Tomatoes: Can I freeze tomatoes to use in pasta sauces or soups?

I just got an e-mail from Gloria entitled “Tomatoes Everywhere.” She explained that she was overwhelmed by the abundance of tomatoes her garden had produced and wondered if she could freeze some. I have had that problem myself (check out “Too Many Tomatoes”) and have been asked practically the same question in the past (see “What is the best way to store tomatoes?”). I suggest making a good pasta sauce and freezing it for quick meals later on but you could also just make the equivalent of canned tomatoes so you can use it in any recipe that calls for canned tomatoes. To do that, blanch and peel the tomatoes, cut them into 1-inch chunks and simmer them until they are tender and have released their juice. Cool the tomatoes to room temperature, add salt and pepper to taste, pack them in pint freezer containers and freeze. The equivalent of a 14 to 14 1/2 ounce can is 1 3/4 cups so if you pack that measured amount you can substitute them directly for a can of tomatoes in a recipe for sauce or soup. They would work well in my recipes for Southern Manhattan Corn Chowder or Annie’s Favorite Pasta.
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3 Responses to Tomatoes: Can I freeze tomatoes to use in pasta sauces or soups?

  1. Nancy says:

    Sara – another great way to preserve them is to wash them to remove contaminants, then dry them in the oven (at the lowest temp setting; with a utensil wedged in the oven door to make the temp even lower). It may take a couple of days, so be patient, but get all the water out of them. These “oven dried” tomatoes, when re-hydrated in the recipe of your choice, are simply delicious.

  2. Jinny Defoggi says:

    For quick storage of tomatoes, I just wash them, put them on a cookie sheet, and freeze them. When frozen, I use a plastic bag to keep them in until I’m ready to use them. Side benefit: when ready to use, put them in a little hot water. The skin pop right off….

  3. Sonia says:

    I freeze them sometimes before using them to make sauces when I have too many before I can use them up. I also freeze the sauce after I make it, since I prefer to freeze rather than can them.

    Here is my article about freezing them and making sauce that was published the end of June this year.


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