When it comes to tomatoes, homemade beats store-bought every single time. Stewed Tomatoes can be the base of a DIY salsa and are a hearty and wholesome addition to chili or shakshuka.
If you’ve got an abundance of tomatoes on hand, there’s hardly a better way to use them than to make stewed tomatoes. Make a huge serving and freeze the rest to use up to six months later.
What are Stewed Tomatoes?
Stewed tomatoes is a dish prepared by cooking diced tomatoes, herbs and spices to make a savory stew. This hearty stew makes a nutritious side dish for red meat and can be used in a variety of recipes from soups to casseroles to pastas.
What’s the Difference Between Stewed Tomatoes and Canned Tomatoes?
Canned tomatoes are considered a pantry staple in many households. Unless otherwise stated, canned tomatoes contain no seasonings or flavorings besides salt. Tomatoes are picked at peak ripeness, then processed and canned within a few hours. Canned tomatoes can be whole, diced, crushed or pureed. Stewed tomatoes are cooked with seasonings, making them far more flavorful than regular canned tomatoes. Some brands sell stewed tomatoes in a can.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Tomatoes: You want red, ripe and juicy tomatoes for the best stew. Avoid using overripe, damaged or unripe tomatoes. For tomatoes with dents or slight imperfections, just cut that out and use the good parts of the tomato.
- Olive Oil: A quality extra virgin olive oil will make a huge difference for your stewed tomatoes. Grapeseed, coconut or vegetable oil can also be used.
- Onions: These aromatic vegetables add so much flavor to your stew. White or yellow onions are great for this recipe, as well as shallots.
- Green Bell Pepper: Bell peppers are incredibly nutritious and make a great addition to your stew. Go ahead and use other colors of bell pepper if that’s what you have.
- Parsley: Fresh parsley is an herb that will add subtle flavor to your stew. You can use flat leaf or curly parsley.
- Basil: Basil is a must-have seasoning for tomato stew. Use fresh basil for best results.
- Sugar & Salt: For seasoning.
How to Make Stewed Tomatoes
1. Drop the tomatoes into a pot with boiling water. Wait for 30 to 45 seconds before removing them and placing them in an ice bath.
2. Peel the tomatoes and discard the skin.
3. Cut the tomatoes into small pieces.
4. In a separate large pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil.
5. Once hot, add onions, bell peppers, parsley, and basil, sugar, and salt.
6. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
7. Add tomatoes.
8. Simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes. Taste and add more sugar or salt if necessary. Serve and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks for the Best Stewed Tomatoes
- Cook the tomatoes very briefly in the boiling water: You’ll want to boil your tomatoes for about half a minute before you start the actual stewing. Don’t leave them in the boiling water for too long.
- You can peel the tomatoes more easily after boiling them: It can be hard to cook fresh tomatoes. After boiling, you’ll find that the skin peels off with ease.
- Stewed Tomatoes freeze well in zip-loc bags: Leftover stewed tomatoes can be stored in zip loc bags for up to six months.
Do I Have to Peel Tomatoes for Stewed Tomatoes?
Tomato skins can be rubbery and bitter, so you may want to remove the skin for better results with your stew. Some people do prefer to leave the skin on.
What Kind of Tomatoes Should I Use for Stewed Tomatoes?
Just about any medium or large tomatoes will work well for this recipe. Beefsteak tomatoes are meaty and juicy, making them an ideal foundation for your stew. Roma tomatoes are the classic Italian option and make for a flavorful, slightly tangy stew. Avoid smaller varieties such as grape or cherry tomatoes.
How Long Does Stewed Tomatoes Last?
In the fridge, stewed tomatoes will keep for about four days. For long term storage, you can pour leftover stew into ziploc bags and store in the freezer for up to six months.
How to Use Stewed Tomatoes?
Stewed tomatoes are so versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Use it as a base for homemade salsa, perfect for tacos or with chips. For a hearty breakfast, use the stew in your shakshuka. Stewed tomatoes are an excellent base for all your tomato-based pasta dishes and can add incredible flavor to fish and seafood dishes.
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Best Stewed Tomatoes Recipe
- 4 pounds tomatoes any variety
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped basil
- 2 teaspoons sugar or to taste
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- Add water to a large pot. Bring it to a boil.
- Carefully drop a few tomatoes into the boiling water. After 30-45 seconds, remove them from the boiling water and drop them to the ice bath. Repeat until you cooked all the tomatoes.
- Peel the tomatoes and discard the skin. (You can also save the skin and make tomato paste.)
- Cut the tomatoes into small pieces. (You can also remove the seeds if you prefer.)
- In a separate large pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Once hot, add onions, bell peppers, parsley, and basil, sugar, and salt. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
- Add tomatoes, and simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes. Taste and add more sugar or salt if necessary. Serve and enjoy!
- Let the mixture cool to room temperature, and add it to air-tight container. It can last for 4 days in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.