What can I substitute for tomatoes in chili? 

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “what can I substitute for tomatoes in chili?” with an in-depth analysis of what type of a liquid you can use to make chili. Moreover, we will also discuss how to make chili sauce from scratch. 

What can I substitute for tomatoes in chili?

Tomatoes can be substituted for any other vegetable in chili, as both a side dish and a condiment. It is worth mentioning that Roasted red peppers could be a good substitute for tomatoes in chili. They will be sweeter than tomatoes, but the texture and coloration should be close to what diced/crushed tomatoes would be in chili. 

Moreover, if you don’t have any fresh tomatoes on hand, use items like:


Tomato juice

Tomato paste 

What type of liquid can you use to make chili? 

Chili cooks slowly, so you’ll need a lot of liquid to keep the meat soft and prevent it from drying out. Add chicken, beef, vegetable stock, or beer, as that liquid should also contribute taste to the chili.

Is it possible to substitute tomato sauce for diced tomatoes in chili?

Tomato sauce has a stronger tomato taste than chopped or crushed tomatoes, but there’s no reason you can’t use both alternatively. Keep in mind that using whole tomatoes may result in much more liquid in your chili.

What vegetables could I use in place of tomatoes?

You can also use raw zucchini or summer squash instead of raw tomato in a cold salad (grain, pasta, or vegetable). It can be diced in a small amount with lemon juice (approximately 1 tsp per tomato replaced by zucchini) added to the dish.

How can you differentiate between cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes? 

The most noticeable distinction between tomatoes and cherry tomatoes is that the former is larger. Tomatoes have an oval shape, however, cherry tomatoes have a perfectly round shape. Cherry tomatoes have a slightly bitter and sour taste, whereas ordinary tomatoes are sweet and tangy.

Can I use ketchup instead of tomato paste?

For every teaspoon of tomato paste, use 2 teaspoons of ketchup. Because it’s difficult to thicken ketchup on its own, it’s ideal when combined with a tomato sauce. 

When ketchup and tomato sauce are combined, they generate some of the same intense taste that tomato paste does in so many meals.

Is it necessary to include tomatoes in chili?

Beans and tomatoes are used in a variety of tasty traditional and non-traditional chilis. This myth does have some truth to it. Traditional Texas-style chili is made without beans or tomatoes, and it’s delicious, but it’s just one regional variation. 

What else can be used if you don’t have canned tomatoes? 

Add 2 cups of fresh chopped tomatoes can normally be replaced with one 14.5 ounces can of diced tomatoes. If a recipe calls for whole canned tomatoes, peel your own; if the recipe calls for canned tomato puree, either cook and puree your fresh tomatoes or stay with canned.

What is the taste of tomatoes? 

Tomatoes are frequently classified as sweet, acidic, sour, or balanced. A sweet tomato is one that is abundant in sugars and low in acids. A bland tomato is one that is poor in sugars and acids.

What is the alternative to tomatoes in cooking? 

Bell peppers are the best option if you’re searching for a good tomato alternative to use as a garnish on bruschetta or in a salad. Spices like paprika and chili powder can be added to various recipes, such as stews and soups. These all are simple to use and can give good taste.  

What are the special ingredients of chili? 

The best special ingredients to make an ideal chili are following:

Can you consider tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes the same?

Tomato sauce is created by simmering tomatoes until they are thickened and concentrated. After that, the tomatoes are strained to remove any remaining seeds or chunks of flesh. 

Crushed tomatoes are manufactured the same way they sound, entire tomatoes are mashed by a disintegrator machine.

How to make chili sauce from scratch? 

Following are the steps to make homemade chili sauce from scratch:

  • Firstly, add 8 ounces of canned tomato sauce. 
  • Add 2 teaspoons of tomato paste and then add 2 teaspoons of vinegar. 
  • After this, put 2 teaspoons of brown sugar in it. 
  • ½ teaspoon of chili powder (you can use regular chili powder too). 
  • Use tabasco for taste and ⅛ teaspoon of cinnamon and mix it well. 


In this brief guide, we answered the question “what can I substitute for tomatoes in chili?” with an in-depth analysis of what type of a liquid you can use to make chili. Moreover, we also discussed how to make chili sauce from scratch. 



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