Things I Love :: Freezing Tomatoes

How to freeze tomatoes in order to enjoy all year long

Maybe a more accurate title is – “Things I Love :: Frozen Tomatoes” or “Tomatoes in Winter” or “Dishes made with Tomatoes” – because all of those things are true and what this post on freezing tomatoes is all about.

Three summers ago, I was the lucky recipient of an abundance of tomatoes from a friend of my dad. And while I love a roasted tomato for breakfast, a BLT for lunch and a slice of tomato with dinner, there are truly only so many tomatoes a girl can consume in a day.

That said, I use a ton of tomatoes all year long – and especially in the winter for chili, vegetable soup, marinara and pizza sauce. And, with so many tomatoes on my hands in the summer, it seemed a waste to not figure out how to save some for winter. So that’s what I did.

Frozen tomatoes may not keep as long as canned tomatoes, but I remember those hot July and August days growing up when my mom canned tomatoes in our kitchen, and I have no plan to relive them.

Freezing tomatoes is quick, easy, and provides me with just what I need to get through the winter. As an example, I was able to turn a flat of tomatoes (~15-18) into 3 quarts for my freezer in about 30 minutes.

Crushed tomatoes ready for freezing
Crushed tomatoes ready for freezing

What You’ll Need

tomatoes (obviously)
knife (I use a tomato knife, but that’s not necessary; the one I use is in the photo in the title card)
Slotted spoon
Dutch oven or large pot for boiling water
2 other large pots or bowls
water & ice

Instructions for Freezing Tomatoes

  1. Cut out the stem top from the tomatoes.
  2. Fill pot 1/3 with water and bring to a boil.
  3. Create a water bath with ice and cold water in one of the other two bowls.
  4. Drop in tomatoes and let them boil 2-3 minutes. You should notice the tomato skins starting to peel or burst.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer tomatoes to water bath to stop the cooking.
  6. Peel tomatoes. I use my hands, as the peel should pretty much slide right off.
  7. Dice, crush tomatoes into the second large bowl. Again, I use my hands, but you can easily use a butter knife and dice them up in your hands.
  8. Spoon into whatever you’re using to freeze the tomatoes in. I’ve used freezer bags – which are great because you can make sure there’s no air in the bags, and I’ve also used containers that are easier to stack in a freezer.

Use over the course of the next 12 months as you would for tomato sauce, canned, or crushed tomatoes. Enjoy!!

PS: There are other freeze methods out there that suggest just popping tomatoes whole into a freezer bag and taking care of peeling, prep when you thaw for use. I’d rather do the labor on the front end so that when I’m ready to cook with them, they are ready to go.


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