When I say tomato, you say tomato juice. That’s right, tomato juice is one of the popular uses for tomatoes. Some folks consider it a part of their daily health drink, while others can’t blend their Bloody Mary without it.
Tomato juice can also be used in recipes that call for tomato’s sweet and earthy flavor. It is versatile and delish, and you’ll be bloody crazy to run out of it.
Tomato juice is also high in sodium—that’s why it’s palatable (and a refreshing beverage) on its own. Some people might want to lower their salt intake, while some are just sensitive to a high amount of tomatoes. If that’s the case, we’ve listed somes tomato juice alternatives:
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato paste
- Whole or diced canned tomatoes
- Tomato soup
- Marinara sauce
- Tomato passata(Tomato Puree)
- Vegetable broth
- Juice other vegetables
Tomato juice is sweet and healthy. If you love tomatoes, stocking up on juice is always a smart option. In case you do run out, here are 14 substitutes for tomato juice that you can explore:
14 Best Tomato Juice Substitute
If any, tomato sauce is the most common tomato product, so something would be amiss if your pantry or nearest grocery doesn’t stock this. There are many tomato sauce brands (and flavors) to choose from, depending on your recipe.
The first thing to consider is that the texture of tomato sauce is thicker. If you are using tomato sauce to replace tomato juice, you can dilute the consistency by adding water. The ratio is easy to remember: use equal parts tomato sauce with water.
Tomato sauce comes from whole tomatoes, so the tomato content is a close approximation. Flavor-wise, you can select a tomato sauce variant that isn’t heavily flavored or seasoned. Additional spices and garlic or a fancy Italian flavor will already give you spaghetti sauce.
Choose tomato sauce with a high proportion of tomato content and minimal spices. This will give you the free rein to add what ingredients you need for your specific recipe requiring tomato juice.
Tomato paste is next in line as a tomato juice replacement. Like tomato sauce, tomato paste has an even thicker texture, so watering that down will be the fix. To make a runny tomato juice equivalent, use 1 part tomato paste and 4 parts water.
Most tomato paste brands would have a similar flavor and constitution to tomato juice. After all, one of the main ingredients listed for tomato juice is tomato paste. Don’t be surprised to learn that tomato juice is actually reconstituted tomato paste. They’re more alike than they appear.
For good measure, check the ingredient list of the tomato paste in case of traces of other spices or flavors.
Whole or Diced Canned Tomatoes
If you cannot find a liquefied tomato juice substitute, whole or diced canned tomatoes can be your solid bet. The tomatoes come with tomato juice and some citric acid, so they’re not entirely flavorless.
Since these canned tomatoes are packaged with their skin and seeds, you’ll need a food processor to blend these into a softer texture. The next step is to drain the mixture to remove the seeds or solid chunks, and the remaining liquid would be the tomato juice replacement. Now, you can enjoy your Bloody Mary with your homemade blend.
No food processor? You can manually smash or pound the tomatoes, then strain them.
The texture of tomato soup is more spot-on compared to other tomato juice substitutes. The main difference is their function. Tomato juice is ready to drink. Tomato soup is usually ready-to-heat, which is a meal on its own. It is usually sweeter and zesty to go well with croutons or dinner buns.
You’ll need to temper that rich flavor with 1 part soup and 3 parts water. Some soup brands may have a fainter flavor, so with your discretion, the ratio can be reduced to 1 part soup and 2 parts water. The ratio may depend on your sweetness tolerance.
If you still find tomato soup a tad too sweet for your recipe, you can opt for other alternatives.
If you love fries and hotdogs, you’re sure to have catsup (or ketchup) handy at home. You’re in luck because that’s another tomato juice replacement.
Catsup is thick and usually comes in a glass or squeeze bottle. To dilute that thick condiment to the tomato juice level, you’ll need to mix 1 part catsup and 8 parts water. Catsup has an entirely different flavor profile from tomato juice since it contains sweeteners and spices.
As a condiment, it has a concentrated tangy taste that we love. As a tomato juice substitute, it may taste a bit different. You can either adjust your recipe to account for the seasonings present in your catsup or find a catsup brand with the shortest ingredient list.
Marinara sauce is a tomato-based sauce that goes well with pasta and mozzarella sticks. Its delightful blend of spices and herbs makes it a sure winner for savory dishes. The unique twist of this sauce separates it from the basic tomato sauce.
