You’ve probably noticed there is a wide selection of canned tomatoes available in the grocery aisle, ranging from traditional stewed tomatoes to stewed or diced tomatoes in a variety of flavors. They may be labeled as diced or stewed Italian, Mexican or any variety of herbs and spices.

This may leave you wondering what the difference is between stewed and diced tomatoes and whether you can substitute one for the other.

According to the US Federal Code of Regulations, stewed tomatoes contain peppers, onions and celery – not to exceed 10 percent by weight of the product. These tomatoes can be labeled as stewed tomatoes without specific labeling for the onions, peppers and celery.

Typically, stewed tomatoes are chopped and stewed with the onions, peppers and celery before canning. They are generally canned in their own juice. Stewed tomatoes may include other veggies or spices, but they must be labeled.

Diced tomatoes must label all ingredients, including onions, peppers and celery. Diced tomatoes contain uniform pieces that have been diced and canned without stewing them first. They may contain other veggies, spices and seasonings to create a signature blend.

While some diced tomatoes may have a similar flavor to stewed tomatoes, this isn’t always the case. Both stewed and diced tomatoes come in a variety of blends.

(photo: Indiana Public Media / Flickr)

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