Best Tomato Puree Substitutes

What is Tomato Puree?

Tomato puree is a processed mixture made from chunky tomato sauce. It is known by many other names, including marinara and simply tomato sauce.

Several sources distinguish tomato puree as being thinner than other types of tomato paste, such as specialized pizza sauce, although in the end, any processed tomato-based product qualifies as tomato puree.

Tomato puree may differ somewhat from one distributor to the next. In general, the tomatoes used in tomato puree are boiled to soften them before being packed in cans or jars for sale with all of their fluids intact. Some brands have more bits than others, but tomato puree is always a somewhat lumpy mixture.

Yet, not everyone like tomatoes, and some are even allergic to them. This begs the question: what are the five greatest tomato puree substitutes?

Top 5 Tomato Puree Substitutes

Diced tomatoes, ketchup, and fish or Worcestershire sauce are excellent replacements for tomato puree. Squash puree and vegemite are also excellent tomato puree substitutes.

1. Diced Tomatoes

Diced tomatoes are the first feasible substitution for tomato puree. Since tomato puree does not often include many additives, it is simple to reproduce using plain chopped or minced tomatoes from the produce section. Texture is often used in the trade. Tomato puree is frequently smoother and simpler to chew than sliced tomatoes.

This is fine for certain tomato fans. Some individuals like the flavor of tomatoes and don’t mind the extra chewing that comes with it. It is also up to the recipe whether a chunkier tomato topping is suitable.

If diced tomatoes are to be used in a recipe that asks for tomato puree, it is crucial to recognize that the two are not interchangeable. For every tablespoon of tomato puree called for in a recipe, two teaspoons of diced tomato must be substituted. This is due to the disparity in surface area between the two.

2. Ketchup

Ketchup, the old standby of American condiments, is ultimately manufactured from tomatoes in some manner.

Although most tomato purees are unseasoned, the added sugar in ketchup might result in a somewhat distinct flavor while eating. Ketchup has a distinct texture than other tomato purees. Notwithstanding these considerations, ketchup may be an acceptable alternative for tomato puree when applied appropriately.

Two teaspoons of diced tomatoes should be used for each of the purees. The reverse is true with ketchup. Since ketchup has a stronger taste than unseasoned puree, it will need to be diluted with another substance. This may be accomplished at the chef’s discretion, either by diluting down the ketchup or by adding another neutralizer, such as some types of oil.

Using ketchup as a substitute for tomato puree works best in recipes that call for a modest quantity of tomato puree, but not enough to warrant a trip to the grocery store on its own. Although not ideal, ketchup may be used in lieu of real tomato puree in many meals.

3. Fish Sauce or Worcestershire

Some individuals dislike tomatoes, yet they nevertheless want to create recipes that involve tomato puree in some form or another.

For this category, a chef has two alternatives that may be used interchangeably. If a recipe asks for tomato puree as a flavoring or sauce base, either fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce can suffice.

Both sauces lack the sweetness of tomato puree or any of the two alternatives discussed above, but they bring a similar zest to the dish. Both operate similarly as a binding agent in sauces that call for it. Both have a similar tongue feel to tomato puree when coarsely combined with additional components.

Yet, both alternatives are thinner sauces with a significantly stronger taste than tomato puree. The difference in flavor does not make them the greatest alternative for tomato puree, and a chef will need to modify their quantities and maybe water down either of these sauce substitutes, but both will serve the same purpose in cooking as tomato puree.

4. Pumpkin or Squash Puree

Absolutely, pumpkin or squash puree may be used in place of tomato puree. Both belong from the same gourd family and are remarkably similar to tomato puree when canned using the same method. The downside is that neither of these two winter squashes is recognized for having a lot of liquid, so the final puree may be a little dry.

The consistency is more like tomato paste than actual tomato puree, since it is thicker and drier, although this can easily remedied by adding oil or water to the mix. Therefore, for every two teaspoons of tomato puree, a chef should measure one tablespoon of tomato or squash puree.

