Freezing Tomatoes

July 5, 2010

One of my favorite things to do with excess ripe garden tomatoes is to freeze them whole.  Yes, frozen whole tomatoes, it’s as easy as it sounds!  I love this because it doesn’t require any cooking, chopping, peeling, canning, and so on and so forth.  This is perfect when the season comes when your knee deep with tomatoes and you don’t want them to go to waste.  It’s quick, easy and you will thank yourself later for doing this.  When you don’t have to buy canned tomatoes for a whole year, it’s awesome.

I’ve received several requests exactly how I freeze the tomatoes, so here is my simple step by step.

First select your ripe tomatoes, don’t worry if they have any imperfections you can always cut them out later once they are frozen.  But do make sure they are ripe to be eaten/or frozen that day.  If you don’t have enough for a whole bag, that’s ok, just freeze as you go.

Wash each tomato individually,

and remove the stems.

Place the clean tomatoes on a towel to dry.

Then hand dry each tomato

and place in a freezer bag in a single layer.

Then seal up the bag leaving a 1 inch opening, and pinch it open and with your mouth suck out as much air as you can.  The less air the better.

Place in your freezer on a flat surface till frozen.

After the tomatoes are frozen they are very easy to peel, chop and use in any recipe that calls for canned tomatoes.  The texture of the tomato changes once it’s frozen so it best to use in only cooked recipes.  Here are a few of my recipes featuring frozen tomatoes: Huevos Rancheros, Spaghetti Puttanesca, and Eggs in tomato sauce.

Have you ever frozen tomatoes?

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{ 2 trackbacks }

Pumpkin Chili and Pumpkin Corn Muffin
November 15, 2011 at 11:46 am
Huevos Rancheros
February 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

M @ Betty Crapper July 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I’ve never frozen tomatoes. My father told me a good trick for taking air out of baggies. Use a straw!


Krissa July 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm

What a neat idea!
Thanks, Sweet Pea!


Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD July 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Thank you thank you thank you!!! Our tomatoes are finally producing good and we’ve gotten quite a few over the last day or two. Can’t wait to give this a try!


Gina July 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I just froze some tomatoes my father in laws garden last week but I did get the idea from you since I had seen it on your blog in the past! 🙂


sheila July 5, 2010 at 9:02 pm

How do I love thee, let me count the ways,….lol….
one tomato, two tomato, three tomato….ha ha ha.

How funny that I posted about being worried about my tomatos, and you make a post about too many tomatos. You rock.


Mindee@ourfrontdoor July 6, 2010 at 7:47 am

I’ve done that and you’re right – they’re so great to have through the year and freezing is MUCH easier than canning!


M @ Betty Crapper July 6, 2010 at 8:25 am

p.s. I’ve given you an award. Come and get it.


Kelly Deneen July 6, 2010 at 9:20 am

SO glad you posted this, and that it sounds easy! Do you have a kind of freezer bag that seems to be good?


Susie's Homemade July 6, 2010 at 10:58 am

Huh! I will have to try this:-)


Regina July 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Thank you so much for sharing the instructions! I’m hoping we will get enough out of the garden to give this a try—if not, I may have to go to the farmers market to have some on hand at a good price!


Helene July 6, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I had no idea you could freeze tomatoes! Last year we had so many that I was literally standing on our street corner handing them out to people who were out walking with their families!! I’m gonna try freezing them this year!


Shannon July 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Hi! This is my first visit to your site, and I am really enjoying it! I didn’t know you could freeze ripe tomatoes. And I didn’t know you could freeze tomatoes at all until last year, when I learned about freezing green ones, for Fried Green Tomatoes. I think I ended up with about 20 (not stuffed) gallon bags of green ones in the freezer. I’ve used a few of them, but still have plenty. My family thinks they’re great that way, but I don’t care for the texture it gives them. Although, it’s not that bad on the thinner sliced ones. I am very anxious to try freezing the ripe ones! Canning is such a chore, and even par boiling is too. This looks so simple, and doesn’t heat up the kitchen!

I’m also going to try the Sticky Chicken in the crockpot! I love having precooked meat on hand for recipes! Thanks for the great info!



