Can You Freeze Tomato Sauce/Paste?


Last updated on September 13th, 2022 at 04:39 pm

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Tomato sauce and tomato paste are both used in many recipes. Tomato sauce acts as a tomato ingredient in the food it is combined with. Tomato paste, on the other hand, is a base ingredient enhancing the flavors of whatever dishes and sauces it is used in. 

Both of these tomato ingredients are kept on hand in the kitchen for tomato flavoring in recipes. If you have opened jars of tomato sauce or cans of tomato paste can you freeze them?

You can freeze tomato paste and tomato sauce. By following certain steps, you can keep these tomato ingredients good for multiple months. If you want to save some tomato sauce or tomato paste for later, freeze them!

So, you can freeze tomato sauce and tomato paste! I will discuss exactly how to freeze each of these later on in this article. Before we dive into that, let’s talk about if tomato sauce and tomato paste are different. 

These two tomato ingredients are indeed different things. Tomato Paste is a super concentrated type of tomato sauce with a thick consistency. It is made from tomatoes that have been cooked for several hours in reduced water content. 

These tomatoes are then strained out of their skins and seeds and cooked. Once cooked they will be a paste-like consistency resulting in what comes in those little cans. 

Tomato paste is packed full of flavor and is used as an additive to recipes that need a rich and intense taste. Many times tomato paste is used in sauces.

Tomato sauce is made from pureed ripe tomatoes. It also has a thick consistency with a grainy texture but is not as thick as tomato paste. It is more runny and comes in a jar. 

To make tomato sauce, tomatoes are cooked until they are in a liquid state with the fleshy part still intact. Tomato sauce can be seasoned with onions, garlic, peppers and herbs. 

Tomato sauce isn’t as rich and intense in its flavor as tomato paste is because it isn’t as concentrated. This tomato ingredient is commonly used to flavor Italian pasta or Mexican salsas. Tomato paste comes in smaller amounts than tomato sauce does. 

If you like using these ingredients in recipes and have a lot of them on hand or leftover from a meal, you could be wondering if you can freeze tomato sauce and tomato paste. The answer is yes, you can!

How Do You Freeze Leftover Tomato Sauce?

Tomato sauce is more liquidy than tomato paste and used as the main tomato ingredient in many recipes. Dishes like pastas and salsa feature tomato sauce and when seasoned, it brings a lot of flavor to the food. 

Tomato sauce typically comes in jars and while tomato paste is the healthier of the two, it is still good to use in recipes. You can even substitute tomato sauce for tomato paste in some dishes. 

You can freeze tomato sauce to save it for later. If you have an opened jar of tomato sauce, how do you freeze it?

You should freeze tomato sauce by dividing it into portions and then transferring those portions into an airtight container or freezer bag. Label with the current date and store the tomato sauce for up to 3 months

To freeze tomato sauce, you should divide it up into portions that you will use later on. Then transfer these portions into an airtight container or freezer bag. If using a container, leave some room for expansion and if using a jar, freeze without the lid on and then once the tomato sauce is frozen seal it up. 

Freezer bags will save you space in the freezer as you can lay them flat and once they are solid, stand them up side by side. Label the container or bag so you know when you placed it in the freezer. 

The tomato sauce will stay good for about 3 months. When it is time to use the tomato sauce, thaw it in cold water for an hour or two and after it is partially thawed, place it in the fridge for about 4 hours. If you want to cook it right away, you don’t have to wait until it is completely thawed. 

Simmering the tomato sauce for a little bit will defrost it.

According to the article, Can You Freeze Tomato Sauce?, “First off, figure out how much sauce you might need for each time you cook. This way, you’ll have an idea as to what kind of container you’ll need. If you’ll be cooking small servings at a time, then small sealed pouches would do…Fill up containers about halfway full to make room for the sauce as it expands. If you’re using jars, wait until the sauce has frozen and expanded before covering it up with the lid…If you’re using plastic pouches, simply lay each filled bag flat on one side on the freezer. Once it’s solid enough, stand them like books on a shelf.”

How Do You Freeze Leftover Tomato Paste?

As I mentioned earlier, tomato paste is a base ingredient made from tomatoes. Its thick consistency and intense flavor make it popular for sauces, soups, and stews. 

Tomato paste can come in a tube, glass jar, or can. It is healthier than tomato sauce because it is more concentrated meaning it contains a higher level of lycopene. 

If you need to, you can also substitute tomato paste for tomato sauce. You can freeze tomato paste to save it for future use. If you have opened tomato paste that you want to save for later, how do you freeze it?

You should freeze tomato paste by flash freezing it in portions and then transferring it into an airtight container or freezer bag. Label with the current date and you can store the tomato paste for 2 to 4 months until you want to use it.

To freeze tomato paste, it is recommended that you put 1 tablespoon portions onto a baking sheet or in an ice cube tray and freeze until they are solid. Then you can transfer the tomato paste portions from the baking sheet into an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze until you are ready to use them. 

Be sure to label the bag with the current date so you know when you put them in there and when to use them. Tomato paste freezes well and when done properly you can save it for 2 to 3 months to use in cooking later on. 

When you want to use the frozen tomato paste, thaw it in the fridge for several hours or overnight and then you are all set to use it for cooking the next day. Or, you can add the frozen tomato sauce directly into recipes as they will thaw while cooking.

An article entitled, Can You Freeze Tomato Paste? offers a detailed explanation on how to freeze tomato paste by saying, 

Use a slightly hollowed spoon to scrape out the unconsumed paste of tomato…Settle each spoon of paste into a board or wax paper…You can place the paste in muffin tins or cupcake plastic cups if you prefer to use bigger amount of paste in each unit…Place them in the freezer for up to four hours…Take out the hardened tomato paste globs and transfer them to a freezer bag or to an airtight container…Put the globs loosely into the bag in a single layer. This way, it will be easy to separate if you use the others…Label the bags or container with the expiry date indicated in product.”

Final Thoughts

You can freeze tomato sauce and tomato paste. Be sure to follow the steps mentioned in this article on how to properly freeze the tomato ingredients and you can save them for about 2 to 3 months. 

Tomato sauce and tomato paste are different things and are used differently in recipes. But, they both add flavor making the dishes they are in taste good. 

If you have opened jars of tomato sauce or cans of tomato paste that you want to save for later, you can freeze them.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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