Doctor says low sodium so now I have to make my own tomato sauces ( pizza, spaghetti etc ). So I look up a bunch of recipes online to decide what to add and in what proportions ( using no salt added tomato products of course ).

The problem is that one recipe calls for whole tomatoes, another calls for diced, another puree and paste.

What are equivalent amounts ( in terms of "tomatoness" ) of each so I can compare these recipes?

To clarify as asked by Jefromi. I'm basically trying to compare ingredients and instructions

For example (made up off course ):

Recipe 1 calls for
15 ounces Tomato sauce
8 ounces Tomato paste 
1 lb ground beef
3 cloves of garlic
1 large onion

Recipe 2 calls for
32 oz Diced Tomato
1-1/2 lb ground beef
5 gloves of garlic
3 medium onions

I want to "normalize" each recipe so that they contain the "same" amount of tomato product, then see which contains proportionally more beef, more garlic, more onions etc.

So in these recipe, if the 32 ounces of Diced Tomato is the same as 1-1/2 times 15 oz sauce +8 oz paste then they contain proportionally the same amount of beef, Recipe 2 calls for slighty more garlic ( about 10% more ) etc.

  • 1
    What aspect of the recipes are you trying to compare?
    – Cascabel
    Jun 3, 2016 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


You can get a decent idea just from nutrition labels. Tomatoes are the only ingredient, so pretty much all the numbers on the nutrition label are proportional to the amount of tomatoes in the can. Calories have the most granularity, so:

No big surprises there; whole/diced tomatoes have plenty of water in the can, then sauce, crushed/puree, and paste are in order of thickness.

I'm sure it varies plenty by brand, but it doesn't sound like you need a lot of precision (it's not like the recipes specify a brand either), so hopefully that's good enough.

That said, I would probably focus more on just finding recipes you like. You can always adjust the amount of meat and other ingredients to suit your preference, no matter what recipe you start with, but a sauce made with diced tomatoes is never going to come out the same as one made with crushed tomatoes, even if it the same amount of raw tomato went into it.

  • I wish I could give you a second upvote just for the last sentence.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 4, 2016 at 10:28

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