Tomatoes are a common ingredient used in many recipes. When a recipe calls for chopped tomatoes, it’s helpful to know how many cups that equals. This allows you to accurately measure and prepare the tomatoes. In this article, we’ll examine how many cups 2 chopped tomatoes equals and provide a detailed breakdown.
Summary of Main Points
Here is a quick overview of the main points that will be covered in this article:
- On average, 2 medium chopped tomatoes equals about 1 cup.
- The exact amount can vary based on the size and variety of the tomatoes.
- Smaller cherry or grape tomatoes can take 2-3 cups to equal 2 medium tomatoes.
- Larger beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes may only take 2/3 to 3/4 cup when chopped.
- The juice and seeds in tomatoes also affect the cup measurement.
- You can weigh chopped tomatoes for a more precise measurement – 2 medium tomatoes weigh 8-10 ounces.
- When in doubt, it’s best to estimate on the higher side – 1 to 1 1/4 cups per 2 tomatoes.
Factors That Affect Tomato Cup Measurements
The most important factor that affects how many cups 2 chopped tomatoes equals is the variety and size of the tomatoes.
There are hundreds of tomato varieties that range significantly in size. Some common varieties include:
- Cherry or grape tomatoes – These are very small, often about the size of a cherry or grape. They can take 2-3 cups to equal 2 medium tomatoes.
- Roma or plum tomatoes – These are oval shaped and about the size of an egg. Around 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups equals 2 roma tomatoes.
- Beefsteak tomatoes – As the name implies, these are very large tomatoes, often 4 inches or more in diameter. Just 2/3 to 3/4 cup may equal 2 beefsteak tomatoes.
- Heirloom tomatoes – Heirlooms come in a wide array of sizes and shapes. Most are at least medium sized and take about 1 cup per tomato when chopped.
As you can see, the smaller the tomato variety, the more cups it will take to equal 2 medium tomatoes. The larger the variety, the fewer cups needed.
Even within the same variety, the exact size of each tomato makes a difference. Tomatoes can vary in size based on growing conditions and when they are harvested. Two small Roma tomatoes will not equal the same cup measurement as two extra large Roma tomatoes.
For example, two small Roma tomatoes may equal 1 1/4 cups chopped, while two extra large Roma tomatoes could be 1 3/4 cups chopped.
When a recipe simply calls for “2 tomatoes”, it is typically assuming medium sized tomatoes. But the dimensions of a medium tomato are not very standardized.
How the Tomatoes Are Chopped
How finely the tomatoes are chopped also impacts how many cups they will yield. Coarsely chopped tomatoes where there are still some large pieces will take up less volume than tomatoes that are diced into tiny pieces.
Finely diced tomatoes can compress into a cup more densely than chunks that still have volume. So the more finely chopped the tomatoes are, the more cups they will equal.
Juice and Seeds
Tomatoes naturally contain juice and seeds. When chopped, some of the juice is released, affecting the volume. If the seeds are kept, it also adds volume.
However, some recipes call for seeded tomatoes, where the seeds are removed before chopping. This reduces the overall volume so fewer cups would be needed to equal 2 seeded tomatoes versus 2 tomatoes chopped with seeds.
Removing the juice, such as for thick tomato sauce, would also condense the tomato flesh into less cups than chopped raw tomatoes.
Weighing Chopped Tomatoes for Precision
To remove some of the estimation involved with cup measurements, you can take the extra step to weigh chopped tomatoes.
Two medium tomatoes generally weigh in the range of 8-10 ounces.
So if you chop 2 medium tomatoes and they weigh 9 ounces, you know exactly how much tomato flesh you have. This is more precise than relying on the variance of volume measurements.
The drawback to weighing is that it requires an added step and the use of a kitchen scale. But it eliminates guessing and delivers consistent results.
General Cup Conversion Guidelines
Now that we’ve covered the factors that affect tomato cup measurements, here are some general guidelines you can follow:
- 2 small tomatoes (cherry, grape) = 2 to 3 cups chopped
- 2 Roma/plum tomatoes = 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes = 1 to 1 1/4 cups chopped
- 2 large tomatoes (beefsteak) = 2/3 to 3/4 cup chopped
- 2 heirloom tomatoes = 1 to 1 1/4 cups chopped
As you can see, it’s difficult to provide a single definitive answer to how many cups 2 tomatoes equals. The 1 to 1 1/4 cup per tomato is a good rule of thumb. But the variety, size, chopping method and other factors mean the amount can realistically be anywhere from 2/3 cup to 1 1/2 cups.
Tips for Measuring Chopped Tomatoes
Here are some helpful tips when working with chopped tomatoes:
- Aim for uniformly sized pieces to improve consistency.
- Use firmer tomatoes rather than overly ripe. Overripe tomatoes will break down more and affect measurements.
- Remove seeds if specified in the recipe.
- Lightly pack the tomatoes into the measuring cup but don’t crush or compress.
- Use a dry measuring cup, not a liquid measuring cup.
- Level off the top of the tomatoes with a knife for an accurate measurement.
- If in between cup lines, round up to the nearest 1/4 cup.
Following these tips will help provide more uniformity and accuracy when measuring chopped tomatoes by volume.
Sample Recipes with Chopped Tomatoes
To provide some practical context, here are a few examples of recipes that call for chopped tomatoes and how much that equals in cups:
Simple Tomato Sauce
Makes 4 cups
- 2 lbs tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 3 1/2 to 4 cups)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped (optional)
Chickpea Tomato Salad
- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Tomato Mozzarella Baked Eggs
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
- 8 eggs
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about measuring chopped tomatoes:
Why do tomatoes vary so much in cup measurements?
Tomatoes naturally vary a lot in size, shape, juice content and seeds based on the variety. All of these factors impact how densely they pack into a measuring cup. So chopped tomatoes can only be estimated by volume, versus a precise measurement by weight.
Should tomatoes be packed into the cup or loosely filled?
Loosely fill the cup with chopped tomatoes until it reaches the measurement line. Then level off the top with a knife. Don’t overly pack down the tomatoes or the measurement will be too high. But also don’t under fill the cup by not adding enough tomatoes.
How much does tomato size affect chopping yield?
Tomato size makes a very big difference in cups yielded. Two small Roma tomatoes may only be 1 cup chopped. But two extra large beefsteak tomatoes could be 1 1/2 cups chopped. The exact same two tomato count equals different cup measurements.
Are cherry and grape tomatoes interchangeable in recipes?
Yes, cherry and grape tomatoes are very similar in size. So they can be used interchangeably in recipes without significantly affecting the volume. Just be sure to account for more cups needed compared to recipes written for medium tomatoes.
Should juice be included or drained when chopping tomatoes?
Most recipes call for the chopped tomatoes with juices, unless specified otherwise. The juice adds flavor and moisture. Draining or seeding tomatoes would decrease the volume but also change the outcome. Follow what is directed in the recipe.
Determining tomato cup measurements requires taking several factors into account, including variety, size, chopping method and juice content.
As a general rule of thumb, 2 medium tomatoes equal about 1 to 1 1/4 cups chopped. But this amount can range from 2/3 cup for larger tomatoes to 2 cups for smaller cherry tomatoes.
For more precision, weigh chopped tomatoes instead of relying solely on cup conversions.
When a recipe simply calls for chopped tomatoes, aim for the higher end of cup estimates and round up to the nearest 1/4 cup. It’s better to have a little extra tomato than to come up short in what the recipe needs.
With this knowledge of how many cups 2 chopped tomatoes generally equals, you can better prepare recipes and gain confidence with tomato measuring.