If you have excess tomatoes that you want to preserve, freezing them is a great way to do it. In this guide, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions for how to freeze them the easy way. Following this method will ensure you have a supply of tomatoes on hand all year round.
Before we explain the steps to take to properly freeze tomatoes, let’s start by explaining the benefits of doing so.
Why freeze tomatoes?
- To preserve them. When you freeze tomatoes, you can enjoy them all year round. If you freeze tomatoes soon after they become ripe, their flavor and texture will be retained. This means you can take them out of the freezer at any time and enjoy high-quality tomatoes.
- To save money. Freezing a large number of tomatoes will save you money. It means you can stock up when tomatoes are in season and have a convenient supply all year round. Plus, if you’re freezing your own home-grown tomatoes, it helps you avoid food wastage.
- They are versatile. Tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many types of dishes such as soups, salsas, stews, and sauces. Most of the time, you can take them straight out of the freezer and put them in your dish without needing to thaw them.
- They are healthy. Frozen tomatoes retain their nutrients, meaning they have a high nutritional value. Tomatoes are recognized as a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. Having a supply of tomatoes in your freezer to use helps you to eat healthier.
Steps to freeze tomatoes
- Check your tomatoes. First, make sure the tomatoes you want to freeze don’t have blemishes or bruises. When freezing tomatoes, you want to freeze good quality ones that have just recently become ripe.
- Wash your tomatoes. Once you have checked your tomatoes, the next step is to wash your tomatoes to remove any dirt and debris from them.
- Put a pot of water on. Fill up a large pot with water and put it on the stove.
- Prepare the tomatoes. While the water is coming to a boil, you need to prepare the tomatoes by slicing a small X shape on the bottom of them. You only need to cut through the skin. The reason for doing this is to make it easy to peel the tomatoes after they have been blanched.
You also need to fill up a container with icy water for cooling down the tomatoes once they have been blanched.
- Blanch the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have been scored and the water is boiling, place the tomatoes into the pot. Let them cook for between 30 seconds and one minute.
When the skin starts to become loose, take them out. The easiest way to take the tomatoes out of the pot is to use a slotted spoon. If you don’t have one, use tongs. When you take the tomatoes out, put them into icy water to cool them down.
- Peel the tomatoes. Once cool, you can peel the skin off the tomatoes. The easiest way to do this is to start peeling at the point where you cut the X mark earlier. The skin should come off very easily.
- Prepare the tomatoes. Once peeled, you can remove the core by cutting through the stem end of the tomato. You can then either freeze them whole or cut them into pieces.
If you chop the tomatoes into smaller pieces, you can place them straight away into freezer-safe bags or airtight containers. However, if you want to freeze them whole, you will need to place them on a baking sheet lined tray and freeze them for a few hours uncovered.
Once frozen, you can transfer them into bags or containers. Make sure you label the bags or containers and ensure as much air as possible is removed from them before sealing them.
- Freeze the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are in bags or containers, you can place them in your freezer. Tomatoes can last for up to 12 months in the freezer. For best results, it’s recommended to try and use them within six to nine months.
When taking them out of the freezer, you can usually add them straight into your dish without thawing them.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to blanch tomatoes before freezing them?
Yes, it is recommended that you blanch tomatoes before freezing them. Blanching tomatoes helps to preserve their flavor and texture.
You can freeze tomatoes without blanching them, but the texture will change significantly. Given that it doesn’t take very long to blanch them before freezing, it’s worth doing.
Can you freeze tomatoes in plastic bags?
Yes, you can freeze tomatoes in plastic bags. Just make sure you use freezer-safe bags that can be sealed.
This is because you don’t want any air in the bag as this will cause the tomatoes to get freezer burn. Alternatively, you can use freezer-safe airtight containers.
How long can you freeze tomatoes?
When stored properly in freezer-safe bags or containers, frozen tomatoes can maintain their quality for up to 12 months. However, for best results, it’s recommended that you use them within nine months.
If you leave them in the freezer for too long, you risk the tomatoes getting freezer burn, which will damage the flavor and texture of them.
Do frozen tomatoes taste good?
Yes, frozen tomatoes taste good. When you freeze tomatoes properly, you will preserve the flavor and texture of them.
Tomatoes that have been frozen are best used for cooking in dishes like stews and soups. It’s not recommended that you eat them raw—with the possible exception of using them in salsa.
Do you need to thaw frozen tomatoes?
No, you can place frozen tomatoes directly into dishes like soups and stews without thawing them.
If you’re making salsa, though, you will need to thaw them. Simply take them out of the freezer and leave them on your kitchen counter or in the fridge. They will defrost quickly.