substitute for tomato puree

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Are you looking for a substitute for tomato puree? If you are, keep reading to learn 10 easy ways to replace tomato puree in any recipe! 

substitute for tomato puree

Tomato purée is made by  grinding, then cooking tomatoes until a thick flavorful liquid is formed. It usually contains ingredients like peeled tomatoes, salt, sugar and citric acid and is used to make pizzas, pasta dishes, soups, sauces and dips.

Tomato purée has a fresh and concentrated tomato flavor and hints of saltiness and tanginess and it is very versatile.

But what if you’re make a recipe that calls for the stuff and you just noticed that you have none of it in your home? You may be wondering if there are good replacement options for tomato purée.

Thankfully tomato purée has quite a few substitutes that are easily available.

They will be shared with you below. You’ll also learn the approximate substitute ratios for each!

Best substitutes for tomato purée 

Homemade tomato purée 

Homemade tomato purée 

The best substitute for canned tomato purée is your very own homemade tomato purée recipe. This substitute can be made to taste exactly like canned puréed tomatoes and can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio.

To make it you will need fresh tomatoes, salt and water. You can learn how to make tomato puree here.

Tomato passata

tomato passata (2)

Tomato passata can also be a tomato puree substitute. Tomato passata is similar to tomato puree except that it is made with super ripe tomatoes that are pureed and strained with seeds and skins removed. Tomato passata is also made without any preservatives, salt, flavorings or water. It sometimes has some fresh basil leaves or salt. So basically 100% tomatoes.

A 1:1 substitute ratio is ideal, so1 cup of tomato pasta can replace 1 cup of tomato puree. You can buy it or make your very own homemade tomato passata.

Strained tomatoes

strained tomatoes

While many people may not have strained tomatoes at home, on the off chance you do, this ingredient can also be used to replace tomato puree. Like canned tomato puree, strained tomatoes are made with briefly cooked tomatoes that are pureed and strained with no seasonings and spices added.

This fresh and thick product is easily used as a sub for tomato puree in dishes like pasta, sauces, meat, and indeed any other recipes that calls for tomato puree. A 1:1 substitute ratio is perfect. Read more about strained tomato substitutes here.

Tomato paste + water

Tomato paste + water

Another good substitute for tomato purée is a mixture of tomato paste and water. This is usually used to make canned tomato purée anyway as the labels for canned tomato puree often list water, tomato paste and citric acid as their main ingredients.

You will need equal parts water and equal parts tomato paste for this replacement. Once you’ve made it a 1:1 substitute ratio is ideal. Also you can read more about tomato paste and its substitutes here. 

Tomato sauce 

Tomato sauce 

Tomato sauce is another item that can be used  as an alternative to tomato purée. As is obvious, tomato sauce is a lot thinner than purée in terms of the consistency.

Tomato sauce also may have other flavors added to it like sugar, salt, red pepper, and other spices and herbs. Nonetheless, a 1:1 substitute of tomato sauce to tomato purée is ideal for most dishes even with the difference in consistency. 

Pizza sauce

Pizza sauce

If you happen to have a jar of pizza sauce in your pantry, it will also make a good replacement for purée tomatoes. Pizza sauce is often made with tomato purée as the main ingredient and other herbs and spices including onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, basil, olive oil and salt.

Therefore you can expect a difference in flavor. Nevertheless, it works great in soups, stews, sauces, and pasta dishes in a 1:1 substitute ratio. Just reduce the amount of spices and seasonings in the dish so as not to overwhelm the flavor of the dish. 

Marinara sauce

Marinara sauce

Marinara sauce also makes a good alternative for tomato puree. Marinara sauce is made with ingredients like tomato puree, diced tomatoes, vegetable oil, garlic puree, basil, oregano, parsley, salt and black pepper. It is also thinner than tomato puree but a 1:1 substitute will do just fine.

Diced tomatoes

Diced tomatoes

If you have a can of diced tomatoes in your pantry, you can also use it to make some tomato puree. To make, separate the diced tomatoes from the juice it is in, then place the diced tomatoes into a food processor and blend until smooth.

You can choose to add some of the juice to the blender to get the perfect consistency. You can also add a little tomato paste to improve the flavor and texture and use on a 1:1 ratio. Meaning for every 1 cup of tomato puree, replace with 1 cup of blended diced tomatoes. 

Note: If you are using canned tomato items that are already flavored with herbs, spices and salt, be mindful to adjust the seasonings for a dish in which such an item is used to replace tomato puree. 

Also, read more about the best diced tomato substitutes here.

Crushed tomatoes

Like diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes can be blended until smooth then used to replace tomato puree on a 1:1 substitute ratio.

Whole peeled tomatoes

Whole peeled tomatoes

Whole peeled tomatoes are another great canned tomato option that can be used to make a replacement for tomato puree.

To make, open up the can of whole peeled tomatoes, drain the liquid and reserve it. Next, add the drained tomatoes to a blender or food processor and process until it is smooth. 

Feel free to add some of the preserved tomato juice to the blender to improve the consistency if necessary. Use this like you would use tomato puree in a dish, with a 1:1 sub ratio.

Stewed tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes

Lastly, if you have canned stewed tomatoes available, you can blend the stewed tomatoes and use it to make a tomato puree as well. A 1:1 substitute ratio is okay here as well.

FAQs about tomato puree

What can I substitute for 1 cup of tomato purée?

There are quite a few items you can use to substitute for 1 cup of tomato purée. These include 1 cup of tomato sauce, 1 cup of tomato Passata, ½ cup of water mixed with ½ cup of tomato paste and 1 cup of homemade tomato purée for example. 

Final thoughts 

These are the best ways replace tomato purée in most dishes. Some of the substitutes are super close in terms of flavor and consistency such as the homemade tomato purée and the tomato purée made with fresh tomatoes.  Other substitutes work as well, simply because they are tomato based. So, if you’re missing tomato purée, shuffle through your pantry to see if any of these are available!

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