General Question

livelaughlove21's avatar

Can I put canned tomatoes in the food processor?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (14696 points ) January 21st, 2014

I can’t stand biting into a juicy piece of tomato, but I really want to make these two recipes that call for canned diced tomatoes. One will be cooked in a slow cooker, so I think that’ll probably make them soft enough for me to be able to stand the texture, but one dish I have to cook in a skillet. If I put them in a food processor, will it completely ruin the recipe by making it too watery or should it be okay? If that won’t work, any other suggestions?

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25 Answers

picante's avatar

I think it should be fine—but I would suggest draining most of the liquid from the canned tomatoes first, and you’ll wind up with more of a puree than a watery mixture. Good luck!

JLeslie's avatar

It should be fine. I say absolutely try it. It will only alter it slightly, and you will prefer it the blended way. I would put it in a blender, because I think blenders are easier, but it doesn’t really matter. I wouldn’t drain off any liquid.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie I have a food processor, but no blender. How stupid is that? I thought having a food processor would defeat the purpose of having a blender, but I guess it doesn’t. I’m no chef, to say the least. :)

JLeslie's avatar

The food processor is fine. You don’t need it completely smooth, because as it cooks the tomatoes fall apart anyway. Food processor actually is good if you want to be able to shred and blend, as long as you don’t need a very very smooth puree.

Edit: I thought I should expand on why I would not pour off any liquid, the dice or whole tomatoes would have liquid, and so keeping the liquid will help maintain the consistency and water needs of the recipe.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t see the need. Cooking it in a skillet will soften it to the point of being nearly liquid anyway.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@YARNLADY Not in my experience. It’ll only be in the skillet for about 10 minutes – not nearly long enough to eliminate any firmness. Quite frankly, tomato chunks that have been stewing in a chili pot for an hour or two are still too firm for me to stand.

YARNLADY's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Oh, I see. How about leaving out the tomatoes entirely?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@YARNLADY It’s a pretty integral part of both recipes, it seems. I don’t want it to be void of an essential flavor. It’s not that I don’t like tomatoes – as long as I don’t have to bite into them – the flavor, I have no problem with.

Blondesjon's avatar

As long as you take them out of the can first I see no problems.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Blondesjon Oh, thank you for the laugh of the day.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 A sort of unrelated tip that you and maybe people who don’t like tomato chunks might appreciate, the Tositos brand “restaurant style” salsa doesn’t have chunks like so many salsas in a jar. I think chunky salsa is disgusting. I love the restaurant one though. It isn’t smooth like a 100% puree, but it is pretty smooth.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m not going to say a blanket “yes”, because some foods lose their character in a food processor, or turn into something completely different. Fresh salsa, for example, wouldn’t work with tomatoes that had been blended.

You can always use a potato masher or equivalent to mash them up more than they already are as diced tomatoes.

So… what are you making?

josie's avatar

They are probably in the skillet recipe to provide color, not flavor. If you process them, you will probably change (dramatically, and maybe not appealingly) the appearance of the dish, but not the taste.
If that is what you want to do, substitute tomato puree.
Or buy the diced the tomatoes that are mini-diced. Those are available and you won’t be chomping on a tomato chunk. Or dice them yourself to a size you like.
Or substitute something else red. Roasted and diced red peppers maybe, added at the last minute of cooking.

marinelife's avatar

Sure, but why not just sub tomato sauce for the canned tomatoes?

josie's avatar

Dude
Do NOT put tomatoes in white chicken chili. Trust your buddy @josie here.
If you need a good white chicken chili recipe, I have it.

Use roasted red peppers in your second recipe.

You must TRUST ME.

JLeslie's avatar

LOL. @josie is serious as a heart attack.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@josie I’m going to have to not trust you on this one, because it would take a lot to get me to eat red peppers. I don’t do peppers. As for the chili, I picked it because it’s different and simple, with very few ingredients. If it doesn’t turn out well, I’ll explore other recipes.

Smitha's avatar

Just use your hands or a potato masher and then force them through a colander with a rubber scraper.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Smitha Aside from hands, I own nothing you mentioned.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Get an immersion blender and give them a coarse chop. The pulp adds texture and mouth feel.

Adagio's avatar

Can you get tins of chopped tomatoes in the US? I guess you can, I always use them instead of whole tinned tomatoes.

WestRiverrat's avatar

My grandpa could not eat red tomatoes, so I got into school before I knew most people ate red marinara sauce. We grew and consumed yellow acid free tomatoes for years. If you are making white chicken chili and insist on tomatoes, use the yellow tomatoes.

Blending will change the texture but shouldn’t change the flavor that much.

Buttonstc's avatar

OK, I have no idea why no one has asked the obvious question, so I will.

Why not just buy crushed tomatoes instead of diced and save the hassle of processing them yourself ? I mean that’s what you’ll end up with anyhow so might as well buy it to begin with? Just because a recipe calls for diced tomatoes doesn’t mean you can’t substitute with a form that yields a texture more to your preference.

And, although i havent done any price comparisons lately, I believe that crushed tomatoes are usually a lower cost and are also free from the preservative which they add to diced tomatoes to ensure that they stay firm.

Unlike the Ten Commandments, recipes aren’t written in stone :) feel fre to change what you don’t like.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Buttonstc Because I already purchased them diced. What I got out of the processor was smaller than what you’d find in a can of crushed tomatoes.

Both recipes turned out fine. The white chili was more our style than the pasta, which my husband didn’t like and I wasn’t too excited about either. The flavors were good, but it was like a pasta dish at a restaurant we’d never order. I joked that it was too “grown up” for us.

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