Difference Between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste

Sheri Dorn is a versatile homesteader and culinary artist with a strong focus on organic and heirloom gardening. Holding a Master's degree in Culinary Arts, she combines her love for cooking and gardening in a unique way. Sheri is an active contributor to online gardening communities and enjoys quality outdoor time with her family and pets.
Learn About Our Editorial Policy

2-Minute Read

Here are the key Differences Between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste that will help you distinguish these two without any confusion!

Difference Between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste 1

Tomato-based ingredients are essential in countless recipes, adding flavor, texture, and depth to dishes. In this article, we will discuss the Differences Between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste to help you use them right!

Check out Most Delicious Tomatoes for Sauce here

What is Tomato Sauce?


Tomato sauce is a popular dressing made from cooked and strained tomatoes. It is used in many different types of cooking around the world. To make tomato sauce, you simmer tomatoes (usually without the skin and seeds) with other ingredients like onions, garlic, herbs, spices, and sometimes sugar or vinegar to make it taste better.

It has a smooth and easy-to-pour consistency so that it can be used in many different recipes. Tomato sauce is a main ingredient in dishes like pasta sauces, pizza toppings, soups, and stews. The specific herbs and spices used in tomato sauce can vary depending on where it’s being made and what recipe is being followed.

Check Delicious Seedless Tomato Varieties here

Best Tomatoes for Tomato Sauce

  • San Marzano: They have a rich, sweet flavor, low acidity, and meaty flesh. San Marzano tomatoes are known for their elongated shape and are often used for making traditional Italian sauces.
  • Roma: They have a mild flavor, low water content, and thick walls, making them ideal for cooking down into a thick sauce. Roma tomatoes are widely available and widely used for homemade sauces.
  • Amish Paste: Amish Paste have a sweet and tangy taste and a dense, meaty texture, making them suitable for recipes that require a substantial amount of sauce.
  • Jersey Devil: They have a distinctive shape, similar to a chili pepper, with pointed ends. They have a rich flavor, moderate acidity, and meaty texture, making them great for cooking down into a flavorful sauce.
  • Mariana: Mariana tomatoes have a high sugar content, low acidity, and dense flesh, making them ideal for creating sweet and flavorful sauces. Mariana tomatoes are often used for canning and preserving due to their exceptional taste and cooking qualities.
  • Principe Borghese: Principe Borghese have a rich, sweet flavor and a meaty texture. Principe Borghese tomatoes are often sun-dried and used in Italian cooking.

What is Tomato Paste?

Difference Between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste 2

Tomato paste undergoes a cooking process to remove excess moisture, resulting in a concentrated form of tomatoes. The process involves simmering tomatoes for a long time until they become a thick and rich paste.

People add tomato paste to sauces, gravies, and dishes. Only a small quantity of tomato paste is necessary to enhance the flavor of a recipe. It is commonly sold in cans or tubes and has a longer shelf life compared to tomato sauce.

Follow PRO Tricks to Grow the Tastiest Tomatoes in Your Garden here

Best Tomatoes for Tomato Paste

You can use the same tomatoes for making tomato paste that we have mentioned above for making a tomato sauce. However, there are two tomatoes you must not miss!

  • Opalka: Opalka tomatoes are elongated, paste-type tomatoes that are specifically bred for sauce and paste-making. They have a high sugar content, low water content, and meaty texture. Opalka tomatoes are prized for their intense flavor and are ideal for creating a thick and rich tomato paste.
  • Marmande: Marmande tomatoes are known for their complex flavor and meaty texture, which make them suitable for tomato paste. They have a good balance of sweetness and acidity and contain fewer seeds and juice compared to other tomato varieties. Marmande tomatoes are often used for preserving and making paste.

Difference Between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste


1. Consistency

One of the primary Differences Between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste lies in their consistency. Tomato sauce has a relatively thin and liquid-like consistency. It is typically smooth and pourable, similar to a thick liquid or a runny gravy.

On the other hand, tomato paste has a much thicker and more concentrated consistency. It is much denser and has a paste-like texture. It is more akin to a concentrated form of tomatoes, with less moisture content.

2. Preparation

Tomato sauce is usually made by cooking fresh tomatoes along with various seasonings and herbs. The tomatoes are simmered and reduced to create a flavorful sauce. Sometimes, tomato sauce may also include other ingredients like onions, garlic, and spices to enhance the taste.

In contrast, tomato paste involves a more concentrated preparation process. It is made by cooking tomatoes for a longer time, which helps in evaporating most of the moisture content. The cooked tomatoes are then strained, resulting in a thick paste.

3. Culinary Uses

Another Difference Between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste are their uses. Tomato sauce is popular as a base ingredient in a wide range of dishes, including pasta sauces, soups, stews, and pizza sauces. It provides a rich and tangy flavor to the dishes and helps to bind the other ingredients together.

Tomato paste is popular in gravies, and dishes to enhance their flavor and color. You can also use it as a thickener in some recipes.

4. Flavor

Tomato sauce offers a balanced taste with a hint of natural sweetness, providing a more subtle and mellow flavor compared to tomato paste.

In contrast, tomato paste possesses an intense tomato flavor, thanks to its low moisture content. Its taste is richer and sweeter, making it a significant contributor to the overall flavor of a dish.

5. Storage

Tomato sauce, being in a more liquid state has a shorter shelf life but you can keep it in refrigerator to extend the life span

Tomato paste, due to its thicker consistency, has better longevity. You can store it in a airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks or deep freeze it for even more shelf life.

Check Best Tomatoes for Sandwiches here

Recent Posts

Join our 3 Million Followers:


Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here