21 Substitutes for Tomato Sauce


Wondering what substitutes can be used to replace Tomato Sauce? 

This is a detailed list, personally curated, that will give you the same. 

21 Best Substitutes for Tomato Sauce

1. Ketchup

Ketchup is the best, most accessible, and cheap substitute you can find for Tomato Sauce. The best part is that you probably already have it.

Ketchup has a ton of added flavours like sugar, but it’ll do the trick if you’re just looking for a mild tomato flavour.  

How to Substitute

You cannot use a 1:1 ratio as ketchup tends to be more concentrated than tomato sauce.   

Here’s how to cook with Ketchup –

2. Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is the easiest, most suitable alternative to Tomato Sauce in any recipe.   

It tastes just like tomato sauce but with the added flavour of herbs and sometimes garlic. Who wouldn’t love that, right?

How to Substitute

Since the taste and concentration is quite similar, you can use a 1:1 ratio for replacement. 

3. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is easily available in all our local stores and might be one of the most preferred alternatives to tomato sauce.

Tomato Paste is nothing but concentrated tomatoes, so you can use it without a doubt in mind.  

How to Substitute

An equal amount of replacement will not work here. Use a little tomato paste at one time because it can go a long way. 

Here’s how to cook with Tomato Paste:

4. Canned Tomatoes

Another obvious alternative to Tomato Sauce is canned tomatoes which come in many different forms.

Canned tomatoes are only different from fresh tomatoes because they’re mixed with preservatives that help increase their shelf life.  

How to Substitute

Feel free to use equal amounts for a replacement here. 

Here’s how to cook with Canned Tomatoes:

5. Fresh Tomatoes

If you are unable to find tomato sauce directly for your recipe, fresh tomatoes are the way to go.  

We’ve all tried fresh tomatoes, so we know what they taste like, and we can adjust our recipe accordingly. 

How to Substitute

Use a 1:1 ratio here but this will depend on the kind of tomato you use. For a more sweet or concentrated taste, try cherry tomatoes. 

Here’s how to cook with Fresh Tomatoes:

6. Pasta Sauce

While the Italians might look down upon store-bought pasta and spaghetti sauce, it will get the job done in this case. 

These sauces are made with a tomato base in most cases with some added preservatives, spices, and herbs.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio can work here but check the label for unwanted additions that might harm your recipe.    

Here’s how to cook with Pasta Sauce:

7. Marinara Sauce

While this is most famous as a dipping sauce for breadsticks or as a spreading sauce over classic pizza, it’s a great replacement for tomato sauce too.  

Because the base is mainly made of tomatoes, you can easily make the substitution.

How to Substitute

You may use a 1:1 ratio but again, make sure to check the salt and sugar content.  

Here’s how to cook with Marinara Sauce:

8. Tomato Pureé

Another obvious alternative to tomato sauce is tomato purée.  

Just pick out some fresh tomatoes of your choice and blend them up until they turn in a smooth, juicy consistency. 

How to Substitute

You may use a 1:1 ratio but you might want to cook down the purée to concentrate its taste and get rid of the fresh rawness of your tomatoes.

Here’s how to cook with Tomato Purée:

9. Tomato Juice

This is the next best option that will be available to you in case the others mentioned above are not. 

Tomato juice can either be made by blending the purée into a thinner consistency and straining it or by simply buying it from the store. 

How to Substitute

The ratio of substitution will depend but you will need to add more juice to replicate the same amount of tomato flavor that tomato sauce brings.    

Here’s how to cook with Tomato Juice: 

10. Passata

Passata is the one option on this list that you can buy at a store without the fear of any unwanted additions.

It’s just blended tomatoes that are strained to get a perfectly smooth texture. Sometimes, however, it may contain added salt.  

How to Substitute

This can replace tomato sauce in equal amounts if the sodium is taken care of.

Here’s how to cook with Passata:

11. Stewed Tomatoes

These kinds of tomatoes can often be found in canned form as well and are usually eaten with bread. 

They’re peeled and cooked just enough to release their flavour and sometimes have herbs or spices added to them. 

How to Substitute

You can use a 1:1 ratio here but again, be mindful of any additives that your kind of stewed tomatoes might have.

Here’s how to cook with Stewed Tomatoes:

12. Crushed Tomatoes

These are pretty self-explanatory. They’re fresh tomatoes that are sold in crushed form.  

Crushed tomatoes have a lot more juices released in them which could be an added benefit in many recipes. They have no added flavour or preservatives.

How to Substitute

You can use a 1:1 ratio here.

Here’s how to cook with Crushed Tomatoes:

13. Tomato Powder

This alternative is made by dehydrating tomatoes until all their water dries out and then grinding them into a fine powder. 

This option is great if you only want the flavour of tomatoes without changing the chemistry of your recipe without tomato sauce.   

