How to Substitute Tomato Paste for Tomatoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Substituting tomato paste for tomatoes won't give you exactly the same texture or taste as when using tomatoes, but it comes close. Using tomato paste gives recipes a thicker puréed consistency than when using just tomatoes. Recipes using tomato paste won't have a fresh-tomato taste, but as tomato paste is still a tomato-based product, the taste will be similar.

Measure 2 tbsp tomato paste into a 1 cup measuring cup.

Pour enough water or tomato juice into the measuring cup to fill the cup.

Empty the tomato paste and water into a bowl. Whisk well to thoroughly combine.

Use in place of tomatoes in your cooked recipes.


This recipe is equal to 1 cup of tomato purée; make additional purée if your recipe calls for more tomatoes. Since tomato purée is less watery than cooked tomatoes, add extra water if your recipe needs it.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup measuring cup
  • Water or tomato juice
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
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About the Author

Sommer Leigh has produced home, garden, family and health content since 1997 for such nationally known publications as "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "Midwest Living," "Healthy Kids" and "American Baby." Leigh also owns a Web-consulting business and writes for several Internet publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in information technology and Web management from the University of Phoenix.