8 Best Tomato Puree Substitutes

In cooking, tomato puree is a popular ingredient for dressing foods and adding extra flavors. Also, many dishes use the puree as sauces or dips, such as fried food, pasta, pizza, and other healthy recipes.

Some take advantage of the condiment to marinate food, cook soups and barbecue sauce at home.

However, since you do not have tomato puree at hand, you need its substitutes. They include tomato sauce, tomato paste, canned tomato, fresh tomato, and marinara sauce. If you prefer the non-tomato options, I suggest pumpkin, red pepper, and carrots as great alternatives.

Tomato Puree Substitutes

8 Best Tomato Puree Substitutes for Cooking

Tomato Sauce

The first one on this list is tomato sauce, also made by straining and cooking tomatoes. But you might see this sauce’s consistency might be thinner, and a few seasonings are added.

For this reason, the taste of the sauce might be slightly different from the puree. Think about reducing the number of other seasonings to balance the dish.

Also, suppose you want to make the sauce thicker; you can increase the cooking time by a few more minutes in low heat. Ensure the amount of the puree needed in the recipe equals that of the sauce you have.

Tomato Paste

Never forget the tomato paste as one of the best alternatives of tomato puree due to their similar taste and texture. In most cases, you can convert between them without any change in the look or flavor of the dish.

Nevertheless, the tomato paste is super-concentrated. That means you should add extra water to fit your recipe. The ideal ratio is one tablespoon of tomato paste mixed with two tablespoons of water.

In case the tomato products are stored in cans, there might be the appearance of a metallic smell. Adding a little oil into the paste while cooking can solve the problem.

Canned Tomato

Canned tomatoes can be found in many local groceries and supermarkets. Please pick up a few of them and put them in your kitchen’s cabinet if you are out of tomato-based products like the puree. It can maintain the taste for a longer time.

Plus, the canned tomato has not been seasoned, so you do not have to worry about changing your foods’ taste. Nonetheless, they can often contain much liquid. Get rid of the liquid and use the solid one.

Concerning the ratio, a cup of tomato puree should be replaced with two cups of canned tomato.

Fresh Tomato

Suppose you have more time to prepare; the fresh tomato is an intelligent choice for better health benefits. Doing with fresh ones ensures you control the process and other condiments.

Making the puree substitute with fresh tomato might require a little time and effort. First, clean the fresh tomatoes before cooking. Consider chopping them into pieces instead of putting the whole of them into the pot.

Then, pour water into the pot and cook at medium heat for around 10 minutes. After the flavor has been concentrated, cool the mixture down. Take a blender to ground it finely, and you will have a fresh tomato puree replacement.

Suppose you want to enhance the mixture’s thickness or make its taste more intense; increasing the cooking time would help.

Marinara Sauce (Pizza Sauce)

Some people also use marinara sauce or pizza sauce to replace the tomato puree cause both are made from tomato.

It is a common ingredient used to top or dip a pizza in the pizza sauce. The flavored sauce contains tomatoes and some seasonings. Often, its consistency is thicker than the puree.

Similarly, the marinara sauce has a high degree of consistency. But, it takes less time to make the condiment, more or less than one hour. Some seasonings included in the sauce are herbs, crushed red pepper, and garlic.

Keep in mind that both sauces are flavored, so you might want to change a little bit of your recipe to balance the taste.


On the list of tomato puree substitutes, besides the tomato-based ones, some ingredients are included in no tomato. Pumpkin is the first name.

As you might have known, pumpkin offers a large amount of nutrition, such as vitamins E, C, B, A, and beta carotene, combing with a low number of calories. They are beneficial to your eyes, skin, and brain.

For this reason, it appears in many desserts and dishes around the world.

It is also an excellent replacement for tomato puree for a unique orange hue. If you do not have fresh pumpkins, using canned ones is fine.

Suppose you do not have much time to make the pumpkin puree at home, consider buying it at the nearby supermarkets and store some just in case.

Red Pepper

Red pepper is also an excellent substitute for tomato puree. Many dishes contain ingredients, such as stir-fried foods, salads, or soups.

Red pepper puree has a similar color and thickness to the tomato one. However, the flavor might be slightly different.

Red peppers own a rice source of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to compensate for that. Hence, using them often would improve your health.

Remember to slice, boil, and roast the red peppers in the oven before pureeing them and have a perfect ingredient for your recipe.


Last but not least are carrots, a popular type of veggie that might never lack in your garden.

They can replace the puree made by tomatoes well due to their tasty flavor and high nutrition. For example, vitamins, antioxidants, beta carotene, and fibers are all included in carrots. The low level of calories also makes them beloved by those on a diet.

Plus, their additional light sweetness makes it suitable when adding to stews, soups, and smoothies.

Chop the carrots and cook them with water and oil when making the substitute. To make it tastier, add extra onions. Then, simmer them in around 20 minutes before cooling them down. Ground the mixture with a blender, and you will have a new version of tomato purees.

How to make tomato puree – Quick and easy tomato puree recipe

FAQs About Tomato Puree Substitutes

Is Tomato Puree And Passata The Same?

While both are made from tomatoes, they have distinct features. Plus, tomato puree is said to be the cooked version of passata. That means people have to get rid of tomatos’ seeds and skins and blend them to make the puree.

Can You Use Tomato Juice Instead Of Tomato Puree?

In some cases, you can use tomato juice to replace the puree. To make the substitute, mix one cup of tomato juice with ½ cup of water and ½ cup of tomato sauce. Adding a little sugar and salt would boost the flavor.

What can I use as a tomato paste substitute?


In conclusion, above are the eight best tomato puree substitutes on the market. Suppose you want a tomato-based option; I recommend the tomato paste for its closest flavor and texture with the puree.

However, if you prefer a substitute without tomato built-in, the pumpkin is worth your consideration. Not only is it good for your health, but it also has a unique orange color.

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