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Tomato Puree v. Sauce

I have a recipe that calls for 14 oz of tomato puree.

What can I substitute for the puree? I'm assuming it's a little thicker than tomato sauce. Do you think I could use about an equivalent amount of tomato sauce thickened with 1 or 2 T of tomato paste?


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  1. Here in CA I can never find puree, only sauce. I have sometimes taken a can of diced canned tomatoes and pureed it in the food processor as a substitute, sometimes I just use the sauce. Adding a little bit of tomato paste sounds like a good idea.

    1. Other way around. Puree is just pureed tomatoes, whereas sauce is cooked and generally seasoned, so sauce is thicker and more intensely flavored. Personally, I don't touch sauce... I'll season my own, thanks.

      If you have a recipe that calls for sauce, you could just simmer the puree for a bit and season it if you want for the same effect. Or if you're making a tomato sauce, just use the puree and simmer it a little longer.

      1. Why do want to substitute for puree?

        1 Reply
        1. re: hondo77

          Well, I can't buy anything called puree in my local stores.

        2. Wouldn't canned crushed tomatoes be the same thing as tomato puree?

          1. Follow up from OP:

            I ended up just using just using tomato sauce. Tomato puree was too hard to find at the store. I don't know why the recipe called for tomato puree. Tomato sauce worked just fine.