Do You Add Tomato Paste to Spaghetti Sauce?

Spaghetti sauce is a staple in many households. Whether you’re making a homemade sauce from scratch or using a store-bought version, there’s always room for customization and personalization.

One common debate among home cooks is whether or not to add tomato paste to spaghetti sauce. Let’s delve into this question and explore the reasons behind both choices.

The Purpose of Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a concentrated form of tomatoes. It is made by cooking down tomatoes, removing the seeds and skin, and reducing the liquid content until it becomes thick and rich in flavor. The purpose of adding tomato paste to spaghetti sauce is to enhance the overall taste and texture.

Reasons to Include Tomato Paste

If you want your spaghetti sauce to have a deeper, more intense tomato flavor, tomato paste is an excellent addition. Adding tomato paste brings out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes while adding complexity to the overall taste profile.

Bold Tip: Tomato paste also contributes to the thickening of the sauce. If you prefer a thicker consistency for your spaghetti sauce, incorporating tomato paste can help achieve that desired texture.

Reasons to Skip Tomato Paste

If you prefer a lighter or more subtle taste in your spaghetti sauce, omitting tomato paste may be the way to go. Some people find that tomato paste can overpower other flavors in the sauce, especially when using other robust ingredients like garlic or herbs.

Underline Insight: Another reason for skipping tomato paste is if you prefer a thinner consistency for your sauce. Tomato paste can make the sauce thicker, which may not be desirable if you like it on the lighter side.

Incorporating Tomato Paste

If you’ve decided to include tomato paste in your spaghetti sauce, it’s important to know how much to add. The amount of tomato paste can vary depending on personal preference and the quantity of sauce you’re making. As a general guideline, start with one to two tablespoons of tomato paste for every 14-ounce can of tomatoes.

Bold Tip: To incorporate tomato paste into your sauce, begin by sautéing it in a little oil or butter. This process helps to develop its flavor and removes any raw taste. Once the tomato paste is well-cooked, you can add it to your sauce along with other ingredients.


In the end, whether or not you add tomato paste to spaghetti sauce is a matter of personal taste. It all comes down to your preference for flavor intensity and texture.

Tomato paste can elevate the taste of your sauce by adding depth and richness while also thickening it. On the other hand, omitting tomato paste allows for a lighter taste and thinner consistency.

Underline Insight: Experiment with both options and find what works best for you. Remember that cooking is an art, and there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to creating delicious meals!