Best Substitute For Tomato Puree: Top 5 Excellent Tomato Puree Alternatives

Marsha Habib

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Tomato puree is one of the cooking ingredients used to make mouthwatering sauce, pizza, pasta, and many other dishes. Plus, the tomato puree will provide myriad health benefits and remarkable taste. This cooking ingredient has a variety of culinary applications from stews to salads, grilling, etc. Some of the homemade items like barbecue stood only on tomato puree.   

All things sound good, but what if you are out of tomato puree and your recipe requires tomato puree? What would be the best alternative then? We enlist the best tomato puree substitute that will help you to overcome that situation quickly.

What is tomato puree?

tomato puree

Tomato puree is one of the cooking essentials that is a thick liquid. You need to cook at first and then straining tomatoes to make tomato puree. After making, you can easily store fresh tomato puree and use it year-round. What does tomato puree taste like? Well, tomato puree offers a mild, fresh and sweet tomato taste.

If you like pizza or pasta, honestly, you need the sauce to make it more delicious. However, the homemade tomato puree is healthy and you have the option to customize the taste. Tomato puree is the main ingredient used to make any kind of thin homemade sauce.

Top 5 Best Substitute of tomato puree

substitute for tomato puree

01. Tomato Paste:

Best for: Increase the taste of Italian dishes.

You can use tomato paste as a tomato puree alternative if you have no problem with texture and only focus on the taste. Tomato paste offers almost the same concentrated flavour as puree. 

While using tomato paste as the substitute for tomato puree, you need to adjust the consistency to make up the paste’s thickness. The adjustment is preferably easy- all you need to add water. 

Keep in mind: You will find the tomato puree is concentrated and usually comes in large volumes. 

Nevertheless, you will find the smaller package of tomato paste. That’s why you need to add some blended tomatoes to adjust the taste and texture, almost similar to the tomato puree. Besides, to make the texture and flavour thin, you have to use plain water in tomato paste. 

While using tomato paste as a substitute for tomato puree, you need to follow the following ratio.

For every 1/2 cup tomato puree, you need to use 1/4 cup tomato paste and 1/4 cup water.

Note: When you use tomato paste in your recipe, you have to avoid any types of spices or seasoning. 

Amazon Product Recommendations:

If you don’t want to make tomato paste at home, you can get it from Amazon easily. Among the various products on tomato paste, we find Cento Tomato Paste has an excellent positive rating. This Italian-made product is made of all-natural ingredients. 

Another product is Muir Glen, Organic Tomato Paste which is cooked with sweet basil and five complementary spices. The used tomatoes are Non-GMO, and USDA Certified Organic. 

02. Canned Tomatoes:

Best for: Making pasta sauces, pizza sauces, stew, and meaty braises.

Not recommended for: Tin cans may contain bisphenol-A, which may cause heart problems. 

Our 2nd product on this list is canned tomatoes could be an excellent tomato puree substitute. Canned tomatoes will give you almost the same flavour and thickness. When you wish to use canned tomatoes as an alternative, you must blend them to remove excess liquid. 

One point needs to keep in mind that tomato puree is sometimes unseasoned. That’s why you can’t use any seasonings or spices, but you can add salt. You can’t cook the canned tomato too much. Puls, to avoid canning juice, you need to strain the chunks simply. 

However, canned tomato is available, so; you wouldn’t face any issue finding it. Notably, canned tomato isn’t concentrated as tomato paste, that’s why you need to increase its amount to get your desired flavour. While using canned tomato instead of tomato puree, you have to follow the following ratio:

For each tablespoon of tomato puree, you have to use 2 tablespoons of canned tomato. Besides, you have the option to add some salt with that canned tomato.

Amazon Product Recommendations:

Amazon offers a variety of products in the canned tomatoes arena. Among them, we find ROTEL Chili Fixin’s Seasoned Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies could be your good option. 

A good amount of customer gives positive reviews in this product. It contains seasoned tomatoes, some spices, and zesty green chillies. Another product you can try is Muir Glen, Organic Diced Tomatoes, which contains USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO ingredients.  

03. Tomato Sauce:

Best for: Mexican salsas or sauces for pasta dishes.

Not recommended for: Overusing may cause diabetes and obesity.

You can use tomato sauce as the tomato puree replacement when you are out of tomato puree. The flavour of the tomato sauce is less developed than tomato puree. Therefore, you can’t easily notice the difference in many recipes.

When you use tomato sauce as an alternative to tomato puree, you have to keep a couple of things in your mind. Some of the available tomato sauces are already spiced and seasoned, which could be a problem because tomato puree is plain. Plus, tomato puree isn’t much thicker than the tomato sauce.

So, what could be the solution in that case? Well, as the solution, you need to choose the plain tomato sauce or choose the tomato sauce that wouldn’t clash with the other ingredients in the recipe. Besides, you can use tomato sauce and lower the seasoning amount in the recipe. 

