How to Freeze Tomatoes–No Blanching & No Peeling

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Got a lot of tomatoes coming in from your garden and wondering how to keep them from spoiling? I’ve got you covered in this post about How to Freeze Tomatoes–with everything you need to know.

Home grown tomatoes are delicious–there’s nothing like them. But when you have too many of them at once, you it can become a problem. Freezing tomatoes is a surprisingly super easy way to preserve your tomato harvest for months on end.

pinterest image for post about how to freeze tomatoes

One summer I got a boatload of really ripe tomatoes (at least 20 pounds) from our CSA and well, a lot of them needed to be processed quickly or we were going to lose them to the compost pile. I’m not one to waste food, but I’m also super busy, so I needed to figure something out, and fast.

Canning is a great way to store up tomatoes, but it’s time consuming and heats up the kitchen–and would you believe I’ve never done it on my own?)

That week, we ate some (make that lots) of tomatoes raw, made homemade sun-dried tomatoes, and some of my easy marinara sauce and also what I consider to be the best salsa, but there were still MORE tomatoes left. So I figured out how to freeze tomatoes and now I’m sharing the how to with you.

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Ways to Freeze Tomatoes

There are quite a few posts that focus only on how to freeze tomatoes whole.

While that’s a great idea, you might not have room in your freezer to do that, so here are some other ways to freeze your tomato harvest.

  • You can freeze them whole, sliced, chopped, diced, crushed or even blended
  • You can freeze them with or without the skins

What Kind of Tomato Is Best for Freezing?

While you technically can freeze any kind of tomato, certain types work better than others.

Beefsteak and other slicing tomatoes have a higher water content, so they won’t freeze and thaw as well. You can do it, but the outcome won’t be as good.

Roma and Cherry Tomatoes (yes, you can freeze cherry tomatoes), on the other hand, are the best types to freeze–they even will slice fairly well after thawing and while they won’t have the same exact texture as fresh tomatoes, they can technically be used in cold salads or even on sandwiches.

Whatever tomato type you choose, make sure that your tomatoes are ripe for best results.

What Equipment Do You Need to Freeze Tomatoes

This is what you’ll need in order to freeze tomatoes.

  • Quarter or larger size freezer bagsfreezer containers, or mason jars (if you really want to avoid plastic). I also like bags such as this kind. I like sealing them with Twixit Clips–my go-to clips for everything in my house!!).
  • A baking sheet or other firm surface (if flash freezing first)
  • Cutting board or food processor (if freezing blended tomatoes)
  • Vacuum Sealer or Straw (aka poor man’s vacuum sealer) (optional but recommended)
  • Ice Cube Trays (optional, but a great option for making frozen tomato cubes)

How To Wash Tomatoes

To wash tomatoes, simply run them under cool running water and rub the surface. Then, use a paper towel to dry them completely. Using a gentle and safe produce wash is a good idea as well.

Important Note: It’s not recommended to wash tomatoes by placing them in a sink full of water. The cut area near the stem can absorb contaminated water. For this same reason, you don’t want to use any type of non natural cleaner for washing since that might enter the stem area as well.

How to Wash Pesticides Off Tomatoes

Washing your fruits and vegetables under running water is a good first step, but to get them really clean and remove pesticides, it’s great to do more than that if not using organic tomatoes.

  • Add baking soda to water in a ratio of 1 tablespoon of soda to every two cups of water.
  • Soak the tomatoes in the solution for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse well and dry. 

Baking soda has been proven to remove pesticides from apples (source) and so it’s thought that it should work for most or all produce.

Can You Freeze Tomatoes Without Blanching Them?

Yes, you definitely can freeze tomatoes without blanching. In fact, you don’t even need to core them.

The point of blanching tomatoes is to remove the skins. However, as you’ll see in the next section, thawing frozen tomatoes under water makes the skin slip right off, so blanching is unnecessary.

Do You Need to Peel Tomatoes Before Freezing Them?

