Recipes / Canning, Freezing & More Preserving

Preserving Tomatoes by Freezing

Preserving tomatoes by freezing

Last week’s massive harvest of the rogue tomato plants didn’t just yield green tomatoes; I also harvested a hefty basket of ripe, juicy, orangey-red cherry tomatoes ready for eatin’.

Cherry tomato harvest

Problem was… I couldn’t eat them all right away. I turned some of them into roasted tomato soup and sliced the others fresh into salads. I still had 3 pounds of tomatoes left that I didn’t want to go to waste, and only a day to do something with them before my trip.

Since cherry tomatoes are so small, it’s impractical to can them since peeling the skins would surely make you cross-eyed, and once the peels are gone, there’s not much tomato left anyway.

That’s why my favorite method of preserving cherry tomatoes is freezing them whole. It’s quick, it’s convenient, and it doesn’t require blanching or peeling. Freezing whole tomatoes also locks in all those good-for-you nutrients found in the skins.

Simply wash and dry your cherry tomatoes, lay them out on a cookie sheet, and pop in the freezer for a few hours until the tomatoes are firmly frozen. By doing so, your tomatoes won’t freeze together into one big clump. Sure, you might have to whack them around a bit if they’ve been frozen for a long time, but you won’t need to thaw out the entire bag just to break apart a few.

Wash and dry tomatoes

Freeze tomatoes on a cookie sheet for a few hours

When the tomatoes have hardened into little marbles, transfer them into freezer-safe containers or zip-top bags, and return to the freezer. You can then thaw out as many tomatoes as you need to use in soups, sautes or sauces.

Fill freezer-safe containers with tomatoes

Fill freezer zip-top bags with tomatoes

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »