Difference Between Tomato Sauce And Tomato Paste

You might want to find out the difference between tomato sauce and paste when following a recipe. They can make good substitutes for one another should you know how to use them. Although they look similar, there are many critical differences that you should learn about.

This article will discuss the differences between tomato sauce and tomato paste to ensure you use the right ingredients in your recipe.

What is Tomato Sauce?

As the name suggests, tomato sauce is made using tomatoes to serve as a part of a dish. Though tomato sauce can be used with veggies and meat, it’s perhaps most commonly used in preparing pasta dishes. 

Due to their rich flavor, soft flesh, and high liquid content, tomatoes are ideal for making appealing and simple sauces. The most straightforward tomato sauce is prepared using chopped tomato, water, and olive oil. Salt and spices are incorporated into the final product as seasoning. 

In Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the UK, tomato sauce is used as a condiment. This condiment is similar to that known in the US as ‘ketchup.’

What is Tomato Paste?

Tomato paste is prepared by cooking tomatoes and removing their juices and seeds. They’re reduced until all you have is a super thick, highly concentrated product that holds a bold tomato flavor. 

The manufactured tomato paste often contains stabilizers like salt, herbs, spices, and citric acid. There is also double and triple concentrated paste available in the market with higher potency.

Because of its intense flavor, tomato paste is added during the cooking process in small quantities. Tomato paste is typically sold in a four- to six-ounce can or tube. And it’s easy to prepare tomato paste at home. It can be kept for up to three months if refrigerated and stored in an airtight container. 

Difference Between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste

There are many factors that separate tomato sauce and tomato paste. Contrary to tomato sauce, tomato paste is a concentrated flavoring and has a powerful taste. 

Additionally, it has a thicker texture and is used in dishes to enhance the taste. Unlike the sauce, tomato paste acts as a base ingredient to provide flavors to dishes.

Since tomato paste is a rich concentrate of tomatoes with no moisture, it goes a long way. In comparison, the tomatoes in tomato sauce haven’t been reduced as much and it offers a milder, sweeter taste. It is mainly used as a sauce for meatballs, pasta, pizza, etc.


Although tomato paste and sauce are made from tomatoes, many features differentiate one from the other. Tomato paste is a thick paste of tomatoes with an intense punch of flavors used to enhance the taste of a dish. 

In contrast, tomato sauce is a popular condiment referred to as ‘ketchup’ in the US. It has a thinner consistency and is used in preparations for different kinds of pasta, pizzas, meatballs, etc. 

Now that you have learned the difference between tomato paste and tomato sauce, picking the right tomato-based product for your recipe will be an easy job.