Tomato puree is a staple ingredient in many dishes, but what happens if you run out of it or can't find it in your local grocery store? Don't panic! In this post, I'll share with you the best substitutes for tomato puree and their replacement ratios, as well as some useful tips to keep in mind when swapping ingredients.
- 🥜 In a Nutshell
- 🍅 What is Tomato Puree?
- 🥣 Uses Of Tomato Puree
- 🎯 Why Do You Need Tomato Puree Substitutes?
- 📜 List of 9 Best Substitutes For Tomato Puree
- 1. DIY Tomato Puree using Fresh Tomatoes
- 2. Tomato Paste and Water
- 3. Tomato Sauce
- 4. Passata
- 5. Marinara Sauce
- 6. Crushed Tomatoes
- 7. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 8. Rotel Tomatoes
- 9. Ketchup and Water
- 🙋♀️ People Also Ask [FAQs]
- 💡 Tips: Factors to Consider When Choosing Substitutes
- 🔑 Key Takeaways: Tomato Puree Substitutes
- 🍽️ Recipe
🥜 In a Nutshell
- Tomato purée is a kitchen staple with a concentrated tomato flavor. Learn how it differs from tomato sauce and paste.
- As someone who enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, I've often found myself in situations where I needed a substitute for tomato purée. Over time, I've come up with a variety of alternatives that can elevate your dishes just as effectively.
- Discover nine substitutes for tomato purée, including DIY tomato purée, tomato paste and water, tomato sauce, passata, marinara sauce, crushed tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, and ketchup with water. Each substitute is explained with replacement quantities and usage tips to help you choose the right one for your recipes.
🍅 What is Tomato Puree?
Tomato purée is a staple in many kitchens, and for a good reason: it is a concentrated tomato flavor that can be used to enhance dishes in a variety of ways.
It is different from tomato sauce or paste in terms of consistency and flavor. It has a thicker consistency and a more robust taste than tomato sauce.
Meanwhile, tomato paste is even thicker than purée and has a more concentrated tomato flavor. Tomatoes are the only ingredient required to make tomato puree, but some brands may also add salt or seasonings.
You can easily make tomato purée at home using fresh tomatoes. I have included a quick recipe for it at the end of this article.
🥣 Uses Of Tomato Puree
Tomato puree is a versatile kitchen staple that can be used in a variety of dishes to enhance flavor, add richness, and provide a delightful tomato taste. Here are some of the ways to use it.
- Homemade Tomato Sauce: Tomato puree forms the base for a classic tomato sauce, perfect for pasta dishes like bucatini pomodoro and lasagna.
- Pizza Sauce: It is an essential ingredient for making a delicious pizza sauce. It provides the tomato flavor and smooth consistency needed for a perfect pizza.
- Soup and Stew Base: It can be used as a base for various soups and stews. It adds depth of flavor and a beautiful red hue to your dishes.
- Curries and Chili: It can be incorporated into a wide range of savory dishes, including curries and chili, to provide a tangy and vibrant flavor.
🎯 Why Do You Need Tomato Puree Substitutes?
- Out of Tomato Puree: The most obvious reason is that you've run out of tomato puree. It can be frustrating to start a recipe only to realize you're missing a key ingredient. Having a backup substitute can save your meal and prevent a last-minute dash to the grocery store.
- Texture or Flavor Variations: You might want to experiment with different textures or flavors depending on the recipe. Tomato puree has a smooth, thick consistency and a concentrated tomato flavor. Substitutes like diced tomatoes or tomato sauce can provide a different texture or taste profile, which can be desirable in certain dishes.
📜 List of 9 Best Substitutes For Tomato Puree
Here is a list of 9 tomato puree substitutes that can add some flavor and spice to your dishes.
1. DIY Tomato Puree using Fresh Tomatoes
One of my favorite substitutes for tomato puree is DIY tomato puree, which you can make using some ripe tomatoes, removing the seeds, and boiling them until they soften. Then, blend them until you get a smooth puree.
Use this homemade tomato puree in your recipe as a 1:1 replacement for canned tomato puree.