There are very minor changes in terms of flavor. Both tomato puree alternatives have strong and unique tastes of their own, but many of those notes will be lost in the various spices and flavors used in most meals that call for tomato puree in the first place. It is not suggested to substitute tomato in meals when it is the major ingredient.

5. Vegemite

We saved the most bizarre for last. Vegemite is more widespread in Europe than in the United States, although it can still be found in most areas if one looks hard enough. It’s on our list because it has a comparable consistency and texture to most tomato puree brands.

If a recipe asks for tomato puree as a spread or basis for other ingredients rather than merely as a flavor enhancer, vegemite is a near-perfect alternative for those who do not want tomatoes in their cuisine.

Vegemite is often used as a sandwich spread and is available in jars and squeeze tubes. As a replacement for tomato puree, the canned type often has the same vaguely lumpy but soft feel.

The flavors are very different, with vegemite being far more bitter and grittier. Nevertheless, vegemite absorbs other spices that are applied to it. Overall, this is one of the few alternatives for which the identical measurements might be followed 1-to-1 inside a recipe.

If a chef so desired, they could substitute vegemite for tomato puree and create a fresh and unique flavor combination that none of the people they want to serve have ever experienced.


Tomato puree is a simple replacement. If you don’t want to use tomatoes in your recipe or don’t have tomato puree on hand, you have lots of choices.

Cooking is fundamentally creative, and most items have suitable replacements of some kind. Tomato puree is no different!


What can I use if I don’t have tomato puree?

Tomato paste with water.

Tomato paste and water in equal portions! This produces a taste and texture that is almost identical to tomato puree. In reality, that’s what’s in the majority of tomato puree cans. Substitute 14 cup tomato paste + 14 cup water for 12 cup tomato puree.

Is tomato puree just tomato sauce?

Tomato puree is a canned product prepared from fresh, ripe tomatoes that have been cooked and pureed into a thick liquid that is somewhat thicker than regular tomato sauce. Tomato puree, on the other hand, is smooth and homogeneous, as opposed to tomato sauce, which might be lumpy.

Can I use diced tomatoes instead of tomato puree?

In practically any recipe, tomato purée may be used in place of canned tomato sauce, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, or even diced tomatoes.

Can I use tomato paste instead of pureed tomatoes?

Tomato paste may be used in place of tomato puree.

For example, if your recipe asks for a cup of tomato puree, mix half a cup of tomato paste with half a cup of water until the purée is the correct consistency.

What does tomato puree do in a recipe?

Tomato paste is often used to thicken sauces or to flavor soups and stews. Tomato purée serves as the foundation for thinner tomato-based sauces and condiments such as salsas, spicy sauce, marinara sauce, and pizza sauce.

Is tomato puree just crushed tomatoes?

Puree. Pureed tomatoes that are midway between crushed and paste in flavor—smoother, thicker, and more flavorful than crushed, but not quite as concentrated as paste.

How to make a tomato puree?

Wash the tomatoes and cut them into bite-size pieces. Cook on low heat in a slow cooker for 6 hours, or until cooked and soft.
Run the tomatoes through the food mill over a big bowl. Freeze or boil down the purée before storing it in wide-mouth jars.
Sep 22, 2022

Can I use ketchup instead of tomato puree?

In a pinch, you may substitute ketchup for tomato puree in a recipe. Remember that ketchup has a strong taste. Use in recipes that need just a little quantity of puree. Use as a 1:1 substitution.

Is canned tomato sauce just pureed tomatoes?

What Exactly Is Tomato Sauce? The viscosity of canned tomato sauce is comparable to that of tomato puree, except it is thinner. It’s created using tomato puree, although water and spices are occasionally added to enhance the taste. Garlic, onion, basil, and oregano are some of the seasonings that may be added to tomato sauce.

Can you blend diced tomatoes to make tomato puree?

You may also make homemade tomato paste from a can of chopped or whole tomatoes. In a food processor or blender, puree a can of tomatoes until smooth. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer, stirring regularly, until the sauce has thickened and been reduced by approximately two-thirds.

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