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How to Freeze Aging Tomatoes (Plus Recipe for Sauce)

Don and his wife love to cook. They enjoy new and different recipes and experimenting with interesting combinations of ingredients.

This is one of my fresh, homegrown tomatoes that I often end up freezing.

This is one of my fresh, homegrown tomatoes that I often end up freezing.

Money-Saving Recipe for Using Up Aging Tomatoes

This is a money-saving recipe for those tomato lovers who hate to waste the tomatoes they have that are aging.

Follow these instructions if you want to do something with them before they go bad...

This recipe will provide you with frozen tomatoes that have that fantastic fresh-tomato flavor that you can use in your favorite dishes, long after the fresh, homegrown ones are gone from the marketplace.

Or you can cook them down and into a nice sauce using the attached recipe.

A Plan for Freezing Tomatoes

At certain times of the year, you will find yourself standing in your kitchen and staring at all of the excess yet wonderful homegrown tomatoes lying on your counter. And you know that they only have a few days before they begin to go bad, literally right in front of your eyes.

And you know that if you don't do something, you are soon going to be forced to discard them.

This usually occurs in the late summer when it sometimes seems that every friend and coworker you know is bringing in fresh tomatoes and giving them away., the same as you are.

So obviously, you know that there are far more of these delicious red fruits in your garden than you can possibly eat, and as in past years you will often have to let many of the tasty delights go bad.

Well, keep reading.

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You can freeze those great-tasting tomatoes, and use them later in sauces and in other of your favorite dishes, taking advantage of that fresh taste.

Follow these instructions, and you will end up with great tomatoes for use later in the year when everyone else is using canned ones or those horrible winter ones that you get in the supermarket in the off season.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

45 min

55 min

2 qts.

Tomato Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 tsp rough ground pepper
  • 1 tbs. salt
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 4 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 (1-gallon) freezer bag full of ripe tomatoes, cored, quartered, and frozen

Tomato Sauce Instructions

  1. Once you have a full freezer bag of tomatoes, prepare the following for a great sauce.
  2. Thaw the bag in a large bowl of warm water.
  3. Place the olive oil into a large saucepan and heat over a medium heat.
  4. Add the chopped garlic and onions along with the salt and pepper.
  5. Heat the mixture until cooked but do not caramelize (about 5 minutes).
  6. Add the thoroughly thawed tomatoes to the saucepan and bring back up to a slow boil.
  7. Add the other herbs and spices, and stir until well blended.
  8. Cover and drop the heat to a simmer, and cook for 30-45 minutes.
  9. If you want to use the sauce immediately, then serve hot over your favorite pasta, rice, etc.
  10. Otherwise, rinse out the used freezer bag, and after allowing the sauce to cool to room temperature, pour it into the bag, reseal, change the label on the bag to “tomato sauce” and change the date.
  11. Refreeze the bag of sauce.
  12. When needed, thaw the sauce, warm it in a saucepan, and use for up to 6 months after the date frozen.

Tips for Salvaging and Freezing Your Aging Tomatoes

  1. Keep an eye on your fresh tomatoes and when you see them starting to lose their freshness, prepare them for freezing.
  2. Label the freezer bag with something like “Frozen Tomatoes” along with the date you place the first ones into the bag.
  3. Wash them, and then remove the stem part from the body with a paring knife.
  4. Cut the tomato into quarters and drop them into your freezer bag, and then place into the freezer.
  5. Over time, continue to salvage your aging tomatoes, and repeat the process and add to the freezer bag.

Notes and Suggestions for Using Your Frozen Tomatoes

  • You will find that by salvaging those fresh summer tomatoes and using them in your favorite dishes that call for tomatoes, you have a truly fresher and more delicious dish than if you used canned tomatoes.
  • Of course, you should experiment with the herbs and spices used to make the recipe fit your own tastes.
  • I even add chopped hot Italian peppers, and sometimes ground beef to the garlic-onion mixture to kick the flavor up even more.
  • If you want to add meat, cook it in a little extra virgin olive oil, in a separate pan, and then add, hot.

How to Freeze Tomatoes

Questions & Answers

Question: Do you have to peel or just wash tomatoes to freeze them?

Answer: Some people prefer to peel the tomatoes, and others want that "skin" to be a part of what they are putting away. Either way works, so it's your decision.

Question: Why should I take the skin off of tomatoes?

Answer: First of all, many people do not want the skin in their prepared dishes, and second, many people just prefer to remove the skin in case any chemicals used by the farmer are not cleaned off properly.

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