Freezing Fresh Tomatoes, Step by Step

Southern gardeners prefer spring and summer outdoor tomatoes. Perfect plants provide bunches of luscious fruit. Good issue. Maintaining summer tomatoes year-round?  

1. Can You Freeze Tomatoes?

You can! Busy home cooks love freezing tomatoes because it's fast. Some limits apply after freezing. You may prefer garden tomatoes, but frozen ones taste and feel different.

2. Considerations When Freezing Tomatoes

You can freeze with or without skin. Sauces cannot use tomato peel since it is bitterer than flesh. The skin reduces tomato pieces after cooking, smoothing purees. Vodka sauce gains.  

Step 1: Prep

Cut the tomato stems with a paring knife and discard them. Cutting a ‘X’ in each tomato skin ensures it will come off easily.  

How To Freeze Tomatoe

Step 2: Blanch (if desired)

Two to three medium-sized tomatoes require a gallon of boiling water per pound. Boil ripe tomatoes 15 seconds. Put underride ones in boiling water for 30 seconds.

Step 3: Peel and Seed

Peel tomatoes with a paring knife after chilling. Skins open wider around the ‘X’, making removal easier. Forgot the cut? No issue. Most tomato skins split spontaneously.  

Step 4: Freeze

Place sliced tomatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze the baking sheet for 30 minutes until solid. Date frozen tomatoes in a plastic freezer bag.

Tips for Freezing Tomatoe

You can freeze tomatoes whole, but chopping them will save space.    

Read these National Center for Home Food Preservation guidelines for more freezer-safe containers.  

How To Thaw Frozen Tomatoe

Similar to freezing, there are ways to thaw frozen tomatoes. Put them in the fridge and let them unfreeze or use the microwave defrost feature to reduce bacteria.  


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