The Best Canned Tomatoes

When sourcing canned tomatoes for our Naples-style pizza sauce, we tried every variety we could lay our hands on, from simple American Romas to imported tomatoes with D.O.P. status, the Italian protected designation of origin. As we tested each product, raw and cooked, we looked for vibrancy of color, consistency of texture, and overall purity of flavor. In the end, we found that these dozen brands do the best job. —Farideh Sadeghin

Academia Barilla Pomodorini Pelati

Peeled cherry tomatoes with a citric tang make a versatile sauce.

Academia Barilla Pomodorini Pelati, $6.50 for a 28-oz. can at

Cento San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes

Plump, robust tomatoes yield an earthy sauce that pairs well with mushrooms. Todd Coleman


Cento San Marzano Organic Peeled Tomatoes, $24 for a case of four 28-oz. cans at

La Fede D.O.P. San Marzano with Basil

Silky, D.O.P.-certified tomatoes make a perfectly balanced sauce.

La Fede D.O.P. San Marzano Italian Tomatoes, $4 for a 28-oz. can at

Bella Terra Organic Italian Whole Peeled Tomatoes

Firm-fleshed fruits in a tomato-basil puree turn sweet when cooked. Todd Coleman


Bella Terra Organic Italian Whole Peeled Tomatoes, $33 for twelve 28-oz. cans at

Rao’s Homemade Italian Peeled Tomatoes

Velvety tomatoes develop a pronounced tartness under the broiler. Todd Coleman


Rao’s Homemade Italian peeled tomatoes, $14 for four 28-oz. cans at

Via Roma Whole Peeled San Marzano Tomatoes

Italian D.O.P. tomatoes have a pure flavor with a trace of basil.

Via Roma San Marzano Tomatoes, $4 for a 28-oz. can at

Muir Glen Organic Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes

These go from field to can in eight hours, retaining a ripe flavor. Todd Coleman


Muir Glen Organic whole peeled tomatoes, $8 for two 28-oz. cans at

Famoso San Marzano Tomatoes P.D.O.

Faintly herbaceous San Marzanos packed with basil are perfect for pizza margherita.

Famoso Estate San Marzano DOP Whole Plum Tomatoes, $4.75 for a 28-oz. can, contact Famoso Gourmet Imports at 508/824-2800

San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes

Lightly salted U.S.-grown beauties have a bright flavor–no seasoning needed. Todd Coleman


San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, $6 for a 28-oz. can at

Ciao Pomodori Pelati Italiani

Vibrantly red, with an assertive flavor that’s a match for smoked mozzarella and cured meats.

Ciao Peeled Tomatoes/Pomodori Pelati, contact Anna Sodano at Orlando Food Service 201/368-9197,

365 Everyday Value Whole Peeled Tomatoes

Whole Foods’ store brand has a deep sweetness, perfect for marinara sauce. Todd Coleman


365 Everyday Value Whole Peeled Tomatoes, $1.50 for a 28-oz. can at

La Valle Pomodoro San Marzano D.O.P.

A bold punch of basil and lip-smacking acidity; good for raw or cooked sauces. Todd Coleman


La Valle San Marzano D.O.P. Italian peeled tomatoes, $20 for a 5-pack of 28-oz. cans at

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