If you know How to Peel Tomatoes, then you are ready to prepare a variety of dishes in a snap! It is simple to blanch large, fresh tomatoes and then easily remove the skin. Use this trick to prepare homemade recipes like sauces and soups in your own kitchen.
Tomatoes are flavorful and absolutely delicious in so many recipes!
However, the skin is a bit tough. Some dishes are best when the tomatoes are peeled, like this Tomato Basil Bisque, Shrimp Creole, or Homemade Pomodoro Sauce.
Yes, you can buy canned tomatoes that are already peeled. BUT, they are so much better when you prepare them fresh!
Plus, it is super simple to learn how to freeze tomatoes once they’re peeled so you can use them all year.
Don’t forget to seed the tomatoes, as well. Soups and sauces have a rich and hearty texture when the skin and seeds are removed.
How to Peel Whole Tomatoes
Below you’ll find the steps to follow to peel whole tomatoes:
Rinse and Remove
Opt for the bigger kinds of tomatoes, like vine-ripened, greenhouse, beefsteak, or Roma tomatoes. Make sure the fruit is ripe, as well. This method does not work on smaller varieties, like cherry or grape.
First, rinse each tomato under water and scrub the outsides to remove any dirt and debris.
If there are stems, remove them by twisting them off.
Score with an “X”
Use a sharp paring knife to score an X on the bottom of each tomato. You just barely want to cut into the flesh.
This step helps loosen the skin so it comes off easily once blanched.
Par-boil in Water
Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove.
Only add 4 to 6 tomatoes to the boiling water at a time to avoid overcrowding.
Boil for 1-2 minutes, or until the tomato skin begins to crack.
Soak in Ice Water Bath
Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
Carefully remove the boiled tomatoes with a slotted spoon and immediately immerse each one in the ice bath.
Let them soak in the cold water for at least 5 minutes. You want them to be cool to the touch before attempting to peel.
Peel the Skin
Starting from the bottom of the tomato where it was scored, grab a flap of skin and then peel towards the stem. It should easily come off. If there are sections remaining, use a sharp knife to gently cut those pieces away.
Repeat this until all of the skin has been removed.
Optional: Remove the Seeds
This last step is optional and you only need to do this if your particular recipe calls for it.
To seed tomatoes after peeling, turn the tomato on its side. Cut it in half through the belly of it. Do not cut down through the stem.
Carefully but firmly squeeze each tomato half from the outside until all of the seeds have seeped out. You may need to grab a small spoon to scrape all of them out. The blanching method should soften the tomato flesh so it’s easy to work with.
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: This is the perfect recipe to meal prep a day or two ahead of time.
- To Store: Keep peeled tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days.
- To Freeze: Store tomatoes in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 to 9 months.
- To Reheat: Allow frozen tomatoes to thaw in the fridge. They are best used in pasta sauces or tomato soup as the texture might break down, but the flavor and taste should remain.
You only have to boil the tomatoes for 1 to 2 minutes. They just need to soften and allow the skin to separate slightly.
Before boiling, be sure to score a small X on the bottom of each tomato. This step allows the skins to separate from the flesh so you can easily peel them off.
While removing the skin isn’t always necessary, some recipes are better with peeled tomatoes. If you’re making salsa, gazpacho, or fresh tomato sauces that call for a pureé, use this cooking process to soften them first before peeling. You can also use peeled tomatoes on sandwiches, pizza, or salads.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Go big. This method works best on larger tomatoes, avoid small varieties like cherry or grape.
- X marks the spot. Be sure to score a small X on the bottom of each tomato before blanching.
- Keep it short. Only boil the tomatoes for a couple of minutes, just enough to allow the skin to crack.
- Ice bath. Immediately place the boiled tomatoes into cold water to cool off.
- Start at the bottom. Peel from the X and work towards the top when you peel the tomatoes.
Recipes that Use Whole Peeled Tomatoes
Once you see how easy it is to peel tomatoes, use them in one of these delicious recipes:
More Tomato Recipes
Tomatoes are delicious and so versatile, try one of these dishes next:
How to Peel Tomatoes
If you know How to Peel Tomatoes, then you are ready to prepare a variety of dishes in a snap! It is simple to blanch large, fresh tomatoes and then easily remove the skin.
- 1 lb. 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.
To seed the tomatoes: Turn the tomato on its side and then cut it in half through the belly of it. (NOT through the stem end.) Squeeze each tomato half until all of the seeds have seeped out.
Use the peeled tomatoes in your favorite recipes or learn how to freeze tomatoes to have on hand year-round!
- Optional: After scoring the tomatoes, remove the core by cutting around the stem at an angle and then pulling it out.
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