Tomato Paste Substitute. Need answer fast

I’m making a chicken stew tonight, and I forget to get tomato paste at the grocery store. I can run down there (walk, actually, it’s only about 3/4 a mile from my house), but I got to thinking: Can I substitute something else?

The recipe calls for 1 can (6 oz) of tomato paste, which I don’t have, but I do have a 14.5 oz can of “fire roasted” diced tomatoes. I would think that would do the trick in terms of taste, but maybe need to add some flour to thicken things up a bit? And should I use more than 6 oz? The other liquids are white wine and chicken stock.

I’m thinking the diced tomatoes will boil down to all liquid by the end of the cooking time, but I honestly don’t care if there a few lumps left. It’s a rustic stew, anyway.

Any thoughts?

I’d drain the diced tomatoes and give 'em a spin in the food processor before adding. I wouldn’t add flour to compensate. That will likely change your stew in ways you’d rather it didn’t.

As you already discerned, you might need to simmer it a bit longer to compensate for the extra liquid. It won’t be quite the same, but it will certainly be acceptable.

Don’t have a food processor. I should have mentioned that I typically add a few tablespoons of flour to the stew even when I do use tomato paste. I was thinking maybe just one or two more tablespoons is all.

I’ve made this recipe many times, and I vary the thickness depending on how much flour I add. I’m OK with it being thinner than usual. Not really a big deal.

I don’t think the food processor part is all that important in a stew, either. Those tomatoes will break up just fine. And yes, if you already are using flour in the recipe, another couple teaspoons won’t bother it.

You already solved your own problem! :wink:

OK, thanks, but I’m curious about other potential solutions, so I hope others chime in. I’m still undecided on the amount, though. I do agree that draining is a good idea. I don’t need more liquid in this recipe.

Cooking now. Have to make a decision in about 20 minutes.

Do you have any ketchup? It will have a lot of sugar in it but it will add some flavor. It’s not as thick a tomato paste but it won’t make your stew any runnier either. Other than that just add whatever you want for flavor, a little more flour might help.

You can turn your tin of tomatoes into tomato paste by just putting it in a pan on very low heat and stirring for a long time. Half an hour maybe? That’s how my dad always made tomato paste for pizza bases, back in the day.

Sorry, this is probably too late for this cook now though!

Great idea. The pot is on the stove, so it’s too late this time. But I only used half the can of tomatoes, and I’m freezing the rest, so I’ll try that next time. Hate to waste food!

I would love to see your recipe , I add whole canned tomatoes to my chicken soup . I think I will try to use to tomatoes paste the next time . Could you zap the tomatoes in a microwave to thicken them up ?

Hope it turned out well, but I couldn’t help but think that is an awful lot of tomato paste for a chicken stew.

Next time, throw the can of diced tomatoes onto a sheet pan into a 350F oven for ~1/2 an hour or until it starts to get pasty. One key difference in flavor between tomato paste and canned tomato is that the sugars in the paste have started to caramelize, adding sweetness. You won’t get that via any wet heat cooking methods (unless you’re willing to spend 12+ hours) but the dry heat of the oven will replicate that.

Tomato sauce could be used too. Either boil it down, or just reduce how much you use of some other liquid ingredient.