Full of intense flavor, tomato paste adds umami to everything from sauces to stews and curries.
Does this sound familiar? You open a can of tomato paste. You use 2 tablespoons of it in the recipe you’re making that night. You spoon the remaining paste out of the can into a container (carefully scraping down the narrow walls of the can so as to not waste any of it). You put the container in the fridge and… six weeks later you throw it away.
At least I have done this countless times but it doesn’t have to be that way! Tomato paste is an incredibly versatile ingredient. You can use it in a huge variety of recipes all the way from curries to paprika sauce.
Here are some tasty recipes that use tomato paste:
Each of the recipes below uses between 1 and 4 tablespoons tomato paste. (For reference, there are about 10 tablespoons in a 6-ounce can of tomato paste, the size you most commonly find at the grocery store.)
1. Spicy Smoked Paprika Sauce with Cilantro
Full of spice and flavor, this sauce is great with chicken and rice. Bonus: it’s ready in 12 minutes from start to finish!
2. Thai Chicken Curry
Aromatic spices, fresh vegetables and a coconut pineapple sauce make this Thai curry a flavorful dinner.
3. Chunky Chili
Tender chunks of beef and lots of delicious spices give this chili a lot of flavor and depth.
4. Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Curry
This slow cooked dinner features melt-in-your-mouth tender chicken thighs in a spicy tomato curry sauce.
5. Oven-Baked Spicy Pulled Chicken
Spicy, tangy and dressed in a sweet and sour sauce, this pulled chicken is perfect in a hearty dinner sandwich.
6. Easy Chicken Tikka Masala
Buttery, creamy and full of delicious spices, this classic is flavorful and easy to make.
7. Five-Minute Rosemary Cream Sauce
Creamy and full of flavor from rosemary, tomato and extra dry vermouth, this quick sauce takes dinner to the next level.
How do you store leftover canned tomato paste?
Keep it in the fridge:
Transfer leftover tomato paste into an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you know you’re just not going to use your tomato paste in time, you can always freeze it. If you do that I recommend you portion it out so you don’t have to thaw a whole chunk at once.
Spoon tablespoon-sized knobs onto a plate or a small baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Freeze until firm, then transfer into freezer bags. Tomato paste will last about 2 months in the freezer.