How to Tell if Tomato Paste is Bad?

If you’ve never wondered how to determine whether tomato paste is accurate, go through this guide. The flavor, color, and texture of the paste all indicate whether it is rotting or not. It is undoubtedly molded if your tomato paste is discolored or smells bad. The runny or watery mixture shouldn’t be utilized for cooking and should instead be thrown away. The flavor of the paste may change even if it is still safe to eat, making your gourmet dishes taste like water.Tomato Paste

What is Tomato Paste?

Tomato paste is just concentrated tomato sauce. You can make tomato paste by boiling down tomatoes, removing the skin and seeds from the mixture, and then cooking the sauce until it thickens. Manufacturers of tomato paste add stabilizers such as citric acid, salt (some versions without salt), and occasionally herbs and spices.

Tomato paste is now available in triple- and double-concentrated variants, which add to their potency. Tomato paste is a pantry necessity that you must always keep on hand if you want to prepare delicious, intensely flavored meals. A simple recipe, like a soup or sauce, can be transformed into something truly unique by using it.

Tomato paste is often sold in little 6-ounce cans because a little goes a long way. Since most recipes only call for a tablespoon or two, even the smallest can of tomato paste is very large. You may always refrigerate the leftovers (hoping you remember to use them before they start to decay) or freeze them for later use (read more on the best way to do this below).

Alternately, switching to tomato paste in a tube would be preferable to tomato paste in a can (maybe our favorite option). Here are some general facts about tomato paste, justifications for purchasing it in a tube, and recipes you might want to try.

Tomato Paste Nutrition FactsTomato Paste

How to Tell if Tomato Paste is Bad?Tomato Paste

Tomato paste can be kept in the refrigerator for several months or perhaps a year, but if you don’t, it will expire sooner. To keep the quality of the paste intact, only buy a few teaspoons at a time. To avoid spending too much money, make sure you only purchase tomato paste when necessary. If it does go wrong, throw it away right away.

Tomato paste can be kept in glass jars, tubes, and cans. Keeping them out of direct sunlight in a relaxed, dry environment and covering the well to avoid mold growth and smells is critical. If unsure, sample a few jars to determine the type of paste contained therein. Tomato paste can be found in glass jars, cans, and even tubes.

Tomato paste takes some time to consume despite being one of the substances that are used the most frequently. Tomato paste, a staple ingredient in almost all recipes, has a six-month shelf life when it is not opened. Tomato paste can survive for a few weeks if properly stored. Any surface stains or mold should be kept an eye out for. If they have these problems, it’s time to eliminate them.

The best way to assess tomato paste’s quality is to use it before it goes bad. Jars of tomato paste that haven’t been opened in months won’t probably spoil, but they might after being opened. A pot that still has a few months to go on its shelf ought to be usable, and it may still be helpful after five to seven days if it has already been opened.

How to Store Tomato Paste?

The three most popular packaging choices for tomato paste are cans, glass jars, and tubes. The storage advice is practically the same for each. If it hasn’t been opened, keep the container away from heat sources in a cold, dry place. Also, remember that a glass jar shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight. The ideal storage location for tomato paste is a kitchen cabinet or pantry.

Ensure the cabinet or shelf isn’t adjacent to an oven or a radiator. After opening the container, the tomato paste should be tightly covered and kept in the refrigerator when not in use. Glass jars or tubes don’t pose an issue, but cans are more challenging to seal.

For sealing things, cling film, or a plastic bag with a rubber band work well. Pour the leftover paste alternatively into a glass jar or another airtight container. You are well aware that tomato paste doesn’t last very long. Fortunately, we can extend its shelf life by several months with additional work.

Can you Freeze Tomato Paste?

Tomato paste may undoubtedly be frozen, and the quality declines as you defrost the paste, which is a drawback. Fortunately, tomato paste is frequently used in prepared foods, so this minor alteration barely registers. There is a better technique than simply putting the leftover paste in a freezer-safe container and putting it in the freezer. Now, freeze the food in ice cube trays. Ice cube trays make freezing simple, and clean-up is minimal.

This is how you do it: Paste should be placed in the tray. Once the cubes are set, place the tray in the freezer and let it sit there for a few hours. Place the cubes in a freezer bag after removing the tray from the freezer. If you like, add a label with your name and the date. The freezer bag should be placed there. Simple, yes? The only thing left to do after the process is complete is to wash the ice cube trays.

Unopened cans of tomato paste should be stored in a cool, dry area away from heat and light. Keep glass jars out of the sun and the heat. Once opened, tomato paste needs to be stored in the refrigerator. Use it no later than two weeks from the time you receive it. The leftover paste can also be placed in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for subsequent use. You don’t want to risk it getting ruined by bacterial development.

How to Use Tomato Paste?

