Can You Freeze Tomato Puree?

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By Ross Young

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Tomato puree is a handy ingredient to have around. It provides the basis for a lot of sauces and is a great addition to most meals to bulk out the veg in a tasty way!

Adding some tomato puree to a stew or soup adds extra vitamins but it also thickens the sauce and adds flavour. If you love to make your own tomato puree then you might be wondering, can you freeze tomato puree?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze tomato puree. Tomato puree can be frozen for around 6 months. You can either freeze it in small freezer bags or you can use an ice cube tray to freeze easy-to-use frozen cubes of tomato puree that can be immediately added to your cooking.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

How To Freeze Tomato Puree

Below, we have outlined our two methods for freezing tomato puree. Consider how you will normally use tomato puree and then freeze it in the most suitable of these two methods:

How to Freeze Portions of Tomato Puree

This is the most common method you will need and it’s perfect for freezing in batches for later use. You will need to decide on how big your portions should be but a general rule of thumb is that for most recipes you will need about 200 grams of puree.

  1. Make Your Puree
    Make your puree. You can use your favourite recipe and use whichever flavourings you love the most from basil and thyme through to garlic and chilli – all of which freeze well! Allow the puree to cool completely.
  2. Portion into Bags
    Prepare some freezer bags by labelling them with the date. If you have enough freezer-safe containers with lids you can use these instead. Spoon a portion of tomato puree into each bag or container. Don’t overfill the bags. The tomato puree will expand a little as it freezes and if there is no space left it might burst from the bag and make a mess in the freezer.
  3. Label and Seal
    If you haven’t labelled the bags or container yet then do this. Seal the bags tightly.
  4. Freeze
    Pop them into the freezer carefully. If you can lay them flat until they freeze this will allow you to store them easily.

How to Freeze Tomato Puree in Ice Cubes

If you only want to add a little puree to a recipe this is the method for you! You could even add an ice cube or two of puree into a juice for an extra healthy kick.

  1. Make Your Puree
    Make and cool your tomato puree as above.
  2. Portion into an Ice Cube Tray
    Grab yourself some ice cube trays. You could also use silicone cupcake or muffin moulds too if you want a little extra tomato puree per portion. Pour some tomato puree into each section of the ice cube tray. Leave a little gap at the top to allow the tomato puree to expand in the freezer.
  3. Flash Freeze
    Put the ice cube tray into the freezer. Keep it flat to avoid any spills. Allow the cubes to freeze for a couple of hours or until they have frozen completely.
  4. Tip into a Bag
    Take the ice cube tray out of the freezer and pop the tomato puree ice cubes out of the tray and put them into a freezer bag. Label the freezer bag and seal it tightly.
  5. Freeze
    Pop this back into the freezer to store. Now you have cubes of tomato puree to use whenever you need and freezing using this method means you should be able to grab out just the number of cubes you need for your recipe.

3 Tips for Freezing Tomato Puree

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing tomato puree to have the best results:

  • Consider Uses – If you only ever use a tablespoon or two to add a hit of tomato flavour to your cooking then freezing it into ice cubes is the best approach. That’s why you need to consider how you use it. 
  • Be Experimental – If you’re making your own tomato puree then don’t be afraid to go a little experimental. Adding garlic cloves, fresh herbs, chilli flakes or a grating of nutmeg all work well. 
  • Label It – If you have decided to be a little experimental and have frozen a few types of tomato puree then make sure you label it with the flavour so you know what you’re grabbing when you need it from the freezer. 

How Long Can You Freeze Tomato Puree?

Luckily for cooks and budding chefs, tomato puree lasts fairly well in the freezer for six months. Plenty of time to cook up a batch of tomato puree and freeze it for adding to recipes whenever you need.

You could even make up batches with different herbs and spices added so that you always have the right flavour available for the meal you want to cook.

You Can Freeze Tomato Puree for Around 6 Months

How Do You Defrost Tomato Puree?

You may not even need to defrost your tomato puree! Some recipes will work fine if you add your portion of tomato puree into it frozen. This works well for sauces in particular. You can just add the tomato puree to a saucepan and heat it up slowly on the hob.

If you do wish to defrost the tomato puree then the best way to do so is in the fridge. Take your tomato puree out of the freezer, pop it into a bowl and put it in the fridge to defrost for several hours.

You can speed up this process a little if you need by using the microwave on a defrost setting. Transfer the puree from the bag into a bowl and put it into the microwave for a few seconds.

Stir then add it back into the microwave. Repeat this process until the puree has thawed out completely.

Can You Refreeze Tomato Puree?

If your tomato puree has been cooked and then frozen we wouldn’t recommend that you refreeze it.

The freezing process isn’t without its problems and these can include changing the food and in some cases, it can help encourage bacteria to grow which can make you ill.

It’s better to be safe rather than sorry and throw away any tomato puree if you aren’t sure it is safe to freeze and reheat.

Does Tomato Puree Freeze Well?

On the whole tomato puree does freeze well. The way tomato puree is made means that it has already broken down the fruit into a puree texture.

The only problem you may suffer with is that the puree changes in texture slightly due to high water content. However, any change in texture should disappear once the puree has been added to your cooking and you won’t notice the difference.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing tomato puree or tomatoes in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Tomato Passata?

You certainly can – it actually freezes really well. Chances are, you’ll need more than an ice cube of passata so ignore the method above.

Instead, pour your passata into thick freezer bags, seal them up and then try to store them flat so they don’t take up too much room. You can then defrost overnight before making your favourite pasta sauce such as Puttanesca.

Can You Freeze Shop-Bought Puree?

The shelf life of a tube of store-bought tomato puree is pretty long so, chances are, you shouldn’t really need to freeze it. If you do, then you can use the method outlined above either to freeze it in large portions or to freeze it in ice cube trays.

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