Difference between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Puree

By: | Updated: Nov-19, 2017
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Tomato is an edible fruit, claimed by some to be one of the world’s healthiest food. It is a rich source of lycopene and antioxidants that is said to prevent the risks of certain types of cancers. It is also tasty and is a popular ingredient in several cuisines around the world. For instance, it is used for pasta and pizza sauces in Italy. In Britain it is used in soups, broths, and as garnish. In North Africa and the Middle East, it is served fresh in salad and sometimes grilled with kebabs.

Because it is widely used, tomatoes are often preserved to prolong their shelf life. One common method of preserving tomatoes is to cook them and then turn them into tomato sauce or tomato puree. Many people are confused about the difference between these two. In this article we will learn the difference between tomato sauce and tomato puree.

Summary Table

Tomato Sauce Tomato Puree
Tomatoes are cooked then herbs and spices are added Tomatoes are briefly cooked and pressed
Requires reheating, but is ready to add to pasta and pizza Required cooking and adding of herbs and spices for flavor
Stored in cans, jars, and metallic sealed foils Stored in cans
Made from a tomato base with herbs and spices Made from 100% tomatoes
Exotic taste because of herbs and spices Vine-ripened tomato taste
Less viscous consistency Thick consistency


Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce is any sauce made from tomatoes. The process of making tomato sauce is usually by cooking tomato puree and adding herbs and spices. Salt is usually added to preserve the tomatoes. Garlic, onion, and other herbs are added to produce a flavor depending on the preference of the chef.

Tomato puree
Tomato puree

Tomato puree is cooked tomatoes that have been blended and pressed to have a thicker consistency. It is often prepared by cooking the tomatoes briefly and straining them. This produces a thick consistency often seen in purees.

Tomato Sauce vs Tomato Puree

What’s the difference between tomato sauce and tomato puree?

Tomato puree and tomato sauce come from the same fruit, but there are differences in how these are prepared, consumed, and stored. There are also distinct differences in their ingredients, taste, and consistency.


Tomato sauce is tomato puree that has been cooked and enhanced with added with herbs and spices. Tomato puree is basically tomatoes that have been briefly cooked and pressed.


Tomato sauce has already been cooked and is usually reheated before being added to pasta or pizza. Some also prefer to add more spices and herbs to produce a unique flavor. Tomato puree is usually the base of tomato sauces and soups. Therefore, it needs to be cooked before being consumed. Because it is usually not flavored yet, herbs and spices must be added later.


Tomato sauce is often stored in many ways – in cans, jars, or even in metallic sealed foils. Tomato puree is typically stored in cans.


Tomato sauce is made from a tomato base with the addition of herbs and spices to create flavor that consumers prefer. Tomato puree is made from 100% tomatoes without any herbs or spices.


Because of the herbs and spices added to tomato sauce, it has a different flavor. Basil, chives, or parsley are added to produce an exotic flavor. It will be spicy if chili powder and flakes was added. Tomato puree, however, tastes like pure vine-ripened tomatoes – a mixed flavor of sour and sweet. It has a deeper flavor than tomato sauce.


Tomato sauce is less viscous than tomato puree because of the differences in preparation.

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