close!

What can I add to spaghetti if I don’t have tomato sauce?

What can I use in place of tomato sauce?
Tomato sauce. “I think of tomato paste as the garlic powder equivalent of fresh garlic,” Xie says, pointing out that it’s extremely concentrated and dried.
Tomatoes from a can.
Soup with tomatoes.
Tomatoes, fresh.
Tomatoes that have been sun-dried.

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