11 Tomato Puree Substitutes

Tomato puree is used in a wide range of recipes, including pizzas and various dips.

As a result, it can be a disaster when you realize that you’ve run out of tomato puree.

11 Tomato Puree Substitutes

The good news is that there is a wide selection of substitutes that you can use instead of tomato puree.

So if you are following a recipe that requires tomato puree but you’ve run out of it, use one of the following substitutes:

1. Pizza Sauce

Essentially, pizza sauce is just a heavily seasoned tomato sauce, often with garlic or oregano.

As you may have guessed, pizza sauce works particularly well as a tomato puree substitute if you are making a pizza.

Yet, it can also be used in a range of other recipes, such as a sauce for meatballs.

Often, the spice used in pizza sauce will add to the flavor of the recipe, resulting in this being a tasty replacement. It can be used in the same quantities as puree.

2. Tomato Paste

Tomato puree is very similar to puree and the two ingredients are often mistaken for one another. Yet, tomato paste (see also ‘The 5 Best Substitutes For Tomato Paste‘) tends to be noticeably thicker than tomato puree.

Therefore, if you wish to use this alternative to puree, you should add water to the tomato paste.

For every ½ cup of tomato puree, you should use ¼ of a cup of tomato paste and ¼ of a cup of water.

3. Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is arguably the substitute that is most akin to tomato sauce in terms of both texture and flavor. You can use the same amount of tomato sauce as tomato puree. 

The only consideration is that tomato sauce tends to contain seasoning, which may alter the flavor of your dish.

If the tomato sauce contains herbs, you may want to refrain from adding additional herbs to your recipe. Otherwise, the taste may become too overpowering.

4. Fresh Tomatoes

If you have access to fresh tomatoes, you can make a puree. It will only take approximately 20 minutes.

Simply boil the tomatoes for approximately 15 minutes before blending them in a food processor until smooth.

5. Passata

Passata is a smooth tomato sauce that is common in Italy but harder to find in the United States.

Yet, if you manage to get your hands on it, passata can be used as a direct replacement for tomato puree.

6. Ketchup

Tomato ketchup is primarily used as a dip or a light drizzle. Yet, it can also make a superb substitute for tomato puree.

Tomato sauce tends to have a more potent flavor than puree thanks to the multitude of additional ingredients that are used to season it. 

Therefore, we do not recommend using ketchup in ingredients that call for lots of tomato puree. This is because it could overpower the taste.

Instead, ketchup works best in dishes that require a small amount of tomato puree.

7. Red Pepper

Red bell peppers can be used to make a puree that is very similar to this ingredient. All you have to do is cook the red pepper. Then, blend it in a food processor with a bit of oil and some seasoning. 

Other bell pepper colors can also be used, namely orange or yellow, but red works best.

8. Canned Tomatoes

Most people will have a can of tomatoes in their cupboard or pantry, making this a rather convenient substitute. Canned tomatoes are just less mushed than tomato puree. 

If you wish to get the same texture as puree, you can just blend these canned tomatoes before adding them to the dish. Because of their similarities, you can use the same amounts of these ingredients.

9. Pumpkin Sauce

Pumpkin sauce has a much lighter appearance than tomato puree. Not to mention, it has a noticeably different taste and texture.

Yet, in recipes that call for a small quantity of puree, pumpkin sauce is an effective alternative.

You may just want to add a little water or oil to reduce the thickness of the pumpkin sauce.

10. Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted tomatoes can also be used as a 1-to-1 replacement for tomato puree. By roasting tomatoes, you can make your own delicious tomato puree.

Roasting tomatoes can be a little time-consuming, but it ensures that your puree replacement is packed with deep flavors.

So long as you have the time, simply roast the tomatoes in a little oil with the seasonings of your choice. This can be as simple as adding a pinch of salt.

11. Ragu Sauce

Lastly, Ragu sauce is an Italian dish made with tomatoes and chopped meat. It has a deliciously rich taste.

Because it is regularly used in pasta dishes, we advise using ragu sauce as a replacement for tomato puree in pasta recipes.

Lots of ragu sauces contain meat, so this substitute won’t be suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Tomato Puree Contain?

This puree is typically made from just tomatoes, though small amounts of seasonings, such as salt, pepper, oregano, or lemon juice, can be added to the mix.

Is Tomato Puree Healthy?

Yes! Thanks to high traces of vitamin C, iron, and potassium, tomato puree is a nutritious ingredient. 

Final Thoughts

Tomato puree is a versatile ingredient found in a broach assortment of recipes. Luckily, there are plenty of substitutes that taste similar to tomato puree and have a similar texture.

So if you’ve forgotten to get tomato puree, don’t panic! Instead, just use one of these sensational substitutes.

11 Tomato Puree Substitutes

11 Tomato Puree Substitutes

Recipe by Jenna

Have you run out of tomato puree mid-way through a recipe? Here are 11 excellent substitutes that you can use instead of tomato puree, including ragu sauce.

Course: Substitutes
5 from 1 vote


  • Pizza Sauce

  • Tomato Paste

  • Tomato Sauce

  • Fresh Tomatoes

  • Passata

  • Ketchup

  • Red Pepper

  • Canned Tomatoes

  • Pumpkin Sauce

  • Roasted Tomatoes

  • Ragu Sauce


  • Decided on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

Follow Me
Latest posts by Jenna (see all)