Tabitha (From Single to Married) July 8, 2010 at 8:40 am

how cool is that! I had no idea that you could freeze tomatoes like that!


Tracy July 8, 2010 at 10:11 am

Yay!!! I just did the same thing with fresh basil, and now I’m going to do it with tomatoes, too. I do use the straw trick, too. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but it works.

Question, have you ever used these tomatoes in salsa? I love to make salsa yearround, and I do puree them with cilantro, peppers and several other ingredients.


Pumpkin Chili and Pumpkin Corn Muffin November 15, 2011 at 11:46 am

[…] tomatoes frozen from out summer garden this […]

Huevos Rancheros February 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

[…] *note- Post on how to freeze tomatoes […]

Deb March 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Thanks! I actually have tried this and I did not care for peeling the cold tomatoes (think a huuuuuge pot full). Sooo, what I do is core them, blanch and skin them, often I will squeeze out some of the watery liquid and THEN I through them in the freezer. This works well for pulling out several bags to can later. It does not work well if you just want to pull out a couple of tomatoes.


Sweet Pea Reply:

Great tip Deb!


J April 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

I like how you lined them up in the freezer bag so they lay flat! Much better than the pile in the bag I’ve done before. Just another tip, for “proper” food preservation and freezing of tomatoes, you need to blanch them first for just 30 seconds or so in boiling water before freezing. If you want, then you can easily peel them before they go into the bag.


Cathey July 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I do this and they are so easy to skin. When u take them from the freezer, run water on them and the skin cracks off.


Annie July 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I used a straw in the corner to suck out the air! worked great! I am so excited I don’t have to boil the tomatoes before i freeze like I have been in the past! thanks!


Elaine April 6, 2013 at 7:55 am

I’ve cut them up and froze them, but this would be simpler. I buy tomatoes from produce markets in the summer, now I don’t have to worry about buying too many. I also like the straw idea for sucking out the air in the bag.


J.T July 29, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Can I use food saver instead of the straw to suck the air out of the bags. I thought i’d put just 4 in a bag which is what I would probably use at one time. Thanks


Sweet Pea Reply:

Yes, absolutely.


Pam Baker August 24, 2014 at 8:06 am

Well, it’s been a long time since you posted this but I thought I would add my two cents worth.
I freeze all my excess tomatoes this very way. In the winter I take a bag out and set them on a cooling rack placed over a half sheet baking pan. After about 45 minutes, I cut the tomatoes in half and lay them with the inside facing up. An hour in a 350 degree oven roasts them nicely and imparts a robust rich flavor. (Must be ultra careful pulling this tray out of the oven because there is hot “juice” sitting in the tray. Spilling this on yourself or a pet would be catastrophic. ) When cool enough to handle, hold the tomato by the bottom over a bowl and squish the innards out. Skin and core go into compost/chicken scratch container. This could be canned or refrozen but a bag makes enough for marinara sauce with the addition of some herbs. Because most of the water is gone, no “tomato paste” is necessary. I got this idea because I loved Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes but wanted my own and grew a TON of tomatoes and then was inundated with them and had to freeze them. At that point fire roasting is not an option but the above worked and imparted that flavor for which I was searching.


Sweet Pea Reply:

Love this, thanks for posting what you do, I will have to try that too.


Lorenda Clement September 28, 2015 at 7:54 am

Very good idea, I do this all the time!!!!


Donna wright October 2, 2015 at 11:30 am

Any easier way to get air out of ziplock bags is to use a straw.Zip up bag leaving a space to get straw in and suck the air of of bag and shut .


Deb Alsip July 12, 2016 at 3:12 pm

I am up to my neck in tomatoes. I love them every way you can eat them. I am glad i saw you blog. I am headed in the kitchen right now.


AJ August 14, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Just saw this. Was looking for ways to use up tomatoes since I don’t like canning and I have a ton! This is PERFECT! We LOVE tomato in all kinds of winter dishes. Nothing like not having to buy them! Thanks so much!! I would have never known freezing tomatoes could be this easy!!!


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