The 7 Best Tomato Paste Substitutes

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Nobody can dispute tomato paste’s great taste and amazing versatility. Even those who dislike raw tomatoes can’t deny the delightful acidic taste it adds to so many recipes.

Unfortunately, our tomato paste supplies often run low, or our allergies prohibit us from enjoying everything it has to offer. For these trying times of tomato paste scarcity, we’ve compiled a list of the best 7 tomato paste replacements, each with a unique set of advantages to meet your personal requirements.

Tomato paste, often known as tomato pure in the United Kingdom, is self-explanatory. It is a thick paste made from cooked tomatoes that have been drained of seeds and skins before being boiled again to lower the water content even more. Its consistency and occasionally components distinguish it from tomato pure (in the American meaning) and tomato sauce.

While tomato sauce sometimes incorporates additives, tomato paste and pure are typically made out of just cooked tomatoes. Tomato pure has a thicker consistency than tomato sauce and is thicker than tomato paste, making it the thickest of the three.

Because tomato paste is so concentrated, even a tiny spoonful has a significant amount of the rich, tangy taste we all know and love. Tomato paste has been sold commercially for over a century and has long been a popular and commonly used product.

How healthy (or unhealthy) is it?

The 7 Best Tomato Paste Substitutes

If you like tomato paste, you’ll be pleased to know that it has a number of health advantages. Tomato paste includes numerous necessary vitamins and minerals, as well as being low in calories (only 82 calories per 100g) and low in fat.

100g of tomato paste includes 16% of your daily iron need, 28% of your potassium requirement, 30% of your vitamin A, 36% of your vitamin C, and 10% of your vitamin B-6 requirement. But hold on, there’s more! Tomato paste also includes antioxidants, which may aid in the prevention of cancer and other disorders. It also has protective properties that can help provide protection from sunburn.

Nutritional Breakdown:

Tomato paste

Amount (per 100 g)

% Recommended daily intake

Calories

82 kcal

4 %

Total fat

0.5 g

0 %

Saturated fat

0.1 g

0 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

59 mg

2 %

Protein

4.3 g

8 %

Calcium

30 mg

3 %

Iron

3 mg

16 %

Potassium

1,014 mg

28 %

Vitamin A

1,525 IU

30 %

Vitamin C

22 mg

36 %

Vitamin B-6

0.22 mg

10 %

(Based on USDA nutritional statistics for tomato paste.)

What recipes are tomato paste used in?

Tomato paste is a versatile ingredient that may be used in a variety of dishes, ranging from sauces and soups to chilis, stews, and even ketchup! A little tomato paste goes a long way because of its rich taste.

Most recipes would only call for a spoonful or two at most, but it will be more than enough to provide a deep, rich tomato flavor to your meal. Another advantage of tomato paste is that its low water content (in compared to tomato puree or tomato sauce) allows it to be used in recipes with a lot of other liquid components without becoming too runny.

Why do we need tomato paste substitutes?

Despite how healthful, easy, and adaptable tomato sauce may be, there are a few reasons why a replacement may be required. One disadvantage of canned tomato paste is that most recipes only ask for a little quantity of it, which means that most of it typically goes to waste unless you can find alternative uses for it within a few days. In this sense, convenience might be a problem if you have to go out and purchase a fresh can of tomato paste every time you want to add it to a recipe.

Second, some of us suffer from allergies and bad responses that hinder us from enjoying the delectable tastes of tomato paste. Because tomato paste is used in so many popular meals, it may be difficult to find excellent substitutes without sacrificing taste or consistency. But don’t worry, no matter what your exact reasons and demands are, there is certain to be a suitable alternative on this list. So, without further ado, here are our best 7 tomato paste substitutions.

Note:

= vegan

/ = dairy and vegan options


1. Tubed tomato paste 🌱

Best for: soups, sauces, chili, stews and more

Okay, so this isn’t quite a tomato paste alternative, but it’s absolutely worth exploring if your major issue is the difficulty of having to open a new can of tomato paste every time you need only a tablespoon or two. Tubed tomato paste is significantly more handy than canned tomato paste since it lasts much longer.

