13 Best Substitutes for Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are a favorite in the kitchen. And, if you’ve ever been to Italy, you can understand why: they’re meaty and flavorful, perfect for cooking down into sauce or sautéing up as part of a dish. But what if you need Roma tomatoes and they aren’t available? Then it’s time to look at the best substitutes for Roma tomatoes that are available to you.

What is a Roma Tomato? 

A Roma tomato is a round, plum-shaped variety that originated in Italy. It’s smaller than your average tomato and has fewer seeds, making it perfect for canning or cutting up into salads. The flavor of Roma tomatoes is sweet and tangy without being too acidic or bitter—which makes them ideal for many dishes, including pasta sauces and soups!

Roma tomatoes are also lower in acid than other varieties as they don’t have as much water content: this means they don’t cause heartburn (or tummy aches).

In this guide, we’ll explain in detail the best substitutes for Roma Tomatoes, keep reading to learn more about the best alternate options for Roma tomatoes.

Best Substitutes for Roma Tomatoes

13 Best Substitutes for Roma Tomatoes

Suppose you are not a fan of Roma tomatoes or just looking for substitutes to use when Roma tomatoes aren’t an option. You’re not alone; lots of people dislike or avoid Roma tomatoes. Here’s a list of the 13 best substitutes for Roma tomatoes.

1. Campari Tomatoes

You can use Roma tomatoes and Campari tomatoes interchangeably in recipes. Both tomatoes are red, oblong, and have a slightly acidic flavor. The main difference between the two is that Roma tomatoes are somewhat smaller and have fewer seeds than Campari tomatoes.

Campari tomatoes are a variety of Roma tomatoes. They’re small, round, and red but have an unusual shape. At first glance, they look like cherry tomatoes with the bottom cut off.

But they’re egg-shaped—one end is wider than the other—and usually come in two sizes: petite. You’ll often see these on menus next to “Roma” because they’re just another name for Roma tomatoes!

2. Grape Tomatoes

Grape tomatoes are a type of tomato that is small and round. They are a popular choice for salads and snacking. You can substitute grape tomatoes for Roma tomatoes in recipes.

They taste similar to Roma tomatoes but are sweeter, juicier, and more flavorful. Like their larger cousins, you can use them in salads, tomato sauce, or salsa. They’re also great for snacking on!

3. Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes can be used as a substitute for Roma tomatoes. Both are small, round, and have a similar texture. The main difference is that cherry tomatoes are sweeter than Roma tomatoes.

Cherry tomatoes, as they’re often called, are the smallest of the bunch. They’re round and come in various colors—the most popular being red. Smaller than Roma tomatoes, they’re great for snacking and work well in salads. The standard size is “cluster,” consisting of 20-30 small tomatoes packed together in a jar or can.

4. Plum Tomatoes

Another substitute for Roma tomatoes is the plum tomato. Plum tomatoes are more petite than Roma tomatoes and have a less juicy and sweet taste.

They also have less acidity, making them perfect substitutes when you want to make an Italian dish but don’t have any Roma tomatoes on hand. You can use plum tomatoes anywhere you would use a Roma tomato, including in salads and salsas.

If you are looking for a tomato with firmer flesh and fewer seeds, then a Roma tomato would be a good substitute for a Plum tomato. However, if you are looking for a tomato with a sweeter taste, a Plum tomato would be a better substitute.

5. Pomodorini Tomatoes

Pomodorini tomatoes are a variety of small, round tomatoes typically used in salads or as a garnish. Roma tomatoes are a variety of oblong in shape and have firmer flesh. While you can substitute one for the other in most recipes, the flavor and texture of the dish may be slightly different.

Pomodorini (also known as cherry tomatoes) are small tomatoes often used in salads. They tend to be less juicy than larger tomatoes, but they have a great flavor and texture. 

These little guys are versatile and can be used in many recipes, including tomato paste, sauces, soups, and stews. If you’re looking for a substitute for Roma or other large varieties of tomatoes used for cooking or eating raw, pomodorini is an excellent option!

6. Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes are a type of tomato grown from a non-hybridized seed. This means the tomato plant is not genetically modified and is produced the same way it has been for centuries. 

Heirloom tomatoes are a variety of tomatoes that have been passed down for generations. They’re usually grown organically and have a more complex flavor than regular tomatoes. Many heirlooms come in different colors and shapes, making them fun to eat!

7. Beefsteak Tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes are an excellent substitute for Roma tomatoes. They’re larger and meatier, with a more concentrated flavor that makes them ideal for sandwiches, salads, and salsas.

If you have beefsteak tomatoes on hand, try using them in place of Roma tomatoes instead for an even heartier taste!

