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Freezing Tomatoes to Enjoy the Harvest Year-Round

Looking for ways to preserve your garden harvest? While canning is the most popular, freezing tomatoes is super easy and works just as well!

Canning or freezing tomatoes is a great way to preserve your vegetable garden harvest to enjoy all year round. In this post, I’m sharing how to freeze tomatoes so you can do just that!


I don’t know about you, but I never got into the canning thing.

You think I would but just haven’t.

While my kids were young, it just wasn’t something I had the time or the energy to learn and do.

But now that they are grown and don’t need me as much, I have a little more time to focus on ways to preserving my garden.

For years, I’ve been drying flowers for DIY wreaths and arrangements.

I especially love to dry hydrangeas using this easy method.

And even dried flowers to make this DIY hydrangea wreath.

This year, my raised garden bed produced SO MANY vegetables that I don’t want them to go to waste.

So I’m looking for simple ways to preserve them.

I could try canning the tomatoes, but decided to freeze whole tomatoes instead.

It’s simple to do and can be done in under an hour.

Wait until you see how easy it is to freeze your tomato harvest!

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What Is the Best Way to Freeze Fresh Tomatoes?

While you can freeze tomatoes whole, they actually work better if you cut them in half.

There are a few ways to freeze tomatoes.

  • Blanch and place in an airtight, food safe container for freezing.
  • Slice tomatoes in half, put on baking sheet, pop in the freezer for 2 hours then place in freezer safe bags for long term freezing.
  • Slice tomatoes in half, place in rigid freezer safe container, and flash freeze.

Since I typically use my frozen tomatoes for Sunday sauce, salsa for loaded nachos, bruschetta, and creamy balsamic tomato soup, I prefer blanching them.

The consistency is easier to work with after freezing and tastes SO FRESH in dishes during the off season.

True, the blanching process is a bit more laborious than the other two methods, but to me, it creates a better consistency for use later.

freezing tomatoes

Can You Blanch Tomatoes and Freeze Them?

As we just stated yes.

Blanching tomatoes means they are dropped in a pot of boiling water for a short period of time and then dropped into ice cold water to stop the cooking process.

Can You Freeze Tomatoes Without Cooking Them First?

Yes you can. As stated above, simply slice them in half then follow either method for freezing.

The flavor is pretty delish and its super easy to use in dishes after freezing.

Is It Best to Blanch Tomatoes Before Freezing?

To me, this is a personal preference. I suggest you try the various methods of freezing tomatoes and see which one you prefer.

How to Use Frozen Tomatoes

Frozen tomatoes are best used in sauces, salsas, soups, and stews as they can get a little mushy after thawing.

The flavor is still there, but the consistency is a bit softer than prior to freezing them.

How to That Frozen Tomatoes

To use tomatoes that were frozen, simply remove from the freezer and allow to thaw. And then immediately use them in a recipe of your choosing.

Close up of best creamy balsamic tomato soup recipe
The Best Creamy Balsamic Tomato Soup

How to Freeze Fresh Tomatoes

This year, I grew several varieties of tomatoes.

And they are all ready to be harvested but not enough people in my family to eat them all.

I would love to spend a day canning them but don’t have the time to dedicate it this year.

Roma Tomatoes

So freezing them is the next best thing!

It is ridiculously easy to do and the best part?

You’ll be able to enjoy fresh tomatoes from your garden any time of year!