Advantages

If the inconvenience of the can is the primary reason you’re looking for tomato paste replacements, go no further. Tubed tomato paste offers all the deliciousness and tangy taste of canned tomato paste, but in a resealable tube.

Because a tube is considerably more airtight than an opening can, the tomato paste inside will keep for much longer. Most tubed tomato paste companies recommend storing it in the fridge for 45 days after opening, however many tube aficionados say that it lasts much longer. This makes it significantly more practical than canned tomato paste, which usually has a shelf life of less than a week once opened.

Another advantage of tubed tomato paste is that it is still tomato paste. Tubed tomato paste lasts longer than canned tomato paste because of the sealed tube. This means you get the same amazing flavor as canned tomato paste with less effort.

Disadvantages

While this is a terrific solution if convenience is your major complaint about tomato paste, it is clearly not so great if you are allergic to tomatoes or just wish to use something else from your cupboard instead. Tubed tomato paste is more difficult to get than canned tomato paste, particularly in the United States, although it is available. If you can’t locate any in your local shops, there are several internet possibilities.

A tube of tomato paste often contains less tomato paste than a can. However, this may be considered a benefit if you just use a little quantity every time you cook.

Nutritional breakdown

Double concentrate tubed tomato paste

Amount (per 100 g)

% Recommended daily intake

Calories

120 kcal

6 %

Total fat

0 %

Saturated fat

0 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

70 mg

3 %

Protein

6 g

11 %

Calcium

21 mg

2 %

Iron

1 mg

4 %

Potassium

410 mg

8 %

(Based on Cento Tomato Paste in a Tube nutritional facts.)


2. Tomato purée 🌱

Best for: soups, sauces, stews and chili

Tomato pure is basically a thinner, less concentrated type of tomato paste, making it an excellent choice if you’re in a hurry and need something you can grab from your cupboard rather of running to the shop.

To get the best results, replace 1 tablespoon of tomato paste with 2-3 tablespoons of tomato pure and decrease the quantity of other liquid components in your recipe by 2-3 tablespoons.

Advantages

Tomato pure, like tomato paste, is prepared from cooked and strained tomatoes. The main difference is that tomato paste is cooked for a longer period of time to thicken and concentrate the consistency and taste.

Because both are formed from tomatoes and are manufactured in very similar ways, the taste is as near to the actual thing as you can get. Tomato pure isn’t as powerful as tomato paste, so you may just use 2-3 times the quantity and adjust the other liquid components appropriately. When blended with the rest of your components, you’ll scarcely notice the difference.

Another advantage of tomato pure is that its health advantages are almost equal to those of tomato paste. Yes, tomato pure is less concentrated than tomato paste and hence includes less vitamins and minerals per teaspoon, but if you use more tomato pure than tomato paste anyhow, this won’t be a problem.

Finally, tomato pure, like tomato paste, is nearly entirely vegan, making it a suitable alternative if you follow a plant-based diet.

Disadvantages

The primary distinction between tomato paste and pure is in their consistency and taste. Because tomato pure is less concentrated and thick than tomato paste, it will not provide the same results when utilized in the same manner.

Tomato pure has a less strong and powerful taste than tomato paste and a more liquid viscosity. You may avoid these problems by using more tomato pure than the quantity of paste specified in the recipe and lowering the amount of other liquid components.

For every 1 tablespoon of tomato paste called for in your recipe, we propose adding 2-3 teaspoons of tomato pure. Simply lower the quantity of other liquid components in your meal by 2-3 tablespoons to guarantee consistency.

Because tomato pure includes tomatoes, much like tomato paste, it is not a suitable choice if you are sensitive to tomatoes or want to avoid the unique tomato flavor.

Nutritional breakdown

Tomato pure

Amount (per 100 g)

% Recommended daily intake

Calories

38 kcal

2 %

Total fat

0.2 g

0 %

Saturated fat

0 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

28 mg

1 %

Protein

1.7 g

3 %

Calcium

18 mg

1 %

Iron

1.78 mg

9 %

Potassium

439 mg

12 %

Vitamin A

510 IU

10 %

Vitamin C

10.6 mg

17 %

Vitamin B-6

0.13 mg

5 %

(Based on USDA nutritional facts for tomato pure.)


