Tomato sauce is a common ingredient in our favorite dishes, such as chili, pasta sauce, sloppy joes, and even meatloaf. It is made by simmering fresh tomatoes in a medium-thick sauce. The peels and seeds are then strained, and seasonings are sometimes added.
You’ve probably had tomato sauce with herbs, garlic, and onion. It is less concentrated than tomato paste and thinner than tomato puree, making it a one-of-a-kind product with multiple applications. But what if you run out of tomato sauce, your store is out of stock, or require a tomato-free substitute? Today we’ll discuss some quick and easy tomato sauce substitutes for those in a hurry or who prefer to avoid tomatoes entirely.
Here are Top Substitutes for Tomato Sauce
Here are some common substitutions for tomato sauce made with other tomato-based products and ingredients. Consider the texture and overall flavor of the dish when selecting a substitute.
This tomato paste gives your dish a tomato flavor and is a good and easy substitute for tomato sauce. Because tomato sauce is less concentrated than tomato paste, you’ll need double the amount to achieve the desired flavor. Tomato paste is the most straightforward tomato sauce substitute, and it tastes similar and has a similar texture and consistency when thinned with water.
For a 1-to-1 substitution, combine 1 part tomato paste with 1 part water and season to taste.
When cooking, use a tablespoon of tomato paste for every 2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce. To achieve the same texture and thickness as tomato sauce, combine one cup of water with three-quarters of a cup of tomato paste.
Can tomatoes be used in place of tomato sauce? They work well in your recipe because the flavor and thickness provide the necessary tomato flavor. Because these diced tomatoes come in cans with a lot of liquid, you’ll have to strain the juice and use the tomatoes whole. Because canned tomatoes aren’t as concentrated as paste, you’ll need to double the amount. You most likely have canned tomatoes in your pantry right now. This includes stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes. To make tomato sauce, you can use any of these methods. Drain, blend and reduce (if desired) your mixture before adding seasonings.
Canned Stewed Tomatoes
Because tomato sauce is essentially pureed tomatoes, We can use canned stewed tomatoes to make your tomato sauce, and these are whole tomatoes that have been cooked and then canned.
Blend a can of tomatoes in a food processor. Blend until you reach the desired texture (chunky or smooth). Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, substitute it for the tomato sauce in your recipe.
As with tomato paste, you can adjust the flavor by adding sugar or spices before adding to the recipe.
Furthermore, keep in mind that some canned tomatoes are seasoned (such as fire-roasted canned tomatoes). As a result, you may not require any additional seasoning.
Use as a 1:1 substitution.
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Diced tomatoes are essentially the same as canned stewed tomatoes, only in smaller pieces. As a result, you can make your sauce using the same instructions as canned stewed tomatoes (above).
Although not commonly used, tomato soup can be a great substitute for tomato sauce. Another thing to keep in mind when using tomato soup is that its flavor is sweeter than tomato sauces, so make sure to adjust the taste to your recipe. In a pinch, We can use tomato soup in place of tomato sauce. However, these soups are typically thinner than traditional tomato sauce. To fix this, subtract 1/4 cup liquid from the recipe ingredients for every 10.75 ounces can of tomato soup used.
This substitution may appear strange, but ketchup can work well in certain recipes if you don’t have other options. Because it has a sweet flavor, it works well as a substitute for tomato sauce in dishes that are meant to be slightly sweet.
We all have tomato ketchup in our refrigerators; it’s inexpensive and works well with tomato sauce in your dishes. The ketchup is not as thick as tomato paste but thicker than fresh tomato sauce.
When using ketchup in a recipe, keep in mind that the texture of tomato ketchup contains vinegar, sugar, and spices. So, when cooking, only add what you need; adding more will change the dish’s flavor.
In these cases, ketchup can be used as a 1:1 substitute.
Spaghetti Sauce/Pasta Sauce
We frequently use tomato sauce to make pasta sauces or spaghetti sauce, so it makes sense to substitute one of these options. These sauces are flavorful, so adjust your recipe’s other ingredients and flavors accordingly.
Use as a 1:1 substitution.
Tomato puree has a slightly thicker consistency than tomato sauce. Use it as a 1:1 substitute if you don’t mind a little extra thickness in your dish.
