What To Do With Leftover Tomato Paste

Perhaps you’ve just created a tomato-based dish and are wondering what to do with leftover tomato paste. Even though a tin or tube of tomato paste is small, it’s so concentrated that one hardly ever uses all of it. Therefore, you’re often stuck with excess tomato paste.

As such, it’s preferable to find something else to make with your tomato paste, instead of throwing it away. Or you’ll have to determine how to store it for future use.

This article offers a few pointers on approaching your leftover tomato paste conundrum. Read on to discover more.

What Is Tomato Paste?

Tomato paste is a thick, concentrated paste produced when tomatoes are cooked, reduced, and pureed. And is a common ingredient in Mediterranean, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s typically sold in cans or tubes and can be found in most supermarkets. 

As it’s very concentrated, the paste is often diluted with water or olive oil before being used in recipes. When used in cooking, tomato paste adds a rich, sweet, and acidic flavor to dishes. 

Its incredible flavor and versatility are why it’s a staple in kitchens worldwide. It is commonly used to make pizza sauce, lasagna, and stews. With that said, let’s look closely at what to do with leftover tomato paste.

What To Do With Leftover Tomato Paste

Tomato paste can be used in different ways for various dishes. Here are a few ways to use leftover tomato paste:

1. Add It To Store-bought Marinara Sauce

The flavor of store-purchased marinara sauce often pales compared to homemade marinara sauce. If you need to use jarred marinara, it’s recommended to add tomato paste to it to spice up the taste.

2. Make Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Making your own barbeque sauce is a great way to use leftover tomato paste. You can build a base out of canned tomato sauce and paste, adding whatever spices you like. The steps are straightforward, and the result is better than anything you might buy in a store. 

3. Make Bloody Mary Drinks

Creating your own bloody Mary drink using tomato paste is easy. The process is relatively straightforward. Simply combine tomato paste, black pepper, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and freshly grated ginger. Add vodka and ice to the combination, and then garnish it with a celery stick and olives. Voila!

4. Cook Up A Pot Of Tomato Sauce

If you have about 6 ounces of tomato paste at your disposal, making a flavorful tomato sauce is ideal. All you’ll need to add are two cans of diced tomatoes, water, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Simply bring the mixture to a boil and then let it to simmer while stirring regularly. This tomato sauce is ideal on pasta or combined with meatballs.

5. Store It In The Fridge Or Freezer

Your leftover tomato paste can be stored for later use in either the fridge or freezer. Storing your opened can or tube of paste in an airtight container will ensure it lasts for up to a week in the fridge. 

However, if you prefer, you could store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. But when freezing, it’s best to scoop tablespoonfuls of tomato paste out onto parchment paper. Freeze these individual portions before placing them together in an sealed bag or container. This way, if your recipe calls for 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, you won’t need to defrost all of it.  


Tomato paste is a vital ingredient to have in your kitchen. It’s ideal for stews, classic Italian dishes, and more. But don’t throw away the tomato paste that’s left. There are an unlimited number of uses for it. And after reading this post, you should have a few ideas of what to do with leftover tomato paste.