3. Tomato sauce 🌱

Best for: soups, sauces and stews

Tomato sauce is not as excellent as tomato pure since it is thinner and sometimes incorporates extra ingredients. However, since the taste and composition are virtually the same, it may serve as a suitable alternative if nothing else is available. To get the best results, swap 1 tablespoon tomato paste for 2-3 tablespoons tomato sauce and decrease the quantity of other liquid components in your recipe by 2-3 tablespoons.

Advantages

Although tomato sauce is thinner than tomato paste and tomato pure, it is still made in the same technique and contains primarily tomatoes, thus its taste is quite comparable to that of tomato paste. It may make your meal a little thinner than if you used the same quantity of tomato pure, but it won’t be too obvious if you simply use a little.

If you dislike the extremely sour flavor of pure tomato paste, a tomato sauce with additional ingredients and tastes may be a better alternative for you. Many tomato sauces use oils, red peppers, and other vegetables to produce a distinct taste that many people prefer over pure, unadulterated tomato sauce. Simply check the label to ensure that the flavor mix suits your preferences.

Disadvantages

However, if you want something that tastes as close to tomato paste as possible, the other flavors that are sometimes added to tomato sauce may be regarded a detriment.

Tomato sauces are often designed to be consumed without the addition of other ingredients, giving them a more balanced but less tomatoey taste. Of course, this is still a more appealing alternative than replacements that do not include tomatoes, but be aware that the taste may change drastically from tomato paste if additional components are added.

The health advantages and disadvantages of tomato sauce vary widely depending on the kind. Some sauces may include large levels of oil, additives, or preservatives, so read the label to avoid unpleasant surprises for your health.

Vegans should also be cautious about whether or not the extra components are completely vegan. While many tomato sauce variations are dairy and meat free, it’s always a good idea to check the label to make sure.

Tomato sauce, like tomato paste and pure, is not a suitable alternative for individuals who are allergic to tomatoes.

Nutritional breakdown

Tomato sauce

Amount (per 100 g)

% Recommended daily intake

Calories

29 kcal

1 %

Total fat

0.2 g

0 %

Saturated fat

0 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

11 mg

0 %

Protein

1.3 g

2 %

Calcium

14 mg

1 %

Iron

0.96 mg

5 %

Potassium

331 mg

9 %

Vitamin A

435 IU

8 %

Vitamin C

7 mg

11 %

Vitamin B-6

0.1 mg

5 %

(From the USDA’s tomato sauce nutritional information.)


4. Make your own paste 🌱 (chopped or canned tomatoes)

Best for: soups, sauces, stews, chili and more

Do you have tomatoes but no paste? Then why not make your own? This substitution takes some time and effort, but it yields delightful results that are sometimes even better than the prepackaged version. There are various techniques for making tomato paste; select your favorite by searching online, or just use this one.

Advantages

Our favorite feature of this alternative is that you can prepare your paste using any tomatoes you desire. This alternative will work whether you want to create a tasty, high-quality paste using fresh, organic tomatoes or utilize any leftover tomatoes you have laying around.

Keep in mind, however, that the quality of your tomato paste will be mostly determined by the quality of your tomatoes. For the finest results, use the meatiest, highest quality tomatoes you can find.

Homemade tomato paste may be even better than canned or tubed stuff, particularly if you use high-quality tomatoes. Even if you use regular leftover tomatoes that you have sitting around, you’ll get a wonderful replacement that tastes just as delicious as the prepackaged type.

This replacement is also fantastic since it is usually far less expensive than purchasing readymade tomato paste. Making your own paste saves you the time and labor expenses associated with buying prepared paste.

Homemade tomato paste may also be kept in the fridge for up to 4 weeks (using jars is a fantastic choice) or frozen for up to 9 months.

Finally, as long as no non-vegan ingredients are included, this alternative is completely vegan.

