Once you know How to Freeze Tomatoes, you can have them ready to use in your favorite dishes year-round. Learn the best way to freeze fresh, whole, and peeled tomatoes after blanching them with this simple method. With your freezer fully stocked, you’ll be able to make sauces and soups anytime the craving strikes!
Those who have gardens know that when summer comes, there will be tomatoes galore. These fruits are hardy and handle extreme conditions pretty well.
This means that throughout the warm, harvest months, tomatoes are continuously ripening.
Even if you don’t have your own garden, they are easy to find at farmer’s markets and grocery stores.
So, what do you do with all these tomatoes? Freeze them, of course! Freezing not only ensures you have this food handy, it also preserves the delicious flavor of fresh tomatoes.
If you follow these few simple steps to peel the skin and flash-freeze them, you can have tomatoes ready to use year-round.
How to Freeze Whole Tomatoes
The basic steps for freezing whole tomatoes are simple to follow:
Rinse and Remove
Ensure you have the larger kinds of tomatoes, like vine-ripened, greenhouse, beefsteak, or Roma tomatoes. Opt for ripe fruit, as well. This method does not work on smaller varieties, like cherry or grape.
Rinse and gently scrub each fruit to remove dirt and debris from the skins.
Remove the stems by carefully twisting them off.
Score and Par-Boil
Use a sharp paring knife to slice a small X on the bottom side of each tomato. This small cut allows the skin to separate from the flesh while you par-boil them.
On the stove, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
Depending on the size of the tomatoes, add 4 to 6 to the pot of boiling water. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot.
Boil for only 1 to 2 minutes, or just until the skin starts to crack.
Soak then Peel
In a large bowl, add water and ice.
Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and then immediately place them in the ice bath.
Let the tomatoes rest in the cold water for at least 5 minutes. This allows them to be cool enough to handle.
Use your fingers and start at the bottom where you made the X. Carefully grab a flap of skin and peel up towards the stem end. You might need to use a sharp knife to remove any remaining pieces of skin left on the flesh.
Continue peeling until all of the skin is off.
Optional: Seed the Tomatoes
If you wish to remove the seeds now before freezing, turn the tomato on its side. Cut across the middle, not from the top.
Use your fingers to firmly squeeze each half to make the seeds slideout.
The best way to prepare the tomatoes is to flash-freeze them first. This step ensures they do not stick to each other.
Set the tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper. Be sure whatever you use fits flat in your freezer.
Place the pan in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours, or until they are quite firm.
Add to Gallon Bag
Place each of the tomatoes in a freezer-safe bag. Be sure to write the date on the outside. Remove as much air as possible, seal the bag, and return it to the freezer.
These should keep for up to one year.
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: Because these tomatoes are frozen, you can make these as you have time and pull them out of the freezer whenever you need them!
- To Store: Keep these frozen tomatoes in freezer bags for up to 12 months.
The best way to freeze tomatoes depends on how you plan to use them. If you intend to make a sauce or a dish that would be better without the skins and seeds, be sure to remove those before freezing. First score and blanch the tomatoes, and then peel off the skin and squeeze out the seeds.
Tomatoes freeze easily, but the consistency will be affected after you thaw them. Frozen tomatoes are best in soups, sauces, and stews where you want the flavor but the texture isn’t as important. Try making spaghetti sauce with frozen tomatoes!
You can absolutely freeze raw tomatoes without blanching and peeling. However, be aware that you will be limited using them after thawing.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Mark an X. Use a sharp knife to score a small X on the bottom of the tomatoes.
- Boil and blanch. This step makes removing the skin a breeze!
- Flash freeze. Lay the tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and set it in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours before freezing them in a bag.
- Label it. Don’t forget to mark the date on the outside of the bag so you know when to use them by.
- Get creative. Use frozen tomatoes in your favorite chicken dishes, in tomato sauce with fresh herbs and spices, or blend them with chili peppers, onions, and cilantro to make a salsa.
Recipes that Use Whole Peeled Tomatoes
After you have filled your freezer with whole, peeled tomatoes, use them in one of these easy dishes:
More Tomato Recipes
If you have a hankering for more tomatoes, put one of these recipes on your meal plan soon:
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- Shrimp Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes
- Pico de Gallo
- Chana Masala
How to Freeze Whole Tomatoes
Once you know How to Freeze Tomatoes, you can have them ready to use in your favorite dishes year-round. Learn the best way to freeze fresh, whole, and peeled tomatoes after blanching them with this simple method.
- 1 pound tomatoes
Peel the Tomatoes:
Rinse and scrub the tomatoes to remove any visible dirt or debris.
Remove the stems by twisting them off.
Using a paring knife, score an X on the bottom of each tomato just barely into the flesh.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then add the tomatoes 4-6 at a time. Boil for 1-2 minutes, or until the skin begins to crack. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and then immediately immerse them in an ice water bath. Let soak for at least 5 minutes, or until they’re cool to the touch.
Starting from the bottom of the tomato where it was scored, grab a flap of skin and then peel towards the stem. Repeat this until all of the skin has been removed.
Freeze the Tomatoes:
Once peeled, place the whole tomatoes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or plate. (This will largely depend on how big your freezer space it.)
Flash freeze the tomatoes for 1-2 hours, or until they are firm.
Immediately transfer them to a gallon-sized freezer-safe bag. Write the date on the front and keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: Because these tomatoes are frozen, you can make these whenever you have time and pull them out of the freezer whenever you need them!
- To Store: Keep these frozen tomatoes in freezer bags in the freezer for up to 12 months.