Too Much Tomato Paste In Chili

You can make chili at home occasionally, but its use imparts more of a tomatoey flavor, like pasta sauce with a sour kick, rather than the taste of chili. Luckily, there are several methods you can use to give your chili a spicy kick while also cutting down on the tomato flavor.

Spices and seasonings such as cumin powder, bay leaves, and herbs for the chili are some things to have around the kitchen. With their mild flavor, the items are a great addition to the chili to cut down on the tomatoey flavor. Adding onion cubes or bell pepper can mask the taste of too much tomato.

In our guide, if you need to change your tomatoey chili, you can find out what to do when you have added too much tomato paste. By the end, if you accidentally add too much tomato flavor from adding too much tomato paste, you’ll have all you need to cut through the overwhelming taste and end up with the desired consistency. (Read What To Do With Leftover Dumpling Filling)

tomato paste in chili

How Do You Know If Chili Has More Tomato Than What Is Needed?

If the chili has too much of a tomato flavor, you can tell by tasting it.

Remember, everyone has a different threshold for detecting flavor.

Your chili can be hot and sweet or hot and sour, which is bitter; different people have different preferences.

Once you have chili in hand, you must determine what flavor profile best suits your needs. For some, tomato puree is ideal, while others find they prefer the taste of regular tomato sauce.

You can achieve a more bitter taste by increasing the amount of heat and spice in the chile.

Although, you need to know the source of the tomato flavor in the chili before you add spices or more seasoning to add flavor and mask the tomato flavor.

What Causes Chili To Have Strong Tomato Taste?

What majorly causes the chili to taste like the tomato can be the type of tomatoes and maybe the amount of tomato you are adding to the chili.

Tomato Types

Some types of tomatoes are better suited for many dishes than others. Here, you can use any type of tomato you like to make the chili.

Blends of fresh, pureed, and canned tomatoes are an option; sometimes, the combination is to blame for the excessive tomato flavor. Tomatoes come in many types, each with its own unique taste.

Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes lose their sweetness and become more acidic because a saltwater preservative is added. More canned tomatoes will change the taste of the chili, though.

Fresh Tomatoes

Even if they’re picked right, the tomatoes you use might make a fresh tomato taste sour. However, cherry tomatoes are sweet, while plumber tomatoes are sour. Try combining the two for a more nuanced flavor.

Tomato Paste

The thickest type of tomato is tomato paste, which is also known as tomato puree. Since various producers employ various preservation techniques, the tomato paste ranges from sweet to acidic in taste.

Tomato paste can be used as a substitute for fresh tomatoes or in addition to them. However, since it is so strong, you’ll need to know how to dilute tomato paste by adding extra liquid.

tomato ketchup

Tomato Ketchup

If you usually use tomato paste in your cooking but don’t have any on hand, you may easily substitute tomato ketchup in your chili. But if you combine them, you’ll end up with a tomato-heavy chili that doesn’t offer the best taste.

Amount of Tomatoes

The flavor takes on a more tomato-forward tone when extra tomatoes are added to chili. Tomatoes can improve the flavor of chili, but only if you add them in moderation.

For instance, if you add half a can and some tomato paste, you will get a more tomato flavor than you would if you add tomatoes from a whole can. (Learn How Long Do Cooked Veggie Burgers Last In The Fridge)

Ways To Reduce Tomato Flavor In Chili

Here are a few ways to lead you to a happy cooking session and overcome too much tomato flavor.

1. Use Overpowering Ingredients

Additions like bay leaf, dried basil herbs, curry powder, cinnamon powder, and cumin seeds help mask the tomato taste in chili.

Onion cubes and bell peppers can soak up the tomato sauce taste, and sweeteners like dark chocolate can balance the sourness of tomato.

salt and pepper

2. Add Salt and Pepper

Ensure the chili has enough pepper and salt before adding any other ingredients because you will lose the original flavor.

Consider how much chili has a tomato taste, and adding salt and pepper accordingly to balance this, or it will taste bland.

3. Add Sugar To Tomatoes

To counteract the extra sourness of canned tomatoes, sugar is a wonderful addition for those who use canned tomatoes.

