Can Tomato Paste be Substituted for Tomato Sauce in Cooking?

Spencer B. 1 year ago 0 34

Of course, tomato paste can be substituted for tomato sauce. But you should know how. Here we will talk about this.

Can Tomato Paste be Substituted for Tomato Sauce in Cooking?

In this article, you will learn about Can Tomato Paste be Substituted for Tomato Sauce in Cooking?

Let’s get started.

First, you should know what tomato sauce and paste are.

What is Tomato Sauce?

Tomato sauce is any sauce prepared primarily from chopped or pureed tomatoes, which are then simmered with various spices or herbs to produce a distinct taste character. You’d be hard pushed to find someone who hasn’t had tomato sauce in some form since it’s used as a foundation or sauce in meals from all over the world. Whether you’re eating chicken tikka masala at a local Indian restaurant or a piece of pasta from your favorite red sauce spot, you can bet that some tomato sauce magic was involved in preparing your meal.

What is Tomato Paste?

Tomato paste is just concentrated tomato sauce. Cooking tomatoes, straining the peel and seeds from the mixture and simmering the sauce until its thick consistency yields tomato paste. Commercial tomato pastes often include a stabilizer, such as citric acid, salt (there are alternative no-salt-added variants), and sometimes herbs and spices. There are also double-concentrated and triple-concentrated tomato pastes varieties, which are even more powerful.

Can Tomato Paste be Substituted for Tomato Sauce in Cooking?

The simple answer is yes, but keep in mind that tomato paste and tomato sauce have distinct flavor profiles and consistencies, so the replacement may impact the taste and texture of your food.

When replacing tomato paste for tomato sauce, take in mind that tomato paste is thicker and has a stronger taste. This implies diluting the paste with water or other liquids for consistency. As a general guideline, use 2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato paste for every cup of tomato sauce called for in your recipe. To balance the tastes in your cuisine, you may need to tweak the seasonings and spices.

It is also important to note that when using tomato paste instead of tomato sauce, the color of the completed meal may be somewhat darker. This is because the paste’s high concentration of solids accentuates the color of the dish.

When to Use Tomato Paste Instead of Tomato Sauce

The advantage of using tomato paste over other canned tomatoes is that you get the rich tomato flavor without all the excess water, making it excellent for meals where you don’t want a lot of moisture, like meatloaf or taco filling.

Tomato paste is best used in recipes where a small amount of tomato flavor is required, such as in stews, soups, and sauces. Its thick consistency makes it ideal for use in recipes where a thicker sauce is desired, and its intense flavor is perfect for adding depth to dishes that require a more robust tomato flavor.

When to Use Tomato Sauce Instead of Tomato Paste

It might be challenging to choose when to employ each. Use tomato paste for tomato-based foods that call for thickening, greater color, and a more potent taste. Naturally, tomato sauce is needed to make soups and other foods that call for a tomato-based sauce.

What is the difference between both?

The main difference between tomato paste and tomato sauce is the consistency. Tomato paste is thicker, and has a more intense flavor compared to tomato sauce which is thinner in consistency and milder in taste.

In addition, tomato paste contains fewer calories than tomato sauce since it has been cooked down until most of the water content evaporates.

To summarize, when considering whether to use tomato paste or tomato sauce for your recipe, keep in mind that each one has its own distinct flavor profile and texture. Depending on what kind of dish you are making, you may need to adjust the seasonings or dilute the paste with additional liquid in order to achieve the desired outcome.

Ultimately, if you’re searching for a thick texture, strong flavor, and darker color for your dish, you’ll want to use the tomato paste. If a thinner option with a milder taste is what you seek, then opt for the tomato sauce. In any case, it’s clear tha No matter which option you choose, there’s no doubting that some tomato sauce magic was involved in the preparation of your meal.

My Tips:

I can share my experiences and insights about cooking with tomato paste and sauce. One recipe that I love to make is a simple pasta sauce that uses tomato paste. I start by sautéing some garlic and onions in olive oil to make the sauce. Once the onions are translucent, I add a tablespoon of tomato paste and stir it into the mixture. Then I add a can of crushed tomatoes, a teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of salt and let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes. The tomato paste adds a rich, concentrated tomato flavor to the sauce, and the sugar helps balance the acidity.

I also frequently use tomato sauce in soups and stews. Once, I ran out of tomato sauce and decided to substitute tomato paste. I diluted the paste with some water and added it to the soup, and it turned out great! The soup had a richer tomato flavor than usual, which I really enjoyed.

In my experience, tomato paste is a great ingredient when you want to add a concentrated tomato flavor to a dish, while tomato sauce is better for dishes that require a more liquid sauce. However, as I mentioned earlier, it’s essential to adjust the seasonings and spices when substituting one for the other to ensure that the flavors are balanced.


Because tomato paste and sauce are made of tomato, these can easily be interchanged when a recipe calls for it. In this article, you learned about substituting tomato paste with tomato sauce, so the answer is yes, you can substitute one for another.

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