5 Best Substitutes for Tomato Purée

Tomato purée is the thick sauce you get from boiling chopped tomatoes, then blending and straining out the skins and seeds. It’s commonly used as a thickener for sauces and soups, and it serves as a good base for barbeque sauces. If you’ve run out of tomato purée at home, we’ll show you the best five tomato puree substitute you can whip up at home.

5 best tomato puree substitute

1. Ketchup

A bowl of ketchup

You can use ketchup as a tomato puree substitute, but not as the base ingredient in your recipe. The reason is because ketchup isn’t unflavored like tomato purée. It’s more of a table condiment like mustard, and it’s also got lots of herbs, spices and sugar mixed inside it.

This combination can add an overpowering taste to your soup or stew. If you’re going to need a tomato puree substitute to form the base of your dish, then you can try other options like tomato paste or sauce.

2. Tomato paste

Tomato sauce basically comes from the same tomatoes as the purée version. The major difference is the consistency.

Tomato purée is gotten when tomato is cut up and boiled until softened, and then blended to form a smooth paste. This paste is then strained or sieved to remove the skin and seeds of the tomato.

Meanwhile, tomato paste follows an easy homemade tomato paste recipe that involves boiling blended tomatoes for a long time. When the water is completely dry, the paste is then sieved to remove the skin and seeds.

Because of the intense boiling process, much of the flavor is lost and so it doesn’t taste as fresh as tomato purée. The taste is deeper like that of sun dried tomatoes.

3. Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce in a white bowl

Tomato sauce is tomato purée, but with the addition of oil and seasonings to enhance its taste. E.g. garlic, oregano, onions, etc.

It also commonly includes meat and vegetables, and is often served with pasta or white rice. The sauce is thinner in consistency, so might need to boil it a bit to reduce the volume. 

Also, because of the seasonings, you’ll need to be careful with adding extra flavoring to avoid an overpowering taste.

4. Sun dried tomatoes

Sun dried tomatoes are first squeezed out of their juice, and then dried to prolong their shelf life. They don’t taste as fresh as tomato purée, but they’re the go-to option for when you don’t have purée available.

Also, sun dried tomatoes last much longer than tomato purée. So you won’t be pressured into using them all up before they rot.

5. Fresh & raw tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes

What better way to replace tomato purée than to make it from scratch? If you have raw and fresh tomatoes lying about in your fridge, perhaps now is the time to use them.

Making tomato purée isn’t so hard. All you need to do is chop the tomatoes up, boil them, for about 10 minutes, then blend them when they’ve cooled down. Additionally, you can even make a paste or sauce from fresh tomatoes.


How is tomato sauce made?

Tomato sauce is often prepared by chopping or blending tomatoes first, depending on the consistency you want.

If you want chunks of the tomato in your dish, then chopping it is best. If you don’t like to see the chunks in your food, you’ll need to blend them to make a smooth paste.

Next, you’ll need to strain the water or boil it until it’s completely dried up. After that, you can cook it with olive oil until the raw and sour taste is gone.

This is the point where you throw in your seasonings and condiments to add taste and flavor to the sauce.

And voilà! Your tomato sauce is ready to eat.

Is tomato sauce the same as pasta sauce?

Pasta sauce comes from tomato sauce. The only noticeable difference is the style of seasoning applied to it.

Oftentimes, many people season their pasta sauce differently with garlic and other unique variations of condiments to develop different flavors.

But you can still use pasta sauce as a tomato sauce substitute.

Is it good to eat raw tomatoes?

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is an antioxidant. It helps in reducing the risks or chances of heart diseases and cancer. 

They also provide vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K to the body. Regularly eating them would seem like the best idea.

However, excessive intake of raw tomatoes is not advisable as the human digestive tract can only process small amounts of lycopene. 

Therefore, raw tomatoes aren’t that healthy to consume regularly. To get the best of their health benefits, you should incorporate them in sauces instead.

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