Best Substitutes for Tomato Puree

Last Updated on September 18, 2021 by April

Best Substitutes for Tomato Puree

For a sauce that is smooth, rich, and luscious, you’ll need some tomato puree. But what if you don’t have any? How can you make a sauce without this key ingredient?

Here are a few methods of getting the ball rolling in the kitchen when you don’t have any tomato puree on hand.

Substitutes for Tomato Puree

Here are some convenient ingredients that you can either turn into tomato puree or use to replace tomato puree in your cooking.

Fresh Tomatoes

Tomato Puree Recipe Using Fresh Tomatoes:

  1. Wash the tomatoes. Rinse them and pat them dry with a towel. 
  2. Prepare the tomatoes: Peel, halve, and trim away imperfections or bruises. Remove the core from each tomato. 
  3. Seed the tomatoes: Use a spoon to scrape out any seeds and watery pulp inside of each tomato. 
  4. Chop the tomatoes: Chop them into smaller pieces so they cook quicker.
  5. Put the tomatoes in a pot and bring it to a boil. When it has boiled for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low and let them cook until they are tender, which is about 10 more minutes. You can then put them in a blender and purée them.
  6. If you don’t need the tomatoes right now, put them in freezer bags. Put 8 ounces or 1/2 a cup of tomato purée in each bag. Press out all the air and seal it shut. Label what is inside so you know what it is later. The tomatoes will freeze flat so they take up less space in your freezer.


Ketchup is a type of sauce made from tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar. It can also contain spices and seasonings like onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.

If you are concerned about the final dish being too sweet or you just want the pure tomato flavor to come through, consider one of the other substitute options.

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is made from tomatoes and water. Sometimes it may also contain other ingredients such as vegetables and spices. Tomato sauce can be seasoned with salt and pepper or other seasonings.

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is made from fresh, ripe tomatoes that have been cooked and concentrated so that they form a thick paste. Tomato paste can be found in small cans or tubes. It can sometimes be found packaged inside of larger grocery store items like soup or pasta sauce.

Tomato Puree Recipe Using Tomato Paste:

Simply mix the following ingredients in equal parts and use them immediately.

Tomato Paste


Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are tomato products that have been packed in cans or jars. They can be whole, crushed, or peeled. The most common types of canned tomatoes are whole peeled tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Canned fruit is often used in sauces and baked goods since it does not need to be cooked beforehand.

How to Thicken Sauces Without Using Any Tomato

Many recipes call for cooked or canned tomatoes as a substitute for tomato puree, but what if you don’t have any type of tomatoes on hand?

To thicken sauces that call for tomato puree, you might be able to use: flour, corn starch, and butter.

Combine one tablespoon of each with one cup of cold water and stir together until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Slowly add the mixture to your sauce while stirring constantly until it is thickened.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tomato Puree

Best Substitutes for Tomato Puree

What is tomato puree?

Tomato puree is a liquid that is made from tomatoes. Tomatoes are blended together until they become a thick liquid.

How is tomato puree used in cooking?

Tomato puree is often used to thicken sauces.

Dishes that use tomato puree include chili, tomato soup, pasta sauce, and pizza.

Is tomato puree processed?

Tomato puree that you bought from the grocery store is processed, while homemade tomato puree is not.

What are processed foods?

Processed foods are foods that have been refined, altered, or changed in some way to make them last longer. Processed food includes items like tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and ketchup.

Is tomato puree healthy?

Tomato puree has many health benefits because it contains vitamins A, B6, folate, potassium, niacin, and riboflavin. It also contains lycopene which is an antioxidant that helps lower the risk of developing some types of cancer.

Tomato Puree Vs. Other Canned Tomato Ingredients

Best Substitutes for Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree Vs. Crushed Tomatoes

Tomato puree is thicker than crushed tomatoes.

Crushed tomatoes are made of whole, peeled tomatoes that are chopped or crushed.

Tomato Puree Vs. Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is made from tomatoes and water. Tomato purée is made from whole, peeled tomatoes that have been cooked until they are tender.

Tomato puree is thicker than tomato sauce.

Tomato Puree Vs. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a thick paste that contains whole, peeled tomatoes whereas tomato puree is a liquid that contains only the pulp of the tomatoes.

I hope this list of tomato puree substations was helpful to you! If you have any favorite tomato puree alternatives that were not listed, please let us all know in the comments.

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