What Is Tomato Powder And When Do You Use It?

You've all heard of tomato paste and tomato sauce, but have you heard of tomato powder? Tomato powder is similar to paste since it can be used as a replacement for real tomatoes in a recipe. Tomato powder is nothing but — you guessed it — 100% dehydrated tomatoes that last almost endlessly in the fridge. Depending on the exact powder you buy, it can be salt, sugar, gluten, and nut-free, as per the Savory Spice Shop. This makes it perfect for vegetarians, vegans, the lactose intolerant, and those with food allergies and other restrictions. 

It also happens to be a great substitute for tomato paste, according to Bon Appétit. In comparison, tomato paste is usually only used in small amounts, meaning it can go bad faster — especially if you tend to forget about it in the fridge. Switching to the more shelf-stable powder can solve that problem and open up a new culinary avenue.

Tomato powder is full of flavor and nutrition

Plainly put, tomato powder is full of nutritional value. It has a ton of vitamins that help the immune system, including vitamins A and C. It also has no saturated fat or cholesterol and is packed with dietary fibers that help with digestion, according to Nuts.com. Similar to its tomato paste cousin, tomato powder offers a rich flavor for sauces and stews.

And don't be afraid to think outside of the box, either. According to Nuts.com, tomato powder can also be sprinkled on top of many dishes like salad or pizza, or incorporated into dips and sauce for a rich, savory flavor. Meanwhile, Bon Appétit reports that the spice can be used as dry rubs for meats, a seasoning for roasted vegetables, and can even be sprinkled on snacks. Ultimately, this one-ingredient powder brings a ton of flavor however you decide to use it. 

That said, be aware that the particular flavor of tomato powder can vary from brand to brand. Bon Appétit notes that different versions use different tomatoes, therefore creating a diverse array of colors and flavors for you to enjoy. So, instead of opening up a can of tomato paste for your gumbo, sauce, stews, and whatever else it is usually used for, try out tomato powder instead.