These 16 delicious vegan recipes with tomato paste will put those little cans in your pantry to good use. Explore this collection of tried-and-true recipes to learn how to use this incredible ingredient to enhance the flavors of vegan pasta sauces, soups, stews, and more. You'll never want to be without it!
Special diet: gluten-free option, vegan
If you're like me, you may have developed the habit of always keeping some cans of tomato paste on hand in your kitchen. But for a long time, I wasn't sure what to do with them.
But now I know that they are the secret ingredient for adding a burst of intense umami flavor to both slow-cooked and quick recipes. And since a little goes a long way, the small 6-ounce cans work wonderfully in these vegan recipes with tomato paste.
Why you'll love these recipes
- They are all vegan and can be made gluten-free.
- They are loaded with rich savory flavors thanks to the addition of tomato paste.
- They are easy to make and highly rated.
Buying tomato paste
Not to be confused with tomato puree, tomato paste is sold in cans, jars, and tubes. You can find it in supermarkets, specialty stores, and online.
The cans are usually sold in 6-ounce (170 grams) and 12-ounce (340 grams) sizes. The jars and tubes are sold in various sizes within this range.
For most recipes, the 6-ounce size will be more than enough. Any remaining paste can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
Ways to use tomato paste
You'll often see recipes that call for tomato paste in everything from Thousand Island Dressing to Vegan Meat Crumbles to Chocolate Lava Cake.
But my favorite vegan recipes with tomato paste include soups, stews, and pasta sauces. The concentrated tomatoes add an extra layer of incredible flavor.
A little tomato paste goes a long way. If you accidentally add too much, and your dish tastes too acidic, try adding a little sugar to balance the flavor. Balsamic vinegar is another option.
Pasta sauce recipes
15 Minute Tomato Paste Pasta Sauce is a delicious and economical alternative to jarred marinara sauce. You only need 6 ingredients to make it, plus salt and pepper. And it's easy to customize it to suit your tastes by adding in your favorite vegetables, herbs, and spices.
Vegan Vodka Sauce (Penne alla Vodka) from The Urben Life is a dairy-free version of the classic creamy pasta dish. It's ready in under half and hour with only 8 ingredients, plus salt and pepper.
Cherry Tomato Sauce from A Virtual Vegan is loaded with tomato flavor and can be made with only 6 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) in under 30 minutes. The addition of non-dairy milk adds a subtle creaminess to this rustic pasta dish.
Vegan Cauliflower Bolognese from Veggie Inspired calls for riced cauliflower in place of meat. This vegetable-centric sauce is loved by both adults and children.
Eggplant and Mushroom Rigatoni from Thyme & Love features a plant-based "meaty" sauce cooked with tomatoes, red wine, and balsamic vinegar. Substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta for the whole wheat rigatoni to make it gluten-free.
Greek Lentil Soup features green or brown lentils cooked in broth with onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and tomato paste. Serve it with a drizzle of red wine vinegar and olive oil for the ultimate flavor explosion.
Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup from The Stingy Vegan utilizes three types of tomatoes: Tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes. Talk about umami flavor!
Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Quinoa Soup from Short Girl Tall Order is hearty and comforting. Top it with chives, basil, and pine nuts for even more flavor.
Vegan Lasagna Soup from Dianne's Vegan Kitchen is easier than making traditional lasagna and just as delicious. Caramelizing the tomato paste before adding the vegetable stock gives this soup and extra layer of flavor.
Vegan Tortilla Soup from Cadry's Kitchen is loaded with black beans, corn, and tomatoes. Substitute chickpeas or soy curls for the seitan to make it gluten-free.
Chunky Tomato Soup with Cannellini Beans is a Mediterranean-inspired soup featuring a smoky tomato-based broth and creamy white beans. Make a big pot to enjoy during the week or freeze for later.
Spanish Chickpea Stew features a smoky broth seasoned with tomato paste, smoked paprika, cumin, and coriander. You can make this hearty meal in about half and hour with only 10 ingredients, plus salt and pepper.
Vegan Mushroom & Smoked Tofu Bourguignon from The Vegan Larder is rich and delicious. While it does take over 2 hours to prepare, this French-inspired dish is worth your while.
Instant Pot Vegan Stew from This Healthy Kitchen is hearty and filling featuring lentils, potatoes, mushroom, and other veggies. You can also make it on the stove if you don't have a pressure cooker.
One-Pot Coconut Lentil Curry from Health My Lifestyle is made with pantry and freezer ingredients. The curry is made with tomato paste instead of fresh tomatoes for added flavor and richness.
Instant Pot Dal Tadka from Simple Sumptuous Cooking is made with yellow split pigeon peas, also known as toor dal, and spices including garam masala, turmeric, and red chili pepper. The tomato paste provides a more intense flavor and better texture than fresh tomatoes.
Tomato paste FAQs
Tomato paste is tomatoes which are cooked down, seeds and skin strained out, to form a thick paste.
Once opened, transfer the contents to an air-tight container. You can refrigerate tomato paste for 5 to 7 days, or freeze for 2 to 3 months.
If you don't want to purchase it in a can, jar, or tube at the supermarket, you can make your own homemade tomato paste. 10 pounds of fresh tomatoes will yield approximately 20 to 24 ounces paste.
I hope you enjoy these vegan recipes with tomato paste. And whenever you're looking to enhance the flavor of your meals, don't forget the power of tomato paste. For even more recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook group for support, inspiration, and fun.
I always have a few tubes of tomato paste on hand. Thanks for sharing so many ways to use it!