Tomato Paste Substitutes: Top 8 Best Choices For You

Tomato Paste Substitute

Tomato paste is a staple in many kitchens around the world.

It is an irreplaceable ingredient in spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, and even barbecue sauce. However, it can be pricey to buy constantly or difficult to find at the grocery store.

Making your own alternative for this recipe will save you time and money while still providing that delicious flavor.

In this post, I will share with you some of the best substitutes for tomato paste that you can utilize for your recipes.

Ready? Let’s check them out.

Read more: What To Do With Leftover Bananas?

Top 8 best tomato paste substitutes for your recipes

Freshly-picked tomatoes

Tomatoes that are fresh can also be used here. Puree the tomatoes and use 3 tablespoons of the juice for every 1 tablespoon of tomato paste called for in the recipe. Stir, cook, and wait for it to thicken.

Tomato puree & sauce

You can use tomato sauce or puree. For every tablespoon of tomato paste you need, use 3 tablespoons of sauce or puree. Then cook it until it becomes thick and has a deep flavor like the original.

Diced tomatoes

Strain out liquid from diced tomatoes, then you should simmer it with medium heat. It’s done when you can see the liquid is mostly gone. The ratio to replace for this option is 2:1 or 3:1.

Tomato Paste Substitute


Sometimes you can use ketchup to achieve the same output. The ketchup might have more sugar, and it might be zingier.

If your recipe needs sugar or vinegar, you will need to reduce the amount of those ingredients because the ketchup has them in it already. Add half as much paste as is asked for and replace it with an equal amount of ketchup.

Cook it over low heat while stirring constantly until it dries out completely.

Canned products of tomatoes

Tomatoes (diced, crushed, or whole) in cans can be used as tomato sauce. They are easier to use. There is less of the juice in the can than there would be with puree.

For every 1 tablespoon of paste called for in a recipe, use 3 tablespoons of the canned juice. Add it when you cook and it will reduce and thicken, just like with tomato sauce or puree.

Tomato soup

A possible solution, but I don’t like to use tomato soup, to be honest. Because it has a different flavor and contains more liquid. This makes the recipe too wet, so you need to reduce ingredients that are liquids in your recipe.

If it is your only option, go for it, but you will need to change some things.

Red pepper puree

If your recipe calls for tomato paste and you don’t want that flavor, then remove the skin from red pepper. Fill the food processor with red peppers.

Puree until smooth. Add to your recipe – 1 tablespoon of red pepper puree for every tablespoon of paste called for in the recipe.

Tomato passata

This is like the paste you have from canned tomatoes. The only difference is that it’s moister. That means you should reduce its volume when cooking so that it could be thicker.

The ratio should be 3:1 in favor of the passata.

Can I substitute tomato paste for puree?

Yes, you can substitute it for puree. You need half a cup of it and a quarter of a cup of water.

Can I use spaghetti sauce instead of tomato paste for Sloppy Joes?

You can make Sloppy Joes with tomato sauce. But you need to use 8 ounces of tomato sauce instead, and not spaghetti sauce.

You should not use another type of sauce that is heavy with ingredients like meat and vegetables because it will change the taste of the Sloppy Joe.

Can I use tomato sauce instead of tomato paste in chili?

Yes, and the ratio should be 2:1 or 3:1. You should also simmer it down to just a half of its original volume to achieve the best results when substituting.

Can I use tomato soup instead of tomato paste?

Yes, you can use tomato soup in this situation. But you should not substitute it for all the paste. Tomato soup is more liquid.

Can you skip tomato paste in chili?

Yes, you can. Usually, recipes only call for a few tablespoons of tomato paste, which leaves the rest of the can unused.

But if you are adding tomatoes to a soup or stew recipe, you can add frozen cubes directly to your pot. They will thaw as they cook.

Can you turn tomato paste into tomato sauce?

Yes, you can. The former can be turned into sauce. Mix together one part of it with 1 part water to make a sauce. You might want to add a little olive oil or sugar to the sauce too.

Can you use tomato soup instead of tomato paste for Sloppy Joes?

You can use tomato soup in place of tomato sauce or paste for Sloppy Joes. It’s just really like a replacement for the sauce. They were delicious and I will never buy canned sloppy Joe sauce again.

Do you need tomato paste for sauce?

Tomato paste is a good substitute if you don’t have tomato sauce. If you add water, it becomes a tomato sauce. You can make your own flavor this way too.

Does tomato paste thicken the sauce?

Yes, it does thicken the sauce. You can use it when you make tomato sauce. It will help to change the consistency and will also help to make them taste better.

How can I thicken pasta sauce without tomato paste?

You can add some water from cooking the pasta. And you can use a roux or a mashed potato. Or you could reduce your sauce until it is thick.

How can I thicken sloppy joes without tomato paste?

If you are making sloppy joes but want them thicker, use cornstarch and water.

First, mix 3 cups of cornstarch with 1 cup of warm water. Stir the mixture with a spoon until it is not lumpy anymore. Then put it in your sloppy joe mixture to make it thick again.

How do I make tomato paste?

To make tomato paste, mix some caramelized tomatoes with chilis, cooked vegetables, and meats. This will add a lot of flavor to the dish. Then mix it in your favorite dishes or use it in marinades or on pizza.

How do you make tomato paste from canned tomatoes?

Put some canned tomatoes in a blender or food processor and mix them. Pour the mixture into a saucepan. Cook it on medium heat until it gets thick, stirring constantly.

If you use one can of tomatoes, you should get about 2/3 cup (6 ounces) of tomato paste.


It’s not always easy to find the best tomato paste substitute for your recipes, but with this list of 8 possibilities, you can be sure that whatever you need will be just a click away.

  • Freshly-picked tomatoes
  • Tomato puree & sauce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Ketchup
  • Canned products of tomatoes
  • Tomato soup
  • Red pepper puree
  • Tomato passata

Whatever kind of recipe you are cooking up in the kitchen today, these substitutes should help make it come together beautifully without any fuss.

Hopefully one or more of them will work well for what you are looking for.

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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