Can’t find Tomato Puree? Here are 6 Substitutes!

One of the items that is frequently used in cooking is tomato puree. It adds a powerful flavor and superb consistency to recipes for sauces, soups, and barbecue sauce. What happens, though, if you run out of tomato puree right away? What are your alternatives for this frequent element in terms of adjustments or substitutes?

First of all, don’t worry! This post will provide you with six original solutions that will enable you to serve supper right away if you just need an emergency replacement.

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce has always been the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of tomato puree substitute. But there are 2 main differences between the which you’ll have to handle.

The consistency of the puree is thicker than the sauce, so some thickening of the sauce in a pan might be necessary.

The other difference is that the sauces are often enriched with basil or other seasonings. Some of them may overpower your other ingredients. Beware of that.

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a fantastic substitute when you don’t have tomato puree. They have a pretty similar taste and texture. You can achieve the right consistency by mixing ⅓ cup of paste and ⅔ cups of water. It is recommended not to add any seasonings to the meal if you decide to use tomato paste.

Pizza Sauce

This thick, rich sauce is a favorite topping for pizzas or dipping sauces. You can also use it as an all-purpose ingredient in meatball subs and chicken dishes with spices that work well together. This will give you the perfect amount of tomato flavor without being overpowering – just substitute pizza sauce to taste!

Fresh Tomatoes

It’s a lot of fun to make your own tomato sauce! A great way to do this is by boiling fresh chopped tomatoes and then pureeing them. Any type of tomatoes is fine, but I personally prefer Roma tomatoes. Four cups of them can turn into one cup of excellent tomato puree.

Canned Tomatoes

One of the most popular substitutes for fresh tomatoes is canned. It’s one of those things that you can find in just about any store, and it doesn’t take much work to prepare them as a substitute. It’s easy to blend them to remove the excess liquid. Just make sure not to add anything like salt or spices because puree often tastes plain on its own!

Equal amounts can be used to substitute.


Ketchup isn’t the greatest substitute since it has a lot of spices and herbs, but if you like its taste it will do the job. It is difficult to define the exact amount you’ll need, so it is best to trust your own taste buds.

What is Tomato Puree?

It is a sauce with a thick consistency. It is usually made from cooked tomatoes without the skin and seeds. It is widely used from flavoring stews and soups to being a base for pizza and pasta sauces. Typically puree has a plain flavor without adding any spices and herbs.

How to prepare homemade tomato puree?

We all know that nothing tastes better than homemade meals and sauces.

If you have a lot of fresh tomatoes and the will to do everything by yourself, I’ll walk you through the whole process of preparing the perfect tomato puree.

Step 1

Wash the tomatoes well with cold water (if you’ve just taken them out of the refrigerator, warm water is an option too). Then wipe them with kitchen paper. Peel them and then remove their core.

Step 2

Scrape out the watery part and the seeds with a spoon. Now you are ready to chop them.

Step 3

Move them into a pot and set the stove to medium-high heat. When they start boiling you’ll have to reduce the heat to medium. After 10 minutes of simmering, you’ll be ready for the next step.

Step 4

It is now time to let the tomatoes cool down. 10 minutes away from the stove should be enough. Blend them until they reach a smooth texture.

Step 5

You are ready now either to use the puree for your meal or to freeze it for later use. I recommend using a freezer zip bag or freezer container.

Helpful tips:

  • When cooking with tomatoes, fresh or canned ones will change the final dish’s taste. The freshness of tomatoes changes flavor; as does how long they have been stored before use. This is why simmering time can affect the thickness and intensity of your sauce!
  • For some recipes, it is a great idea to smash the tomatoes even if you’ve previously chopped them.
  • Every substitute can change the flavor of the meal a bit. Keep in mind that some substitutes are more suitable for a certain recipe than others.
  • If you want to use tomato paste to prepare marinara sauce, remember that the flavor is more complex. Choose wisely the appropriate amount.

Related: How Long Does Tomato Paste Last in the Fridge?

Some people ask

Is there a difference between tomato puree and sauce?

The consistency of tomato puree is much thicker. So the taste of the puree is deeper than the one of the sauce.

Can I thicken sauces by adding tomato puree?

Yes! After adding puree to the sauce, you have to cook them for a couple of minutes.

Is using diced tomatoes as a substitute for tomato puree a good idea?

You can be sure that any recipe with tomato puree will turn out just fine if you substitute it for diced tomatoes. You’ll find the flavor and consistency are nearly identical, so feel free to experiment!

Related: 6 Best Substitutes for Tomato Sauce

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