Can I substitute ketchup for tomato paste?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can I substitute ketchup for tomato paste? We will discuss the differences between ketchup and the tomato paste. This way, it will be easier to make a decision.

Can I substitute ketchup for tomato paste?

Yes, you can substitute ketchup for tomato paste while making dishes. The quantity of ketchup that you use is important in this case. That is because ketchup is processed and carries more sugar. Thus, if your recipe requires a tangy or sour taste then use ketchup in a lesser quantity.

Ketchup contains vinegar, sugar, and spices, so adding tomato paste to your favorite recipes will change the flavor profile.

How much to use: Use one tablespoon of tomato paste for every tablespoon of ketchup.

When to use it: Use this interchange in recipes that could be sweet and spicy.

Can I substitute ketchup for tomato sauce?

Yes, you can substitute ketchup for tomato sauce only when tomato sauce is not the main ingredient of the recipe. If it is the main ingredient like Italian cuisine, switching to ketchup can significantly alter the taste of the dish and make it sweeter.

Ketchup vs. tomato sauce

Ketchup is a currently found sauce throughout the world, but we are looking for its origin. It may surprise you, the history of ketchup begins in China as a result of a sauce called ketchup, a spicy sauce that was served to accompany fish or meat (on Amoy Island) or koechiap, which means pickled fish sauce. As a curiosity, to say that the ketsiap did not have tomato among its ingredients.

We all know the commercial ketchup was Henry J. Heinz’s idea, and the first he commercialized was in 1876 when he came up with adding tomato to ketchup sauce. Another interesting detail is that recyclable plastic containers for ketchup were introduced to the market in 1990, also by Heinz.

Ketchup is nothing more than a tomato-based sauce concentrated with vinegar, sugar, spices, and salt, and has become the flagship sauce in North America. In Spain, fried tomato sauce is its equivalent, and with these two sauces, we already see the principles of each country; we will talk about their nutritional values, ketchup vs. tomato sauce.

Wikipedia tells us that the main difference between ketchup and tomato sauce is that it contains oil and ketchup does not, so tomato sauce has more fats. If they are “good or bad”, it will depend on the manufacturer.

Ketchup contains more additives than tomato sauce and higher sugar content, between 3 and 10% the first and between 0.2 and 2% the second. It also contains more salt and more calories, although being made from concentrate, ketchup has slightly more tomato than tomato sauce.

But now we take a container of tomato sauce and a ketchup container, both from mid-priced brands. The ketchup nutritional table indicates that every 100 grams of the product provide 73 kcal, 15.9 grams of sugars from the 16.2 grams of carbohydrates, 1.6 grams of proteins, 0.13 grams of fats of which 0.06 grams are saturated, and the sodium content is 1.8 grams. The tomato content per 100 grams of ketchup is 159 grams.

The fried tomato sauce gives us less information; curiously, it is from Heinz. This sauce contains 160 grams of tomato for every 100 grams of fried tomato, provides 79.9 kcal, 9.7 grams of carbohydrates (does not indicate sugars), and 3.9 grams of fats (does not recognize saturated ones either). This may be because the onion and garlic sauce in the sauce has been made with vegetable oil, who knows which one.

We review the nutritional values ​​of a container of crushed natural tomato, it is also from Heinz. Its ingredients are 99.5% tomato, salt, and citric acid. Provides 15.9 kcal, 2.75 grams of carbohydrates, 0.90 grams of protein, and 0.15 grams of fat.

Other FAQs about Tomato Paste which you may be interested in.

Does Tomato Paste Go Bad?

How long is tomato paste good for?

Make the tomato paste tastier.

Suppose you do decide to substitute ketchup for tomato pate. In that case, we recommend  you prepare a tomato and basil sauce: Ingredients: a tablespoon of olive oil, 2-3 cloves of garlic, 400 g tomatoes, a teaspoon of sugar, half a cube of concentrate for organic soup, one tablespoon tomato puree, 2-3 basil leaves, salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add the crushed garlic cloves, and sauté for a minute. Add 400 g of chopped canned tomatoes, half a cube of concentrated organic soup, a tablespoon of tomato puree, and a teaspoon of sugar. 

Put all the ingredients on the fire to boil and let it reach the boiling point. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, add a few basil leaves and mix them in the sauce.


The first conclusion that we can draw is that the difference between ketchup and industrially produced fried tomato is not so great and that the best we can do is make our sauces at home so that they are natural products and much healthier. 

As a last resort, and because time is money in this society, we could save the time of peeling the tomatoes and crushing them to make a sauce if we buy a can of natural tomato, although of course, the flavor will never be like that provided by some good fresh tomatoes. Do you think the same?

We all know how to make fried tomato sauce, even so, we could share our recipe to have variants, ketchup is not so common to make at home and you cannot imagine the possibilities it gives in terms of the application of spices. Each kitchen has its variants so it will also be interesting to compile rich and healthy ketchup recipes.

We will share ours shortly, how do you do it?