🔔 Be sure to check out the recipe card for all the ingredients and instructions you'll need to make this dish. Don't miss out on any of the details!
2. Tomato Paste and Water
Another excellent tomato puree substitute is tomato paste and water, which is the second-best substitute for tomato puree. If you only need ¼ cup of tomato puree for your recipe, you can substitute it with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 3 tablespoons of water.
Tomato paste, which is made from cooked tomatoes and is concentrated, requires dilution with water to achieve the desired consistency. Adjust the amount of water to match the thickness of the puree required in your recipe.
3. Tomato Sauce
While tomato sauce can work as a substitute, it's generally thinner and may have added seasonings that might alter the flavor of your dish slightly. However, you can use it as a substitute if you're running out of options.
Use one cup of tomato sauce for every one cup of tomato puree. You may need to adjust other seasonings in your recipe to balance out the seasoning in the tomato sauce. For a deeper flavor, you could consider making your next tomato sauce using roasted tomatoes.
Passata is a tomato puree that's been strained to remove seeds and skins, typically made from Roma tomatoes.
It's quite similar to tomato puree so it can be an excellent substitute without significant flavor or texture differences. You can use passata as a 1:1 replacement for tomato puree. This sauce is a great choice for those who prefer their tomato-based dishes without any seeds, unlike other tomato sauces available. Try adding using passata with your next rigatoni arrabbiata.
5. Marinara Sauce
Marinara sauce is a popular tomato-based sauce used in Italian cuisine. It is made with a blend of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs. It has a similar texture and flavor to tomato puree but contains additional seasonings like garlic and herbs.
Use a one-to-one ratio if you want to use marinara sauce as a tomato puree substitute. However, remember that it might alter the flavor of your recipe slightly. Marinara sauce is best used in recipes with an Italian base, like pasta sauce, soups, and stews.
6. Crushed Tomatoes
Canned crushed tomatoes are a good tomato puree substitute. They have a slightly chunkier texture than puree but can work well in many recipes.
To make the texture smoother, blend them in a blender or food processor before using them. Use a one-to-one ratio of crushed tomatoes to replace tomato puree. They work best in recipes that call for chunky tomato bits, like chilies, tuna sauce, and stews like bolognese sauce.
7. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes are a fantastic substitute for tomato puree. These tomatoes are soaked in oil and then dried, giving them a concentrated, almost sweet, flavor that's perfect for use in pasta dishes like rigatoni bolognese, pizzas, and sauces.
To use sun-dried tomatoes as a substitute, soak about a cup of them in warm water for ten minutes, then blend them to create a thick paste. You can use this paste in a one-to-one ratio instead of tomato puree.
8. Rotel Tomatoes
If you're looking for something with a little more heat, try Rotel tomatoes. These canned tomatoes come with a mix of green chilies and seasonings, giving them a mild kick of spiciness.
This makes them perfect for use in Mexican dishes or anything that could benefit from a little bit of heat. You can use Rotel tomatoes in a 1:1 ratio instead of tomato puree.
9. Ketchup and Water
Ketchup, with its unique flavor, can be a surprising but effective substitute for tomato puree. It combines tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices and is usually found in most pantries.
To make a substitute, use a 1:1 ratio of ketchup and water, adjusting for thickness as necessary. Remember, the ketchup's sweetness and flavor will influence your dish, so adjust seasonings accordingly.
🙋♀️ People Also Ask [FAQs]
Tomato puree is made by blending tomatoes with their skins and seeds removed to create a sauce-like consistency with a mild flavor. Meanwhile, tomato paste is simmered until it thickens and concentrates, giving it a sweeter and richer taste than pureed tomatoes.
One cup of tomato puree is equal to four medium sized tomatoes. This is because each medium-sized tomato yields around 4 tablespoons of puree, and 4 tablespoons make up 1 cup. The size of the tomatoes can vary slightly, so some variations may occur when making your own tomato puree.
Yes, you can freeze tomato puree. It's easy to do and a great way to preserve the flavor of tomatoes. Simply fill a large zip-lock bag with your desired amount of tomato puree, seal it, label it with the date and store in the freezer for up to three months. To thaw the frozen puree, place the bag in the refrigerator overnight before using.
