How to Freeze Tomatoes

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Looking to put away those fresh garden tomatoes to use all year round? Learn How to Freeze Tomatoes with this simple technique and easy step by step instructions!

Looking to put away those fresh garden tomatoes to use all year round? Learn How to Freeze Tomatoes with this simple technique and easy step by step instructions! #freezetomatoes #preservetomatoes #howtofreezetomatoes #preservetomatoes 

How to Freeze Tomatoes

The end of summer is fast approaching and it’s time for the final push to get everything from the garden preserved. Canning tomatoes is a good, shelf-stable way to preserve tomatoes, but did you know you can freeze tomatoes? Freezing whole tomatoes is a great way to put away your fresh tomato harvest if you aren’t into canning or just need something a little quicker.

–Want to make your tomatoes shelf stable? Check out our tutorial on Home Canning Tomatoes!

Frozen tomatoes are easy to put away and can be used in any recipe that calls for canned tomatoes. Today I will show you how you can freeze tomatoes so that you will have them available all winter long to enjoy in your favorite recipes!

how to freeze tomatoes

Start with some good and ripe tomatoes. You don’t want the tomatoes to be overly ripe or under-ripe when you are getting ready to preserve them. A good ripe tomato will be firm but with a little bit of give.

how to freeze tomatoes

Wash all your tomatoes and prepare a hot water bath. Fill a large stockpot halfway full with warm water and place it on the stove on medium heat. (You don’t need it to boil, you just need it to get really warm!)

In another bowl, get an ice bath ready. Fill it halfway full with cold water and add some ice cubes.

how to freeze tomatoes

Carefully place each tomato in the hot water bath for a few minutes. As soon as the skin cracks, pull them out and place immediately into the cold water bath. Let them sit in the cold water for several minutes to cool before you attempt to peel them.

how to freeze tomatoes

Once cooled, take the tomatoes out and peel them. Then use a knife to quarter your tomatoes.

how to freeze tomatoes

Grab another bowl and squeeze out any juice or seeds from the inside of the tomato quarters. You just want to try and freeze the meat. Leaving excess water in the tomato quarters will increase the chances of them getting ice crystals in the freezer (which will make them not taste as good when you use them).

Save the juice! You can use the tomato juice to add to soups or other dishes. Just stick it in a jar and save it in the fridge.

how to freeze tomatoes

Don’t toss the skins! You can dry tomato skins in your dehydrator to be used in recipes later. Grind them into a powder and save it in a jar. It’s great to add to soups for thickening and it’s very healthy!

how to freeze tomatoes

Place the quartered tomatoes in a freezer bag and seal and label when full. Freeze in your freezer. Frozen tomatoes will last at least 5 months in the freezer if properly frozen. These can be used anywhere and in anything that you would use normal canned tomatoes in!

Here are some other ways to use up the last of your tomatoes from the garden:

Making Sun Dried Tomatoes
Simple (and Delicious) Uses for Green Tomatoes
Canning Tomato Soup
How to Can Tomato Juice
Homemade Ketchup with Fresh Tomatoes
Fresh Tomato BBQ Sauce
One Minute Garden Fresh Salsa Recipe

The Gardening and Preserving Journal is here! If you are gardening or planning on doing any preserving this year, you NEED this wonderful spiral bound journal! Get your own copy here.

Did you know how to freeze tomatoes and have you ever done it before?


This post on How to Freeze Tomatoes was originally published on Little House Living in September 2013. It has been updated as of September 2019.

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  1. I have never frozen whole tomatoes before. I typically make a sauce and either freeze the sauce or can them. I can see where freeze them whole is a great idea too!

  2. Great tip! I never thought to freeze them before. We always have a lot of extra tomatoes this time of year. Now I just need to get a bigger freezer.

  3. I just did tomatoes too, first time :0) (still feeling kinda proud, ha!) I snagged a 20 or 25 lb box from our bountiful baskets co-op & the little suckers wouldn’t ripen :/ I crock pot”ted” them up w/ some long green peppers that also came in our basket, added some garlic, & onion powder. I cooked them all day in the crock pot. I then let them cool & baggied them up. I did this for 3 mornings in a row because I’ve already moved all of my crock pots to my new home, ha! They work great! We love adding them to mac & cheese & also enjoy sharing them with neighbors!!

  4. I just wash and freeze them as is. When I want to use them I just thaw them a bit and the skins slip right off. They can then be chopped and added to soups or sauces. We ate every tomato we got fresh this year. We ate most of the cherry tomatoes right off the plant, best snack ever!

  5. I have been freezing tomatoes for years. I dice them up, put in square sandwich containers. When they are frozen I pop them out of the containers and put them in seal a meal bags. They seem to last longer and don’t get frost crystals. Works great. You can use the juice also. I also have made stewed tomatoes and froze them this way too. I did freeze some whole this year without peeling them, got a bit busy but had to get them done. I do like the idea of dehydrating the skins so will do that with my next batch I preserve.
    Thank you for all your great posts.

  6. i did not know you could do this. then again i’m not the one who cooks in my house (unless it’s pasta or something). xD Hmm interesting.

  7. Great tutorial! I love the tip on dehydrating the skins, never would have thought of that!
    We freeze tomatoes sometimes when they’re ripening slowly in order to build up a quantity to make sauce with.

  8. This is such a great idea! I try not using store-bought canned tomatoes, but don’t always have home canned tomatoes on hand. I will be trying this the next time tomatoes go on sale 🙂

    Great tip on the tomato skins! How resourceful.

    1. Thank you, thank you,thank you.
      This will be my second time having a garden. I’m super excited. I’ll be ordering the journal..

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      -Toni S.

  9. Like Lana I freeze them whole in a muffin tin then pack them into plastic bags and freeze, added to soups stews bolognaise etc and as Lana says the skins slip off easily they cook down in the same way, I add them from frozen!

  10. Thank you so much for posting this! I have so many tomatoes that we going to go bad if I didn’t use them. I didn’t really want to can, so this is perfect.
    I tried it! Super, super easy and quick.

  11. I was so glad to find this post. I have tomatoes coming out of my ears! I don’t can (yet) so this is a life saver. Thanks!

  12. Yes! Totally needed to read through this again today. I have a few tomatoes and many other veggies that need blanched, cut, and frozen soon soon! 🙂

  13. This is fantastic! I had no idea you could freeze tomatoes. Thanks for sharing what to do with the juice and skins as well 🙂

  14. I have never frozen tomatoes. I may have to try this.

    Thanks for sharing this with us on the Homestead Blog Hop.

  15. Your post will be one of the features this week! Hope to see you again. Feel free to share any of your posts.