Disadvantages

Although producing your own tomato paste isn’t difficult, it does need some time and work. Homemade tomato paste normally takes at least 3-4 hours to make, so it’s not a good alternative if you’re in a hurry or don’t have the time.

Again, people who are allergic to tomatoes are plainly out of luck with this replacement.

Nutritional breakdown

Tomatoes

Amount (per 100 g)

% Recommended daily intake

Calories

18 kcal

1 %

Total fat

0.2 g

0 %

Saturated fat

0 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

5 mg

0 %

Protein

0.88 g

1 %

Calcium

10 mg

1 %

Iron

0.27 mg

2 %

Potassium

237 mg

6 %

Vitamin A

833 IU

15 %

Vitamin C

13.7 mg

22 %

Vitamin B-6

0.08 mg

4 %

(Based on USDA fresh tomato nutritional statistics.)


5. Tomato ketchup 🌱

Best for: soups and sauces

This isn’t the best option since the taste is so different from tomato paste and the consistency is considerably thinner. However, if that is all you have to work with, it is an adequate replacement. To use, replace 1 tablespoon of tomato paste in your recipe with 2 teaspoons of ketchup.

Advantages

Despite being substantially more sweet than tomato paste and including numerous extra additives, tomato ketchup keeps its tomatoey taste. While you will be able to taste the difference between the two, it will be subtle if you are just using a tiny quantity and dealing with a variety of components.

While the taste may be lacking, the convenience is undeniably there. Many of us have a bottle of ketchup in our cupboard or fridge, making it incredibly convenient to use in a hurry. Ketchup is also quite useful due to its lengthy shelf life. An opened bottle of ketchup may keep in the fridge for an amazing 12 months, much longer than a can or tube of tomato paste. This is because to the sugar, vinegar, acidity, and other preservatives in ketchup, which keep it fresh for a long time.

Tomato ketchup is also vegan, making it an excellent choice for vegans looking for a fast and simple replacement.

Disadvantages

However, ketchup will never be able to compete with the thick, acidic richness of tomato paste. Ketchup is significantly thinner than tomato paste and adds numerous other chemicals that make the taste sweeter than the sour intensity of the genuine thing. If you don’t mind the flavor change, this is still an excellent replacement, but if you want the true tomatoey flavour, you may want to go elsewhere.

Unlike tomato paste, ketchup is not the healthiest food on the planet. This is not the ideal option if you are health concerned or on a diet since it contains 22g of sugar and 907mg of salt per 100g. It still has a high tomato content and so some of the same vitamins and minerals as tomato paste, but not nearly as much.

Although ketchup includes less tomatoes than the other tomato items on our list, it is still not suitable for those of us who are sensitive to tomatoes.

Nutritional breakdown

Tomato ketchup

Amount (per 100 g)

% Recommended daily intake

Calories

112 kcal

5 %

Total fat

0.2 g

0 %

Saturated fat

0.1 g

0 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

907 mg

37 %

Protein

1.3 g

2 %

Calcium

15 mg

1 %

Iron

0.35 mg

2 %

Potassium

315 mg

9 %

Vitamin A

527 IU

10 %

Vitamin C

4.1 mg

6 %

Vitamin B-6

0.16 mg

10 %

(Based on USDA ketchup nutritional statistics.)


6. Red bell peppers / red pepper paste 🌱

Best for: soups, sauces and stews

and then boiling to reduce to the desired consistency.At first glance, bell peppers may seem to be an odd substitution for tomato paste, but bear with us. If you’re allergic to tomatoes or just don’t like the flavor, red pepper paste is a terrific substitute. It has the same consistency as tomato paste but a very distinct taste. This may be the one for you if you enjoy bell peppers. To use, purchase a ready-made red pepper paste or create your own by cutting and deseeding red bell peppers and mixing in a food processor.

Advantages

If you are allergic to tomatoes or dislike the taste of tomato paste, this is a perfect alternative. Red pepper paste has a sweeter, milder taste than tomato paste and includes no tomato (unless you add it).

