How To Freeze Tomatoes – Preserving Tomatoes Without Canning

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Learn how to freeze tomatoes so you can enjoy your fruitful bounty all year long. Follow the step-by-step tutorial to preserve tomatoes without canning. Easily preserve tomatoes without canning. Blend them up with your favorite herbs and freeze. When your ready, thaw and use in recipes.

white bucket full of fresh picked tomatoes to be preserved by freezing

This post was updated June 2019

Enjoy garden tomatoes longer:

As summer wraps up, I know how tiring those late tomatoes can be.  They just don’t stop.

I know you don’t want to eat another tomato.  But push past what you’re feeling now and consider mid-fall and the depths of winter – that’s when you’re soupin’ it up, making pasta sauce, and don’t forget pizza Fridays (yeah, you’re old enough to make your own pizza sauce now).

I know tomatoes are fun and exciting in mid-summer when you just want to see your garden grow, but let’s be honest – they lose their novelty after a handful of weeks and then you’re just looking at a lot of work.  

But hold on right there.  Pick those tomatoes, girlfriend.  I promise, this is easy, and you’re basically cheating the system while earning your status as frugal homesteading daughter of the pioneer woman.

You’re not into canning, you say?  You don’t want to learn how to peel a tomato skin?  It takes too long?

Amen.  It’s too late in the summer for new tricks anyway, so don’t overthink it.

Reserve one hour of your day, haul out your food processor or blender, some salt, some freezer bags, and maybe even those fresh herbs that are beginning to bolt. I used basil leaves.  (I’ve heard garlic might make the tomatoes bitter if frozen for a while.)

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Tools you may need:

  • Freezer bags (like these)
  • Food processor (optional based on how you decide to prepare the tomatoes)
  • Permanent marker- to label bags

How To Freeze Tomatoes:

Step 1: Wash the tomatoes thoroughly in fresh water, removing the stems and problem spots as you go.

tomatoes in a food processor

Step 2: Toss the first load in your food processor with a little salt and fresh herbs and push that magic button.

up close photo of tomatoes in a food processor with salt and basil

Step 3: Crush ’em up until there aren’t any really large pieces.  I’m aiming for chunky salsa consistency.crushed tomatoes in a food processor to be frozen

Step 4: Portion the crushed tomatoes into gallon sized freezer bags.  Lock and label.  Or label and lock.  That’s actually easier.  I filled each bag with 6 cups.

crushed tomatoes in plastic bags getting ready for the freezer

Other Ways To Freeze Tomatoes:

Freeze whole: Freeze whole tomatoes by washing them and allowing them to dry. Place in a freezer bag in one layer. Freeze flat.

Blanching: Blanch whole tomatoes by dropping them in boiling water for 60-90 seconds, pull them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to ice water. Peel off skin, remove stem and core, and slice if desired or leave whole. Place in a freezer bag.

How To Use Frozen Tomatoes:

  • When you’re read to use them, just set them on the counter to thaw for a bit.  
  • Or run the bag under water so the frozen tomatoes can slip out.  
  • I’ve already thawed two bags for chili mac and spaghetti, and there are over 300 ounces left in my deep freezer.  I just love how easy this is!
  • You can use frozen tomatoes as you would canned tomatoes.

How long can you keep fresh tomatoes in the freezer?

For best quality they will last 3 months in the freezer. They will continue to be safe to eat for a few months more, but the quality may not be as good.

Can you freeze tomatoes without blanching them first?

Yes. Because of their higher acidity they will be okay without blanching first. It is best to use frozen tomatoes in cooked dishes since the texture will no longer be like a fresh tomato.

Want more preserving tips and tricks? Check out some of our favorite:

Granted, there are dozens of ways to preserve tomatoes.  This is my favorite.  A quick and easy way to check that bucket of tomatoes off my to-do list.


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