Fresh tomatoes are the most suitable substitute. The best thing you can do is make your tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes, it’s healthier, and you know exactly what you’re putting in your dish. Use paste tomatoes, which contain less water and fewer seeds.
If you’re using freshly picked tomatoes, you’ll need to peel them and remove the seeds. Simmer the tomatoes until they have been reduced by half, then strain out any excess liquid.
You can replace the tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes with a little effort. Make your tomato sauce using the instructions below if you have the time. This is a great way to use up your garden tomatoes.
Tomato juice can be purchased in stores or made at home using fresh tomatoes from your garden or market. Season with salt and sugar, and reduce the other liquids in the dish.
Replace 1 cup of tomato juice for every 12 cups of tomato sauce and 12 cups of water (or other liquid in the recipe). Tomato sauce is the most suitable fresh substitute, and it contains no preservatives or additives and is made from freshly squeezed or crushed tomatoes. When using tomato juice, be aware that it may spoil faster than the other substitutes.
This tomato product has a puree consistency but can be used to substitute for tomato sauce. It’s less common in the US, but it’s still available online and in some grocery and specialty stores.
Use as a 1:1 substitution.
Tomato Free Substitutes
There are several tasty tomato-free alternatives if you want to avoid tomatoes for health reasons or don’t like the taste. You can still enjoy delicious tomato-y dishes with these substitutions!
Tomato-free substitutes that are still vegetable-based are the best. When roasted tomatoes are pureed, they become tomato sauce, and other vegetables can achieve a similar consistency.
Other roasted and pureed vegetables add their rich flavor, but they also frequently pair well with seasonings commonly found in tomato sauce. As a result, while these substitutes will not taste like tomatoes, they will provide a wonderful backdrop for the seasoning flavor combinations you enjoy.
While not everyone enjoys eggplant, it is used in various dishes that complement tomato sauce. As a result, it will naturally complement the same seasonings (minus the tomato taste).
However, eggplant is a nightshade vegetable. So, if you’re trying to cut back on foods that cause inflammation, try the beet and carrot substitutes listed below.
Slice 1-2 eggplants to make the puree. Then cook or bake it, and remove the skin after it has been cooked. Place the cooked eggplant, skin removed, in a food processor or blender.
Begin blending with one tablespoon of olive oil (or a neutral-flavored oil such as canola or vegetable). As you blend, slowly add water to the mixture in addition to the oil.
Continue to add water (and more oil if desired) to the mixture until it resembles tomato sauce in consistency. Add a dash of salt and other seasonings to make a more flavorful sauce.
One large eggplant yields approximately 1 cup of sauce. This can, however, vary depending on the size of the eggplant and the amount of oil and water you use in your sauce.
Once you’ve made the sauce, you can use it in a 1:1 ratio with the tomato sauce in your recipe. This substitution works best in Italian-inspired dishes, but you may want to use a different sauce for baked eggplant Parmesan.
Bell Peppers Puree
I like to use red bell peppers for this substitution because they have the same color as the tomato sauce. Because bell peppers have similar flavor profiles, you can use any bell peppers on hand.
You can even make a tasty combination of red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.
On the other hand, this alternative is a member of the nightshade family. So, if you’re on an anti-inflammatory diet, stay away from it.
Wash the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Then sauté or roast them in the oven. Follow the same steps as for the eggplant puree. Because bell peppers are less dense than eggplant, you’ll need at least two bell peppers (if not more) to make 1 cup of sauce.
Roasted red bell peppers have a lovely rich flavor that complements a variety of dishes, and it’s especially good as a sauce for pasta, sandwiches, and pizza.
Puree your bell peppers in a 1:1 ratio just as tomato sauce in a food processor.
Beets & Carrots Puree
These two vegetables may appear to be an intriguing substitute for tomato sauce. On the other hand, Beets and carrots have rich earthy flavors when roasted, similar to the role of tomato sauce in many recipes.
Beets and carrots should be peeled, chopped, and tossed in olive oil. Place the beets and carrots on a baking sheet and bake until tender. After cooling, please place them in a blender and puree the eggplant according to the directions above.
The texture of these two vegetables combined creates a wonderfully rich sauce ideal for soups and stews, and we can also use it in pasta and pizza sauce.
Adding additional spices will help create a more complex flavor profile like the other substitutes.