Because the viscosity of red pepper paste is so close to that of tomato paste, a 1:1 replacement ratio is frequently sufficient. This is useful for maintaining the same consistency of your food without having to change the proportions of other components.

This substitution is also not detrimental to your health. Red peppers include 62% of your daily necessary vitamin A, 212% of your daily recommended vitamin C, and 15% of your daily needed vitamin B-6 per 100g.

If you create it yourself or purchase a manufactured variant without too many extra components, red pepper paste is also 100% vegan, making it a fantastic alternative for most dietary requirements.

Disadvantages

Because this alternative comprises red peppers rather than tomatoes (unless you choose a paste that also contains tomatoes), it lacks the taste of tomato paste. As previously noted, this is fantastic if you don’t like the acidic flavor of tomato paste, but it’s not so great if you want something as close to the genuine thing as possible without using the actual thing. If you like a more tangy, acidic taste, you may simply add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to the mix.

If you reside in the West, it might be difficult to locate premade red pepper paste. You may try your luck in the foreign aisles, but buying online is typically a better solution.

If you prefer to create your own, it will take some time to deseed, cut, process, and cook the peppers, so this is not a good alternative if you don’t have a lot of time.

Nutritional breakdown

Red bell peppers

Amount (per 100 g)

% Recommended daily intake

Calories

26 kcal

2 %

Total fat

0.3 g

0 %

Saturated fat

0 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

4 mg

0 %

Protein

1 g

2 %

Calcium

0 %

Iron

0.43 mg

3 %

Potassium

211 mg

6 %

Vitamin A

3131 IU

62 %

Vitamin C

127.7 mg

212 %

Vitamin B-6

0.3 mg

15 %

(This is based on USDA nutritional data for red bell peppers.)


7. Salsa verde 🌱

Best for: soups and sauces

You’re losing out if you’re not acquainted with salsa verde! Salsa verde is a delicious Mexican salsa composed mostly of tomatillos and green chili peppers. This might be the one for you if you’re allergic to tomatoes but not to tomatillos.

Tomatillos are more acidic and less sweet than red tomatoes, but have a comparable taste profile. To use, replace 2-3 tablespoons of salsa verde with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste in your recipe. Reduce the other liquid components by 2-3 tablespoons as needed.

Advantages

Salsa verde is typically created from tomatillos, which have a taste comparable to tomatoes. Tomatillos are somewhat more acidic and less sweet than tomatoes, so there will be a taste difference, but nothing too obvious when combined with other ingredients. Choose a cultivar with less green chili pepper and more tomatillos for a taste that is most comparable to tomato paste.

Although salsa verde may not taste precisely like tomato paste, it is an excellent alternative for individuals who are sensitive to tomatoes and want something as near to the genuine thing as possible. However, since tomatillos are a near cousin of tomatoes, it is critical to ensure that your tomato allergy is not caused by tomatillos.

Disadvantages

Although salsa verde is similar to tomato paste in taste, it is not identical. Tomatillos are more acidic and less sweet than regular tomatoes, which influences the taste of the salsa.

Green chili peppers give a fiery bite to the mix, which may or may not be what you’re seeking for in your recipe. The heat, on the other hand, won’t be too much of a problem since green chilis are just a 2 or 3 on the Scoville scale, with 10 being the hottest. However, if you are not sensitive to tomatoes, you may prefer to pick a more flavor-matched choice.

Although salsa verde has some vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals, it is not as healthy as tomato paste and often contains substantially more salt. Check the label to be certain.

Salsa verde might be tough to locate in your local supermarket. You may browse in the foreign and sauce aisles, or you can go online to spare yourself the hassle of walking out to the supermarket.

Nutritional breakdown

Salsa verde

Amount (per 100 g)

% Recommended daily intake

Calories

38 kcal

2 %

Total fat

0 %

Saturated fat

0 %

Cholesterol

0 %

Salt

600 mg

25 %

Protein

1.1 g

2 %

Calcium

9 mg

0 %

Iron

0.65 mg

3 %

Potassium

259 mg

7 %

Vitamin A

217 IU

4 %

Vitamin C

12.3 mg

20 %

Vitamin B-6

0.08 mg

5 %

(Nutritional information for salsa verde provided by the USDA.)


