Not all tinned tomatoes are made equal: if you’re not happy with the flavour, add a pinch of sugar or acid (vinegar or lemon) to balance the sweetness of the tomatoes. If a batch of tinned tomatoes doesn’t break down well you can always pulse with a stick blender before adding to a recipe.
How the tinned tomatoes taste test worked
We tasted all the tinned tomatoes raw against each other, strained them to check consistency and texture, and cooked the five best ones into simple pasta sauces to put each to the test. We’ve highlighted the best for flavour and dishes, with one all-rounder that came out as the top tin.
The results for the best tinned tomatoes taste test
Winner: Casalinga Chopped Tomatoes £1.09/400g
Nice and tangy, with an underlying sweetness of ripe tomatoes. They have a chunky texture with decent-sized pieces of tomato in a thick passata-style sauce. There’s no skin or seeds in the tin, or green bits of tomato, which we found in a few during our taste test. Perfect for blending into gazpachos, stirring into salsas or even whizzing into bloody marys. They will also add depth and roundness to pasta sauces, one-pots and soups. If a recipe states adding sugar or vinegar to a tomato sauce, you may find it’s not needed with these well-balanced tinned toms.
Consistent chunks of very soft tomato, in a flavourful sweet and mild sauce that’s also fantastic for tomato pasta. The sweet and sour of the tomatoes is balanced nicely, along with lots of fresh flavour. Doesn’t contain citric acid, which a lot of the others do.
Tarantella Organic Chopped Tomatoes £1.39/400g
A rich flavour, with almost a tomato purée-like sweetness to it. There was inconsistency in the size of the tomato chunks, but the sauce was one of the thickest we tried. The depth of flavour would work well in tomato soups, stews and braises.
Mutti Polpa £1.19/400g
Very finely chopped tomatoes that work well in dishes where you want to add richness quickly, without adding tomato chunks. They melt into a pasta sauce, adding umami flavour and sweetness without having to cook them for a long time to break them up. Try in a tomato vodka sauce, or sauces and curries where you’re looking for velvety textures.
Biona Organic Chopped Peeled Tomatoes £1.19/400g
Smooth chunks of well peeled and ripe tomatoes in a rich, smooth yet slightly acidic sauce. A few seeds are visible but can be forgiven for the rounded, balanced, sweet and tangy flavour that would work well in curries, or even served on buttered toast with a crack of black pepper.
Other expert taste tests from the olive cookery team:
Pesto taste test
Marmalade taste test
Anchovies taste test
White miso taste test
Salted butter taste test
Strawberry jam taste test
Hummus taste test
Dried spaghetti taste test
Oat milk taste test
Smoked salmon taste test