Tomatoes are a versatile food item that is great to add to sauces, soups and stews. They are perfect for adding some great flavour and colour to a salad!
You can puree them, blend them, chop them or eat them whole! Cooked or raw there is no doubt about it tomatoes are a great food item that makes a base to so many recipes. But, how can you store them?
Can You Freeze Tomatoes?
Yes, you can freeze tomatoes for up to 6 months. You can freeze them uncooked, cooked or even from a tin. To freeze tomatoes, you’ll need to wash them, cut them and cook them down before cooling and placing them into freezer bags.
Can You Refreeze Tomatoes? No
Do Tomatoes Freeze Well? Sometimes
How To Freeze Tomatoes
When it comes to tomatoes, there are three main ways to go about freezing them. You can freeze them raw, cooked or from tins and we’ve covered all three approaches below:
How to Freeze Raw Tomatoes
This method will work well for any size, shape or colour of tomatoes from small cherry tomatoes through to big beefsteak tomatoes:
- Wash and Dry
Wash your tomatoes before freezing. Leave them to drain once you have washed them.
- Remove Stem
Take off the stem and the surrounding area. You may also want to remove the core and seeds which will often be discarded when making a sauce.
- Flash Freeze
Spread the washed tomatoes out onto a baking tray trying to ensure they’re not touching one another. You’ll have some touching which isn’t the end of the world. Place this tray into the freezer.
- Bag Up
Remove the tray and fill individual freezer bags up with one portion of tomatoes. Consider how you’ll use the tomato in future and use this as a guide to your portion sizes.
Pop the bags straight back into the freezer.
Tomatoes come in all shapes, sizes and colours – from bright red to yellow through to black. The good news is that all tomatoes of any colour and size can be frozen using the method we’ve used on this page. Simple!
How to Freeze Cooked Tomatoes
If you want to cook your tomatoes first and make them into a sauce later, you can easily freeze them this way.
Just cook them as you normally would, either alone or as part of your recipe and then when it has cooled transfer the tomatoes to a suitable container and pop them ]into the freezer.
How to Freeze Tinned Tomatoes
Tinned tomatoes have an incredibly long shelf life so you won’t want to freeze them unless you have opened a tin. Fortunately, if you have half a tin that’s destined for the bin, then you can freeze them.
Tip the leftover tinned tomatoes into a thick freezer bag, seal up removing as much air as possible and then place into the freezer. It’s that easy!
4 Tips for Freezing Tomatoes
Now you know how to freeze tomatoes, we’ve got our 4 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing them to have the best results:
Freeze Into Sauce
Tomatoes don’t freeze particularly well whole, instead, try turning your tomatoes into a dish and freezing that. Pasta sauce works exceptionally well as you’ll have cooked the tomatoes down so much that you won’t notice the textural change.
Avoid Eating Raw
Tomatoes will become mushy and soft once frozen, which is why they won’t be suitable for salads or eaten raw.
Avoid Freezing Fancy Tomatoes
You can splash out on some really expensive, fancy, unique tomatoes… But those tomatoes should not be frozen. You’ll waste your money.
Use Rigid Containers
If you’re going to keep your tomatoes whole then make sure you freeze them in rigid boxes to avoid crushing them in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Tomatoes?
Tomatoes can be kept frozen for quite a while – up to six months in total! So if you prepare them in bulk, you can freeze them into portions and have them always available as a sauce and soup base.
You Can Freeze Tomatoes for up to 6 Months
How Do You Defrost Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are super easy to use from the freezer. You can defrost them fully before using or use from frozen if the recipe is suitable for it.
If you are thawing whole tomatoes and want to use them from frozen, hold them under warm running water for a minute or two and then add them to your recipe. Pureed or chopped tomatoes can be added to your recipe as they are.
If you want to defrost your tomatoes before using them, then pop the container into the fridge and defrost slowly.
Can You Refreeze Tomatoes?
Refreezing tomatoes is not something that comes recommended. You’ll already ruin the texture of your tomatoes by freezing them once. If you refreeze them, you’ll only ruin the texture further.
Instead, try to defrost the amount you need at a time.
The only exception here is if you freeze tomatoes, defrost them and then cook them into a sauce you then want to freeze. This form of refreezing is perfectly fine.
Do Tomatoes Freeze Well?
If you want to freeze tomatoes to use them as you would fresh tomatoes in salads and as garnishes, unfortunately, they do not work well for this use.
The texture change is substantial in comparison to fresh tomatoes, and they go quite mushy. So don’t expect to be able to make a salad out of your frozen tomatoes.
However, if you want to have a stock of tomatoes for sauces in the freeze, this is perfect. Mushy tomatoes are the perfect option to use in recipes like this.
They are easy to use and cook with, and you can always have a bag available in the freezer.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing tomatoes or tomatoes in general, then these may help:
This is one of the greatest ways to store tomatoes. Squeeze puree into the slots of an ice cube tray then freeze. Once frozen solid, pop the cubes out and store them in a bag. When you want to give a gravy or sauce a strong tomato hit, grab a cube and toss it into the pan – there’s no need to defrost it.
You can freeze tomato juice. If you only plan on using a little at a time, in a smoothie for example, then freeze it in an ice cube tray. If, however, you’ll need a larger quantity then use freezer bags. Make sure you buy good-quality, thick bags to avoid any unwanted leakages.
Like most vegetable-based soup, tomato soup can indeed be frozen. You need to allow it to cool before portioning up into either plastic bags or air-tight containers. If you want an in-depth guide to freezing soup in general, then click here.
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