What Can You Do With Leftover Tomato Paste?

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So, you have an opened can of leftover tomato paste in the refrigerator and are not sure what to do with it? We have some thoughts, some good ones for you.

When my roommate moved out, she left half a can of leftover tomato paste in the fridge and so I had to do some research and think what I can do with it, since I positively hate throwing food away. My research was pretty illuminating, and I will definitely not be wasting leftover tomato paste anymore.

But first: why does it usually get wasted? The answer is simple: tomato paste is a concentrate and using just one tablespoon in dishes can be more than enough. But when you buy a full can, it can be difficult to find the bottom on it. It depends on how much you cook and how preoccupied you are with using up all of your ingredients.

How about you? Are you in? Then let’s see some great ideas for what you can do with your lovely paste before it spoils. Because even though it might seem like a difficult ingredient to work with, you have plenty of options in your kitchen.

4 ways to use leftover tomato paste

1. Use it for braising

It doesn’t really matter what exactly you’re braising. The main thing is that you can add so much flavor to your braising liquid with just one tablespoon of tomato paste. And not only flavor, but also the paste enhances the melding of wine, aromatics, and fat. This all adds up to a better flavor experience, even if you can’t really feel the taste of the tomato paste in the finished product.

What Can You Do with Leftover Tomato Paste?
Leftover tomato paste adds more color and flavor to your braised meat.

2. Make a simple pasta sauce

For those times when you’re too exhausted to cook but want something hearty and tasty, leftover tomato paste is perfect for putting together a simple pasta sauce. Just add some of your favorite ingredients, like garlic, olive oil, and basil. And your sauce will be ready in just a few minutes.

3. Add it to stews

A dollop of tomato paste can make your stew so much better. First, check out these tips and tricks for a better stew, and then add tomato paste to it all. It will deepen the flavors of your other ingredients, no matter if they’re meat or veggies. Not to mention that the color of your stew will end up being spectacular.

4. Throw some of it in soups

This is something that I’ve only recently remembered: my mom adds tomato paste to every soup she makes, and it helps enhance the beautiful color, the consistency and the flavor profile of every single bowl.

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