Freezing tomatoes is one of the easiest ways to get into saving your garden harvest in late summer. With the abundance of tomatoes it is great to take advantage of them and put them away in your freezer for the winter ahead.
I am sharing how to freeze your tomatoes without blanching or cooking in any way. It is incredibly simple and can be done whenever you bring in a harvest. Literally this is the simplest way to freeze your tomatoes!
Why Freeze Tomatoes:
I love frozen tomatoes because the flavor is really nearly as close to straight off the vine in the summer as possible. The sweetness remains very well and does not heat up your kitchen during the hottest times of the year.
Also, when you freeze tomatoes you can use a lot of different containers to store them instead of just jars. This gives you flexibility if you are limited on jars you have available to you.
When you go to use the tomatoes for cooking, it is easy to use them anything you want from pasta sauce to soup to even warm salsa recipes if you want.
You can make any of those other things like tomato jar later during slower and cooler months when you freeze tomatoes this time of year.
How to Freeze Tomatoes Step-by-Step
Further below in this article we’ll give you a million other tips in regards to what containers to use, tips and tricks, what varieties work best, etc, but here’s the low-down on how to freeze tomatoes without blanching them.
1. Begin by making sure you have a clean surface and plenty of containers for you to freeze in. See the notes below for ideas on what to use.
2. Wash all tomatoes and place them on a cutting board with a great tomato knife. I like this one.
3. Core all your larger tomatoes and remove any bad spots. Then from there just chop them into quarters or slightly smaller depending on the tomato.
4. If you have cherry tomatoes all you need to do is half them.
5. Drop them into your container you plan to freeze in and fill to your fill line.
6. Label and place them in your freezer and they will keep for 6-8 months.
What Should I Freeze Tomatoes in?
You can use various sorts of containers for your freezing method. Some of it will depend on what you have available to you and what you like to use. I always take a zero-waste approach to our freezing and saving as much as possible. It isn’t always easy to do, but I find that these items are the best:
Freezer Ready Wide Mouth Ball Jars:
These are awesome and you have to get the ball jars without the neck on them so they do not burst. You also do not want to fill over the fill line. I use masking tape and a sharpie to mark the jars with their contents. If you have a smaller space this won’t be the most space-saving. Use one of the other suggestions.
These bags are awesome and we have used them now for a few years. Silicone can retain scent and color so be warned. That said, buy the bags that you will solely use for tomatoes and just keep them as your tomato bags. These come in plenty of sizes too so use what works best for you.
These are not zero-waste even if you use them multiple times…they do not biodegrade over time like Silicone will, but they are very effective. I sometimes will even freeze tomatoes in large silicone ice cube trays and then pop them out into bags so I can use them in smaller sizes as well. You can actually just puree your tomatoes and pour them in and they are mushed and ready to cook…you do not even have to cook them before doing this if you don’t want. Just core and remove bad spots on them.
These are also not zero-waste and typically cannot be resealed either, which is frustrating, so I don’t suggest these but they work well if you are new to freezing. It can be a good way to save your garden with less work.
Why Not Freeze Tomatoes
Some people don’t like how frozen tomatoes end up tasting after they have thawed. Tomatoes contain a lot of water and it tends to turn them into mush once they thaw. If you plan on using your tomatoes in a cooked dish, like pasta or pizza sauce, then it is recommended that you freeze them in pre-portioned plastic baggies. This way it will be much easier to thaw only a small amount when you need it.
People also don’t like how the skin of a tomato shrinks when it is frozen . This makes it more difficult for people to handle them.
How Do You Prepare Tomatoes For Freezing?
Preparing tomatoes for the freezer is relatively simple and it does not require a lot of time. All you have to do is select your best and healthiest tomatoes, wash and core them. Use a sharp knife to core the tomatoes because it will make the process much easier.
What Variety of Tomato Is Best for Freezing?
There is a lot of thought on this and this is my perspective…Not all tomatoes are created equal but if they are good for eating fresh they are good frozen. I do not like certain tomatoes in the summer and I am pretty specific about what we eat when it comes to varieties because of flavor and texture.
1. Roma Tomatoes
This is a classic plum tomato variety and it is perfect for canning and producing paste or sauce that freezes really well. The variety is a determinate so it will create more of a bush then a vine and produce clumps of tomatoes for harvesting all at once, which makes it great for saving in batches.