That will not let the spices overshadow the other ingredients. While using this cooking essential instead of tomato puree, you have to follow the following ratio:

For every one teaspoon of tomato puree, you need to use 1 teaspoon of tomato sauce.

One point of caution: The texture of the tomato sauce is slightly looser than tomato puree.

Amazon Product Recommendations:

We find the BARILLA Premium Pasta Sauce could be the best option because it already serves a good customer. This sauce is made from 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil and natural tomatoes. 

Plus, here contains no sugar, colour, flavour, and preservation. Also, you can try Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes, which is made of premium-quality tomatoes.

04. Fresh Tomatoes:

Best for: A good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folate.

Not recommended for: Eating a large amount may cause vomiting, dizziness, headache, etc.

Surprisingly, you can use fresh tomato as the alternative to the tomato puree. You can’t directly use the tomato; instead, you need to blend those tomatoes using a blender or food processor. 

You have better add a dash of salt. Instead of salt, you can also add a bit of tomato paste to increase the flavour, but use it only when you feel the mixing doesn’t offer your desired taste.

However, if you don’t get your expected texture after adding tomato sauce, you can simmer them using a saucepan for a few minutes to make your blend thick. Instead of that, you can also dice and cook tomatoes and wait to make them soft, then blend and process them.

Another process of using the fresh tomato as the alternative to tomato puree is –

  • Firstly, cut the tomatoes and place them in a large pan to boil.
  • Now, you need to simmer those for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After that, you need to let those tomatoes cool and then blend all those until they become smooth.

Note: Roma tomatoes could be a great option in this process; you can also use whatever you find nearby. 

While using the fresh tomato as the substitute, you can follow the following ratio:

For each cup of tomato puree, you need to use four cups of tomatoes in a recipe.

Amazon Product Recommendations:

You can try this Fresh Roma Tomato Fruit Vegetable to use as an alternative to the tomato puree.

05. Ketchup:

Best for: Increasing the taste of fast food items.

Not recommended for: It has a link with obesity, diabetes, heart disease due to having high fructose corn syrup.

Ketchup isn’t the best alternative to tomato puree because it contains herbs and spices. You already know the tomato puree is unseasoned and unspiced. But, it will get you out of trouble when you need a small quantity of tomato puree in the recipe. 

Ketchup will slightly change the flavour of your dishes. That’s why you have better try to find the other four from our list. However, for the big dish, using ketchup instead of tomato puree isn’t recommended. Plus, you have better avoid ketchup as the alternative on the recipe where the main flavour is tomato puree.

Another point is ketchup flavour is strong, whereas the tomato puree is mild. You can mix water but not much to change the flavour and taste.

Amazon Product Recommendations:

If you are a ketchup lover, you can try this most popular Heinz Tomato Ketchup. This ketchup contains sweet, juicy, red ripe tomatoes that make it America’s favourite ketchup.

How to make tomato puree at home:


The making process is so simple- all you need is some tomatoes, salt, a knife, a pan, and a blender.


  • Your first task is to wash all the tomatoes thoroughly.
  • Now take a knife and locate the base of the tomatoes to make a ½ inch criss-cross cut. 
  • After that, take water in a large pan and pour some salt depending on the tomatoes (2 teaspoons of 1 kg). 

Note: You have to ensure enough room to move those tomatoes in the pan. 

  • Now, let the water be heated for some time, then place the tomatoes on there and leave it for 2 minutes. 
  • After passing 2 minutes, you need to switch off the flame and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes to immerse in hot water.
  • Now, take all those tomatoes and let them become cool like room temperature.
  • Once those become cool, you need to peel the skins and slice them. Afterward, take all those tomatoes in a blender or a grinder and make it smooth. 
  • Then take those into a strainer and stir with a spoon and press. After straining all the pulp you will get only the seeds in the strainer. Thus, you can make tomato puree at home without facing any complexity. 

Tomato puree vs paste 

Although both tomato purée and paste are made of the same ingredients, there are some noticeable differences between those. 

01. Preparation Process:

Tomato puree demands a simple cooking method and little time to turn the soft tomato into a liquid.  

Nevertheless, the cooking method of tomato paste is slightly complex. Here it would help if you cooked two times to turn them into a thick paste. 

02. Consistency:

Tomato paste is heavier than tomato puree.

03. Flavor:

Though tomato paste requires a long cooking time, its taste is richer than the tomato puree. The more cooking time of tomato paste will bring out more intense flavours- just like a dried tomato.

Nevertheless, the taste of tomato puree offers a more fresh, mild, and sweet tomato taste. 

04. Uses:

You can use tomato paste to make thick sauces or to increase flavour to stews or soups. 