How to Substitute

This powder is strong in flavor so use it according to your preference. However, it’s best to start slow since we don’t usually cook with it. 

14. Sundried Tomatoes

As the name mentions, these tomatoes are made by drying them in the sun or in an oven sometimes.

You will often find these soaked in oil, and they’re usually served fresh as a topping on many Italian dishes as their flavour and texture are quite appealing.   

How to Substitute

You may use a 1:1 ratio but be careful to use the ones that are not soaked in oil for specific recipes.

Here’s how to cook with Sundried Tomatoes:

15. V8 Juice

If you are confused, let me explain. V8 is a brand that makes vegetable juices in their purest form.   

As the name suggests, this juice is made from water and 8 vegetables, tomatoes included.   

How to Substitute

You may have to use more of this juice to acquire the same intensity of a tomato’s flavor, however, do not forget the other vegetables in there too.  

Here’s how to cook with V8 Juice:

16. Beets

This is the first non-tomato option on the list so if you’re sceptical, let me tell you why it works. 

When you cook beets properly, they absorb the flavour you want them to, and that is why you can use them as a substitute.

How to Substitute

Just simmer cooked beets in some oil and garlic before you blend this mixture and use it in a 1:1 ratio.  

Here’s how to cook with Beets:

17. Carrots

Another great non-tomato substitute is carrots.

Just like beets, cooking these in the right way is important for the replacement to work.

Carrots have a naturally sweet taste that can make up for tomatoes.     

How to Substitute

Cook these like you would cook the beets and use them in equal amounts.

Here’s how to cook with Carrots:

18. Ajvar

This is a condiment that is primarily made from eggplants and bell peppers. It’s sort of like a relish that has become popular in Yugoslavian dishes.   

This has a similar tangy and sweet flavour that can replace tomato sauce in a recipe you don’t want to use tomatoes in.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio can work here but read the label for unwanted additions.

Here’s how to cook with Ajvar:

19. Puréed Bell Peppers

Like Ajvar, this can be a great option to replace tomato sauce, only without the eggplants this time.   

Roasted Bell Peppers blended with herbs and spices have made for a popular pasta sauce alternative and a similar concept works behind this substitution as well.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio works here too. You could add some lemon juice and sugar to mimic tomato sauce more closely.

20. Puréed Eggplant

The other half of Ajvar, which is eggplant, can also work as a great substitute in a puréed form on its own. 

Eggplant has the ability to adapt to any flavour and the purée adds a similar texture to tomato sauce. The combination of these two things makes it work.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio could work here. You may want to add more flavor to get rid of the eggplant’s subtle taste.

Here’s how to cook with Eggplant:

21. Nomato Sauce

This creative name is exactly what the sauce is famous for. 

The Nomato Sauce is specifically made for people who cannot enjoy tomatoes because they tend to be acidic and cause problems for the gut.

How to Substitute

You may use a 1:1 substitution here because the plant-flavored sauce works extremely well in any recipe that calls for tomato sauce.

Here’s how to cook with Nomato Sauce:


What is a healthier substitute for Tomato Sauce?

Beets, carrots, and eggplants. Be it for the obscene amount of added sugars or the harmful preservatives, a healthier option for tomato sauce is quite easy to find. Puréed beets, carrots, and eggplants can have the same impact on a recipe as tomato sauce does.

In fact, these could make an even more delicious pasta or pizza sauce instead of using the normal store-bought one. I guarantee you, if you try this substitution, you will not be disappointed.

The health benefit is almost a plus that is too good to be true.    

How much Tomato Paste should I use in place of Tomato Sauce?

This substitution can be a bit tricky since it depends on the tomato paste you usually buy. However, here’s a general rule of thumb. Take ½ cup of tomato paste and mix it with ½ cup of water.

This total mixture can replace exactly one cup of tomato sauce for the best results.

This is an optimized ratio you can follow but keep in mind that the seasoning and concentration of flavors depend largely on the brand you buy it from. It’s always good to study the nutrition and ingredient labels before use.     

Is Spaghetti Sauce and Tomato Sauce the same thing? 

Absolutely not. Spaghetti sauce is made to be a ready topping for your pasta.

Something you can toss in to make an easy dinner. Tomato sauce is made to be an intermediate ingredient in your cooking that generally needs more flavor to be added to it.

The content of a tomato sauce can differ from brand to brand and home to home. However, in general, this sauce is made to be a part of your recipe rather than something that stands together on its own. 

Bottom Line

I hope this article has helped you choose the right substitute for Tomato Sauce!

Please feel free to leave a comment below for any feedback or suggestion you might have. 

And lastly, do share this article with your family and friends as I’m sure it’ll help them if it has helped you! 



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About Jane Lewis

Jane loves spending time with her family, cooking delicious meals, traveling to explore new cultures and wines, and tending to her backyard garden. She's a passionate home cook who enjoys trying out recipes from all over the world.