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Tomato paste vs puree

tomato paste

Tomato paste, puree, sauce and passata… What is the difference between all these delicious tomato products?


The major difference between tomato paste, tomato puree, and tomato sauce is consistency; tomato paste has a thicker consistency and a deeper flavor.

  • What is tomato puree?

Tomato puree is cooked, strained tomatoes. It has a thinner consistency than tomato paste. In fact, for many brands it’s actually made with tomato paste and water!

Tomato puree is made by lightly cooking tomatoes and then pureeing the softened product into a liquid.

Tomato puree has a sweeter, mild, and fresh tomato taste.

  • What is tomato paste?

Tomato paste is a very thick paste of tomatoes that’s even more concentrated than tomato puree. It has a lightly sweet flavor.

Tomato paste is cooked longer. The cooked tomatoes are strained to remove the seeds and skins, before being cooked again to reduce the concentrate into a thick paste.

Tomato paste has a richer taste than tomato puree due to its long cooking time. The hours spent over heat brings out more intense flavors, resulting in a product that tastes somewhat like a dried tomato.

Read more: What is tomato paste?
  • What is tomato passata?

Passata is a thick sauce. The tomatoes are (usually) cold pureed and uncooked.

  • What are they used for?

Tomato paste is often used to thicken sauces, or to add flavor to soups or stews. Tomato puree is used to form the base of thinner tomato-based sauces and condiments like salsas, hot sauce, marinara sauce, or pizza sauce. Passata is used as a base for soups and traditional sauces, because of its sweet and creamy texture

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