13 Best Substitutes for Tomato Sauce: Delicious, Nutritious Alternatives

Tomato sauce is an essential ingredient in many dishes, but what do you do when you don’t have any on hand or when you want to try something different? In this blog post, we will explore six delicious substitutes for tomato sauce that are nutritious and taste great!

Substitutes for Tomato Sauce

  1. Tomato Paste
  2. Canned Tomatoes
  3. Tomato Juice
  4. Tomato Soup
  5. Ketchup
  6. Fresh Tomatoes
  7. Pasta Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce
  8. Marinara Sauce
  9. Tomato Puree
  10. Passata
  11. Beets and Carrots
  12. Ajvar
  13. Pureed Bell Peppers

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is often used as a cheaper and easier substitute for tomato sauce. Tomato paste is more concentrated and has a similar flavor to tomato sauce.

Tomato paste can be used as a 1 to 1 replacement for tomato sauce.

I personally have used this substitution in many of my dishes and have found that it works well and tastes great.

The only downside is that it can be a bit more challenging to find in some stores. However, it is worth it if you are looking for a cheaper and easier alternative to tomato sauce.

Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes may be used as a tomato sauce alternative. Canned tomatoes are essential in pasta and soup recipes for me.

Canned tomatoes have a distinct flavor from tomato sauce, but they are still quite delectable. Furthermore, by combining canned tomatoes with some additional seasonings, you may easily transform them into tomato sauce.

If you want to use canned tomatoes as a substitution for tomato sauce, I would recommend using one can of tomatoes for every cup of tomato sauce. This substitution ratio will help to balance out the acidity of the canned tomatoes.

Tomato Juice

Tomato juice is a delicious and healthy alternative to tomato sauce.

I personally love using it as a base for my pasta dishes. It gives the dish a lovely, light flavor that is not too overpowering. Tomato juice is also very high in vitamins and minerals, making it a great choice for those who are looking to improve their health.

The only downside of tomato juice is that it is not as thick as tomato sauce, so you may need to add a bit of water to your dish. However, this can easily be remedied by simply adding less tomato juice to your recipe.

Tomato juice is a great substitute for tomato sauce and I highly recommend giving it a try!

Tomato Soup

I always have a can or two of tomato sauce in my pantry for those nights when I want to make a quick and easy pasta dish. However, there are times when I open my pantry to find that I’m out of tomato sauce. When this happens, I always reach for a can of tomato juice as a substitute.

For every 1/2 cup of tomato sauce your recipe calls for, you will need to use 1 cup of tomato juice as a replacement.

I have used this replacement in dishes such as pasta, chicken, and soup. I find that the taste is not as strong when using tomato juice as it would be if using tomato sauce. However, it’s still a great alternative and it’s very easy to find.

Tomato Soup is a great substitution for tomato sauce, especially when you are in a hurry or if you are looking for something different.


Ketchup is a great substitute for tomato sauce because it has a similar consistency and sweetness. I’ve used ketchup in dishes like chili and nachos where I would normally use tomato sauce and it tastes just as good. The only difference is that ketchup is slightly less flavorful when compared to tomato sauce.

When substituting ketchup for tomato sauce, I usually use a 1:1 ratio. So, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of tomato sauce, I would use 1 cup of ketchup instead.

You can always add more ketchup if you want a sweeter taste or thinner consistency.

Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes are a great substitute for tomato sauce in a pinch. All you need to do is puree them in a blender or food processor until they’re smooth.

You can also add in some of the same seasonings that you would use for tomato sauce, like garlic, salt, and pepper.

The resulting puree will be slightly thinner than store-bought tomato sauce, so you may need to adjust the ratio slightly when using it as a replacement.

For example, if a recipe calls for one tsp of tomato sauce, you would use one large fresh tomato or 3 small ones.

Pasta Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce

Pasta sauce and spaghetti sauce are both tomato-based sauces that you can use as a substitute for tomato sauce.

In terms of substitution, I would recommend using a 1:1 ratio of pasta sauce to spaghetti sauce. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of spaghetti sauce, you can substitute it with 1 cup of pasta sauce.

Keep in mind, however, that the dish might be slightly less sweet and have a more complex flavor than you’re expecting. Personally, I like to use this substitution when I’m looking for something with a bit more of a kick.

Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is a staple in my kitchen. I always have a jar of it in my pantry, and I use it in all sorts of dishes.

Whether I’m making pizza, pasta, or just a simple grilled cheese sandwich, Marinara sauce is my go-to condiment alternative to tomato sauce. It’s also incredibly versatile – you can use it as a dipping sauce, a cooking sauce, or even a salad dressing.

And if you’re looking for a substitute for tomato sauce, Marinara sauce is a great option. It has a similar flavor to tomato sauce, but it’s usually lighter and less acidic. As a result, Marinara sauce can be a great way to add flavor to your dishes without overwhelming them.

Plus, it’s super easy to find – you can usually find it at your local grocery store.

