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the tomato paste fab five


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One of my favorite ace-in-the-hole ingredients is canned tomato paste. It’s small, concentrated, and from it I can make many things. I wouldn’t think of leaving home without a couple cans tucked in each emergency pack, and I never buy the store tomato products anymore because these are so fast & easy, I can just whip up what is needed right out of my pantry. They are good without salt, so if you need to cut the salt in your diet, these will help you feel less deprived. Last but not least, the cheapness of tomato paste products makes them truly dear to my frugal heart!



6 oz can tomato paste

2 1/2 c water

2 TB flour or 1 TB cornstarch

1 tsp sugar (or sugar substitute that can take heat, such as splenda or sugar twin)

1 TB salt

1/4 tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder, ground basil, ground thyme, ground oregano,

& ground marjoram

Shake flour, water, seasonings in a jar until smooth. In a med. saucepan, gradually blend the flour mixture into the tomato paste. Cook over med heat, stirring often until it thickens. This makes a very simple sauce that is easily varied by adding (or omitting) salt and/or herbs. I gave my best friend this recipe and she uses no herbs at all – just the sugar and salt - due to stomach problems – and it still makes a good sauce. Personally I like to add drained, canned mushrooms, minced carrots, sliced black olives, and even meat, TVP, or chopped gluten-burger (whatever’s handy). In its basic form it is a very cheap recipe for 3 1/4 cups sauce.


TOMATO PASTE CATSUP (American Heart Association)

6 oz tomato paste

2 TB white vinegar

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch cloves

pinch allspice

pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 c brown sugar (or brown sugar-twin, or 1/4 c splenda + 1 tsp molasses)

1/4 to 1/3 c water

salt to taste

Mix well. Chill for a couple hours to allow flavors to blend.

(The original recipe was for a low salt diet. It is so good I like it sans salt, but my husband likes it better with, so I use a 50-50 salt and substitute mix. making it as needed.) Makes about 1 1/2 cups.


TOMATO JUICE (From the Hillbilly Housewife)

6 oz can tomato paste

1 quart cold water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

Mix paste and dry ingredients, then whisk in water gradually. Chill several hours before using. (This is also tasty with celery salt in place of plain salt, or with that 50-50 no-salt blend, which cuts the sodium down a bit.)



TOMATO SOUP (3 1/2 cups)

6 oz can tomato paste

4 paste cans of milk (reconstituted instant)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp celery seed

Whisk milk into paste gradually. Add seasonings. Heat over med heat to warm it but DO NOT BOIL. (It will curdle!)


TOMATO PASTE EMERGENCY SALSA (From a camping recipe book)

10.7 oz can tomato paste

1 1/3 c water

1/3 c chopped onions (reconstituted dry ones OK)

2 TB white vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp minced garlic (or dash of powdered)

1/4 tsp dry onion flakes

optional – 1/4 tsp minced green pepper

Combine, simmer 30 min until thick as you want. Chill before using. A smooth textured salsa, but good flavored. And sugar-free!! Makes about 3 1/3 cups.


(I’m sorry about no photos – I have no digital camera, nor do I have internet in the house. I use the local library computers). But these are such great, versatile recipes that I wanted to share them. I do hope you will like them.





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