The government highways authority said the vehicle “lost its load and damaged the carriageway,” leading to a road closure on the A14.
One driver sustained a “minor” injury, Highways England said.
A spokesman confirmed it was carrying tomato puree, which spilled across the road and prompted emergency road resurfacing overnight until Wednesday afternoon.
The crash prompted some jokes — of varying quality — on social media.
“What happens when you go too fast trying to ketchup to the Volkswagen Passata in front of you,” said one person on Twitter.
“I went pasta that. Took a while for the traffic to ketchup,” said another.
One person tweeted of the road closure: “And I imagine when it does reopen cars will have to passata slow speed?”
“So this was the sauce of all the traffic problems in Cambridge today,” another commented.
While relatively uncommon, food spillages on highways do happen.