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Substitute for Roma Tomatoes

When it comes to making tomato paste, many culinary experts often seek the Roma tomato. It has more flesh and little water content when compared to regular tomatoes, which allows it to form thick textured sauces.

There are different kinds of tomatoes, and they all have almost the same tangy flavor but differ in texture. For example, the Roma tomatoes texture makes it suitable for canned tomato sauces usually sold in grocery shops. So if you ever get in a situation where you’ll need a substitute for this item, there are different alternatives out there that are easily accessible in stores and can be used in their place. So we will be looking at some of them in this article.

What is a Roma Tomato?

Roma tomato is a plum tomato with a smooth red meaty flesh with fewer seeds and little moisture compared to other types of tomatoes. It has an elongated shape, almost like an egg, and is ideal for making canned variations of tomato paste or sauces. The Roma tomatoes come in different variations, the red-colored ones are the most popular, but they also come in yellow and orange colors, which are milder in flavor. The Roma tomato has a smaller-sized version known as the baby Roma.

The Roma tomato originated in South America and is popular in Mexico; it is a hybrid of the Pan American tomato with the San Marzano produced around 1955. It grows in the US, Australia, Mexico, and Great Britain.

Roma tomatoes are power-packed with vitamins A, B, and C, iron, fiber, and potassium. It is also good for the heart and helps in reducing cholesterol. Roma tomatoes contain Lycopene which is mostly found in all tomatoes and is responsible for the coloring and antioxidant production. Lycopene also has some anti-cancer benefits, which help prevent and repair damaged cells in the body.

Roma tomato used in Recipes

Roma tomato can be prepared using different methods since it is less juicy and has more flesh. It can be consumed both raw and cooked; it is often used to make sauces and paste, slow-roasted recipes, stuffings and baked goods, chopped salads, and many more recipes. These tomatoes can also be dried and added to dishes, they add both sweet and savory flavors in recipes, and some of these recipes include:

Roma Tomato Substitute

Roma tomatoes are rich in nutrients and are used in many recipes; they are easily available in canned pastes and sauces in grocery shops, they can also be prepared and stored at home. In cases where you’ve run out of this ingredient or can’t find it around, other alternatives can substitute the Roma tomato in recipes. Some of them include:

1. San Marzano

San Marzano


San Marzano tomatoes are also grouped with plum tomatoes. Compared to the Roma, the San Marzano has a thinner and more pointed shape, but it is also fleshy with fewer seeds, just like a plum tomato.

The San Marzano is a good substitute for Roma tomato because of the similar flavors and can be used in sauces, pasta, vegetable dishes, etc. The San Marzano tomato can be easily found in grocery shops. When substituting, the same quantity used for the Roma tomato in recipes can be used for the San Marzano.

2. Amish Tomato

Amish tomato


The Amish tomato is another version of the plum tomatoes, believed to have originated in an old Amish community in Wisconsin, Medford, in the 1870s. It is popularly produced as a paste, but the sweet raw version can be used in raw and cooked recipes.

The Amish tomato is a delicate perennial which grows well in warm climates and has an indeterminate growth habit. The flavor of this tomato Is similar to the San Marzano, and it would work well, too, in Roma tomato recipes. The same quantity used for the Roma tomato can be used for the Amish tomato in any recipe.

3. Roco

The ropreco tomato is another type of plum tomato, and it is also fleshy and is used in making canned tomato paste. It grows in Palo Alto, Cloquet, California, and Minnesota. It has a determinate growing habit, is an open-pollinated seed type, and is disease resistant.

The ropreco tomato is regarded by many cooking enthusiasts as being sweet even more than the Roma tomato. It pairs well in raw and cooked recipes like salsas, salads, soups, sauces, sandwiches, roasted dishes, etc. A ratio of 1:1 can be used when substituting the ropreco for Roma tomato.

4. Big Mama

Big mama is a plum tomato that can be used in place of the Roma tomato; it makes thick and creamy sauces. The canned and raw versions are available in grocery shops, and the fresh ones can be used for both raw and cooked recipes.

The big mama’s skin peels easily when boiled and forms delicious thick sauces. A reduced quantity of big mama can be used when substituting it for the Roma tomato, but you can use the exact measurements if you don’t mind the thick and creamy paste.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much tomato fruit is produced by a single Roma plant?

A single Roma plant could produce up to 200 fruits.

What is the difference between a Roma tomato and a regular tomato?

Regular tomatoes are juicy and seedy, while Roma tomatoes are less juicy. They have a smaller seed in them, making them a staple in preparing homemade and canned tomato paste.

Which is the best type of plum tomato to use?

Many culinary experts regarded the San Marzano as the best type of plum tomato. This Italian tomato is grown in the Campania region’s rich soil and produces some of the best-canned pastes.


The Roma tomato is a plum tomato used to make sauces and other meals. In situations where you can’t find this particular tomato, another plum tomato variety can be used in its place.