If you wish to use marinara sauce as a substitute for tomato juice, keep in mind that this upgraded flavor already comes with hints of basil, oregano, and garlic. It’s a ready-to-dig-in taste that just needs minor or no embellishment.
If the marinara sauce has the same consistency as tomato sauce, you can always refer to the same ratio—that is 1 part marinara sauce to 1 part water.
Tomato Passata(Tomato Puree)
Tomato Passata is also known as tomato puree. Tomato passata is possibly the purest form of manufactured tomatoes available because it’s 100% tomato without additives and seasonings.
Unlike crushed tomatoes, tomato passata is smooth and thick. The texture is similar to tomato sauce but sans the spices. It would make a close substitute for tomato juice because it is can retain its original tomato flavor.
If the savory flavor is what you are after and not the tomato component, you can use vegetable broth as a tomato juice substitute. The texture is already a check, so you’ll only need to tweak the flavor to achieve that tomato-ey finish.
To replicate the sweet and sour tang, you can add sweetener and vinegar or squeeze some lemon juice. Adjust your condiments accordingly so that you won’t over-season the broth. If the color is still off, you can add a bit of red food coloring.
Vegetable broth would be the ideal substitute for savory dishes, soups, and sauces that don’t require tomatoes in the recipe to work. For your Bloody Mary, we’ll skip this alternative.
Fresh tomatoes would make a clean, healthy, and un-processed alternative to tomato juice. This garden-fresh variety requires more work, but the result is a highly customizable juice that you can season or flavor as you desire.
Before juicing or blending, you’ll need to remove the seeds (and skin). To thin the texture, you’ll need to add water. Salt and sugar are the basic seasonings that you need to strengthen the tomato flavor of your freshly made juice. Blend or mix them all, and get that delightfully “raw” blend.
Juice Other Vegetables
If you have a daily juice routine that includes that lycopene-rich tomato juice, you can juice or blend other fruits and vegetables to still get that sweet dose.
Other reddish-colored vegetables like beets and carrots are rich in nutrients, fiber, and Vitamin C, so they’d make a worthy replacement. Red peppers also contain lycopene, while oranges add that citrus zest.
Juicing lets you mix and match certain vegetables to get the same nutrient content as tomato juice. Lemon can also help add that delicate touch of sourness.
Roasted Red Peppers
You read it right—roasted red peppers have a lot in common with tomato juice, and it’s not just the color red. Roasted red peppers add a distinct flavor and subtle spice, not to mention an appetizing aroma.
The key is blending the peppers until you achieve a texture that matches tomato juice. Adding water will help create a thinner consistency. The flavor of the red peppers is uniquely zesty and warm, so try roasted red peppers if you’re up to a new tomato adventure.
Tamarind may be an unusual tomato replacement—especially when you consider how it looks—but don’t judge a book by its cover. Tamarind hits the same sweet tangy flavor of tomato juice so that solves the flavor department. If any, tamarind delivers such a rich flavor so it can add a unique twist to dishes.
The color may be slightly different—so that’s a consideration for dishes you expect to look vibrant red. Soaking the tamarind in water will help you achieve a runnier texture similar to tomato juice. With that same consistency and strong flavor, use tamarind to level up your culinary creations.
Beet juice can directly replace tomato juice, since both share the similar consistency and health benefits. If you’ve tasted beets, you’ll recall that they have a deep and earthy flavor. That’s exactly how the juice tastes. It also has a deep purple color, similar to plums—quite far from tomato’s bright red.
The flavor may not be spot-on, so adding lemon will help you achieve a closer flavor to tomato juice. If you’re into a healthier and purple-colored tomato juice option, use beet juice instead!
Make your own Tomato Juice
We’ll end the list with a homemade and delicious substitute to match the original flavor and consistency of tomato juice. Making your concoction means that you can tweak the flavor based on your preference and what’s available in the kitchen.
Here’s a sample recipe you can try, but you can always do your own experiment. There’s no wrong recipe or combination here.
Simmer or boil 2 pounds of tomatoes, 1 ¼ cups of celery, and 1/3 cup of onions (all chopped). Add a dash of hot sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper to the mixture. When texture becomes more tender, you can blend or puree them together or strain them to get the juice.
Store your concoction in bottles and leave them in the fridge so that you can stock up on tomato juice all the time. Try other ingredients or fruits in the mixture to get a unique twist.