Cooks favor tomato purée as one of their most popular ingredients. Thick, tasty, and simple to prepare (or to purchase), it is an excellent addition to practically any dish. Tomato purée is an essential ingredient in soups, sauces, and seafood preparations.
However, there are some situations when you might have to look for a replacement for tomato purée, such as when you run out!
What is the best substitute for tomato purée? Tomato sauce is a great substitute. While there are thickness differences, tomato sauce can be used to mimic the taste of tomato purée. This mixture tastes similar to tomato purée and can be used for pretty much everything the former does.
1 An Overview of Tomato Purée
2 Why Replace Tomato Purée?
3 Options for Tomato Purée Substitutes
3.1 Best Overall Substitute for Tomato Purée: Tomato Sauce
3.2 Best Substitute for a Texture Match: Tomato Paste
3.3 Best All-Purpose Substitute: Pizza Sauce
4 Homemade Tomato Purée
An Overview of Tomato Purée
A cooking essential, tomato purée has made its way into nearly every kitchen around the world. This thick and simple puree is a great way to preserve and prepare tomatoes for use in a later cooking project. In addition to its use individually, tomato purée is an excellent addition to soups or sauces for various dishes.
In general, tomato purée is a popular addition to rice dishes. The dish also works well as a side dish, and it pairs well with some seafood and rice. Some other dishes that call for tomato purée include barbecue sauce, chicken, fish, and many others.
For your purée, most experts recommend using Roma or Plum tomatoes. These varieties of tomatoes preserve easily because of their longevity. If you get bruised or imperfect tomatoes, you can purée them so that they last longer. Chop off the defective areas, and purée the remaining pieces.
Puréeing is also pretty straightforward:
- To clean your tomatoes, just rinse and pat them dry.
- The skin can be peeled using a vegetable peeler if you like.
- Cut the tomatoes in half and remove any imperfections.
- Using a spoon, remove any pulp or seeds.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes.
- Over medium heat, boil the tomatoes.
- To purée the tomatoes, cool them and blend them in a pot. They can be transferred to a food processor and processed until smooth
- If you’re not going to use the tomatoes right away, freeze them.
Why Replace Tomato Purée?
- Time crunch: If you’re in a hurry, a tomato purée substitute can come in handy.
- Texture differences: In some recipes, tomato purée may be too thick, in which case you will need to get a replacement.
What’s the Difference?
What is the difference between tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomato purée? Consistency is the difference between tomato sauce, paste, and purée. Compared to sauce, tomato puree has a thicker consistency and a deeper flavor.
Options for Tomato Purée Substitutes
Best Overall Substitute for Tomato Purée: Tomato Sauce
It almost seems obvious. By a considerable margin, tomato sauce is the perfect substitute for tomato purée. Pizza, pasta, rice, fish, chicken, you name it – a good tomato sauce is a basis for many dishes.
In terms of tomato sauce, your options are pretty much limited only to your imagination.
As with tomato purée, tomato sauce is available in grocery stores and restaurants. For those who feel more adventurous, they can make it at home instead. Making homemade tomato sauce is recommended by many experts since you can season and garnish it to taste. It is also not too hard to prepare.
The compatibility of tomato sauce as a substitute for tomato purée is excellent. As far as flavor packs go, you won’t miss anything since the tomato sauce tastes exactly like the tomato purée. In addition, you can substitute tomato sauce one-for-one. As a result, you won’t have to waste time tasting to see what quantity is suitable for your dish.
However, tomato sauce is slightly thinner than tomato purée. However, the difference is still noticeable despite its insignificance. To reduce the sauce and more closely match the texture, prepare the tomato sauce by simmering it in a saucepan over medium-low heat for a few minutes. It will become thicker and denser this way.
Best Substitute for a Texture Match: Tomato Paste
Tomato paste is a form of tomato purée that works well as a substitute. Tomato paste doesn’t quite have the taste that cooking aficionados will detect, but it excels when it comes to thickness and consistency. To make a sauce that is just as thick and consistent as tomato purée, tomato paste is a great choice.
The taste of tomato paste is more full-bodied than that of tomato purée. As a result, you might want to add some water to it when using it as a tomato purée substitute. You should find that it evens out the texture and flavor reasonably well.
Additionally, you should not add any seasonings or spices to your recipe. There is a possibility that these could intensify the concentrated tomato taste, which will not be pleasant to your taste buds.
Best All-Purpose Substitute: Pizza Sauce
A less-appreciated option is pizza sauce. The sauce is rich and thick, and as its name suggests, it is the perfect addition to a pizza recipe.
However, pizza sauce also works well as a sauce for chicken, eggplant, meatballs, and bread sticks. In the event you need a substitute that works for pretty much anything, pizza sauce is your best bet.
For pizza sauce, you can use a one-to-one ratio. Please keep in mind that the ingredients must be compatible with your recipe.
How to Make Your Own Tomato Puree
Make Your Own Homemade Tomato Puree
4 pounds of Tomatoes
1 tbsp Beetroot (optional, for color)
3 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Citric acid
- Prepare the tomatoes by removing the eye (stem area), then score the tomatoes with a crosscut on the bottom for easier removal of the skin.
- Place the tomatoes and beetroot in a pressure cooker, then add a splash of water.
- Seal the cooker and cook the tomatoes for 5 minutes. Let the pressure naturally reduce for 10 minutes, then release the pressure. Let the tomatoes cool.
- Peel the skin and place them in food processor or blender.
- Coarsely chop/blend for about 10 seconds. Do not over process as you do not want to grind the seeds.
- Strain the sauce through a sieve into a saucepan. Use the back of a spoon to push the sauce through the strainer, if needed.
- Add the water and juices from the pressure cooker as well, straining them through the sieve.
- Add the salt and sugar to the sauce. Heat the sauce over medium-low heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- The foam can be removed if you wish, but is not necessary.
- Continue simmering until the puree meets the spoon test. (As shown in the video above)
- Add the citric acid. This will preserve the sauce for approximately 3 months. Boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and bottle when cool. Store the sauce in the fridge, or vacuum seal and freeze it, as desired.