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12 Extra Special Tomato Puree Substitute To Impress Your Son

Tomato puree is also one of the most commonly used ingredients in every recipe because of the unique flavor that it gives to a lot of dishes. You can use it for pasta, soups, stews, and a variety of sauces and my kids absolutely loves it.

 It is simple and easy to prepare. You can even make it from scratch. As much as it is widely used in many recipes and occasions, there are times when you can’t have it or someone you know may not be a fan of it. Here are some possible substitutes in a quick glance.

  1. Tomato Sauce
  2. Tomato Paste
  3. Fresh Tomatoes
  4. Canned Tomatoes
  5. Ketchup
  6. Pizza Sauce or Marinara Sauce
  7. Red Bell Peppers
  8. Carrot
  9. Pumpkin

Regardless of what reason you cannot use tomato puree, there are many substitutes easily available in the market or in your pantry that may still offer you the same results.

12 Best Substitute For Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree Substitute

Tomato puree is a thick liquid that is formed from cooking and mashing tomatoes. Typically, the skin and the seeds are removed to make a light and smooth consistency, which is essential when making tomato sauce.

Aside from its flavor, tomato puree also gives a significant texture, color, and consistency to your dish, which is why it is also an effective thickening agent in recipes that call for it. 

The best substitutes for tomato puree are mostly tomato based like tomato sauce or tomato paste. 

The following alternatives include both tomato-based and non-tomato-based options.

Tomato Sauce


Tomato sauce is one of the best substitutes for tomato puree. Although it has a thinner consistency than tomato puree, it may still achieve your desired flavor as long as you cook and prepare it the right way.

There will be a little difference in taste when using this alternative because tomato sauce is commonly seasoned, whereas puree is not.

If this is a concern, consider reducing other seasonings in the dish. You may need to add some water to it or cook the tomato sauce a bit longer to achieve the right taste and thickness. Significantly, when tomato sauce is cooked a bit longer, it thickens and almost resembles the consistency of tomato puree.

This sauce is perfect in recipes that call for a hint of tanginess, most commonly in seafood and meats. It is also best served in pasta sauces, soups, and stews because of the rich color, texture, and acidity it provides to the dish.

In cases that there is no tomato puree available for you, you can either buy store-bought tomato sauce or make your own. Mix fresh tomatoes, a few herbs and spices, olive oil, and salt into a saucepan and bring them down to a boil. Watch out as the sauce thickens then adjust the taste according to your liking.

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Tomato Paste

Tomato paste, among other tomato-based sauces, is probably the thickest since it is made by simmering tomatoes for a few hours to reduce moisture content. This also reduces the base to a thick, rich concentration.

In terms of appearance and flavor, this is a good match to the tomato puree. But since it has a concentrated flavor and high acidity, you should refrain from adding any spice or herbs to it to avoid undesirable intense flavors.

As a substitute for tomato puree, use 1/3 cup tomato paste and 2/3 cup of water. This will give you a texture and thickness that is similar to tomato puree.

Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh Tomatoes

Tomato puree came from fresh tomatoes so it is no surprise that it is included in your substitutes list. And since fresh is always better, it is a great idea to make puree if you have large tomatoes in your garden or kitchen.

Furthermore, preparing your own tomato puree can also ensure you a lot of health advantages since you are aware of the materials used and how you process them.

Roma tomatoes are a fantastic choice for making tomato puree, but you may use any types of tomato you have on hand. To replace one cup of tomato puree in a recipe, use four cups of tomatoes.

You get a more subtle flavor in exchange for succulence.

Canned Tomatoes


Canned tomatoes are probably the most practical option if you don’t have tomato puree available in your kitchen as it’s something that can be easily bought in stores.

It is also convenient to use since you won’t be doing a lot of stuff to make it. However, it may not be as healthy as the ones made out of fresh tomatoes.

When you want to keep the flavor as authentic as possible, a can of tomatoes will work great as a substitute for tomato puree. This tomato-based product, like the puree, is often unseasoned.

So you don’t have to be concerned about the flavor of your food being affected.

To perfectly use it as a substitute, you should be able to mix the canned tomatoes and get rid of any excess moisture. Since puree is usually unseasoned, avoid adding any seasonings, spices, or salt. To substitute, use equivalent amounts.

