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What the Difference Between Tomato Paste, Sauce, and Ketchup Is

Tomato paste, ketchup, and sauce are all based on the same ingredient, however, in the end, we get 3 different products. One can be used in cooking, another as a dressing for a ready-made dish, and the third can be used in both cases.

5-Minute Crafts is telling you what tomato paste, sauce, and ketchup are and in what way they are different from each other.

Tomato paste

Tomato paste is a thick paste based on tomatoes. It is cooked in the following way: first, tomatoes are boiled for several hours, then they get filtered to get rid of the seeds and peels, after which the remaining liquid is boiled again until a thick concentrate is formed. Sometimes salt or sugar is added to the finished mass.

Tomato paste is used in culinary for giving an intense tomato taste to various dishes, like pasta, soups, and stewed meat. Moreover, tomato paste is a base for other products, such as tomato juice and various sauces, including ketchup.

Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce is a sauce based on tomatoes that differs from tomato paste with a more liquid concentration.

It’s normally cooked in the following way: chopped tomatoes are simmered on low heat until they become soft and smooth. They can be stewed in their own juice or with the addition of olive oil. Additionally, one or more spices can be added during the cooking process, like salt, herbs, onions, garlic, pepper, and other spices. Broth may be added for a more liquid consistency.

Tomato sauce is often used to make soups, pasta, shakshouka, Mexican salsa, stews, vegetables, etc. Some tomato sauces are served as a dressing for ready meals.


Ketchup is a type of tomato sauce that has both sweet and hot flavors. It’s made from tomatoes with the addition of salt, sugar, vinegar, and various spices. In large factories, ketchup is made from tomato paste by mixing it with water and other ingredients.

Ketchup is most often used as a dressing for hot dishes, such as potatoes, burgers, hot dogs, cutlets, sandwiches, meat pies, fried meat, and many others. Sometimes ketchup is a base for other sauces and dressings.

Please tell us in the comments which of these products you use most often and why.

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