Kitchen Hacks

What’s the difference between chopped tomatoes and passata?

If, like me, you find yourself cooking tomato-based dishes 99 per cent of the time, then you’ve probably wondered why some recipes demand chopped tomatoes, whilst others ask for passata.

According to the ingredients list, they’re the same thing: they’re both just plain ole tomatoes. Right?

Wrong. Take a look below to find out the main differences between chopped tomatoes and passata and be clued up before your next supermarket shop.

Chopped tomatoes

The flavour: as chopped tomatoes are picked when they are at their ripest, the result is very flavourful, of which is made twice as nice with its own juices. Many also action added flavourings, such as chillis and herbs.

The texture: chopped tomatoes are fairly robust in texture, which means they are good for creating a thick, luxurious-feeling tomato sauce.

When to use chopped tomatoes: use whenever you need a thick sauce, such as in casseroles and chunky pasta sauces. The best way to get an extra thick sauce is to use an organic chopped tomato variety, such as Biona.


The flavour: passata is simply a pureed tomato liquid, which means it doesn’t enjoy as much of a full bodied flavour as chopped tomatoes.

The texture: as it is sieved, the texture is smooth. Due to its smoothness, it often doesn’t hold additional flavourings such as garlic as well as chopped tomatoes do.

When to use passata: the smooth consistency is ideal for smothering onto pizza dough bases, and working into meals which already have flavourful core ingredients, such as Bologneses, soups and chillis. You’ll find some of the nicest passata available online from places such as Mr Organic and Biona.

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