I personally leave tomato skins whether I’m cooking or freezing them, since there’s so much nutrition in them. However, some people like to peel tomatoes before cooking with them since the peel has a different texture than the rest of the tomato and sometimes can be a tad bitter.

If you’d prefer to peel your tomatoes, here are the easiest ways that I like to do it.

  • Easiest Way: The easiest way, however, to remove tomato peels is this–freeze tomatoes whole and then simply run them under cold water when you take them out of the freezer–the skin will come right off.
  • Remove Peels by “fishing them out.” When using frozen tomatoes in a dish, the peels will come off in the dish you put them soon after you add them. Provided the frozen pieces aren’t that large, you can simply fish out the pieces of peel from the dish either before or after cooking.

Note that if you want to freeze sliced, cubed, or diced tomatoes without the peels, you will need to blanch first.

How to Freeze Tomatoes

You can freeze tomatoes several ways–whole, sliced, chopped, diced, and even processed or completely blended.

It’s true–believe it or not, you can freeze tomatoes whole. It’s the easiest way to do it–no chopping or slicing needed, but whole tomatoes will take up the most room in the freezer.

Simply do whatever method works best based on your time and space available.

No matter which way you choose to freeze plain (unprocessed) tomatoes, the directions are mostly the same.

frozen sliced tomatoes on cutting board

How to Freeze Whole, Sliced, Chopped or Diced Tomatoes

Freezing tomatoes this way can be done with minimal equipment and you can

  • Start with ripe tomatoes, as blemish-free as possible.
  • Remove the stem and any bad spots.
  • Wash the tomatoes and dry completely.
  • If not freezing whole tomatoes, slice, chop, or dice the tomatoes into uniform sizes.
  • Place the whole tomatoes (or slices or pieces) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  • Place in the freezer to flash freeze until mostly frozen–about 2-4 hours, depending on the size.
  • Remove from freezer and store in a freezer container, freezer bag, or jar, making sure to leave at least 1 inch of air space if using a jar.
  • If using freezer bags, remove as much air as possible using a vacuum sealer or a “straw vacuum sealer’ (see recipe card for details).

Note: There are some that claim that flash freezing before storing causes freezer burn, but that isn’t accurate. It’s the final packing of the frozen food and the type of freezer that results makes the difference.

frozen chopped tomatoes on cutting board

How to Freeze Processed (Crushed or Blended) Tomatoes

For this method, instead of flash freezing, you process the tomatoes and put them in usable-sized containers, like ice cube trays or small freezer bags. I also love this method for freezing tomatoes since there’s no slicing or chopping involved. Simply blend and freeze.

  • Start with ripe tomatoes, as blemish-free as possible.
  • Remove the stem and any bad spots.
  • Wash the tomatoes and dry completely.
  • Process the tomatoes in a food processor or blender to make either crushed tomatoes or a whole “tomato juice”
  • Either pour the crushed tomatoes or juice into ice cube trays or place a recipe-convenient amount into containers, again remembering to leave at least 1 inch of air space above the tomatoes. Note that 3 1/2 cups is equivalent to a 28 oz. can of tomatoes.
  • If using ice cube trays, after freezing, place the cubes into a freezer bag, removing the excess air with either a vacuum sealer or the straw vacuum sealer method.

What Is the Straw Vacuum Sealer Method?

Don’t have a vacuum sealer? Never fear!

All you need is a freezer bag and a straw to create pretty good vacuum freezer storage on the cheap.

You simply:

  • Fill your freezer bag with your frozen tomatoes
  • Flatten the bag on the counter.
  • Insert a straw halfway into the bag.
  • Zip the bag shut as much as possible while forcing as much air out of the bag as possible.
  • Suck the remaining air out of the bag until the bag shrinks around the tomatoes.
  • Quickly remove the straw from the bag and seal the bag.

Voila! You’ve sealed your tomatoes without adding to your kitchen gadget collection.

How Long Are Frozen Tomatoes Good For?

