Shocking news: I’ve just realized the awesomeness of tomato paste.
Who knew so much awesome tomato flavor could be JAM PACKED into such a tiny little can?
To which another thought immediately followed: What do I do with a can of tomato paste minus 1 Tbsp?!
Enter the art of freezing. And an art it truly is, because you can’t just willy nilly throw stuff in the freezer and expect it to be all fine and dandy when you pull it out eons later.
That is, unless your freezer has some anti-freezer burn mojo. In which case, can I have some?
So, back to tomato paste.
It all started a few weeks ago with homemade spaghetti o’s. I bought a small can, made lunch, ate it up (while reminiscing about my childhood) and then made some more.
The kids ate that batch and gave it two thumbs up.
THREE batches of homemade spaghetti o’s later and I STILL had tomato paste left in the can.
At this point, I was tired of looking at the darn can in my fridge. But since I can’t quite bring myself to throw food away, I chose plan B: freeze tomato paste.
And that’s how this little tutorial was born. 🙂
How to Freeze Tomato Paste
- tomato paste
- a one Tablespoon measuring spoon OR a one Tablespoon cookie scooper (we have this one and LOVE it)
- cookie sheet
- parchment paper
- plastic storage bag
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Using either a measuring spoon or a one tablespoon cookie scooper, scoop a slightly rounded heap of tomato paste onto the parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining tomato paste, leaving 2-3″ of space on the parchment paper between each scoop.
Why one tablespoon? Because most recipes call for tomato paste in one tablespoon increments. Measuring it this way makes it easy to pull out what you need, double or even halve as necessary.
Why a slightly rounded heap? It’s inevitable that some of the tomato paste will remain in either the measuring spoon or the cookie scoop. Aiming for slightly heaping means still having a full tablespoon when it’s all said and done.
Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 4-6 hours, or overnight if it’s easier.
Pull the cookie sheet from the freezer and cut the parchment paper into squares so that each scoop of tomato paste is in the center.
Wrap the parchment paper around the ball of frozen tomato paste like a piece of salted taffy. Place all the balls into a freezer-safe plastic bag. Label and freeze.
When a recipe calls for tomato paste, pull out what you need and add it frozen – no need to thaw!
And just like that, you’ve saved money and avoided a trip to the grocery store for tomato paste!
Save more money by preserving more food:
- How to Dehydrate Dill
- How to Flash Freeze
- How to Dehydrate Apples
- How to Dehydrate Almost Any Fruit Imaginable
- How to Blanch Greens
- Preventing Freezer Burn
I recently got some herb-freezing trays from pampered chef, sounds like they’d be perfect for tomato paste too!
I have been doing this for a while now, I was forever finding mouldy cans of tomato paste in the back of the fridge and it made me sad to throw it out. I use a silicon mold to freeze ours (the one I use is 1/2 of a cake pop mold), they pop out easily and I then store them in a container in the fridge. My husband thought I was weird for doing this, I’m so glad there are other “weirdos” out there like me!
I own different sizes of scoops. I find that if I making cookies and the recipe calls for a tablespoon I can downsize to the next smaller scoop, carefully time the first batch (since they are smaller) and end up with many more cookies and no one realizes they are getting a smaller portion that what the recipe calls for. My last batch of cookies was supposed to make 3 dozen and I got 6 dozen. Took them to church on Sunday morning and no one was the wiser. Scoops also work well for things like meatballs. Not that I want a protein to be smaller but it does assure that 2 meatballs = the recommended 4 oz. of protein per serving.
Yes! I L.O.V.E. my scoop and would love to add to the collection. I use my scoop on meatballs too, as well as energy bites and a few other things. One of my favorite tools!
Approximately how long do you think it will last in the freezer?
3 months on the door, 6 months in the back, 12 months in a deep freeze is the general rule of thumb (assuming it’s double wrapped)
I do this with pesto in ice cube trays, why did it never occur to me to do it with tomato paste as well?! THANK YOU!!!
Or…you could just use the rest of the can to make pizza sauce. Add in some garlic, basil (I like adding twice as much basil as the other herbs), oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Maybe a splash of olive oil. Cream is also nice if you want a thinner consistency. Stir it up and you’ve got fabulous, almost instant pizza sauce.
You could Kaylee! We usually have pizza sauce already on hand, otherwise we’d do something like this.
I do the same with ginger. I buy a big basket – think paper lunch bag full – peel and grate it and then scoop it out by tablespoons to freeze. Makes stir fries and Asian recipes so much faster (and less messy!).
Ooh – great idea!!
I don’t use a whole lot of ginger, but I freeze the whole root and grate what I need from it frozen. Works well for me!
I didn’t even know it came in a tube!
Brilliant! I’m doing this with the next can of tomato paste I open. Would it work with waxed paper in case we run out of parchment? How about aluminum foil?
Wax paper should work Josephine, but I’m not sure about aluminum foil. I’d go with plastic wrap before that one in case it sticks while frozen.
Thanks! I may try all three as an experiment. 🙂
You can buy a product called Go Between, which is a plastic film (not clear like Glad wrap) it is a light grey in color. It comes in a box and you just pull out what you want and use the serrated edge on the box to cut it. Hope this helps. Regards – Chris for Tasmania Australia