💡 Tips: Factors to Consider When Choosing Substitutes
- Texture and Consistency: Consider the texture and consistency required for your recipe. Some substitutes, like DIY tomato puree, tomato paste and water, and passata, closely mimic the smooth texture of tomato puree. Others, such as crushed tomatoes, have a chunkier texture. Choose a substitute that matches the texture needed for your specific dish.
- Flavor Alterations: Be mindful of the flavor alterations that substitutes might introduce. For instance, marinara sauce and ketchup both have added seasonings that can affect the taste of your dish. Adjust your recipe's seasonings accordingly to maintain the desired flavor profile.
- Recipe Compatibility: Consider the type of dish you're preparing. Some substitutes, like Rotel tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes, can add unique flavors and spiciness. Ensure the substitute complements the overall flavor profile of your recipe. For example, use Rotel tomatoes in Mexican dishes and sun-dried tomatoes in Italian pasta dishes.
🔑 Key Takeaways: Tomato Puree Substitutes
- Tomato puree can be used in various dishes like homemade tomato sauce, pizza sauce, soups, curries, and chili, adding richness and a delightful tomato taste.
- Nine different substitutes have been detailed, along with their reasons for effectiveness, replacement quantities, and usage tips.
- These substitutes include DIY tomato puree, tomato paste and water, tomato sauce, passata, marinara sauce, crushed tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, and ketchup with water.
- When selecting a replacement for tomato puree, it's important to take into account elements such as texture, taste variations, and compatibility with the recipe to guarantee that your dish still comes out delicious.
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How To Make Tomato Puree
- Blender or food processor
- Fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- 6 ripe tomatoes plum or Roma tomatoes work well
- ¼ teaspoon salt optional, for seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon sugar optional, for seasoning
Step 1: Choose and Prepare Tomatoes
- Select ripe tomatoes that are free from blemishes or bruises. Plum or Roma tomatoes are preferable due to their rich flavor and low moisture content.
Step 2: Blanch the Tomatoes
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating, make a shallow "X" mark on the bottom of each tomato with a knife.
- Prepare a bowl of ice water. This will be used to cool the tomatoes quickly after blanching.
- Carefully place the tomatoes into the boiling water using a slotted spoon. Allow them to boil for about 30 seconds to 1 minute or until you see the tomato skins starting to loosen.
- Quickly transfer the blanched tomatoes into the bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and make it easier to peel the skin.
Step 3: Peel the Tomatoes
- Once the tomatoes are cooled in the ice water, remove them and peel off the skin. The skin should come off easily where you made the "X" mark.
Step 4: Blend the Tomatoes
- Cut the peeled tomatoes into quarters or chunks. Remove the seeds if desired (this step is optional, but it reduces the acidity of the puree).
- Place the tomato pieces into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth us water as required. You can do this in batches if necessary.
Step 5: Strain the Puree
- Set a fine-mesh strainer or a piece of cheesecloth over a clean bowl or saucepan.
- Pour the blended tomato mixture through the strainer or cheesecloth to remove any remaining seeds and solids. Use a spoon to gently press the mixture to extract as much liquid as possible.
Step 6: Season (Optional)
- Taste the tomato puree and season with a pinch of salt and sugar if desired. Seasoning is optional and depends on your personal preference. It can help balance the flavors and reduce the acidity of the tomatoes.
Step 7: Store or Use Immediately
- Your homemade tomato puree is ready to use! You can use it immediately in your recipes or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- For longer storage, consider freezing the puree in ice cube trays and then transferring the frozen cubes to a freezer bag.
- This homemade tomato puree can be used as a substitute when you run out of store-bought or want a fresher flavor.
- Adding sugar to homemade tomato puree can help balance the acidity, but it's entirely up to personal preference.
- You can also add baking soda, which helps neutralize some of the acidic properties in tomatoes.
- This is especially helpful if you're using very acidic tomatoes or adding a lot of ingredients that may further increase the acidity. Adding just a pinch should do the trick.