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Tomato Puree vs. Tomato Paste — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 7, 2023
Tomato Puree is a liquid blend of tomatoes, while Tomato Paste is a thicker, more concentrated tomato product.
Tomato Puree vs. Tomato Paste — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Tomato Puree and Tomato Paste


Key Differences

Tomato Puree is essentially tomatoes that have been blended and cooked slightly. This product retains much of the original tomato's texture and liquid. On the other hand, Tomato Paste undergoes a longer cooking process, which reduces it to a thick and intensely flavored concentrate.
Both Tomato Puree and Tomato Paste begin their journey from fresh tomatoes. However, while making Tomato Puree, the tomatoes are processed to a smooth, sauce-like consistency, and may have seeds or skin removed. Tomato Paste, in contrast, is cooked down to remove almost all its water content, resulting in a deep red, thick paste.
In recipes, Tomato Puree can be used to bring a rich tomato flavor without adding too much thickness. It's often a base for sauces, soups, and stews. Tomato Paste, due to its concentrated nature, is used sparingly to intensify tomato flavor without adding much liquid.
It's crucial for chefs and home cooks alike to recognize the differences between Tomato Puree and Tomato Paste. Substituting one for the other in recipes can significantly alter the dish's flavor and consistency. While both come from the same source, their culinary applications and effects can vary greatly.

Comparison Chart


Liquid, smooth, sauce-like.
Very thick, concentrated.

Cooking Process

Blended and cooked slightly.
Cooked down to remove almost all water content.

Flavor Intensity

Moderate tomato flavor.
Highly concentrated tomato flavor.

Usage in Recipes

Adds tomato flavor without much thickness.
Intensifies tomato flavor without adding much liquid.

Primary Ingredient

Tomatoes possibly with skin/seeds removed.
Tomatoes, cooked down significantly.

Compare with Definitions

Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree is lightly cooked and may have seeds/skin removed.
She preferred Tomato Puree without seeds for her curry.

Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste is a concentrated tomato product with a thick texture.
A dollop of Tomato Paste enriched the stew's flavor.

Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree is blended tomatoes with a sauce-like consistency.
The spaghetti sauce started with a base of Tomato Puree.

Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste is the thickest when compared to puree and sauce.
She thickened the broth with some Tomato Paste.

Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree often serves as a base in various dishes.
Using Tomato Puree, she began her marinara sauce.

Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste undergoes extensive cooking to reduce its water content.
Due to its long cooking process, Tomato Paste has a unique taste.

Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree provides moderate tomato flavor to dishes.
To maintain the soup's liquidity, she added Tomato Puree.

Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste can intensify flavors without adding much liquid.
A spoonful of Tomato Paste was all the Bolognese needed.

Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree is less concentrated than tomato paste.
For a lighter sauce, he chose Tomato Puree.

Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste offers a deep and intense tomato flavor.
The secret to the deep red sauce was Tomato Paste.

Common Curiosities

Is Tomato Paste thicker than Tomato Puree?

Yes, Tomato Paste is much thicker and more concentrated than Tomato Puree.

Which one has a stronger tomato flavor, Tomato Puree or Tomato Paste?

Tomato Paste has a stronger and more intense tomato flavor.

What is Tomato Puree?

Tomato Puree is a lightly cooked blend of tomatoes with a sauce-like consistency.

How is Tomato Paste different in flavor from Tomato Puree?

Tomato Paste has a more concentrated and intense tomato flavor than Tomato Puree.

What are the main uses of Tomato Paste in cooking?

Tomato Paste is used to intensify tomato flavor in dishes without adding excess liquid.

Can I make Tomato Paste from Tomato Puree?

Yes, by cooking down Tomato Puree until it's thick and reduced, you can approximate Tomato Paste.

Can I dilute Tomato Paste to make Tomato Puree?

While not an exact substitute, you can dilute Tomato Paste with water to approximate the consistency of Tomato Puree.

How is Tomato Puree made?

Tomato Puree is made by blending tomatoes and cooking them slightly, sometimes with seeds or skin removed.

Is Tomato Puree the same as tomato sauce?

No, Tomato Puree is thicker than tomato juice but thinner than tomato sauce or paste.

Can I substitute Tomato Puree for Tomato Paste in recipes?

While possible, it may alter the dish's consistency and flavor due to the difference in concentration.

Why is Tomato Paste so thick?

Tomato Paste is cooked down to remove almost all of its water content, making it thick.

How should I store open Tomato Paste?

Refrigerate open Tomato Paste in an airtight container and use it within a week.

Is Tomato Puree sweeter than Tomato Paste?

Generally, Tomato Puree might taste less intense and thus slightly sweeter than the very concentrated Tomato Paste.

Why use Tomato Paste in a recipe?

Tomato Paste adds depth and richness to dishes without adding a lot of liquid.

Are there seeds in Tomato Puree?

Some Tomato Purees may have seeds removed, but others might retain them, depending on the brand or recipe.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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