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Time-saving Tomato Sauce Substitutes for Last-minute Situations

Tomato Sauce Substitutes
A tomato sauce substitute comes handy in situations when you run out of tomato sauce in your kitchen. Therefore, for such situations, there are many simple ingredients that can be real time savers for last-minute needs.
Kanika Khara
Last Updated: Feb 7, 2018
Tomato sauce is one of the most common sauces made primarily out of tomatoes. It is a product prepared by cooking fresh tomatoes down in to a medium thick sauce, which is strained to remove seeds and peels. Due to its rich flavor, low liquid content, very soft flesh that breaks down easily, and the right composition to thicken up into a sauce when cooked, tomato serves as the best option for preparing the sauce.
The simplest tomato sauce consists of chopped tomato flesh, cooked in a little olive oil, simmered until it loses its raw savor, and then flavored with salt. It serves as a base or an addition to different sauces and soup recipes. It is commonly served as a part of a dish rather than as a condiment or seasoning. Although the sauce goes well with both meat and vegetables, it is best known as a sauce for Italian pasta dishes. The sauce is less concentrated than tomato paste and has a thinner consistency than tomato puree. Water or any other flavored liquid like stock or wine is usually added to the sauce to keep it from drying out too much. While cooking tomato sauce puree, onion and garlic are often sweated or sautéed at the beginning before the tomato is added. Other seasonings include basil, oregano, parsley, spicy red pepper or black pepper, and ground or chopped meat.
Tomato Sauce Substitutes
tomato paste
Tomato paste serves as the easiest substitute for tomato sauce. To substitute tomato paste for one cup of tomato sauce, mix ¾ cup tomato paste with 1 cup water and then season with salt, if needed.
canned tomatoes
One can substitute canned tomatoes for the sauce by blending 1 cup canned, stewed tomatoes with water until it reaches a smooth consistency.
tomato juice
Tomato juice is a good sauce substitute. For ½ cup tomato sauce and ½ cup water, 1 cup tomato juice plus dash of salt and sugar can be used.
tomato puree
An extremely handy substitute for tomato sauce is puree. For ½ cup tomato sauce and ½ cup water, 1 cup tomato puree plus dash of salt and sugar can be used.
tomato ketchup
An easily available substitute is tomato ketchup. For ¾ cup tomato sauce and 1 cup water, 2 cups of tomato ketchup can be used.
tomato soup
Although not so commonly used, tomato soup serves as a great substitute. In fact, 1 can (10¾ oz) of tomato soup can substitute 1 cup of tomato sauce plus ¼ cup of water.
While using these substitutes, be careful about the consistency. This is because ketchup, tomato puree or juice, and fresh tomatoes have more liquid than tomato paste; hence, one should reduce the liquid in the recipes that require thicker concentration. For example, if you mix 1 tsp. of tomato paste with 1 cup of water, you get something that has nearly the same consistency as canned tomato sauce. So you should use canned sauce in your recipe instead of 1 cup of liquid and 1 tsp. of paste.

The aforementioned substitutes are not only easy to prepare. but they offer the same flavor and texture to food items. So the days when you are out of tomato sauce, prepare or grab any of these substitutes, use them in your recipes, and enjoy it with your loved ones.
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