How To Fix Chili When Texture Changes

You may notice a difference in the chili’s texture after you add some ingredients to boost or tone down the tomato taste. The following are some suggestions for achieving a silkier feel:


Reheating it might make the texture smoother if you’ve added it to your chili. The extra water is removed when you reheat, so you may keep the heat on until the texture is just right.

Include a Thickener

A thickener should be used if, after adjusting the ingredients, you find that the chili is still too thin. Canned beans or more bell pepper can help thicken in this situation.

Add a Thinner

The consistency of the chili may change from thick to thin. If your chili is too watery, try adding broth and re-stirring until it reaches the desired consistency.

How To Fix Chili With Too Much Tomato

If the bland chili is excessively sour or tomatoey like spaghetti sauce, the tomato taste needs adjusting, so the dish achieves the desired warm spiciness.

If the chili is too bland, you can dilute the tomato paste by adding stock and cooking the dish for a more extended period, just like you would with any other meal.

To offset the bitterness of the tomatoes, raise the chili’s spice levels by adding things like garlic and onion powder, cumin, balsamic vinegar, coriander, and chili powder.

Adding a pinch of dark cocoa powder transforms red chili into a brownish sauce that’s rich in flavor.

Serve it with a mountain of tortilla chips, guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce, chopped scallions, and grated cheese if you’re still unsatisfied with the chili’s flavor.

Use Overpowering Herbs and Spices

It would help if you used caution when using this combination, because it is pretty potent.

To do this, combine the ingredients in carrier oil, like olive oil, and then add them to the chili.

Give it a good stir and some time to let the flavors of the medium overpowering agent meld, then see if you can detect any lessening of the tomato flavor.

Curry Powder

The mild flavor of curry powder balances the strong taste of tomato in chili. Putting in only 1.5 tablespoons of the powder is all required for your chili. Try it out and adjust the seasoning to your taste. A little goes a long way with curry powder, so don’t go crazy.

Onion Cubes

Use 1 cup of onion cubes into your chili designed to serve 4 people.

The onion will soak up most of the tomato flavor. Leave them in for about 20 mins, then take them out.

Adding Sugar

The most common remedy for the overly dramatic taste of tomatoes is sugar.

Gradually increase the amount until the desired taste is reached.

Ground Beef

Ground beef, like beans, is a must-have component. Also, if the tomatoes make the chili too acidic, add some ground beef.

Sauté the beef in a pan first before adding it. Then, add the meat to the chili when it reaches an internal temperature of 80%.

Put some beef on a platter and roll it into a ball to make if it is 80% done. Then, the meat should be separated again by stretching the ball.

Baking Soda

When making chili, if you want to mask the tomato taste by adding baking soda, that’s an option. To make a pot of chili for four people, stir a spoonful of baking soda.

Too Much Tomato Paste In Stew

Tomato paste is commonly used to create the robust tomato base characteristic of most stews. What should you do if you accidentally add too much tomato paste to your stew?

Adding more root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes, can help cover up the tomato taste. Adding more stock can dilute the stew, so if it’s too thin, consider thickening it with cornstarch.

Add a pinch of salt at a time and taste to see whether it enhances the flavor before adding more. You will have a hard task on your hands if you add too much salt, as you’ll be battling with sugar and extra herbs to get rid of the salty flavor.

Umami-rich substances, such as salt, can be added to a tomato with tomatoes to give it more depth and nuance.

Stew gains depth and richness with ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, dry stock cubes, and soy sauce.

To counteract tomato paste’s acidity, you can add something sweet like sugar, honey, or black treacle.

Caramelized onions are great for cutting through bitterness and bringing out the best in other flavors. (Learn How To Warm Up Pastrami)


What Will Tone Down Tomato Flavor In Chili?

When making chili, you can add baking soda if you want to mask the tomato taste. For example, just stir a spoonful of baking soda to make a pot of chili for four people.

How To Enhance Chili Flavor Without Tomato?

Spruce up your chili by adding some cinnamon powder or brown sugar to the mix. However, be careful not to overdo it by adding too much at once.


This article provides all the background you need to know about chili, its taste, and ways to enhance or tone down those flavors. (Learn How Long Do Marinated Artichokes Last)

Don’t forget that if you make adjustments to the chili to mask the tomato taste, you’ll want to be careful not to use too much of any one element since doing so can lead to an off-putting result.

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