Tomato powder consists entirely of ground, dehydrated tomatoes. You can use it in any preparation that requires tomato in either sauce or powder form. It has the benefit of having a much longer shelf life when compared to fresh tomatoes. If you are unable to get your hands on tomato powder and need some right away, consider a few of the many viable alternatives. The tomato powder substitutes below all share one of tomato powder’s most important characteristics—they are low in moisture.
Table of Contents
- Your best bet: Tomato soup powder
- A decent second choice: Tomato paste
- In a pinch: Sun-dried tomatoes
- Other alternatives
- Must-read related posts
Your best bet: Tomato soup powder
Tomato soup powder is similar to tomato powder in that they have both had much of their liquid content removed. You have the option of reconstituting it with water, just like tomato powder. You can simply add water according to the maker’s instructions to get tomato soup and you can use it as a base for a variety of other soups and for sauces. Mix it with spices to create a dry rub or with vinegar, celery seed, and other ingredients to make your own Russian dressing.
When using tomato soup powder in place of tomato powder, keep in mind that tomato soup powder will contain its own spices, including salt. It may also have thickeners that will affect the texture of the finished dish. To keep from throwing the flavor profile off balance, you may need to leave other sources of salt and any other thickeners out of a dish until you have tasted it.
You should be able to use tomato soup powder exactly as you would tomato powder in most recipes, but you should probably make a test batch to be certain.
A decent second choice: Tomato paste
The whole point of using tomato powder is to get the tomato flavor and color without unnecessary moisture. While tomato paste is not completely moisture-free, it is still a good tomato powder substitute since it has less moisture than other tomato products (like tomato sauce or canned diced tomatoes.) In addition, tomato paste will usually be packaged to give it a long shelf life.
You can use tomato paste in many of the applications that require tomato powder. It works well as a base for pasta and pizza sauces, in addition to soups. All you have to do is add water and spices.
Note that if you have a food dehydrator and a little time, you may be able to make your own tomato powder using tomato paste.
In a pinch: Sun-dried tomatoes
The practice of drying tomatoes in the sun has been around for thousands of years. The Aztecs began using this technique of drying tomatoes to preserve them, and the practice continues today for much the same reason. The act of sun-drying tomatoes lengthens their shelf-life and intensifies their flavor.
Tomato powder also consists of dehydrated tomatoes, so the two have a lot in common in terms of flavor and color. The difference is that sun-dried tomatoes are kept whole. You can either grind them yourself to make your own tomato powder or you can reconstitute them and blend them to make sauces and similar preparations.
Powdered spaghetti sauce is similar to powdered tomato soup in that it contains tomato powder and various spices. You can use it in many of the same applications that require tomato powder as long as you remember that it already contains herbs and spices. You will have to adjust other flavors in your recipe when using it in place of tomato powder, which has no added spices.