How long any food keeps well in the freezer depends on what type of freezer and the method used for freezing.  A deep freeze is better than an upright but airtight freezing is imperative for better long term storage.

In general, frozen tomatoes should last for 6-12 months, but will last at least 2-3 years in airtight storage.

How to Thaw Frozen Tomatoes

To defrost frozen tomatoes, either allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge, at room temperature for about an hour, or under warm water.

One of the best things about frozen tomatoes is how easy they are to peel! Once they’re defrosted, the skins should slip right off.

How to Use Frozen Tomatoes

As mentioned above, how you use frozen tomatoes will depend on the type you freeze. Frozen and thawed cherry and Roma tomatoes can be sliced and used pretty much like fresh tomatoes.

Larger tomatoes should be used in recipes that call for stewed or diced tomatoes like spaghetti sauce, soups and stews, etc.

You’ll LOVE how frozen tomatoes taste basically identical to canned tomatoes–and no need to worry about what cans are made out of!

Here are some recipes that would work great for any kind of frozen tomato:

More Ways to Preserve Produce

Preserving your harvest abundance is a great way to have nutritious food year round. Here are some great ways to do that!


How to Freeze Tomatoes

Freezing tomatoes is a great way to preserve your garden bounty for your enjoyment all year round!
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  • 12 medium tomatoes (approximately for 1 gallon-sized freezer bag)


  • Wash and dry the tomatoes.
  • Remove the stem and core (if desired).
  • Cut tomatoes into fourths (or smaller), slice, or chop (if desired).
  • Place on a baking sheet (or other firm surface), skin side down (if applicable).
  • Freeze for at least one hour.
  • Place tomatoes in freezer bags in a single layer, taking care not to overstuff the bags. (See notes for other container options.)
  • Remove air using a vacuum sealer or the straw method.
  • STRAW VACUUM SEALER METHOD: After filling your freezer bag with your frozen tomatoes, flatten the bag on the counter. insert a straw halfway into the bag. Zip the bag shut as much as possible while forcing as much air out of the bag as possible. Suck the remaining air out of the bag until the bag shrinks around the tomatoes. Quickly remove the straw from the bag and seal the bag.
  • Store the bags flat on top of each other in the freezer.


Sliced, chopped, and diced tomatoes will take up a lot less room in your freezer than whole tomatoes will. However, you can also blend your tomatoes and then freeze them in ice cube trays, storing them in freezer bags after they are frozen.
Container Options: You can use other containers to store the tomatoes once frozen, but the bags are the easiest for compact storage and also for ease of removing excess air to prevent freezer burn.
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholenewmom or tag #wholenewmom!

Note: This post was republished in October of 2021 with new images and a whole lot of new information. Following is one of the original images for reference.

The Easiest Way to Preserve Tomatoes

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    1. Thanks Erika! Hope to see you around! From what I’ve read now (on the web and in the comments), the texture might not be great, but that’s OK w/ me if I’m cooking them!

  1. Hi! I’m featuring your recipe on It’s a Keeper Thursday this week! I’d love if you stopped by and grabbed a button.

    And, feel free to link up another great recipe this week too!

    Christina @ (Link deleted by Whole New Mom due to it not working anymore)
    Follow me on Facebook and Twitter

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this very instructive post at FAT TUESDAY! I love the tip about where to get the BPA free bags!

  3. I have to check out those bags! I do some of our tomatoes this way every year, and love that I don’t have to spend time in the kitchen during the hottest part of the year!

  4. Adrienne, it seems like the first post I always click on in a blog hop is yours! Your posts obviously really interest me! I wish I had more tomatoes to preserve. I will remember this for the future! Thanks!

  5. wow, i never tried preserving tomatoes or anything yet, this one sounds so easy. by the way, great post as always. and oh, how many days it can be frozen? thanks! visiting from FTF, hope you can visit me back! have a great week. 🙂

    1. From what I have read, you can store them frozen for up to one year. However, I have always kept things in my deep freeze longer than that with no problem. See you next week hopefully!

