Sloppy Joes are an easy, quick meal to make at the end of your day. They consist of few ingredients and are especially versatile.
If you find yourself out of tomato paste to make your Sloppy Joes for dinner, don’t fret. Common substitutes for tomato paste for Sloppy Joes include ketchup, crushed or diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato soup.
Each of those substitutions for tomato paste in Sloppy Joes has similar flavors to the original tomato paste ingredient. Most of these substitutes are often found in your kitchen.
Common Substitutions for Sloppy Joes
Since Sloppy Joes are quick and easy, you want a substitute for tomato paste that is also quick and easy. Take a look and see if you can find any of these common substitutions in your kitchen.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, 97% of families keep ketchup on hand. This makes it one of the most popular and easiest substitutions for tomato paste in Sloppy Joes. It has a similar consistency to tomato paste which makes it an easy substitution.
However, while tomato paste generally consists of only tomatoes, ketchup can have other added ingredients. These extra ingredients, such as vinegar, corn syrup, and spices may somewhat change the flavor of your Sloppy Joes.
If you want a slightly sweeter, tangier taste for your Sloppy Joes, ketchup is a good choice as a substitution.
2. Crushed or Diced Tomatoes
Another common ingredient for substitution is a can of crushed or diced tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes are generally a combination of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato puree. Diced tomatoes are cut-up tomatoes, canned in water.
Both can work as a tomato paste substitute in your Sloppy Joes. However, if you have the choice, crushed tomatoes are the better option. They have a closer consistency to tomato paste and will make your Sloppy Joes firmer and less liquid.
Although, if you have a can of diced tomatoes, that can work too. Make sure to drain them as much as possible before adding them to your Sloppy Joes. With diced tomatoes cooking time may be longer as some of the liquid will need to evaporate.
3. Tomato Sauce
Another pantry staple, tomato sauce can also be used as a substitute for tomato paste.
Try to use a can of tomato sauce rather than a jar. Canned tomato sauce is often made of tomato paste, which makes it closer to the correct consistency. It also has few additional spices.
If you only have a jar of tomato sauce, that’s okay. Try to keep in mind the flavor of the sauce. Make sure it’s complementary to the spices in your Sloppy Joe.
4. Tomato Soup
Tomato soup, a popular winter comfort food, can also be substituted for tomato paste. Tomato soup has a more liquid consistency than tomato paste. If you choose this option, cook it a little longer to help it thicken.
Also, make sure to check the ingredients in the soup. Many soups have added sugar or flavors, make sure they complement your meal.
Tomato paste, while a common ingredient, can often be overlooked when making dinner. When you find yourself in need of a tomato paste substitute, there are multiple options to choose from.
Many of the above ingredients are readily available in most kitchens. Give them a try and see which one makes your favorite tomato paste substitute.
Tiffany McCauley is a celebrated food and travel journalist and cookbook author known for her engaging stories on culinary adventures and cultural insights. With a background featuring collaborations with notable brands and publications, Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to Fanatically Food, where she champions taste, sustainability, and the art of cooking. Read More Here