Crushed Vs Tomato Sauce: Which One Is The Winner?

If you love Italian food, no ingredient is as indispensable as tomato—whether in sauce or crushed form.

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But although crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce may seem interchangeable, their subtle differences can have a big impact on how your dish turns out.

In this article, we’ll identify those key differences and explain why they matter.

What is special about crushed tomato?

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What’s so special about crushed tomatoes?

Well, for one thing, they’re ripe.

That means they can be made from any tomato variety and are generally less acidic than tomato sauce.

Unlike sauce, which is made from unripe but still flavorful tomatoes that have been cooked and strained to remove seeds and skin—meaning they have a thicker consistency—crushed tomatoes have a thinner consistency (which also makes them more watery).

This makes crushed tomatoes perfect for things like pastas or sandwiches where you want something saucy but not too chunky.

What is special about tomato sauce?

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Tomato sauce is a thicker and more concentrated version of crushed tomatoes.

It’s used as a base for many Italian dishes, such as pasta sauces, pizza sauces and meatballs.

Tomato sauce is also used to make red sauce for pizzas (that’s why it’s sometimes called pizza sauce).

Tomato sauce makes up about half of the total weight of canned tomato products sold in America.

Are crushed tomatoes a sauce?

So, are crushed tomatoes a sauce?

The short answer is yes, but not because they’re thinner.

Contrary to popular belief, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce are not interchangeable terms in the kitchen.

While tomato sauce is typically made from puréed tomatoes and water (or broth), crushed tomatoes are simply diced or puréed whole peeled tomatoes that have been cooked down until the liquid has evaporated.

The difference between them is largely one of texture: crushed tomatoes will typically have more body than tomato sauce due to their higher moisture content; however, both products contain healthy amounts of vitamins A and C as well as potassium and magnesium—all important nutrients for good health!

Is tomato sauce the same as crushed tomato?

Crushed tomatoes are a type of tomato puree.

They’re made by crushing whole tomatoes into a pulp, then straining the seeds and skins out.

This process results in a thick sauce that’s perfect for use in recipes that call for crushed or diced tomatoes.

In contrast to crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce is not actually pureed—it’s simply fresh-chopped canned tomatoes on their own with no added thickeners or seasonings.

The end result is a thinner consistency than what you get from crushed tomatoes (and no seeds or skins either).

Is there a difference between crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce?

Crushed tomatoes are made by crushing whole tomatoes, while tomato sauce is made by cooking them down.

Because you’re using the whole fruit to make your crushed tomatoes, these tend to be thicker and have more texture than their sauce counterparts.

They also won’t be as sweet—the sugar content of crushed tomatoes varies depending on what kind of tomato you use and how much time they spend in an acidic marinade before being cooked (some marinades use vinegar or lemon juice).

Crushed tomatoes are also not as thick; they’re typically used in soups or braises where their loose texture works well with other ingredients like meatballs or ground beef.

Tomato sauces can often act as a base for other dishes like spaghetti bolognese, but if you want something more flavorful than plain pasta water then look no further than your local grocery store’s canned goods aisle!

Crushed tomato vs tomato sauce: What’s difference?

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Crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce are basically the same product.

They’re both made from whole tomatoes, but crushed tomatoes are pureed with their seeds, juice, and pulp removed.

Tomato sauce is made by cooking down crushed tomatoes until they reach a more concentrated consistency.

Both products contain some water as well as a significant amount of tomato solids (pulp).

The difference between them lies only in how much liquid they contain and how thick they are — crushed tomatoes have more water, while tomato sauce has less.

Can I substitute crushed tomatoes for tomato sauce?

You can substitute crushed tomatoes for tomato sauce, but you also need to be aware that there are a few different varieties of crushed tomatoes.

For example, if you’re making pizza or tomato soup, you’ll want to use whole peeled tomatoes that have been diced into small pieces.

However, if you’re making something like meatloaf or lasagna, it’s best to use pureed tomatoes so they mix well with other ingredients and don’t leave chunks behind in your dish.

So how do you know if the crushed tomatoes at your grocery store are pureed or diced?

Check the label!

If it says “diced” right on the label then those are probably not what’s best for soups and casseroles—you’d want a different kind of crushed tomato instead (like whole peeled ones).

What can I use instead of crushed tomatoes?

If crushed tomatoes aren’t available, here are some possible substitutions.

  • Diced Tomatoes: You can use diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes, but they won’t have the same texture and consistency as crushed tomatoes.
  • Tomato Paste: If we’re talking about canned tomato paste, then the answer is easy—just use the same amount of tomato paste instead of using crushed tomatoes.
  • However, if you want to make your own homemade tomato paste, it will be more difficult to replace with other ingredients because it has a very specific consistency that isn’t easily replaced by other ingredients like fresh or dried herbs or garlic cloves (which I’ll talk about later).
  • Tomato Puree: This is similar in consistency as diced and stewed tomatoes so it’s not quite as good as crushed tomato sauce because it doesn’t have any liquid in its pure form but if you’re cooking something where you need extra thickening then this is what you should use instead!
  • For example: soups!
  • Or alternatively – pureeing canned diced tomatos into small pieces works too!


Don’t be afraid to experiment with crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce when cooking!

Use this article as a guide for which ingredients will work best in your recipe, but remember that there is no hard and fast rule as to what can or cannot be used.

You are welcome to substitute crushed tomatoes with tomato sauce and vice versa, depending on the flavor profile you are looking for.