Tomato Puree

Tomato puree is a thick sauce made from cooked, strained, and then pureed tomatoes. It is richer in color and has a more intense flavor than tomato sauce. Tomato puree can be used as a substitute for tomato sauce in many recipes.

When using tomato puree as a substitution, use a ratio of 1:1.

I like to use tomato puree in dishes that are heavy on spices, like chili or Indian curries. The stronger flavor of the puree can help to balance out the spices and create a more complex dish.

Tomato puree can also be used in place of fresh tomatoes in cooked dishes, like stews or soups.


Passata is quite similar to a tomato puree which makes it a great alternative. It’s a popular ingredient in Italian cooking and can be used in place of tomato sauce or tomato paste.

Passata has a slightly thinner consistency than tomato sauce, so it’s ideal for dishes that call for a lighter sauce.

I’ve used passata in pasta dishes, pizzas, and soups, and it’s always turned out great. The best thing about passata is that it’s really easy to find in some stores. You can usually find it in the pasta aisle or near the canned tomatoes.

Passata is also a great ingredient to have on hand if you need to thin out a thick tomato sauce.

Beets and Carrots

Beets and carrots may seem odd as a tomato sauce replacement, but when prepared properly, they can replicate the flavor and texture of tomatoes in certain recipes.

I personally have used this substitute in dishes such as lasagna and chili, and have found that it works well as long as the ratio is correct.

When substituting beets and carrots for tomato sauce, I typically use a 1:1 ratio. So, for every 1 cup of tomato sauce that a recipe calls for, I use 1 cup of beet and carrot mix.

This substitution works best if the beets and carrots are properly cooked before being added to the dish. I typically simmer the vegetables after blending with a mix of other seasonings such as garlic, a bit of olive oil, and salt.

This substitution is a great way to add some extra nutrients to your dish. Beets and carrots are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. So it will make for a healthier dish overall.


Ajvar is a thick, chunky sauce made from roasted red peppers, eggplant, and garlic. It’s common in Eastern European cuisine and makes an excellent substitute for tomato sauce.

Ajvar is slightly sweeter than tomato sauce and has a more complex flavor due to the addition of eggplant and garlic. I like to use it in pasta dishes or as a dip for bread.

To substitute Ajvar for tomato sauce, use a 1/2 cup with about 1/2 cup of water to thin it out as a replacement for 1 cup of tomato sauce.

Always keep in mind that Ajvar is quite thick, so you may need to thin it out with a bit of water or broth.

Overall, Ajvar is a delicious and versatile sauce that can easily be substituted for tomato sauce in many recipes.

Pureed Bell Peppers

Pureed red bell peppers are an excellent substitute for tomato sauce. They have a similar color and consistency, but they are much milder in flavor. I like to use them in dishes that would normally call for tomato sauce, but that would benefit from a little less acidity.

For example, I recently made a pasta dish with pureed bell peppers, sausage, and kale. It was delicious! The bell peppers added just the right amount of sweetness and creaminess to balance out the spice of the sausage.

If you’re looking for a tomato sauce substitute that will add some extra flavor to your dish, Pureed bell peppers are a great option.

Just be sure to adjust the amount you use according to your personal taste preferences. A good rule of thumb is to start with a 1 to 1 ratio when replacing tomato sauce.


What can I use instead of tomato sauce or paste?

Instead of tomato sauce or paste, you can opt to use tomato puree as a substitute. Replace every 1 tsp of tomato paste with 3 tsp of puree.

Substitute for tomato sauce allergy?

The best replacement for tomato sauce if you have an allergy to tomatoes is a sauce made with beets and carrots. Beets and carrots have a similar color to tomato sauce and they also have a somewhat similar texture.

Substitute for tomato sauce in lasagna?

You can substitute tomato sauce with a number of different things in lasagna. Some of the most common substitutes are tomato paste and marinara.

Can I substitute tomato soup for tomato sauce?

Yes, you can substitute tomato soup for tomato sauce in lasagna. It is recommended to use a can of condensed tomato soup as a replacement for one cup of tomato sauce plus ¼ cup of water.

Just be sure to adjust the amount you use according to your personal taste preferences. A good rule of thumb is to start with a can of condensed tomato soup as a replacement for one cup of tomato sauce

8-ounce can tomato sauce substitute

An 8 ounce can of tomato gives you about 1 cup of tomato sauce substitute.

How to turn tomato paste into sauce?

To make tomato paste into tomato sauce, you’ll need to mix 1 part of tomato paste with 1 part of water and blend until smooth. You may also add onions, celery, carrots, and other seasonings you prefer. If the tomato paste is too thick, you can add a little more water until it reaches the desired consistency.


While there are a number of substitutes for tomato sauce, it’s important to understand the difference between them before making a substitution.

For example, tomato paste is a concentrated form of tomato sauce and will therefore provide a more intense flavor. The same principle will apply in different ways depending on the substitute you choose to use.

Whatever substitute you choose, be sure to adjust the amount you use to ensure that the dish doesn’t end up too sweet, salty, or acidic.

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