7 Best Tomato Juice Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

There are plenty of excellent tomato juice substitutes if you happen to run low on this flavorful ingredient when preparing a meal.

Tomato Juice Substitutes

It may be necessary to find tomato juice substitutes, as this is an unpredictable ingredient that pops up in certain recipes, but isn’t something that everyone keeps on hand. Ever a family favorite, tomatoes are vine-grown fruits that have a distinctive flavor that can be hard to replicate. However, it’s possible to make your own convincing tomato juice from other tomato-based foods. According to the required flavor, texture or color, the best substitutes include canned tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth, tomato soup, ketchup, roasted red peppers, and tamarind among others.

A glass filled with tomato juice kept next to a basket of fresh tomatoes

Raw tomato juice is considered a super food in itself. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Canned Tomatoes

One of the best alternatives out there, you can either use chopped or whole tomatoes to make a tomato juice substitute. Simply blend the tomatoes until they turn into a thick liquid and strain the resulting liquid to remove the excess pulp. Store-bought tomato juice tends to be a bit sweeter than this homemade variation, so you might want to add a little sugar to taste.

Tomato Paste

You can blend tomato paste with water at a 1:4 ratio to achieve a liquid similar in flavor and color to tomato juice. It may have a slightly thinner consistency than store-bought tomato juice.

Vegetable Broth

You should choose this substitute when you’re making a savory dish that can handle the extra salt. If there is any additional salt in the recipe, you can leave it out to compensate. You can also add a dash of vinegar, lemon juice or some other citric acid to heighten the tangy flavor of the broth.

A close-up view of tomato ketchup

A crispy bucket of french fries and a ketcup bowl is all you need for chilling on weekends. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted red peppers are a great substitute if the color of your dish is important. Blend them up and thin with water until you reach the desired consistency. Bear in mind that peppers have a distinctive flavor that differs from tomato.

Tamarind

This fruit makes a decent substitute due to its similar tangy flavor and rich color. It has a slightly different and distinctive flavor, however, so be sure to try it before adding it to a dish. Add water to the paste or the soaked and blended dry fruit to achieve the required consistency.

Tomato Soup

You could try thinning tomato soup to make a thinner variation that mirrors the consistency of juice. The soup may actually be sweeter than juice, so think about adjusting your recipe accordingly.

Ketchup

A good emergency substitute, ketchup might save the day if you don’t have anything else with a tomato-base in your cupboard. Try mixing one part ketchup to 6 parts water and dilute further if needed.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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