Roma tomatoes, also known as Italian or plum tomatoes, are a key ingredient in numerous recipes worldwide. Their rich flavor and minimal seeds make them an ideal choice for sauces, salsas, and stews.

However, there may be times when you’re in need of a substitute due to dietary restrictions, ingredient availability, or personal flavor preferences. For those seeking alternatives, grape tomatoes and canned tomatoes stand out for their close resemblance in flavor and texture to Roma tomatoes, making them excellent substitutes.

👅 Flavor Profile

Roma tomatoes are treasured for their full-bodied, slightly sweet flavor with a hint of tanginess. They offer a meaty texture due to fewer seeds and less water content than many other tomato varieties.

This dense texture holds up well under various cooking methods, including baking, stewing, and grilling. Other tomatoes that share a similar flavor and texture profile include San Marzano and beefsteak tomatoes.

🔄 The closest replacements/substitutes

Grape Tomatoes

Grape tomatoes provide a similar sweetness to Roma tomatoes, with a slightly juicier texture. Their small size makes them perfect for salads or roasting. When substituting, use a cup of grape tomatoes for each Roma tomato needed, adjusting the cooking time to account for their smaller size.

Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes can be a handy substitute in recipes where the tomatoes need to be cooked down, such as sauces or stews. They come pre-peeled, which can save time in the kitchen. Use one cup of canned tomatoes for each Roma tomato required in the recipe.

San Marzano Tomatoes

Native to Italy, San Marzano tomatoes share a similar shape and sweet flavor with Roma tomatoes, making them an excellent substitute. They are perfect for sauces due to their low acidity. Substitute on a 1:1 basis with Roma tomatoes.

Beefsteak Tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes are larger and juicier than Roma tomatoes but can substitute effectively in many recipes. They have a similar sweetness, although they contain more seeds. Use one beefsteak tomato for every two Roma tomatoes in your recipe.

Cherry Tomatoes

cherry tomatoes as roma tomatoes substitute

While smaller, cherry tomatoes pack a sweet, tangy flavor that can replace Roma tomatoes, especially in salads or pastas. Substitute two cups of cherry tomatoes for every Roma tomato required.

Vine Tomatoes

Vine tomatoes have a robust, sweet flavor similar to Roma tomatoes. They are excellent for dishes where the tomatoes will be cooked. Substitute on a 1:1 basis with Roma tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomatoes

With their diverse flavor profiles, heirloom tomatoes can provide an interesting alternative to Roma tomatoes. Depending on the variety, they can be sweeter or more tangy. Use two medium heirloom tomatoes for every Roma tomato.

Green Tomatoes

While they offer a tart flavor, green tomatoes can be used as a substitute for Roma tomatoes when a tangy flavor is desired. They are best used in cooked dishes. Substitute on a 1:1 basis with Roma tomatoes.


Tomatillos offer a tart, tangy flavor, making them a suitable alternative when Roma tomatoes aren’t available. They are best used in salsas and sauces. Use two tomatillos for every Roma tomato in your recipe.

Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes, available canned, can provide a ready-cooked alternative to Roma tomatoes.

They are ideal in sauces, stews, and casseroles. Substitute one cup of stewed tomatoes for each Roma tomato needed.

stewed tomatoes as roma tomatoes substitute

⤵ Other substitutes

Other possible substitutions include tomato paste, tomato sauce, and sundried tomatoes. These can provide tomato flavor but may significantly alter the texture of your dish.

💡 Tips

Experiment with combinations of these substitutes to find the balance of flavor and texture that suits your palate. Remember, fresh tomatoes will generally give the best flavor, but canned or dried alternatives can be convenient and still delicious.

In conclusion, while Roma tomatoes hold a distinct place in the culinary world, there are numerous viable substitutes that can save the day when these flavorful fruits are out of reach. By understanding the flavor and texture of these alternatives, you can ensure your dish remains delicious.

Alex Bayev Photo
About me:

Hi, I'm Alex. I love to cook and bake, and I'm always looking for new recipes to try. I started this blog — to collect and share most delicious and easy recipes in one place. I remember, how many questions recipes raised to me, when I started cooking. To make sure that doesn't happen to you, I take step-by-step photos of the cooking process for every recipe so you can see how all the steps are supposed to go together, even if you're not following my recipes exactly.

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