2. Atkinson Tomatoes
This is what can be considered a newer variety of tomato. Introduced in the 1960’s, this is what most people would call a ‘regular’ tomato; what might typically appear as the type of tomatoes you find at your local grocery store. It has good flavor and texture for eating raw or cooking, but isn’t quite as versatile as some other tomatoes. It is what I consider to be a ‘neighborhood tomato.’
3. Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
These sweet and abundant cherry variety tomatoes have very thin and tender skins so they don’t last long on the shelf. If you don’t like skins on your tomatoes these are great to use because after cooking you usually don’t even notice them at all anymore. You can also blend them and the skins disappear even more.
4. Florentine Tomatoes
This variety of tomato has big ribs and is beautiful. The flavor is mild and sweet but it is the most beautiful tomato for sauces. The low juice content makes it easy to cook down for soup and sauces.
5. Goldman’s Tomatoes
This is a classic flavored tomato with a unique shape. It is an indeterminate so it will produce and produce as long as you desire to let it. The unique pear shape leaves little to no core and a lot of meat to use for sauce and freezing.
6. Blue Beauty Tomatoes
A newer variety created by Wild Boar seed company that is a blue hue with a gorgeous red center. I love this tomato for saving and eating because it is crack and sunburn resistant and produces huge and beautiful tomatoes. Best of all the core is minimal so pretty much the whole tomato is usable for anything you desire.
7. Black Krim Tomatoes
A producing variety that has a deep rich and full flavor. It is an heirloom variety that originated near the Black Sea. The tomato produces wonderful texture for almost anything you may cook.
How Do I Get Tomatoes for Freezing if I Didn’t Grow Any?
I love this question!!! Go to your Farmer’s Market and ask your favorite farmers if they have seconds. This means you can get a large number of tomatoes at a good price in bulk because these tomatoes had little issues like weird formations, bruising while picking, or some broken areas in their skin.
Basically they are not perfect ones they can sell at a premium. Also in a bunker crop year for farmers, they just want to sell them because they are coming in hot and heavy, so they are really happy to give you the end of the year tomatoes at a good price.
For a 1/2 bushel, I can pay $5-$8 depending on the year and crops. If I do 2 whole bushels I can put away enough tomatoes for the whole winter and spring. As a result, I save a ton of money and waste not buying jars and cans that grew who knows where.
Tomatoes are literally the best way and easiest way for a Midwesterner to eat locally.
How to use Frozen Tomatoes?
When you are ready to use your frozen tomatoes, you will want to thaw them or drop them in frozen depending on what you are doing. I store mine in jars so I will run warm water and set the jar in the water so it is there long enough to release on the walls and slide into the soup or sauce I am making.
It is great because they are premeasured as well. Cooking with frozen tomatoes as cooking time if you don’t let them fully thaw before dropping in, so if you want you can let them fully thaw in the fridge the day before and then strain with a mesh strainer. You can save the water to add to another dish that week as well.
Very simple to use! It is honestly surprising.
Once you freeze tomatoes you will never go back to jarred ones at the store again!
Other Food Conservation Tips You’ll Love
- Learn How to Dry Basil – Using An Oven or Dehydrator
- Homemade Tomatillo Salsa Verde Recipe: The fresh and tangy flavors of the tomatillo can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, from tacos to soups.
- How to Freeze Zucchini: Don’t let your zucchini go to waste by not freezing it.
- Here are some tips on drying herbs.
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This is the simple way I do tomatoes every summer and it works great. I offer lots of options in terms of containers for freezing and tips about how to get some for your freezer if you did not grow them or didn’t have success. No worries! Your farmers are here for you!! Have questions or want more info on products you can check the blog post on the blog! https://thefreshexchange.com/how-to-freeze-tomatoes/
You can easily freeze tomatoes with this simple recipe on how to freeze tomatoes. There is no blanching or cooking involved, which makes it simple to turn into pasta sauce later on.
Freshly picked Tomatoes that are washed and dried in any amount.
*** You can mix any varieties you want in this recipe. I use cherries and heirlooms together all the time***
- Begin by making sure you have a clean surface and plenty of containers for you to freeze in. See the notes below for ideas on what to use.
- Wash all tomatoes and place them on a cutting board with a great tomato knife. I like this one.
- Core all your larger tomatoes and remove any bad spots. Then from there just chop them into quarters or slightly smaller depending on the tomato.
- If you have cherry tomatoes all you need to do is half them.
- Drop them into your container you plan to freeze in and fill to your fill line.
- Label and place them in your freezer and they will keep for 6-8 months.
Keywords: freezing tomatoes, preserving
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