Home / Cooking Tips / Canned Diced Tomatoes vs Canned Whole Tomatoes

Canned Diced Tomatoes vs Canned Whole Tomatoes


You’re making a tomato sauce, should you use canned diced tomatoes or canned whole tomatoes?

Besides the obvious, what’s the difference?

Answer: Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)

What is calcium chloride

It’s a type of salt, a mineral additive.  And it’s used as a firming agent in canned vegetables.

When tomatoes are peeled, diced, and stored in tomato juice, there is nothing stopping them from turning to mush – there’s no structure. To help diced tomatoes stay firm, calcium chloride is added.  Which means when you cook with them, they’ll remain chunky.

Canned whole tomatoes, on the other hand, still have their structure so there’s no need for calcium chloride (however, you will find some brands of whole tomatoes with calcium chloride added).

Canned Diced Tomatoes vs Canned Whole Tomatoes, what does this mean for you and your sauce?

If you want your sauce to have chunks of tomatoes, use canned diced tomatoes.  If you want a smoother sauce, where the tomatoes melt into the sauce, use canned whole tomatoes.

Recipes with Canned Diced Tomatoes

sausage stuffed peppers

Sausage and Couscous Stuffed Peppers

Mussels in white wine tomato sauce

Mussels in White Wine Tomato Sauce

Penne Alla Vodka

Penne Alla Vodka – the Kitchn

Recipes with Canned Whole Tomatoes

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup

Basic Recipe for Tomato Sauce

Basic Tomato Sauce


  1. Hey Denis, Patience will get you your bubbles :) Try this recipe – http://karyosmond.com/how-to-make-pizza-dough/ After you’ve kneaded the dough and you’ve allowed it to rest and double in size, punch the ball of dough to deflate it and place it in the fridge tightly covered. Dough that rests in the fridge overnight after the initial rise has the best flavour. As the yeast in the dough rests, it gets very flavourful. After it’s rested overnight in the fridge, stretch it out to form a crust. Only use your hands to stretch out the dough. No rolling pin. Rolling the dough with a rolling pin will crush the bubbles. Also, remember this, after you’ve stretched out the dough, let it rest covered for a few minutes before topping it – this will get you big bubbles (as the pizza dough rests the yeast creates carbon dioxide, creating bubbles of gas in the dough.) When you bake your pizza, you want to crack your oven to 450 – 500F – this will get everything perfectly cooked. Hope this helps. k.

  2. Hello Kary!

    I have a question about old school pizza vs today’s mediocre pizza.

    In the old days, you got delivery pizza, and there were huge bubbles in the crust, nooks and crannies galore! These days, we have thin crust, normal, whole wheat, super-thin crust, and deep dish pizza we can get delivered. I LOVED those bubbleicious pizzas, but no matter what recipe I use, I get bland old flat pizza. Add that it is hard on the outsides and like mush on the inside. Yuck!!!

    Rather than bomb every attempt, I pay the pizza delivery guy ridonculous amounts of money for something I should be able to make myself, and I still don’t get the old school bubbles from the delivered junk! How can I get my bubbles back without stepping into a lavender scented bubbled bathtub? (Not that that probably isn’t nice too, but I am a shower type guy…)