On the other hand, tomato puree is used to make thin tomato-based sauces condiments, such as hot sauces, salsas, pizza sauce, marinara sauce.

05. Nutritional content:

Tomato puree:

Tomato puree provides you with a good amount of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, and many more. However, the raw tomato also provides you with all those that you get from tomato puree. Fiber is missing in tomato puree because of removing skin and seeds.

Notably, tomato puree will give you lots of lycopene because it is boosted by cooking. Our body can absorb the lycopene from the cooked tomatoes. Let’s see the nutritional amount of one cup of tomato puree. 

Calories 95 gramsOmega-3 fatty acids 10-mg
Sugar 12.1 gramsProtein Omega-6 4.1 grams
Carbohydrates 22.4 gramsfatty acids 205 mg
Dietary fibre 4.8 gramsVitamin C 44 % of the recommended daily value
Thiamin 4 % of the recommended daily valueVitamin E 25 % of the recommended daily value 
Vitamin B6 16 % of the recommended daily valueRiboflavin 12 % of the recommended daily value
Vitamin A 26 % of the recommended daily valueFat 0.5 grams
Calcium 5 % of the recommended daily valueIron 25 % of the recommended daily value
Niacin 18 % of the recommended daily valueVitamin K 11% of the recommended daily value

Apart from this, tomato puree offers magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, zinc, copper, etc. 

Tomato Paste: 

A teaspoon of tomato paste will give you plenty of antioxidants and 3 to 6 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins, potassium, and iron. Notably, tomato paste is also a good source of Vitamin C and lycopene. Let’s see the nutritional amount of one cup of tomato paste. 

Calories215Protein11.3 grams
Carbohydrates49.5 gramsDietary fiber10.7 grams
Sugar31.9 gramsFat1.2 grams
Omega-3 fatty acids18.3 mgOmega-6 fatty acids398 mg
Vitamin A80 % of the recommended daily valueVitamin C96 % of the recommended daily value
Vitamin E56 % of the recommended daily valueVitamin B628 % of the recommended daily value
Thiamin10 % of the recommended daily valueRiboflavin24 % of the recommended daily value
Calcium9 % of the recommended daily valueIron43 % of the recommended daily value
Magnesium28 % of the recommended daily valueSodium11 % of the recommended daily value

 Apart from those, tomato paste offers magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, zinc, copper, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Tomato puree replacement

Can you use ketchup in place of tomato puree?

While searching on the internet, I find tomato ketchup can be used as the substitute for tomato puree when you need a small amount. 

Actually, ketchup contains sugar, spices, and vinegar which are absent in tomato puree; hence it will change your dishes’ flavour. You have to use one tablespoon of ketchup for one tablespoon of tomato puree, when you are going to use ketchup instead of tomato puree.

Is tomato sauce the same as tomato puree?

Consistency is the only difference between tomato sauce and tomato puree. After cooking and straining tomatoes, you can make tomato puree.

This tomato puree is a thick liquid, and the flavour is deeper than sauce.

Can I use crushed tomatoes instead of tomato puree?

Crushed tomatoes aren’t the same as tomato puree, and I find no way to use them instead of tomato puree. Crushed tomatoes contain more fibre and juice than pureed tomatoes. However, tomato puree is made after blending and straining, that’s why; it is a thick, smooth liquid. 

Can you buy tomato puree?

Tomato puree is one kind of thick sauce, but here lie no seasonings (except salt) or herbs. You can make it at home easily, also you can buy it online or near the superstore if you haven’t enough time. Usually, tomato puree comes in cans. You will find many renowned brands selling canned tomato puree. 

Is tomato puree healthy?

While surfing on the internet, I find a good source of beneficial nutrients in tomato puree, including Vitamin C & K, magnesium, folate, potassium, etc. However, you can also get those beneficial nutrients from eating raw tomatoes. 

One problem is you will miss fibre from tomato puree because of removing skin and seeds.  Plus, you may miss Vitamin C. But, tomato puree will give you lots of lycopene, which is actually increased by cooking. Our body can better absorb the lycopene from the cooked tomatoes.

Why is tomato puree bad for you?

Tomato puree contains sodium. Sodium nitrate isn’t good for those who are suffering from blood pressure. Plus, sodium may negatively affect your digestive system. It will be better to make tomato puree at home. 

Is tomato puree used for pizza? 

One of the primary uses of tomato puree is making sauces and dips. Tomato puree is especially used to make Italian sauces such as Pizza sauce and pasta sauce. You can use that pizza sauce while making pizza.  

Final Thought:

By now, you are introduced to some best tomato puree substitute. However, finding alternatives to tomato puree isn’t challenging because of available tomato products in the market. Hopefully, you can choose any of those easily for your tomato-based recipe based on the concentration, consistency, and taste.

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