  6. Hi Adrienne,
    Your method for the tomatoes looks great and very easy. We still have some wonderful tomatoes to preserve this year. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come back soon!
    Miz Helen

    1. Hi Helen!
      Thanks for stopping by again. Hope your tomatoes work out. I hope to share how to make sun-dried tomatoes soon. It’s a guest post, however, so I am not sure when it will go live :-).

  7. Freeze ’em!! It’s so easy, why didn’t I think of that?!? But I’m glad you did and that I came across your post 🙂 Will be freezing our supply now.
    visiting from Friday Potluck

  8. We are actually freezing our bags of tomatoes now too. We just wash them and cut out any bad spots, then put them in freezer bags and that’s it. We do it so that in a couple of months, we can spend a few days and make our year’s worth of spaghetti sauce. It takes a few days, and we just don’t have the time right now. But later, we can take the bags out, thaw them and make the sauce. Easy Peasy.
    I just cannot believe it’s time to start thinking about canning already…..Yikes!!!
    Happy preserving!!!

  9. I’ve never had luck with freezing tomatoes, they lose their taste and texture too much for my liking. I’ve always can mine and have the sauces ready to go 🙂

    Thank you for sharing Adrienne 🙂

    1. Sandra,
      Did you find that the case even with using them to make sauces or to include them in dishes? I sure hope we find them to be satisfactory!

  10. Yes, I did know that tomatoes could be frozen. And I have, but thing is they lose a lot of texture and taste in the process. At least I think so. Only good for sauces after frozen, and a lot of spices added in the cooking.

    My First Food Trip Friday [I’m not sure if I’m doing this all correctly tho…live and learn.]

    Have a glorious weekend.

  11. I really miss having my own garden and canning things each year…. living in the city just isn’t the same!!

    Hop’in by from ‘Thoughtful Thursday Blog Hop’. I’m following your blog now, wont you please come and follow me back?? ~KM

    Krafty Max Originals

  12. Great post! I can mine, but freezing sounds very handy! Canning is not that hard. Dice, peel and a light cooking…add a little lemon juice, a little salt…you’re good to process them and store them.

    1. Sounds so simple, but I am always nervous about the contamination issues. Guess I just need to plunge in and do it. Maybe w/ apple sauce this fall when I can get seconds on apples and not worry so much about ruining it :-)!

  13. Oh yes, very easy. I just learned from a friend that freezing whole tomatoes on a sheet pan is the easiest way to skin a tomato… maybe I’ll try to combine the two techniques next time I have a lot of tomatoes to use up.

    Oh, and I can’t live without Tiwxit Clips…. I use them for absolutely everything too. I love, love, love them.


  14. Hi Adrienne,

    Wouldn’t tomatoes lost their texture and taste if they are in a frozen state? An inquiring mind would like to know.

    1. From what I understand (and we will certainly know for sure soon :-)), they will keep their taste, but would be best used in a sauce or cooked dish. I for sure won’t be making salsa with the frozen ones!

    2. Followed the link from Pickle Me Too.

      Yes, frozen tomatoes will lose their texture. I have been coring and freezing mine whole for several years now. Then, as noted above, thaw in cold water, slip out of the skin and add to soups, sauces and chilis. The tomatoes will dissolve in the pot but leave lots of flavor. It’s almost like instant tomato sauce right out of the freezer.

      I’ve frozen several varieties of tomato but the best are the Roma or paste varieties that have thicker walls and few seeds. Those can be simmered down and reduced for a more tomato paste texture and use during the winter.

  15. Great tips for tomatoes. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

    Lately I’ve had a lot of bell pepper and basil in my garden. Love your blog!

    1. Thanks for the compliment! I did a post on preserving herbs. My son has a lot of nut allergies,, so honestly I have never even eaten pesto, but perhaps I can substitute!

  16. Very interesting and informative article, i just love tomatoes!
    Found your blog from Do Sweat the Small Stuff. Have a nice day ahead! 🙂