Here’s how to do it!

freezing tomatoes

Supplies Needed for Freezing Tomatoes

  • stockpot
  • sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • storage containers
  • slotted spoon
freezing tomatoes

Instructions for Freezing Tomatoes

  • Wash and dry tomatoes.
  • Bring a stockpot of water to a boil.
  • Cut out the stem tops. And if there is a bottom, cut that off too.
  • Carefully drop the tomatoes in boiling water with slotted spoon.
freezing tomatoes
  • DO NOT COOK! Keep the tomatoes in for a bout 30-60 seconds tops.
  • Remove from boiling water with slotted spoon.
  • Allow tomatoes to cool.
freezing tomatoes
  • Peel skin off.
  • Rough chop tomatoes.
  • Place in a freezer friendly storage container.
freezing tomatoes
  • If needed, add some of the tomato juices so there isn’t a lot air in the container. This will help prevent freezer burn. And leave about an inch or so to the top of the container to allow for expansion. Do not overfill.
  • Label the container with date and variety.
  • Freeze until you are ready to use them.
freezing tomatoes

Isn’t that so easy?

It takes about an hour or so from start to finish.

But totally worth it to enjoy fresh tomatoes from the garden year-round.

Coring the tomatoes before blanching and freezing

Freezing Tomatoes

Stacy Ling
Looking for ways to preserve your garden harvest? While canning is the most popular, freezing tomatoes is super easy and works just as well!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5 servings
Calories 22 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Wash and dry tomatoes
    freezing tomatoes
  • Bring stockpot of water to a boil.
  • Cut out the stem tops. And if there is a bottom, cut that off too.
    Coring the tomatoes before blanching and freezing
  • Carefully drop the tomatoes in boiling water with slotted spoon.
    blanching tomatoes in boiling water to freeze them
  • DO NOT COOK! Keep the tomatoes in for a bout 30-60 seconds tops
  • Remove from boiling water with slotted spoon.
    Removing tomato from boiling water after blanching beforefreezing tomatoes
  • Allow tomatoes to cool.
  • Peel skin off.
    Before peeling skin off to freeze tomatoes
  • Rough chop tomatoes.
  • Place in a freezer friendly storage container.
    Storing blanched tomatoes in container before freezing tomatoes
  • Add some of the tomato juices so there isn’t a lot air in the container. This will help prevent freezer burn. And leave about an inch or so to the top of the container to allow for expansion. Do not overfill.
  • Label the container with date and variety.
  • Freeze until you are ready to use them.
    close up of blanched tomatoes before freezing

Notes

How many tomatoes you use will depend on the yield.

Nutrition

Serving: 0gramsCalories: 22kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 292mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1025IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword Freezing Tomatoes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

My Favorite Fresh Tomatoes Recipes

One of the best parts about growing tomatoes is harvesting and using them in the kitchen.

Wait until you try some of my favorite tomato based recipes!

Close up of The Best Bruschetta Tomatoes Recipe
The Best Bruschetta Tomatoes Recipe

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Stacy Ling

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15 Comments

  1. Stacy, I wish had an excess of tomatoes to freeze! I’ve pinned for next year and keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. I haven’t had a good crop of tomatoes for two years. But I ended up freezing mine that year too. So much easier than canning!

    1. I couldn’t agree more! This year we had a great year – but my plants are pretty much done now. Going to clean out the beds in the next week or so!xo

  3. Stacy, my tomato crop was pathetic this year, but I purchased 60 pounds of tomatoes from a local grower. I ended up making sauce and canning all of it but I have made sauce and put it in ziploc bags and froze them. Never thought about freezing them fresh. Does the flavor diminish at all with freezing? Let me know as I will try that next year.

    1. Gardening sure has its ups and downs! I don’t think it diminishes but you do need to make sure there’s enough liquid in it so it doesn’t get freezer burn.xo

  4. Pingback: Dirt Road Adventures - Fall Vibes - The Ponds Farmhouse
  5. Stacy, I can honestly say I don’t believe I’ve ever frozen fresh whole (or half) tomatoes! I will need to try that. Typically I will roast them and then freeze them. But each year I spend one entire day making sauce and canning it for the rest of the year. Even though I grow alot of my own tomatoes, they are all gone by mid-June. So in August, I get 60 pounds from a local farmer and make sauce. There is nothing better than fresh sauce in the middle of winter. It’s a bit of work, but an enjoyable and productive day. Hope to do it with friends this year! Thanks for sharing