Can I use crushed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce in chili?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can I use crushed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce in chili? We will tell you what alternatives you can safely use for tomato sauce in chili. Finally, we will give you our favorite homemade sweet chili sauce recipe.

Can I use crushed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce in chili?

You can use crushed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce in chili. If you only want to add tomato flavor to the dish and do not need tomato paste to thicken it, add a little tomato puree or crushed tomatoes, taking into account that the first is a little lighter than the second, but anything can work. 

Since these products are less concentrated than tomato paste, you will need at least twice as much to get the same amount of flavor. 

How Much To Use: Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of crushed tomatoes for every tablespoon of tomato sauce. In recipes that call for large amounts of tomato paste, simmer the sauce to reduce it by half before adding it to the mixture.

You can also use canned tomatoes: A can of diced tomatoes works well when you want to add tomato flavor with a hint of thickening power. Since this product contains liquid, you will need to drain the juice and use the solids. Like tomato sauce, canned tomatoes are not as concentrated as tomato paste, so you will need to double the amount to get the right flavor. 

How Much to Use: Use two tablespoons of strained canned tomatoes for every tablespoon of tomato paste.

Use fresh tomatoes: Using fresh tomatoes is a bit tricky. Tomato sauce is cooked to concentrate its flavor, and even canned tomato products have their skins and seeds removed. To use fresh tomatoes as a substitute for tomato paste you will have to do some work. 

Peel the tomatoes and get rid of the seeds. Cook over low heat until reduced by half to remove excess liquid. How Much To Use: Use one large tomato for every tablespoon of tomato paste.

Use ketchup: is not as thick as tomato sauce, but it is much thicker than sauce and fresh tomatoes. Keep in mind that ketchup contains vinegar and spices so adding it to your recipes will change the flavor. How much to use: use one tablespoon of ketchup for every tablespoon of tomato paste.

Homemade sweet chili sauce

We are going to prepare the famous sweet chili sauce in a totally homemade way, it is one of the most common sauces that we use as an accompaniment to dishes as famous as spring rolls or fried chicken, barbecued in Thai cuisine. 

We will need 20 minutes for its preparation and also the ingredients that we are going to use are super easy to find in any supermarket, it is a much healthier version than the sweet chili sauce that they sell already prepared, since it will not have any added chemical product, without preservatives, thickeners or colorants.

In Thailand, sweet chili sauce is used as an accompaniment to many Thai dishes and It is a sauce with a sweet flavor with a touch of acid and slightly spicy, it is very similar to the sweet and sour sauce, but the acid is not so pronounced. 

In Thailand its flavor is a little spicier, but if you are not so used to this flavor, you can vary the amount of hot red pepper and substitute a part for normal red pepper, so we will not lose the typical and striking color of our sauce sweet chili and we will lower the degree of spiciness one point

As for sugar, in Thailand, we use half the amount of palm sugar, since it aromatizes and gives a very special flavor to the recipe, but sometimes it is difficult to get, if you cannot find it, you can also make the recipe using just white sugar.

I hope you enjoy the sweet chili sauce a lot and that you are encouraged to prepare it at home, you will see that it is super easy to prepare and you will also enjoy it much more knowing that it is a totally natural product.

Ingredients to make 180 ml of chilli sauce:

  • 50 g. palm sugar (1 block)
  • 50 g. white sugar (1/3 cup)
  • 100 ml. rice vinegar
  • 100 ml. water (1/2 cup)
  • 5 g. salt (1 tsp)
  • 2 red hot peppers (20 g.)
  • 10 g. regular red pepper (optional to substitute for a hot red pepper)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (10 g.)

┃Step 1

In a mortar we crush the garlic and red peppers well, we reserve them for later.

┃Step 2

In a saucepan over medium heat, we put the water, sugar, rice vinegar, salt and stir well until everything dissolves.

┃Step 3

Then we add the garlic and the peppers, stir it and bring it to a boil.

┃Step 4

At this point we turn off the fire, move it and let it cool completely, we can see how our sauce thickens as it cools.

┃Step 5

We put it in a glass jar and close it very well. It can be kept in the fridge for a week and used to accompany our favorite dishes.

Conclusions

We remind you that you can use 2 to 3 tablespoons of crushed tomatoes for every tablespoon of tomato sauce. In recipes that call for large amounts of tomato paste, simmer the sauce to reduce it by half before adding it to the mixture.

Other great substitutes for tomato sauce are canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes or ketchup!

If you have any comments, questions or tips, please let us know!

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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