So maybe this isn’t a question of great importance, but it is one that I got in a phone call from my daughter. She was standing in a grocery store, 1000 miles away from me, and wanting to make chili. I admit, I laughed at her. Of course I didn’t laugh quite as hard as the time she called and asked me what do you put in hamburgers? Uh, hamburger?
Anyway, back to the original question…no, they are not the same thing. You can sometimes exchange one for the other in a recipe, but they are a completely different texture. Crushed tomatoes are most often used for sauces and soups as they are almost the texture of thick ketchup. Diced tomatoes can be used to replace fresh tomatoes for taco dishes, salads and can also be used in soups or sauces.
Now that we have that straightened out, I had to make something with the two cans of tomato products that I opened to write this post. With a hint of fall in the air, a pot of chili sounded good.
1 ½ pounds ground chuck, browned and drained. (I often use ground turkey)
1 standard sized can of diced tomatoes
1 cup crushed tomatoes (I put the rest in a Ziploc bag and in the freezer for later use)
1 pkg. dry chili seasoning
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
2 cups water
Salt to taste
Brown the ground chuck and drain. Add the seasoning mix, tomatoes, beans and water to the pan and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour (or longer). Taste and add salt if necessary. Serve topped with shredded cheese, or sour cream and avocado slices.