8. Plum Tomatoes

Plum tomatoes are smaller than Roma tomatoes and have a little more acidity and less juice. However, they can be used interchangeably with Roma tomatoes in recipes. If you’re trying to save money on your grocery bill, these are the perfect substitute because they’re generally cheaper than Romas and have similar flavor profiles. They’re great for salads or salsas!

Their smaller size makes them easier to cut up into pieces without diced-up fingers like you might do when dealing with larger varieties such as Romas or heirloom cherry tomatoes (see below).

Just remember if you plan on using plums to make things like batches of homemade spaghetti sauce or roasted tomato soup.

Which requires cooking down before blending into pulp—it’s best not to substitute any tomato because it will change how much liquid is removed during cooking.

9. Amish Paste Tomato

Roma tomatoes and Amish Paste tomatoes are both paste tomatoes. Paste tomatoes are used for making tomato paste, sauce, and ketchup. They are also suitable for canning and freezing.

Amish Paste is a large, smooth tomato with a meaty texture often used in sauces and pastes. It’s also great for making tomato soup, as its flavor is strong enough to hold up to all the other ingredients without getting lost.

The best substitute for Roma tomatoes is another paste variety like Amish Paste or Roma VF2 that you can use in your favorite sauce recipes!

10. Roco

A Roco tomato is a variety of tomato that is round in shape and has smooth, deep red skin. They are typically about the size of a tennis ball and have a sweet, juicy flavor.

It’s another hybrid of Roma and San Marzano tomatoes; Roco tomatoes are not as acidic as their cousins. These are a good choice if you’re looking for a sweeter tomato.

They are a popular choice for salads and sandwiches, and their unique flavor makes them a favorite among cooks and foodies. Roco tomatoes are also a good source of vitamins A and C and are highly antioxidant.

11. San Marzano

San Marzano tomatoes are a well-known variety of plum tomatoes grown in the San Marzano region of Italy. They have a sweet, rich tomato flavor that is perfect for making sauces and can also be enjoyed independently. 

If you’re looking for an affordable substitute for Roma tomatoes, San Marzanos are your best bet! The only downside is that they tend to be more expensive than other types of tomatoes

12. Ropreco

Ropreco tomatoes are a variety of tomatoes grown in the Ropreco region of Italy. They are known for their sweet flavor and firm texture. Also, they are medium-sized, round tomatoes with a deep red color and slightly flattened shape.

They are suitable substitutes for Roma tomatoes because they have the same size, shape, and coloring as Romas do.

Roprecos are an excellent choice for salads, sandwiches, and tomato soup because they have few seeds and have a sweet flavor that blends well with other ingredients. They’re also great for fresh eating straight off the vine!

13. Big Mama

A Big Mama tomato is a large, meaty tomato that is perfect for slicing and using in salads, sandwiches, and burgers. Big Mama is a hybrid tomato cross between a Roma and beefsteak tomato.

It has sweet, juicy flesh with a mild flavor. These tomatoes are also great for canning and making homemade tomato sauce. These tomatoes are best used for salads and sandwiches.

Best Substitutes for Roma Tomatoes – FAQs

Are Roma and cherry tomatoes the same?

Roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are not the same. Roma tomatoes are a type of pasta tomato that is oblong in shape and have a meaty, dense flesh that is ideal for sauces, pastes, and canning. Cherry tomatoes are a type of small round tomato that is sweet and juicy and are often used in salads and as a snack.

Do Roma tomatoes taste different?

Roma tomatoes have a more intense flavor than other tomatoes, while others may not notice a difference. They have a more acidic and tangy taste than other types of tomatoes.

Can I substitute cherry tomatoes for Roma tomatoes?

Cherry tomatoes can be substituted for Roma tomatoes in most recipes. However, it is important to note that cherry tomatoes are sweeter and have a slightly different texture compared to Roma tomatoes, which are firmer and have a milder flavor.

What’s the difference between Roma tomatoes and regular tomatoes?

Roma tomatoes are oblong and have a slightly firmer texture and milder flavor compared to regular tomatoes. Regular tomatoes have a juicier texture and sweeter flavor and are typically used for slicing and eating fresh in salads, sandwiches, and burgers.


To recap, a Roma tomato is a type of plum tomato. It’s one of the best tomatoes to use in cooking because of its thick skin, low juice content, and sweet flavor. Other varieties can also replace Roma tomatoes in recipes or as an ingredient substitution if you don’t have them on hand.

I hope that this post, “11 Best Substitutes for Roma Tomatoes,” will help you to find the best alternative to Roma tomatoes.

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