This Is the Easiest Way to Freeze Tomatoes

updated Aug 11, 2022
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How to Freeze Tomatoes

This step-by-step guide shows you the easiest way to preserve tomatoes. The hardest part is making room in your freezer.

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(Image credit: Jeff Roffman)

Got fresh tomatoes? Want to save them for winter stews and sauces, without the hassle of canning? The freezer is the surprising secret to the easiest long-term storage for whole in-season tomatoes, as long as you follow a few guidelines and know how to use tomatoes that have been frozen.

The most surprising thing about freezing tomatoes is how easy it is. The process is nearly effortless. And in fact, you’re likely to spend more time clearing space in the freezer. Ready to see how it’s done? Here’s the easiest-ever way to freeze tomatoes.

The Easiest Way to Freeze Tomatoes

When we think about preserving fruits and vegetables, we usually think of jams, jellies, pickles, and canned goods. And while those methods certainly have their merits, they’re not nearly as easy as freezing. The freezer is also a much-overlooked tool for preserving, especially when it comes to tomatoes.

If you plan on using tomatoes in the depths of winter in sauces and stews, then freezing is a perfectly wonderful option. You can skip the puréeing and canning and just place them straight into freezer bags. Yes, really! It’s the lazy yet smart way of preserving tomatoes; their delicious acidity and bright flavor will still come through, months later, in a way that’ll make you think you’ve stepped into the Tardis and gone straight back to July.

Plus, there’s a bonus to this method: After the tomatoes have thawed in the fridge or in the microwave, you can just pull the skins right off.

Now, of course, you may be reacting to this news with no small horror, picturing the runny mess that is a frozen and thawed tomato. No, of course, if you want a fresh tomato, you’re going to need to eat it now.

How to Thaw Frozen Tomatoes

When stored in an airtight container or freezer bag, frozen tomatoes will keep in the freezer for up to six months. When you’re ready to use the tomatoes, thaw just what you need in a bowl at room temperature, then peel before using.

Recipes with Frozen Tomatoes

Because freezing and thawing tomatoes affects their texture, we don’t recommend using them raw. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of delicious ways to enjoy them. Frozen tomatoes can be grated for instant pasta sauce or thawed completely, chopped, and added to soups, stews, or sauces.

How to Freeze Tomatoes

This step-by-step guide shows you the easiest way to preserve tomatoes. The hardest part is making room in your freezer.

Ingredients

  • Ripe tomatoes (any quantity), medium or large are best

Equipment

  • Freezer bags

  • Paring knife

Instructions

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  1. Wash the tomatoes. Rinse the tomatoes and pat dry.

  2. Hull the tomatoes. Remove any green stems from the tomatoes. Use a paring knife to remove the woody core from the top of each tomato.

  3. Bag the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in a gallon-sized zip-top freezer bag. Force out as much air as possible and tightly seal the bag.

  4. Freeze the tomatoes. Lay the bag flat in the freezer and freeze until solid, at least 6 hours but preferably overnight. Keep frozen for up to 6 months.

  5. Thaw and peel. Thaw whole tomatoes for 30 minutes at room temperature. At this point the tomato will still be frozen, but the peel can be easily removed. Thaw completely, about 1 hour, before cutting.