As for the tomato sauce in your recipe, use a 1:1 ratio of pureed beets and carrots. Please keep in mind that, depending on the recipe, you may need to thin the pureed vegetables with water or broth before measuring.
Note On Vegetable Pureeing
While olive oil adds flavor and helps to create a smooth consistency when pureeing vegetables, it is not required. If you prefer, you can puree any vegetables listed above in water or broth.
This brand sells nightshade-free, tomato-like products with ketchup and marinara-style sauce in various stores. If you have a tomato allergy, you can easily substitute tomato sauce.
Carrots, Water, Beets, Onion, Garlic, Sea Salt, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sea Salt, Garlic, Ascorbic Acid, Beet Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Basil, and Oregano, are the ingredients listed by Nomato.
We should note that the marinara-style sauce would work best in Italian-inspired dishes. In contrast, We can use the Nomato ketchup in various other recipes (like you would use any other brand of ketchup).
Use either product in a 1:1 ratio with any recipe that calls for tomato sauce.
Making the Best Homemade Tomato Sauce:
One of the most important things that anyone should know is how to make the perfect tomato sauce. Nothing beats the satisfaction of successfully preparing the perfect tomato sauce, and you require simple, homemade tomato sauce.
We want to share one of the best recipes for making a simple but delicious tomato sauce with you. This sauce is simple to make and does not require much time to cook.
All you require is:
Two tablespoons of olive oil,
finely diced onion, and crushed garlic
You can add chopped celery and carrot (optional)
Two tablespoons of chopped parsley, plus basil for flavor
Whole peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes with juice
Finally, season with as much salt and pepper as you like.
Method of preparation:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the vegetables soften.
Then, remove the cover, add the garlic, and turn up the heat. Cook for 30 seconds more.
In the pan, combine the tomatoes and juice. It’s important to note that you must first boil them for a minute before adding them to the pan if you’re using fresh tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and add the basil. Set a low simmer and cook on low heat. Uncover for about 15 minutes or until the texture thickens.
After all, your sauce is finished and ready for your dish.
Substitute Tomato Sauce in Lasagna
Lasagna is the most popular Italian dish that includes tomato sauce as one of its main ingredients. However, you’re probably wondering if there’s anything else you could use instead of tomatoes or if there’s another ingredient you could add to make this dish a little more interesting.
You certainly can. If you run out of tomatoes or tomato sauce, don’t worry, I’ve got the best substitutes for you.
Eggplant and zucchini are two of the most common vegetables used as substitutes. You can also substitute olive paste or tapenade for the tomato sauce between the layers.
Meaty mushrooms can also be used as a substitute, resulting in a vegetarian and tasty lasagna. Make a bechamel sauce (butter, flour, and milk) in this recipe and cook the mushrooms with wine.
As you will be eating a very healthy and green-looking lasagna, spinach is a common replacement. In this combination, bechamel is also used.
Why Do You Require a Substitute?
One of the most common reasons for requiring a substitute is that you have run out of an ingredient. It happens to everyone!
Instead of running to the store, you might have another tomato-based staple in your pantry that you can use.
You may require a substitute for reasons other than running out of tomato sauce. You (or someone you’re cooking for) may be avoiding foods from the nightshade family because they can cause inflammation.
Another reason could be that you are allergic to tomatoes or dislike them. There are several non-tomato-based substitutes available in this case.
These substitutions will alter the flavor of a dish while maintaining its robust and rich flavor.
Is Tomato Puree Equivalent to Tomato Sauce?
Tomato sauce and tomato puree are nearly identical, and the only distinction between them is in flavor and culinary applications. Use tomato puree as a recipe ingredient to blend with the other flavors, whereas tomato sauce is used as-is.
How Do You Know If a Tomato Sauce Is Bad?
Could you take a look at it and smell it? If the sauce has an unusual flavor or appearance, including mold, it should be discarded. Throw away any cans or packages leaking or rusting because they have most likely gone bad.
Whether you’re making pasta, pizza, chicken, pork, or other meat or fish, tomato sauce is the foundation you’ll need. This sauce adds texture as well as flavor. Tomato Paste, Canned Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Tomato Ketchup, Tomato Soup, and Fresh Tomatoes are the best Tomato Sauce substitutes. You can use these substitutes whenever your recipe calls for tomato sauce. We hope you enjoyed this article.