Tomato paste has many delicious applications. Want to prepare homemade tomato sauce quickly? Would you like some grilled cheese and some creamy tomato soup? Tomato paste is a crucial ingredient that instantly provides a ton of tomato flavor.  You can use tomato paste to improve the taste of other meals and make tomato-heavy dishes like sauces and soups. We used this in our recipes for Jackfruit Sloppy Joes, the dipping sauce for these Air-Fryer Zucchini Fries, and Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken.

You likely have a tube or can of tomato paste in a cabinet, ready to be used. Of course, tomato paste is a necessary ingredient in cooking; you’ll always put it on your shopping list even if you have no plans to use it in a dish because you never know when you’ll need it.

In terms of ingredients, tomato paste is like the “little black dress,” according to Sophina Uong, chef and proprietor of Mister Mao in New Orleans. “For that extra caramelized umami depth, sweetness, and velvety richness of color, you must keep it in your pantry. One of those necessary ingredients, tomato paste, teaches cooks the fundamentals of creating superb sauces.”

Chef and food writer Marta Rivera Diaz of Sense and Edibility adds, “I think tomato paste is a beneficial addition to many kitchens because of how much flavor it contributes to a range of recipes. A good example is how adding a spoonful of tomato paste to dishes like chili, stews, or beans can eliminate the need for vast quantities of tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes, all of which will dilute the meal they are added to.

What can I Substitute for Tomato Paste?

A condensed form of tomato sauce is tomato paste. Both tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes are acceptable. Use three tablespoons of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes instead of the one tablespoon of tomato paste your recipe calls for. It will take a little longer to reduce and thicken the sauce because there is more juice in the tomato dish. The exact ratio of fresh tomatoes works just as well. Although tomato paste comes in a little can (or tube), it has a big flavor and is a crucial component of dishes like beef stew and chili.

Try to keep a can of paste on hand at all times. The extra paste can be frozen after being opened; pack it into an ice cube tray, freeze it, then pop out and transfer it to a freezer bag with a sealable lid. However, if you’re in a bind and don’t have tomato paste on hand, don’t just leave it out because you’ll lose all the flavorful umami that comes with tomatoes. You most likely have a different type of tomato that can replace tomato paste (and no one will be the wiser).

What’s the Difference Between Tomato Paste and Tomato Puree?

Tomato paste must be spooned or squeezed out of a container because it is a concentrated paste. Similar to a blended sauce, tomato purée is more liquid and thinner. Sometimes tomato paste and water are combined to make tomato puree, whereas reduced purée can be used to create a paste. They differ in their constancy. Compared to tomato purée, tomato paste has a thicker consistency.

Tomato paste must be spooned or squeezed out of a container because it is a concentrated paste. Similar to a blended sauce, tomato purée is more liquid and thinner. Tomato paste and water occasionally combine to make tomato puree, whereas purée can be reduced to make a paste.

The first is sweeter than the second. Compared to tomato purée, which has the more acidic flavor of fresh tomatoes, tomato paste has a gentler and sweeter taste. They are cooked in various ways. Tomatoes cooked and drained are used to make tomato paste and puree. However, once the water evaporates, tomatoes that produce paste are cooked for more extended and reduced to a concentrate. A blended tomato mixture called tomato purée is somewhat thicker than a sauce but not as thick as a paste.

They have various applications. With a few modifications, puree and paste can be used interchangeably, although tomato paste is often only used to thicken tomato sauces (like producing marinara sauce) or to add flavor to other sauces like pasta or pizza sauce. Many Italian sauces, including pizza sauce, and sauce-based condiments, like salsas or dips, are made with tomato purée.

Is Tomato Paste Healthier than a Tomato?

According to a second study, processed tomato products like tomato paste, tomato sauce, and ketchup are excellent sources of the antioxidant lycopene than fresh tomatoes because the body more readily absorbs them. In terms of nutrition, tomato paste is superior to tomato sauce. In addition to being denser and more concentrated, it also has greater lycopene concentrations. This antioxidant is well-known for providing several health advantages, including protection against some types of cancer and better heart and skin health.

Additionally, lycopene, a phytochemical or organic plant molecule with health advantages, is present in canned tomatoes (and gives tomatoes their gorgeous hue). Over 700 research have demonstrated the protective effects of the antioxidant lycopene against breast cancer, heart cancer, inflammation, and prostate cancer. Tomato paste is inexpensive, adds flavor to food, and provides a good number of nutrients for very few calories. The best dietary source of lycopene is supplied by this delectable condiment, which is a distinct benefit.


Tomato paste is a typical pantry staple. A smaller tube or can holds more paste than a larger jar. A line is a valuable and cost-effective replacement. Umami flavoring may improve a variety of different foods. Continue reading to learn how to tell whether tomato paste is rotten. If the taste isn’t as good, use a tube. It will still be safe after that. The paste is sour if it smells terrible and has a stained surface.

Additionally, the tomato paste may be runny or sticky, which are signs of spoiled food. While the wet component may turn into a puddle, the liquid part will be light and smell bad. Even if the house doesn’t smell like decaying tomato paste, something is probably wrong.