Can you have too many tomatoes? Apparently so! Today I’m sharing a super simple way to freeze tomatoes, specifically how to freeze tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes. Save that delicious fresh tomato flavor for rainy days! It will take you around 15 minutes.
Years ago, I remember my grandmother used to spend days canning fresh yummy tomatoes from her garden.
She did it all: tomato juice, tomato sauce, canned whole tomatoes, even tomato jelly as crazy as it sounds.
“Tomato is still a fruit” she would say.
Thanks to my dad, who is a great gardener, every year, we still enjoy organic, homegrown tomatoes all through July and August.
This year, my dad gave us four buckets full of ripe, juicy tomatoes so far.
After eating two buckets in just a week – in salads like this one, juices or the tomato sauce my toddler devours – our cravings for tomatoes went a bit down.
We did not want the rest to go bad or to make our own La Tomatina at home. So, we decided to preserve these tomatoes for as long as we can.
Why Freeze Tomato Sauce
- save money
- reduce food waste
- preserve nutrients and original tomato flavor (cooked tomatoes are just different, guys!, good, but different)
- know what’s in your tomato sauce (no salt, no sugar, no harmful or “healthy” food additives)
How To Preserve A Lot Of Tomatoes?
If you’re wondering what to do with lots of tomatoes and getting overwhelmed, don’t worry – there are many options when it comes to preserving tomatoes. It really depends on what you like and how much time and energy you want to invest in this. Here are a few ways to keep your tomatoes for months and eat them too:
- Canning. Canning tomatoes takes a while, but they’ll keep fresh for a year, or as my mom can guarantee, a few years.
- Turn into tomato paste. You’ll need to invest some time (what feels like 5 years) to cook your tomatoes down to this, but then you can make a pizza in 10 minutes with it.
- Drying tomatoes. Ever heard of sun-dried tomatoes? Of course, you have! This is another way to preserve tomatoes. If you don’t have the patience to dry tomatoes in the sun, you can do it in the oven or buy a dehydrator.
- Freezing tomatoes. By far the easiest and quickest option that preserves the fresh flavor!
With my 2-year-old keeping me fairly busy, I decided to skip the canning ceremony this year. I decided to take the easy route and freeze the two buckets of fresh tomatoes my dad gave me from his garden.
How To Freeze Tomato Sauce
You can freeze your own tomato sauce in around 15 minutes. You’ll need tomatoes, a knife, a ladle, freezer bags and a high-speed blender or a bowl and a hand blender.
My toddler loves tomatoes on their own and that’s one reason I wanted to keep this “sauce” super simple. Here’s how to make and freeze tomato sauce in 4 easy steps:
Step 1: Wash and chop roughly the tomatoes.
Step 2: Blend the tomatoes into tomato sauce using a high-speed blender or a hand blender.
Step 3: Using a ladle, put the tomato sauce in a freezer bag/ziplock and seal.
Now, I admit I overdid it a bit with filling the freezer bags this time. I recommend putting around 1-2 cups of tomato sauce per bag, because once the tomato sauce has thawed you’ll need to use the whole bag of tomatoes and more than 2 cups might be too much if you’re not feeding a big family.
Step 4: Lay the filled freezer bag flat in the freezer.
Step 5: Repeat this process for all the tomato sauce you have and stack the filled tomato sauce freezer bags on top of each other to freeze.
Voila! Now you can enjoy all the vitamins from fresh tomatoes all through fall and winter.
If you don’t feel like reading, here is our 90-second video on YouTube.
Can You Freeze Tomato Sauce In Glass Jars
Yes! I have tried that too, it works, but I feel like it takes a bit longer to thaw it. Simply fill a jar of desired size with your tomato sauce, close the lid and put in the freezer.
How To Thaw Frozen Tomato Sauce
A simple way to thaw frozen tomato sauce is to fill up a bowl with warm water and leave the freezer bag with the sauce to thaw for 15-20 minutes. The time will vary depending on how big the freezer bag is and how much tomato sauce you have inside of it.
Can You Freeze Whole Tomatoes
Yes, you can. If you don’t want to make a sauce, simply wash, pat your tomatoes dry, put them whole in freezer bags and then in the freezer. It’s that simple.
What To Do With Frozen Tomato Sauce?
Once you thaw the frozen tomato sauce, you can:
- add any herbs and spices you like: basil, oregano, crushed chili flakes, black pepper, olive oil – you can be very flexible here!
- use in soups or chili
- make dishes with rice, quinoa, beans, chicken or fish
You might need to cook the tomatoes down a bit for some recipes, but they will taste fresh and delicious.
How Long Can You Keep Frozen Tomato Sauce For
Usually, frozen tomato sauce lasts me for about 3 months. Make sure to not thaw and refreeze to keep it fresh longer.
La Tomatina (…or what to do with bad tomatoes)
If some tomatoes went bad, you can do your own Tomatina at home, in case you can’t visit the Spanish one this year. Sure, it will be messy and smelly (if the tomatoes are bad), but it’s probably worth the experience. For some reason.
We were in Valencia in June, so it was too early to visit the biggest food fight festival where people throw overripe tomatoes in the streets.
As fun as that sounds, I still prefer to freeze those tomatoes on time instead of fighting with the ones that went bad. I hope your tomatoes are still good and fresh, so you can freeze them and enjoy any time you want.
- 2 cups tomatoes
- Wash and chop roughly the tomatoes.
- Blend the tomatoes into tomato sauce using a high-speed blender or a hand blender.
- Using a ladle, put the tomato sauce in a freezer bag and seal it.
- Lay the full freezer bag flat in the freezer.
- Repeat for all the tomato sauce you have and stack the filled tomato sauce freezer bags on top of each other.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 59Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g