Friday, July 29, 2011

Freezing Tomatoes

I absolutely love tomatoes.  My favorite way to eat a tomato is to pick it from the vine, wash it and eat it like an apple.  Nothing says summer like a fresh tomato.  During the winter months (when there are no fresh tomatoes) we eat a lot of tomato based sauces.  Spaghetti, lasagna, manicotti, chili - do I need to go on?

Typically the only sauce I don't like to make from scratch is my spaghetti sauce (no one does it like Paul Newman!) so tomatoes are a staple for my freezer.  Luckily for me that I usually have friends, neighbors or coworkers who have way to many tomatoes than they know what to do with so the cost of my tomatoes is usually plants from my flower bed or some other bartering payment.

The first year I froze my tomatoes I spent hours blanching and pureeing only to discover that my tomato sauce was pretty runny.  The next year I threw them in the freezer, after washing and drying, skin and all!  Just to clarify, I actually put them into a Ziploc bag and THEN threw them in the freezer.  Didn't want you guys to think I was scrapping tomatoes from the inside of my freezer!  When it came time to need my tomatoes I would take them from the freezer, let them sit on the counter for a few minutes and then peel the skin right off.  At this point the tomatoes are so soft that just mashing them usually does the trick.  If I need them more pureed I can stick them in the food processor at that point.

This is my cheap, easy way to have fresh tomato sauce all winter long.  How do you freeze your tomatoes?


  1. The exact same way you do! We are pasta people and you just cant beat the flavor of home grown tomatos. Best thing is they don't take long to thaw, if fact most times by the time the pasta is done they are also ready.

  2. I have only frozen tomatoes once. And I blanched them, peeled them & cut them to the size I wanted. In the past I'd always canned them.

    The only difference I found was that I had to remember to take out the frozen tomatoes BEFORE I needed them. Whereas, canned tomatoes I only had to pop the lid.

    I do think that you are supposed to at least blanch them before you freeze them - to kill enzymes & yucky stuff... lol

    Found this reference:

  3. Try freezing them on a tray THEN putting them into a ziplock bag - that way, you can take out only what you need.

  4. I'll have to look into the blanching - don't want to make my family members sick! Kim - that is a good idea about freezing them separately. Need less bags that way!

  5. I discovered this trick three summers ago when we had a bumper crop of tomatoes from the garden. I cored them, stuck them upside down on a tray and froze batches of them. Once frozen for a couple of hours, I stuck them in Ziploc bags and I'm STILL using them! I've found that if you run them under warm water, the skins slide off with no effort at all. I use them for chili mostly, or any soup/recipe that calls for tomatoes. Love it!

  6. I ended up having to throw away what was left from last summer because of a freezer issue. I'm hoping to get my hands on enough soon that i can start freezing for this coming winter. Chili is one of our favorites too!

  7. This is an INCREDIBLE tip!!! I have tons of tomatoes but I am not a fan of canning and I hated to think of them going to waste!

    As far as blanching, I have heard from a meat butcher that freezing kills the things we don't want in our food. If we had to blanch them first, then wouldn't we always have to cook our meat before freezing them?