The Bottom Line

So there you have it: 7 quick, tasty, and healthful tomato paste substitutions. But, before we go, here’s a breakdown of our best options for tomato allergies, health, convenience, and likeness to tomato paste.

Top picks for tomato allergies

For those of you who are allergic to tomatoes, red pepper paste and salsa verde are also excellent choices. Salsa verde will taste more authentic, but somewhat more acidic and less sweet. Red pepper paste may not have the same taste as tomato paste, but it is a good substitute if you do not like tomato paste.

Top healthy picks

Tomato paste is healthy and low in calories, so substituting it for health reasons isn’t really essential (unless you’re allergic, of course). Tomato puree, numerous tomato sauces, and red pepper paste, on the other hand, are all healthful choices that include many of the same vitamins and minerals as tomato paste.

Top convenient picks

While tubed tomato paste is not a tomato paste replacement, it is a far more handy option to canned tomato paste. Once opened, tubed tomato paste may stay up to 45 days in the fridge, although canned tomato paste normally lasts less than a week.

Tomato ketchup is another easy alternative since most of us usually have a bottle on hand, and it appears to last forever. However, bear in mind that ketchup is not as nutritious as tomato paste, and the taste will change noticeably.

Making your own tomato paste is also a simple choice if you have some tomatoes that need to be used up. It does, however, take a few hours to create, so it is not a good choice if you are short on time.

Top convincing picks

Naturally, if you want an identical taste and consistency match, producing your own tomato paste or purchasing a tubed kind would be your best alternatives. Using meaty, high-quality tomatoes to produce your own might provide even better taste results than buying pre-made.

If you have tomato puree or tomato sauce on hand, they may also be quite convincing replacements. Simply double the quantity of tomato paste asked for in the recipe and decrease the amount of other liquid components correspondingly. This will provide a rich, tomatoey taste without sacrificing uniformity.

FAQs

What is the best tomato paste substitute?

If you run out of tomato paste, don’t panic; tomato sauce and tomato puree are both good substitutes. Use 3 tablespoons tomato puree or sauce for every 1 tablespoon of tomato paste required.

What can I use instead of tomato paste that is not tomato?

A little soy sauce may be used to substitute the savory umami flavors of tomato paste. However, it is less sweet and much more salty, so take it gently at first.

What is a less acidic substitute for tomato paste?

While tomato allergies are uncommon, if you suffer from acid reflux, you may wish to use tomato paste. Roasted red pepper puree is a fantastic way to add flavor to your food without adding acidity.

What is the equivalent of 6 oz tomato paste?

4 cup.One can of tomato paste is 6 oz. or 3 tablespoons.

What tastes like tomato paste?

Tomato purée has a comparable flavor to tomato paste, so your meal will have the same degree of acidity and sweetness. To produce a robust mushroom sauce, stews, soups, and salads, replace tomato paste with purée.

Does tomato paste make a difference?

Tomato paste is used to provide depth of flavor to soups and stews as a foundation or seasoning. It is distinguished from tomato sauce by its deeper and more powerful taste, as well as its darker red color. It also has a greater concentration of tomato solids.

How can I thicken something without tomato paste?

Adding a corn starch slurry is a simple technique to thicken sauce. In a small dish, mix equal parts cornstarch and water (start with 2-3 teaspoons of each). Stir in the sauce after whisking until smooth.

How do you make tomato paste?

Bring the tomatoes to a boil, then reduce to a low heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until soft. Place the simmering tomatoes in a blender and purée until completely smooth (including the skins and any seeds that didn’t get squeezed out).

Can I use diced tomatoes if I don’t have tomato paste?

For every tablespoon of paste called for in the recipe, use two to three teaspoons of diced tomatoes.

What is a good substitute for tomatoes for acid reflux?

Tomato sauce is a heartburn trigger.

What to Eat Instead: Tomatoes are another acidic fruit that may induce heartburn, particularly tomato sauce. Instead, try pesto or olive oil combined with parsley and oregano to season spaghetti.

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