what is tomato paste

What is tomato paste?

Tomato paste is a thick, concentrated form of tomatoes.

Here are some of its common uses:

  • Base for sauces and soupsTomato paste is a key ingredient in tomato sauce, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and many soups. It thickens the consistency and intensifies the tomato flavor.

  • Deepens flavor in stews and chilisA small amount of tomato paste adds richness and umami depth to stews, chilis, and other savory dishes.

  • Base for condimentsTomato paste is a key ingredient in ketchup, BBQ sauce, and other tomato-based condiments. You can also use it to make your own variations at home.

  • Improves bean dishesAdding a bit of tomato paste to cooked beans enhances their flavor and creates a thicker, creamier consistency.

  • Marinade boosterA spoonful of tomato paste can add depth and complexity to marinades for meats and vegetables.

Difference between tomato sauce and tomato paste

Tomato sauce and tomato paste, while both originating from tomatoes, exhibit notable differences in flavor, texture, and culinary applications.

Tomato sauce is a liquid extract concentrated from mature tomatoes, often seasoned with herbs and spices, and serves as a versatile base in soups, stews, and sauces.

Tomato paste, by contrast, is a highly concentrated, thick paste with a potent tomato flavor, used sparingly to add depth to dishes.

Difference between tomato sauce and tomato paste
Difference between tomato sauce and tomato paste

can you make tomato sauce from tomato paste?

Tomato sauce is a kitchen staple, but what happens when you're out and longing for a pasta night?

Fear not! You can easily whip up a delicious tomato sauce using tomato paste.

This recipe is a fantastic base, and you can customize it to your liking.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (optional, for a thicker sauce)
  • 1 cup water (or broth for added flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • Fresh herbs like parsley or basil for garnish (optional)


  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, roughly 30 seconds.
  • Stir in tomato paste and cook for an additional minute, allowing the flavors to bloom.
  • If using canned tomatoes, add them now and mash them slightly with a spoon.
  • Pour in water (or broth) and bring to a simmer.
  • Add oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, letting the flavors come together.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. A pinch of sugar can help balance the acidity if desired.
  • Serve over your favorite pasta, garnish with fresh herbs (optional), and enjoy!


  • For a richer sauce, add a pat of butter or a drizzle of cream at the end.
  • Want a smoother sauce? Use an immersion blender to blend it after simmering.
  • Get creative! Add chopped vegetables like onions, peppers, or mushrooms while sauteing the garlic.
  • Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Fear not! You can easily whip up a delicious tomato sauce using tomato paste.