Substitute for Fire-Roasted Tomatoes: What Can You Use?

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Have you ever tried a pepperoni pizza topped with fire-roasted tomatoes? If not, then you’re missing out. The tomatoes bring a whole other level of yumminess to the pizza (and any dish, for that matter). But what if you don’t have (or like) tomatoes?

Is there a substitute for fire-roasted tomatoes, and what can you use?

Fire-roasted tomatoes have several tasty substitutes that are easy to prepare and source. These substitutes include canned tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and tomato puree. If you dislike tomatoes, then grilled mangoes and roasted bell peppers are excellent substitutes.

If you want to experiment with different substitutes for fire-roasted tomatoes, this guide will provide you with three of the best substitutes around.

What Are Fire-Roasted Tomatoes?

Fire-roasted tomatoes are sliced tomatoes that are heated in an oven or over an open fire. The idea is to leave them in long enough that they get slightly charred and leave black specks on the tomatoes.

As the tomatoes roast, they begin to caramelize, which really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes. The fire-roasting process gives the tomatoes a smoky, sweet, caramelized flavor that complements almost any dish.

Once your tomatoes have been fire-roasted, you can dice them and store them in an airtight container. They can be kept for around five to seven days in the refrigerator. 

Here’s a look at some of the dishes and food fire-roasted tomatoes pair well with:

  • Eggs and bacon breakfast
  • Spaghetti and pasta dishes
  • Stews
  • Soups
  • Tacos
  • Salsa
  • Curry
  • Dip
  • Pizza topping
  • A snack on its own
  • Stir-fries
  • In sandwiches

Let’s take a closer look at how fire-roasted tomatoes are prepared:


  • Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper


  1. Rinse and dry the tomatoes. Slice them lengthwise, arrange them on a baking sheet (cut side facing upwards), and drizzle olive oil over them.
  2. Mix the salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Sprinkle the mixture generously over the tomatoes.
  3. Roast in the oven at 450˚F for 45 minutes (or until charred).
  4. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

Top Tip: Use Roma tomatoes for the best result, as they aren’t as watery as other tomatoes.

3 Best Fire-Roasted Tomato Substitutes

Let’s take a closer look at three of the best fire-roasted tomatoes substitutes:

1. Roasted Bell Peppers

If you’re looking for a tasty substitute with the same smoky, sweet taste of fire-roasted tomatoes, then you’ve got to try roasted bell peppers. 

Bell peppers are easy to come by in local grocery stores, and you have three colors (red, yellow, and green) to choose from too.

Red works best if you want to mimic the overall look. Remember that bell peppers don’t hold as much liquid as tomatoes do, so you must add a veggie broth or extra water to your recipe.

If you or your guests don’t like tomatoes but are craving fire-roasted tomatoes as a side dish, this substitute is for you.

Top Tip: Add some onion and garlic to the baking tray for extra flavor. The bell peppers will absorb all of the tasty flavors.

2. Tomato Puree

Another easy substitute to use is tomato puree. 

You have two options here. You can buy ready-made tomato puree from the store and add paprika and other spices to enhance the flavor.

Or you can make your tomato puree by grinding cooked tomatoes into a pulp. Add garlic and spices to match the flavor of the fire-roasted tomatoes.

Good to know: While the taste of the tomato puree will be almost identical to the flavor of the fire-roasted tomatoes, it won’t have the same texture. To solve this problem, throw in a few chunks of tomato to give the puree a more solid consistency.

3. Grilled Mangoes

Grilled mangoes are perfect for people who can’t eat tomatoes (due to dietary restrictions or an allergy). Grilling mangoes bring out their naturally sweet flavors, and the charred edges add a smoky flavor that’s similar to fire-roasted tomatoes.

Unripe mangoes have a slightly sour taste and work very well as a substitute in salads and other dishes. 

You can slice the mangoes lengthwise and put them under the grill or dice the fruit.

Keep in mind that the longer the mangoes spend under the grill, the quicker they dry out. You must add extra water or broth to your finished dish to replace the moisture.

Good to know: Mangos are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium, making them a healthy substitute for fire-roasted tomatoes.

How Do You Make Diced Tomatoes Taste Like Fire-Roasted Tomatoes?

Making fresh diced tomatoes taste like fire-roasted tomatoes is a pretty simple process and tastes just as good. 

You’ll need diced tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. For extra flavor, you can add chili powder and garlic powder.

Place the diced tomatoes on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil (this prevents the tomato and juices from sticking to the tray).

Next, sprinkle the spices over the diced tomatoes with a bit of olive oil. Bake at 392℉ for about 30 minutes.

Once the edges of the tomatoes become charred, they will be ready.

Can You Make Fire-Roasted Tomatoes from Canned Tomatoes?

You can make fire-roasted tomatoes from canned tomatoes. However, the process may take a little longer as canned tomatoes hold much more water than regular tomatoes. 

The tomatoes must be roasted slowly to ensure the liquid has evaporated.

Keep an eye on the oven and remove the tomatoes once they become charred. Canned tomatoes are great for making sauces due to their soft texture.

Another handy trick is to blend the fire-roasted canned tomatoes into a delicious tomato puree, which will enhance and thicken the flavors of soups and stews.

Top Tip: Add a small amount of paprika to enhance the sweet and smoky flavor of the fire-roasted tomatoes.

Can I Substitute Sun-Dried Tomatoes for Fire-Roasted Tomatoes?

You can substitute sun-dried tomatoes for fire-roasted tomatoes. The taste profile won’t be the same, as sun-dried tomatoes are dried out with salt and have no liquid left. 

Sun-dried tomatoes are ideal for salads, bruschetta, and tomato paste, and to be bottled in oil.

My Last Foodie Thoughts 

Nothing complements a fresh taco like the addition of fire-roasted tomatoes, but unfortunately for some people, tomatoes are a no-go as they can cause a skin rash or stomach upset.

Luckily, plenty of tasty substitutes are available for fire-roasted tomatoes that will give you the same delicious medley of flavors, and they are super easy to source and swap out. 

Even better is that all these substitutes are easy and quick to prepare.

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