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The 5 Best Substitutes for Tomato Paste

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Have you ever reached for the tomato paste while cooking only to find it empty?

Or maybe you’re out of tomato paste and don’t have time to run to the store.

Either way, you’re probably wondering what the best substitutes for tomato paste are.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the five best substitutes for tomato paste.

While there are a few different options, some substitutes work better than others.

So we’ve got you covered whether you’re looking for a pantry staple or need a quick fix.

What is Tomato Paste?

what is tomato paste

Tomato paste is a thick, concentrated tomato sauce often used as a base for other dishes or as an ingredient in recipes.

It is made by cooking down tomatoes until they are reduced to a thick, paste-like consistency.

Tomato paste is typically sold in a can or jar and can be found in the international aisle of most grocery stores.

While tomato paste can be used straight from the can, it is also commonly used as an ingredient in other recipes.

For example, it can be added to soups or stews to boost flavor, or it can be used to make homemade pizza sauce.

Tomato paste can also be combined with water to create a thinner tomato sauce.

No matter how you use it, tomato paste is a versatile ingredient that can add flavor and depth to your cooking.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tomato Paste

The concentrated tomato flavor is irreplaceable in certain dishes.

For many recipes, tomato paste is a crucial ingredient.

Whether you’re out of tomato paste or just looking for something different, several substitutes will work in a pinch.

1 – Passata


Passata is a smooth sauce made from strained tomatoes.

It is a popular ingredient in Italian cooking and can be used in various dishes.

The sauce is typically made from fresh tomatoes peeled and seeded, then cooked until soft and passed through a food mill or strainer.

This process removes the skins and seeds, creating a smooth sauce with a deep red color.

Passata can be used as a base for other sauces or enjoyed on its own.

It can also be used in place of tomato sauce or paste in many recipes.

2 – Tomato Purée

tomato pure

Tomato purée is a thick, smooth paste made from cooked tomatoes.

It is used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces or as an ingredient in other dishes.

Tomato purée is typically made from Roma tomatoes, also known as plum tomatoes.

These tomatoes are oblong and have a higher concentration of flesh, making them ideal for puréeing.

To make tomato purée, the tomatoes are first blanched in boiling water to remove the skins.

They are then diced and simmered in a pot until they break down into a pulp.

The pulp is then passed through a food mill or strainer to remove the seeds and any remaining pieces of skin.

The resulting purée can be used immediately or canned for later use.

3 – Tomato Sauce

tomato sauce

There are few things as versatile as tomato sauce.

It can be used as a dip, a condiment, or even as the base for a soup or stew.

And while there are many store-bought varieties available, there is nothing quite like homemade tomato sauce.

The best thing about making your sauce is that you can control the ingredients and make it precisely to your taste.

If you like your sauce extra spicy, add more chili peppers.

Add a bit of sugar or honey if you prefer a sweeter sauce.

The possibilities are endless.

And once you’ve perfected your recipe, you’ll never return to store-bought tomato sauce again.

4 – Ketchup


Ah, ketchup.

That delicious red condiment makes everything taste better.

Whether dipping your fries into a pool of ketchup or smothering your hamburger with it, this tomato-based sauce is a staple in many kitchens.

But what exactly is ketchup? And how do you use it in cooking?

The most obvious way is a condiment for burgers, fries, and other dishes.

But ketchup can also be used as an ingredient in recipes.

It’s often used as a base for barbecue sauce or added to chili to give it a little extra flavor.

Ketchup can also be used as a glaze for roasted meats or vegetables.

Brush it on before cooking to add a touch of sweetness and color.

5 – Canned Tomatoes

canned tomatoes

Few things are as satisfying as a perfectly ripe tomato, still warm from the summer sun.

But when fresh tomatoes are out of season, canned tomatoes can be a delicious option.

While they may not have the same level of sweetness as fresh tomatoes, they can still add a Burst of flavor to pasta sauces, stews, and soups.

And because they are already cooked, canned tomatoes can save you time in the kitchen.

When choosing canned tomatoes, look for ones that are packed in juice or water rather than syrup.

And be sure to check the label for added ingredients like basil or garlic.

With a bit of planning, canned tomatoes can help you enjoy the taste of summer all year long.


Regarding substitutes for tomato paste, there are a few options to choose from.

Each has its own unique flavor and texture that can be used in recipes calling for tomato paste.

Try one of these five substitutes the next time you’re in a pinch and see how it works in your dish.

Which substitute for tomato paste did you like best? Let us know in the comments below.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tomato Paste

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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Cooking time


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  • Passata

  • Tomato Purée

  • Tomato Sauce

  • Ketchup

  • Canned Tomatoes


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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