Home â€ș Substitutes â€ș 7 Best Tomato Passata Substitutes

7 Best Tomato Passata Substitutes

The best tomato passata substitutes include tomato paste, canned tomatoes, ketchup, and more!

Be it a hearty stew, a fiery curry, or a zesty pasta, I have a list of easy passata swaps to save the day. 

Tomato Passata or Puree in a Black Bowl
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

Dive into the fantastic world of stand-ins, and get ready to liven up your recipes.

You’ll never have to stress again if you don’t have tomato passata on hand!

What Is Tomato Passata?

Tomato passata is a silky smooth tomato puree made from juicy, ripe tomatoes. They’re cooked till they’re a lovely, soft pulp. 

After the tomatoes finish cooking, they’re passed through a strainer. This step removes all the seeds and skins, leaving a super smooth puree behind.

And voila! You have tomato passata ready to jazz up your sauces, soups, and many more dishes. Its lush texture and punchy flavor can’t be topped.

It doesn’t merely complement other ingredients but accentuates them.

It has a thick, jam-like consistency that’s just so versatile. Need a spread? Use passata! Want a fancy base for your dips? Passata it is.

On top of all this, tomato passata is a great choice for health buffs. It’s a wholesome, sugar-free alternative to typical tomato sauces.

In a nutshell, it’s the perfect balance of flavorful and healthy. It adds a delicious zing to your recipes while keeping sugar low.

Tomato Passata Uses

Starting with the basics, passata is a champion in pasta sauces. Its smooth texture and full-bodied flavor give any pasta dish a heartwarming, authentic Italian touch. 

And pizza enthusiasts, guess what? Passata makes for a phenomenal pizza base, delivering a rich tomato flavor with every bite.

Beyond pasta and pizza, passata works its magic in casseroles, stews, and soups. 

It adds a velvety texture and depth of flavor that’s to die for. It’s perfect for a cozy casserole, a robust stew, or a comforting tomato soup.

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

And we can’t forget about our international favorites! Butter chicken, lasagna, and minced meat dishes all get an upgrade with passata. 

It lends a unique twist to these dishes, infusing them with its distinct tomato goodness.

But wait, there’s more! Passata even has a place in the world of dips and gravies. It adds a rich, tangy undertone that can liven up your favorite sauces or potato toppings.

Best Tomato Passata Substitutes

Canned Tomatoes on a Side Dish

1. Canned Tomatoes

When it comes to swapping passata, canned tomatoes are the top contenders. The key difference? Canned tomatoes are cooked, while passata is made from raw tomatoes.

The canning process actually locks in that fresh tomato taste, making it an ace substitute for passata. 

You’ll notice a texture change since canned tomatoes come in different forms, but it’s a quick fix. Have whole canned tomatoes? Just mash and strain them. Chopped or crushed canned tomatoes work the same way. Voila! 

Yes, it might be a tad thinner than passata, but all you have to do is simmer your dish a bit longer. 

A Bowl of Marinara Sauce with Basil on Top

2. Pasta Sauce or Marinara Sauce

Another great passata stand-in is tomato pasta sauce or marinara sauce. Both are packed with that tomato punch you’re looking for.

Unlike passata’s simple, pure tomato profile, these sauces bring more flavors to the table.

This means your recipe will have a slightly different taste, but don’t worry. If your pasta sauce recipe calls for passata, using marinara or pasta sauce will do the trick.

Any extra flavors will mingle well with your other ingredients. It’s a simple, tasty solution.

A Bowl of Tomato Paste and Tomatoes on a Wooden Table

3. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste can serve as a solid passata alternative. Like passata, it’s typically pure tomato but a bit thicker. 

Add some water, and you can match its texture. Once you’ve thinned it down, it can step in for passata in any recipe. 

The flavor stays true, and your swap will likely go unnoticed. If it turns out too thin, no worries. Try mixing tomato paste with flour, sugar, and water. 

This mixture creates a thicker, passata-esque liquid. It’s ready for cooking and enhancing your dishes.

Bunch of Red Organic Fresh Tomatoes on a Rustic Cloth

4. Fresh Tomatoes

Nothing screams fresh like fresh tomatoes, which is a hallmark of passata. If it’s that fresh burst you’re after, fresh tomatoes make the ideal replacement.

But be ready to roll up your sleeves. You need to prep these fresh gems, mashing them and straining out the skin and seeds. This process takes a bit more time, so it might not be the best choice if you’re racing against the clock.

But if you’re okay with a bit of tomato chunkiness in your recipe, then dive right in with fresh tomatoes. The flavor will stay true, with an added touch of texture.

Thick Puréed Red Peppers on a Bowl with Parsley and Spices

5. Puréed Red Peppers

If tomatoes aren’t on your menu, puréed red peppers might be your ticket. They bring a different flavor, but in some recipes, they work a charm. Plus, their rich red hue keeps the look of your dish consistent.

Craving that passata tang? Lemon juice comes to the rescue! Roasted red peppers are available canned in stores, or you can roast your own.

Making pureed peppers is simple. Roast and peel some red peppers, then send them for a spin in your food processor

Ketchup on a Bowl with Tomatoes and Garlic on Background

6. Ketchup

Sure, ketchup is tomato-based like passata, but I won’t vouch for it as a stand-in. It’s just too sweet!

Diluting it with water or adding some vinegar to cut the sweetness is an option. To get the taste right, your sauce will become super watery and super thin. It’s not ideal!

Ketchup also carries extra ingredients that alter your dish’s taste. It’s notably sweeter, so you need to adjust your recipe accordingly.

A Bowl of Meat Broth on a Table

7. Meat Broth

Need that umami zing from passata but can’t use tomatoes? Consider meat broth. It adds a meaty, umami edge, much like passata does.

Just remember, broth is less thick and doesn’t have passata’s rich red hue. This will alter your dish’s texture and appearance. But if umami is your main goal, meat broth can hit the spot.

7 Best Tomato Passata Substitutes

The best tomato passata substitutes include pasta sauce, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and more. Learn how to use each in your recipes.


  • Canned Tomatoes

  • Pasta Sauce or Marinara Sauce

  • Tomato Paste

  • Fresh Tomatoes

  • Puréed Red Peppers

  • Ketchup

  • Meat Broth


  • Select your favorite tomato passata substitute.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Tomato Passata Substitutes

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 2

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

Leave a Comment