Vanilla bean paste is a thick mixture of vanilla extract and vanilla seeds. The seeds are scraped out from the vanilla bean pod and added with vanilla extract. Vanilla bean paste is a great substitute for vanilla bean seeds since it can be cheaper and easier to find in grocery stores than high-quality vanilla bean pods.
Vanilla bean paste is also perfect if you are looking for less prep time without compromising the vanilla flavor.
Vanilla bean paste has the same rich and pungent taste as vanilla pod seeds and can generally be used interchangeably. If your recipe calls for one vanilla bean pod, simply substitute 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste.
You may also add a few drops of vanilla extract to your vanilla bean paste when using it as a substitute for vanilla bean pods. This is helpful if you want to add more of the vanilla flavor and aroma to your recipe.
Vanilla extract can also be used in replacement for vanilla bean paste as both have the same flavor and richness. One thing to consider, however, is that using vanilla bean paste adds a few dark specks of vanilla to your dish.
This may be great if you are going for a rustic look, but if you want the rich vanilla taste without the spots, your best option would be vanilla to extract.