Basic Stewed Tomatoes With Fresh Tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes in a white bowl alongside croutons and a wooden spoon

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
40 Calories
2g Fat
5g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 40
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 59mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 17mg 84%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 293mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This basic stewed tomatoes recipe is simply made with fresh tomatoes, salt, pepper, butter, and sugar.

Use up those ripe tomatoes from your garden or grab a nice selection of tomatoes from the grocery store or farmers market for this recipe. It takes only 30 minutes to make from start to finish, so you will enjoy the ease of making it and its delicious flavor. 

Stewed tomatoes can be eaten as is or throw some croutons on top for that extra crunchy texture. They are also great to use in stews, soups, and chilis


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  • 4 large tomatoes or 6 medium tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • Optional: Croutons

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for stewed tomatoes gathered on a marble surface

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  2. Peel the tomatoes.

    Peeled tomatoes on a marble surface

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  3. Cut them into chunks.

    Tomatoes cut into chunks on a marble surface

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Heat the tomatoes in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.

    Tomato chunks in a saucepan

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  5. Continue cooking over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, or until desired consistency is reached.

    Stewed tomatoes in a saucepan alongside a dish towel and wooden spoon

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  6. Add salt, pepper, sugar, and butter; taste and adjust seasonings. If desired, serve with croutons on top. Enjoy.

    Seasonings and croutons to finished stewed tomatoes in a white bowl

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How to Store and Freeze

  • Stewed tomatoes will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Freeze stewed tomatoes for longer storage. Add them to a freezer-safe container with an inch of headspace or pour into a zip-top freezer bag and expel the air. Freeze for up to three months and defrost in the fridge before using.
  • Stewed tomatoes can be canned for later use. Add bottled lemon juice to the mixture and can in sterilized jars using these instructions.


  • Use a very sharp, small knife to peel the tomatoes.
  • Alternatively, you can blanch them for easy peeling. Use a knife to make a small X in the peel on the bottom of each tomato. Add the tomatoes to boiling water for one minute and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Once cool, the peel should slip off easily.

Recipe Variations

  • Sauté some finely chopped celery, onion, and bell peppers for a zestier, more flavorful dish.
  • Add a few dashes of Tabasco or some red pepper flakes for a little heat.

What Is the Difference Between Canned Tomatoes and Stewed Tomatoes?

Canned tomatoes can include a variety of styles of tomatoes, including whole peeled tomatoes in juice, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stewed tomatoes, which can be canned, are cooked but not puréed, often with seasoning, while whole and diced canned tomatoes are not.

Can I Substitute for Crushed Tomatoes for Stewed Tomatoes?

The best substitution for stewed tomatoes are canned crushed tomatoes, and vice versa. The texture is very similar, with stewed tomatoes being cooked. If you're substituting crushed tomatoes for stewed tomatoes, you may want to cook them briefly before proceeding with the recipe.