Blanching tomatoes makes them quick and easy to peel. Learn how to peel tomatoes for canning, sauce, salsa, and more! I’ll show you how to peel tomatoes without blanching, and how to blanch them, so you’ve got plenty of options. 

An overhead photo of a bowl of blanched peeled tomatoes on a marble countertop.

Blanched, peeled Roma tomatoes.

We have many, many recipes for using fresh tomatoes, after years of growing all types of tomatoes in the garden. While most of the time I use tomatoes with skins on, there are times when peeled tomatoes are necessary, especially for sauces (like this easy Pomodoro Sauce) and canning recipes. 

This summer I’ll be sharing more recipes for canning tomatoes, per popular request. But first, we need to know how to peel tomatoes, so let’s check it out. 

A photo of a bag of frozen tomatoes.

Frozen tomatoes peel easily.

Ways to peel tomatoes Without Blanching

  • Freeze them and the peels will come off easily. Use firm, meaty tomatoes such as Romas so they don’t fall apart and peel before they are completely thawed. 
  • Roast whole or halved, but the tomatoes will then also be roasted. Delicious but not desired for every recipe. 
  • Place over a stovetop flame, like roasting a marshmallow, until the skin peels back. 

How to Blanch Tomatoes

Blanching tomatoes is by far the simplest and quickest method for removing the skin. The tomato itself cooks very little, retains its firmness and bright red color while making the skin slip right off. 

Blanching is a method of boiling for a very short time (about 1 minute), then immediately transferring to an ice water bath. The ice water quickly stops the cooking and gives the tomatoes a bit of a shock that helps loosen the skin. 

Use ripe but firm tomatoes that will hold up to peeling. Roma tomatoes work very well, but others such as Early Girl and Beefsteak work too. Even cherry tomatoes can be peeled using this method. 

The skin of a Roma tomato is peeled off after blanching.

While boiling, you’ll notice the skins begin to crack open. This is when you’ll plunge them into the ice water. The skins will slip right off. 

Hot canning salsa is ladled into a warm Ball canning jar.

Using Peeled Tomatoes

Peeled fresh tomatoes are a good replacement for canned whole tomatoes. Here are some recipes for them. 

Yield: 6 peeled tomatoes

How to Peel Tomatoes Easily

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Additional Time 1 minute
Total Time 4 minutes

The best, and simplest way to peel tomatoes for sauce, salsa, passata, and canning is to blanch them, but it's not the only way. Here are the step-by-step instructions for blanching tomatoes, as well as a few other ways to peel tomatoes without blanching.

A bowl of peeled Roma tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 6 tomatoes

Instructions

Blanching Tomatoes

  1. Wash your tomatoes. With a sharp knife, cut an "x" in the bottom of all tomatoes. An x is cut into the bottom of a red tomato.
  2. Bring a medium-sized saucepan filled with water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice-water bath by filling a bowl with cold water and ice cubes.
  3. Working in small batches, add the tomatoes to the boiling water. Boil for just 30-60 seconds. You'll notice some of the skins burst open and the skin near the "x" starts to peel up. This means they are ready! Boil the tomatoes for the minimum time needed to loosen the skin to avoid cooking. Overcooked tomatoes will not hold their shape after peeling. Roma tomatoes in boiling water.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes to the ice bath. Four Roma tomatoes in a bowl of ice water after boiling.
  5. The skins should now peel off very easily. The skin of a Roma tomato is peeled off after blanching.
  6. Use in your favorite sauces, salsa, and canning recipes.


Peeling Tomatoes without Blanching

  1. Freeze tomatoes, then thaw and the skins will slip right off.
  2. Use a fork to hold the tomatoes and hold over a stovetop flame, as you would roast a marshmallow until the skin peels back.
  3. Roast whole to halved at 425°F for 10 minutes. This method will also cook the tomatoes, which works well for some but not all recipes.

Notes

Choose ripe but firm, meaty tomatoes for peeling so that they hold their shape even without skins on.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 22Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

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.