Can you Freeze Tomatoes?

Question:
Can you freeze tomatoes?

Answer:
Contrary to popular belief, you can freeze tomatoes from any original state… as long as the resulting thawed tomatoes are only used in a recipe that calls for cooked tomatoes.

Once tomatoes are frozen, their texture will be forever altered.
Tomatoes that have been frozen will never again substitute for fresh tomatoes, even after thawing.

freeze tomatoes

Can you Freeze Tomatoes?

Concerns with Freezing Tomatoes

freeze tomatoes

Tomatoes may be frozen either whole, sliced, chopped, or puréed.
You can freeze raw tomatoes, cooked tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato sauce or most any other recipe that you may have added them into. No matter what state they were when they went into the freezer, just be sure to use them in a cooked (or reheated) recipe once removed from the freezer. When fresh tomatoes have been frozen, their structure breaks down leaving a mushy texture that’s unappealing in any recipe calling for fresh tomatoes.

Steps to Freeze Tomatoes

  1. Select firm yet ripe tomatoes to freeze.
    Remember, the freezer can’t fix any damaged, spoiled, underripe or overripe tomatoes.

  2. Wash the tomatoes first.
    You want to release any dirt or bacteria on the surface, so place the tomatoes under running water and then gently rub them dry. Don’t let the tomatoes sit in a pan of water or use any soap to wash them since contaminated water could possibly enter the fruit through the stem area.

  3. Cut the stem and surrounding area out with a sharp knife and discard.

  4. Freeze tomatoes plain, without any seasoning.
    Tomatoes should be seasoned just before serving since the freezing process will either strengthen or weaken most common seasonings.

  5. Place the tomatoes whole onto cookie sheets and freeze for 4-10 hours.
    This allows for being able to thaw just one or several tomatoes at any time without them sticking together.

  6. Place the frozen tomatoes into freezer safe bags or containers for long term storage.
    As always, be sure to squeeze excess air from the bag and seal tight before freezing.

To later peel frozen tomatoes, simply run them under warm water at the sink allowing the skin to easily slip off.

Note: Blanching is not necessary before freezing tomatoes. Although, if you wish to freeze tomatoes without the skins, then you should dip whole tomatoes into boiling water for one minute until the skins begin to split. Peel the tomatoes and then either chop or place whole into freezer safe containers as directed above.

Can you Freeze Tomatoes?

Additional Info

Only package vegetables and other foods to be frozen into materials that were intended for freezing. Freezer safe containers should somewhere be labeled “freezer safe”.

Be sure to always keep your freezer temperature at 0°F or below.

Many people also question potatoes, so we have a post dealing with freezing potatoes.

To find out how long frozen vegetables last, see our frozen vegetable page.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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