Substitute for Caldo de Tomate

Thai and Latin dishes are respected and highly revered for their unique flavors and taste. And these flavors don’t come because they’re made in those regions, like the fact that you cooked it in Mexico or Thailand would automatically give the dish a unique flavor synonymous to that area. You can cook a Thai, Mexican or Latin dish anywhere in the world, and it’ll taste like the one made in those areas, which means ingredients are the key factors.


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Caldo de Tomate is one of such ingredients, and it’s a staple in Mexican, Thai, and Latin dishes. Caldo de Tomate is majorly made up of tomato powder and dehydrated chicken fat. It’s a versatile and delicious mix enhanced with onions, parsley, and spices, combined with the flavors of tomato and chicken. It’s a perfect ingredient that possesses sweet, grassy, herbaceous umami with an acidic hint taste, combined with meaty richness.


Caldo de Tomate is a bouillon, and they’re originally designed for soups and stews. It’s also used to add color, flavor, and a rich taste to Mexican rice; it’s combined with mayo and applied generously on chicken, potato, and poultry before roasting, to enhance the flavors and achieve a golden, brackish hue. Caldo de Tomate might be a fountain of cooking flavors, as it’s salty, meaty, tangy, and sweet at the same time, but it’s also used in beverages directly in the drink or the rim of the glass. It’s used in Bloody Mary, Caesar, Clamato, amongst others. Anything savory will combine well with Caldo de Tomate; grilled corn, popcorn, dips, macaroni and cheese, beans, chili, etc., all excel when combined with it. It’s a staple part of some other dishes and recipes, some of which are;

  • Pork and vegetable soup
  • Caldo de res
  • Caldo Gallego
  • Caldo de Pollo
  • Caldo de queso
  • Caldo de albondigas
  • Mexican fish soup
  • Mexican squat Lobster soup
  • Seven seas soup
  • Shrimp soup
  • Caldo de mariscos
  • Zucchini and sausage soup
  • Caldo Verde
  • Caldo de papa con queso

Substitute for Caldo de Tomate

Many reasons might call for a change of Caldo de Tomate in your recipe. It might be because it’s scarce, there’s an ingredient in it you, your family, or clientele don’t fancy or eat, or you don’t have enough Caldo de Tomate, and you need to make a dish that calls for it. Below are some effective alternatives you can try.

Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce


This is an excellent substitute for Caldo de Tomate, and it’s a near-perfect substitute since its major player is tomato. Tomato sauce or tomato powder combined with chicken cubes works and mimics the effects of Caldo de Tomate excellently, giving the desired taste and flavor.

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock


This is another great substitute for Caldo de Tomate, and it works well to replace the meaty richness in taste and flavor. It’s usually in cube form, so you’ll need to put the cubes in a cup of water to make them dissolve quickly. Once it dissolves, it’ll be similar to chicken broth, and you can use it in your dish to replace Caldo de Tomate. You can also achieve your chicken stock is to adding directly to the pot while cooking and letting the heat dissolve it during the cooking process. Whichever way you choose, ensure to add salt to match Caldo de to mate’s high salt content properly.

Dry White Wine

Dry White Wine


Dry white wine with some tomato puree works very well and gets the job done when needing a substitute for Caldo de Tomate. This substitute is probably not the most encouraging option. It might differ in taste compared to Caldo de Tomate, but many people might not know the difference if you incorporate some onions, ginger, garlic, and any other herb.

Regular Bouillon

This is a reasonable substitute for Caldo de Tomate as it is also a bouillon, so why not go for another bouillon to replace it in your recipes. It’s much easier to find options and enhanced with some tomato to tweak the flavor profile. This’ll boost the aroma and give the dish a nice touch and a delicious flavor. This alternative will take your dish close to what you’ll get with Caldo de Tomate.

Homemade Recipe

To save yourself the stress of trying other options you’re not so used to, make your own Caldo de Tomate at home. To do this, you’ll need to follow the steps below :

The first thing you’ll need is tomato gravy, and if you can’t make it, get tomato sauce/paste or tomato powder.

Once the tomato paste /sauce or tomato powder is ready, add the chicken and the tomato solution into not so plenty water and boil for a while. Then, separate the chicken from the boiled water; you’re free to do whatever you like with the chicken as the chicken soup is all you need.

Add other ingredients like parsley, onions, and any spice of your choice into the chicken soup to finish it. Your homemade Caldo de Tomate substitute is ready for use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can you use instead of Caldo de Tomate?

Chicken granules is another option you can try if your recipe calls for Caldo de Tomate and you don’t have any. It cooks faster than many other substitutes and is easily available in local markets. For example, you might need to add tomato sauce or puree, and you have a very effective substitute for Caldo de Tomate.

What spices are in Caldo de Tomate?

Packaged Caldo de Tomate, especially one made by Knorr, contains other spices. Common options include monosodium glutamate, beef fat, hydrolyzed corn protein, and autolyzed yeast extract. You’ll also find citric acid, dehydrated chicken meat, and silicon dioxide in them.

What is tomato bouillon made of?

Salt, monosodium glutamate, corn starch, sugar, hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Natural Flavor, chicken fat, tomato powder, barley, citric acid, maltodextrin, powdered cooked chicken, water, silicon dioxide, turmeric, caramel color.


Caldo de Tomate is a perfect bouillon, treating the tongue to some soup like richness and tastiness with a meaty finish. It’s a staple in so many recipes from several Latin regions of the world, making it hard to find in some regions. Whatever the reason, that calls for you to change Caldo de Tomate in your recipe and use something else. So we’ve got several options that will suit your need. Choose from the above-listed options and make that savory dish without hassle.