The Ideal Tomato Puree Substitute – In-House Options Vs. Grocery Store Solutions

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Looking for a tomato puree substitute? If so, you’re reading the right article.

Tomato puree can be used in pretty much everything. You can use it in a healthy vegetable smoothie, pizza, pasta and so on. You can even mix it with meat and chips. Some people use it as a dip for crisps, not to mention soups and stews.

tomato puree substitute

Although there are other forms of tomato pastes out there, plenty of chefs rely on puree because of its high concentration. If it’s too strong, you can always dilute it with water. If it’s too watery, there’s not much you can do.

Tomato Puree Substitute Options

However, when you’re in a hurry and don’t have any puree around, you’ll desperately need an alternative. Luckily, there are plenty. Choose the best tomato puree substitute based on the recipe though.

1. Chopped or canned tomatoes

Whether you chop tomatoes yourself or you buy them in a can, there are a few things to keep in mind. The flavor will be different. Fresh tomatoes have a stronger aroma and taste better – perfectly normal.

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Other than that, instead of using them chopped, it might be a good idea to chop them inside a bowl, then smash them to obtain a thick paste. To make things even better, you can mix this tomato puree substitute with all kinds of herbs and spices, depending on your recipe.

2. Tomato paste or sauce

There are not too many differences between tomato paste or sauce. The two terms are interchangeably used. Basically, paste and sauce consist of chopped and smashed tomatoes mixed with water. The sauce is supposed to be more watery than paste, but it depends on the manufacturer.

In some brands, the sauce has more consistency than the paste in other brands. It’s highly recommended to choose the more consistent option because you can easily dilute it with water.

3. Ketchup

While often overlooked, ketchup is a great choice when you don’t have any puree around. It’s thick and tastes pretty much the same. Unlike the puree, ketchup might be mixed with spices. If it’s not thick enough, you can put it on a tray and let it dry for a few hours. The water will evaporate, giving it the texture of puree.

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4. Passata

Most people can’t tell the difference between a random tomato sauce and passata. It’s common in preparing pizza, as well as spaghetti bolognese.

The main difference is that passata is supposed to have no other ingredients than tomatoes – no spices, herbs or other vegetables. In the attempt to make it more appealing, many manufacturers have gone away from its original recipe, so you can also find passata mixed with mushrooms or onions.

5. Non-tomato alternatives

A non-tomato alternative will never make the best tomato puree substitute, but it makes a viable option if someone in your family can’t take the acidic tomato taste. Some of the main alternatives include:

  • Red peppers.
  • Pumpkin.
  • Carrots.
  • Butternut squash.
  • Green salsa.

It depends on the recipe though.

In the end, finding a solid tomato puree substitute is not hard, whether you reach to the nearest grocery store or you choose to prepare it in-house.

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