9 Best Tomato Paste Substitutes

Tomato Paste

If you are planning on making some pasta, a nice savory dish, or some dipping sauce, then tomato paste is the thing that you need. Once added to your meal, tomato paste provides a nice touch and perfect texture to your cooking.

Tomato paste is actually a high concentrated version of tomato sauce, which is added usually to many recipes. It is actually a staple ingredient in soups, sauces, and most pasta dishes.

Usually, you can find tomato paste already cooked in your local market and they are packed in 6 ounces cans. It has a thick texture but if it’s too thick you can reduce it with water.

Tomato paste can also be made at home which is another great option and has a lot of benefits of using tomato paste in your cooking.

It actually intensifies the flavors and gives additional texture to your dish. You can add the tomato paste earlier in the cooking in order to caramelize and develop. However, if you don’t have tomato paste or you want to avoid it, is there another way to replace it?

Can I substitute tomato paste? Yes, you can use Tomato passata, Tomato sauce, Tomato puree, Tomato ketchup, Canned tomatoes, and fresh tomatoes instead.

If you want to avoid using tomato-based options, we have non-tomato-based subsites like extra seasoning, olive, and soy sauce. We also have the easiest recipe on how to make tomato paste at home.

Read below to find out more. 

Substitutes for Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is not irreplaceable. Actually, there are a few options that are tomato-based that can help you save your recipe. We have selected six substitutes. All you have to do is choose the one that suits you and your recipe best.

And for those who want to avoid using tomato-based options, we have three more to help you make the proper replacement and enjoy your dish.  

1. Tomato passata

Tomato passata

The first on our list and considered to be a very nice and suitable replacement for tomato paste is the tomato passata. It is basically the same as tomato paste, just not concentrated.

The difference is in the texture, so the passata will be more watery. Use 3 tablespoons of tomato passata for a tablespoon of tomato paste. Or adjust based on the recipe. If you need the passata to be thicker, let it simmer for a bit longer. 

2. Tomato sauce


Something that comes to mind and you usually have in your fridge is tomato sauce. The only difference is in the texture, so the tomato sauce won’t be as thick as the tomato paste.

You can use it in almost every recipe. Use 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce for every tablespoon of tomato paste. You can also add some seasoning. However, it may cause a difference based on your recipe. 

3. Tomato puree

Tomato Puree

Another tomato-based option is tomato puree. It can be a good replacement in most recipes. The texture of the tomato puree is similar to the paste but also it’s less concentrated.

You can use 2 to 3 tablespoons for every tablespoon of tomato paste. You can replace it in every recipe. If you need it to be thicker, simmer for a bit longer to get the perfect texture. 

4. Tomato ketchup

Tomato ketchup

Another way to replace tomato paste is by using tomato ketchup. Our fridge usually has tomato ketchup so it’s easy to make the swap.

Keep in mind that the ketchup is more concentrated, sweeter, and has more herbs, which makes it different from the paste.

Use a ratio of 1:1 or adapt based on the recipe. However it may cause an effect on the recipe because of the taste, but it won’t be very noticeable. 

5. Canned tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are a bit more watery than tomato paste but can substitute tomato paste. All you have to do is just simmer them for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

Just strain the juice out and use just the solid parts of the tomato. They are not as concentrated so it’ll be fine to use and use twice the amount that is required to get the proper flavors you are looking for. 

6. Fresh tomatoes


When looking for another replacement for tomato paste, using fresh tomatoes is one of the best options. They are even less consecrated and you can either remove the seeds and skin or leave it.

Simmer the fresh tomatoes so they can thicken and you will get to the texture you are looking for. Even though it may be tricky to cook them, you can always find fresh tomatoes. Use one large tomato for every tablespoon of tomato paste in your cooking.  

Also check: 5 Best Substitutes for Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Non-Tomato Substitutes

If you want to avoid using tomato paste or anything tomato-related, there are a few options that might help you in your cooking. We have selected the following 3 non-tomato substitutes.

7. Extra seasoning

In order to avoid using tomato taste, you can add extra seasoning, meaning more salt, even sugar to balance the flavors. Also, you can add if you have a favorite seasoning. 

8. Olive 

Even though it has a different taste, the olive can serve as a good substitute for tomato paste. The olives can add umami flavor and you can adapt it based on your other ingredients. 

9. Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

In order to replace the savory umami taste of the tomato paste but you don’t want to use it in your cooking you can use soy sauce.

It is less sweet and saltier so make sure to use the proper amounts. Use a teaspoon of soy sauce for a tablespoon of tomato paste. Increase if you think that it’s necessary but do not overuse. 

How to Make Your Own Tomato Paste

Diced Tomatoes

You always have the option to make the tomato paste at home. It does not take a lot of time to make and it’s very delicious. Actually, we have the quickest recipe for you.


  • 2 kilos of fresh tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • ½ 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil


First, you need to clean up the fresh tomatoes. Chop them off nicely and finely and make sure that you are careful not to squeeze a lot of the juice.

Then, place them in a pot on high heat and let the tomatoes cook. Stir them until they get soft and break them until you get in a liquid texture. Add the olive oil and salt. Feel free to boil them until the texture gets into a pastier texture.

Stir until the texture thickens and after you get to the proper tomato paste you can leave it on a baking sheet to finish reducing in the oven. Store it in a jar and keep it in your fridge. 

Related Questions

How can I thicken the sauce without tomato paste?

There are a few ways that you can use to thicken the tomato paste. You can add more tomato paste, add cornstarch, roux, egg yolk, or arrowroot. Also, the best technique is to simmer the texture a bit more to get to the proper texture you are looking for.

How do I substitute 6 oz of tomato paste?

You can use 3 ounces of concentrated tomato paste. It is not recommended to use ketchup, in this case, since it’s concentrated and contains sugar.

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