The only downside that you can encounter when using canned tomatoes as a substitute is that you must use the entire contents of the can as soon as you open it. Otherwise, it will get spoiled.

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Because tomato puree is unspiced and unseasoned, and ketchup contains a lot of herbs and spices, this may not be the perfect substitute, but it will suffice as long as you enjoy the flavor.

To use it effectively, all you need is a dab of tomato ketchup to get a little hint of tomato puree. Keep in mind that purée has a moderate flavor and ketchup has a strong flavor, so try to balance things out a little.

In addition, ketchup is also inappropriate for cooking with purée as the foundation flavor due to its strong taste.

Pizza Sauce or Marinara Sauce


Pizza sauce is a flavorful tomato-based sauce created with herbs and tomatoes. Most of us have probably tasted it since it’s been frequently used as a pizza topping or as a dipping sauce.

But compared to a tomato puree, pizza sauce may be slightly thicker in consistency.

On the other hand, marinara is more similar to tomato sauce but is easier and faster to produce. It’s also seasoned with herbs, garlic, and peppers, among other things.

Another difference between the two is the cooking time where marinara sauce takes roughly an hour. In contrast, tomato puree can take longer.

Red Bell Peppers

Red bell pepper is one of the most common substitutes for tomato puree that is not based on tomatoes. Due to the rich color and texture it gives to certain dishes, it is fantastic to use in soups, stews, salads, and a variety of other cuisines.

It won’t have the same flavor as tomatoes, but it will not only give your food a crimson hue. It will also thicken the dish.

Red pepper is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which are beneficial to your health. An easy way to use it as a substitute for tomato puree is by treating it the same way as when you make tomato sauce.

Simply slice the tomatoes, boil or roast them in the oven, then purée them to form a red sauce.



Carrot is also one of the veggies that you can substitute for tomato puree. While it doesn’t have the same flavor as tomatoes, it can come close to its color and texture.

All you need is a little vinegar or lemon juice to brighten up the flavor while you cook them until soft, and then purée them.

Carrot puree is also a tasty complement to rice meals that rely on the sweetness of tomatoes. When combined with some fresh tomatoes, it has a deep and delightful flavor.

Combine the carrots, oil, and water in a mixing bowl. You can also add onions to the mix for extra taste. Then, for at least 20 minutes, boil and simmer until they’re soft enough to mash.

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To make a puree, mix all of the ingredients in a blender and mash until smooth.


Although pumpkin may not be the first option that you may think of when replacing tomato puree, it may be more helpful than you’ll ever know.

Pumpkin is another nutrient-dense alternative to tomato puree. Because of its low-calorie content, it is widely used in both main courses and sweets.

It has a smooth feel comparable to tomato puree when purchased in a can. Because it’s a little thicker, you might need to thin it up a little to reach the desired consistency.

Pumpkin puree has a little squash-like sweetness to it. You can create a flavor that is similar to tomato puree by adding a small quantity of vinegar and sugar to it. While it may not be suitable as a stand-alone pasta sauce, it can be used to great effect in cooked foods.

Green Salsa


Tomatillo is the most common ingredient in making salsa. These are relatives of tomatoes, and they have a similar acidic flavor. However, compared to tomatoes, tomatillos are more acidic and less sweet.

Thus, a little sugar can assist to balance the flavor and neutralize the acidity of your tomatillo. What’s more, cooking the tomatillo salsa in high heat can also assist to soften the harsher flavors and help them blend better into recipes.

Also, keep in mind that many tomatillo salsas contain other ingredients such as garlic or chili peppers. So if you want to replace tomato puree, look for products that have a more basic salsa.

For this replacement, follow the quantity ratio of 1:1.

Red Wine Vinegar

If the main component of tomato puree in a dish is its sweet yet acidic taste, red wine vinegar or certain comparable vinegar generated from fruit products may be able to replicate the same tang. However, this may only be up to a variable degree, depending on the recipe’s requirements.

If a recipe calls for a lower level of acidity than what is found in a regular red wine vinegar product, you can reduce the existing acid by adding equal parts of water or fruit juice to it. This way, the flavor profile of the red wine vinegar may come closer to that of tomato puree.

Aside from its flavor, tomato puree also gives a significant texture, color, and consistency to your dish, which is why it is also an effective thickening agent in recipes that call for it.