How to Freeze Tomatoes
Find out how to freeze tomatoes, from whole to cherry to green, the quick and easy way. Perfect for spaghetti sauce and no need to blanch.
We’ve grown quite a few tomatoes over the years and always have fun using them up. Reader favorites include our Fresh Garden Tomato Marinara, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Roasted Tomato Soup, Authentic Bruschetta, and Panzanella.
If you end up with more late summer tomatoes than you can use, try freezing them. Just like our post on How to Freeze Avocados, you may learn some new tips, tricks and recipes for using your frozen tomatoes. It’s the easiest method of preserving fresh tomatoes and it works with any type of tomato, from cherry tomatoes to Romas.
How to Freeze Whole Tomatoes
Whether using small cherry or grape tomatoes, or larger ones like Romas, the first step is to wash and dry the tomatoes.
Next, lay them on a rimmed baking dish and pop in the freezer until hard, about an hour or more, depending on the size. Remove from the freezer and transfer to a freezer bag. You can also use a food storage container or jar, but will not be able to remove air, so that’s not preferable. Squeeze as much air out as you can and seal. Place back into the freezer.
Defrosting, Peeling, and Cutting Frozen Tomatoes
When you’re ready to use your frozen tomatoes, simply remove as many as needed. Defrost at room temperature for about half an hour, or to speed things along, place in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes.
You’ll notice the skins are very easy to peel at this point, so there’s no need to blanch them first! I do not always peel my tomatoes, and never do with cherry tomatoes. This will depend on your preference and recipe.
For diced tomatoes, it’s easiest to cut them when they are still slightly frozen inside.
How to Use Frozen Tomatoes
Previously frozen tomatoes are best used in cooked dishes, rather than something like salad, Caprese, or fresh salsa. Once defrosted, they will be softer, much like canned tomatoes.
Cherry tomatoes work well in sauces or cooked in garlic and olive oil and mixed in with pasta, like this recipe. Whole tomatoes are perfect for our Italian sauces like this Fresh Tomato Marinara, Pomodoro, or Classic Pizza Sauce. When subbing thawed frozen tomatoes for canned, you may want to add a little tomato puree such as tomato sauce or passata.
How long can you freeze tomatoes?
Stored properly in an airtight container, frozen tomatoes should last up to 6 months.
How do you blanch tomatoes for freezing?
Blanching is not necessary before freezing fresh tomatoes, as the skins are easy to peel after thawing. If you’d still like to blanch first, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the tomatoes and boil until the skins just start to peel back, about 30-60 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove and place in an ice bath. Peel the cooled tomatoes and add directly to a freezer bag. Squeeze the air out and freeze.
- 1 pound fresh tomatoes (any kind)
- Wash and dry the tomatoes well to prevent freezer burn.
- Place the tomatoes, in a single layer, on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the freezer and freeze just until frozen through. The time this takes will depend on the size of the tomatoes, but about 2 hours.
- Remove from the freezer and transfer to freezer bags before they begin to thaw. If you have a vacuum sealer for food, use that, otherwise zip-top bags are fine. Remove as much air as possible from the bags. Some people zip most of the way, insert a straw and suck the air out.
- Place freezer bags into the freezer and store there until ready to use. They should be good for up to 6 months when stored properly in an airtight container.
- When ready to use, remove as many frozen tomatoes as you'd like and thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, or in a bowl of warm water for 10. The skins will be easy to peel off. I like to peel larger tomatoes and chop for soups and pasta dishes. I leave the skins of cherry tomatoes on and use in pastas.
When subbing thawed frozen tomatoes for canned, you may want to add a little tomato puree such as tomato sauce or passata, as canned tomatoes are usually stored in tomato sauce or juice.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 82Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.