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Freezing, The Easy Way to Peel Tomatoes!

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I’ve discovered that freezing is the easy way to peel tomatoes! At our house, I cook everything from scratch and fresh tomatoes are a big part of all my recipes. Not to mention the canning frenzy I get into every year.

Peeling frozen tomatoes is so simple and easy to do, you’re going to be blown away and get mad at yourself if you’ve spent years using the boil and peel method – like me.

But, if you are new to canning, you’re in luck – you get to start out with the quickest way to peel tomatoes ever! It’s so simple, I don’t plan on ever going back to the other method.

I grow a lot of tomatoes and at times, I get into total overwhelm with canning and preserving them. An average gathering for me is 100-150 pounds every 3-4 days. This is about 2 1/2 – 3 bushels each time and this begins in June and doesn’t end until late August to early September.

I’m not superwoman. I can’t keep up with working these up all at one time. I’m juggling them with canning green beans, making pickles, sweet relish, well you get the picture, I have a lot going on.

NOTE: I found that freezing tomatoes before for making juice is not ideal. The pulp separates when thawing making it hard to make a thick juice.

So when I talk about freezing tomatoes for canning or cooking later for both recipes and canning, I get many questions.

tomatoes laying on table to ripen for freezing to peel tomatoes
Tomatoes ripening on a table for a few days

Freezing tomatoes for easy peeling later FAQ

Does Freezing tomatoes Affect the Flavor?

Tomatoes are made up of pulp fibers that are filled with water. And when you freeze them, you will lose some texture and they get a bit more watery. But in my experience the flavor remains intact.

I’ve been using this method for 3 years and honestly can’t tell any change in flavor. As I mentioned already I use them in recipes like soups, stews, and casseroles.

But I do a lot of canning as well and preserve them into pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, Italian Stewed Tomatoes with Herbs as well as canning them whole. My family has never had a complaint about the flavor.

I mentioned a bit more watery…. Don’t worry, I’ll share a tip to get rid of a lot of the extra water too that doesn’t affect the flavor either.

freezing tomatoes for easy peeling  freezer full
Frozen tomatoes are the easiest to peel

Can Tomatoes be frozen with skins on?

Oh my goodness YES! This is the easiest way ever to freeze them because they peel so easily when you need them. The best part of this is – they can remain in the freezer for 6-8 months without being blanched.

Freezing them literally requires no extra work. Simply place them into gallon Ziploc bags or other freezer safe containers, and just put them in the freezer.

freezer full of bags of frozen tomatoes for peeling later
Gallon bags of tomatoes in the freezer for canning

How long Can you Keep Fresh Tomatoes In The Freezer?

Last summer I put the end of season tomatoes in the freezer and forgot about them. Until I started this canning year. I opened my extra freezer and there was 8 bags of tomatoes from last year. I took them out, made some salsa and it was delicious and tasty as normal.

So when people ask should tomatoes be blanched before they are frozen, I always tell them if they plan to use them within 6-8 months there’s no need to blanch. But it looks like I’ll stretch that answer out to a year now.

Freezing, The Easy Way To Peel Tomatoes

As I said, I don’t plan on ever going back to the boiling and blanching method. I’ll just about bet once you try this, you’ll never go back either.

How to Freeze Tomatoes For Easy Peel Later

This method will work if you only grow a few tomatoes or a lot like me.

Actually you don’t have to grow them at all. You can pick them up from the farmers market or even the grocery store. If you find a deal on fresh organic tomatoes, you can stock now up. And this will save money on the family budget. Win – Win!!

After I gather them, I lay them out on a table or the counter for 2-3 days to let them to continue to ripen. For this method to work well, they need to be really ripe. Once they are ripened to my liking this is exactly what I do. “Without washing them” ….

This method also works well for freezing overripe tomatoes too as long as they are still firm.

Step 1

Select tomatoes that are fully ripe and firm. Discard ones that have soft bruised spots. These can go in the counter compost bin.

If it has a “dry or healed-over” blemish, these can be frozen as long as when you gently squeeze it no juice comes out. It’s not safe to freeze ones that have open blemishes or, are cracked.

Also, there’s no need to wash fresh tomatoes before putting them into the freezer. You can wash them in the warm water when you are peeling them.

Step 2

Leave whole tomatoes in the freezer for a minimum 2 days to insure they are completely frozen. Tomatoes will safely keep in the freezer for up to one year.

How to Easily Peel Frozen Tomatoes

Step 1

When you are ready to use them, take out the quantity you need. Pour them into clean, lukewarm water (just hot water from the sink) and let them soak only a few seconds. Swish them around to get all sides wet.

Step 2

With a small paring knife, remove the stem and gently squeeze the tomato from the other end – it will “pop right out” of its skin. And even easier, most of the time, if it has a small blemish, the blemish will come off with the peel. If not, simply use your knife and cut it out.

You are ready for the next one. And the next. And the next – literally this fast. You can peel frozen tomatoes in seconds.

Toss your peel into the kitchen compost container or can save them to dehydrate to make tomato paste or powder to add to recipes.

What do you think, isn’t freezing a great way to preserve tomatoes to use later? It even works for overripe tomatoes too as long as they are still firm. It’s the best tomato peeling hack ever!

So if you end up with an excess amount of tomatoes and you’re trying to figure out what to do with them, this is the answer. It takes time for canning tomatoes and sometimes, they go bad before you can get to them, but not anymore.

Will you begin using this method to easily peel tomatoes? I’d love to know if you’ll be trying it.

More Tips:

Easiest Way to Peel Tomatoes Ever!

Easiest Way to Peel Tomatoes Ever!

It doesn't matter if you are peeling tomatoes for your favorite recipe or for canning in large quantities. This easy way to peel tomatoes is so simple, you'll be amazed.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy


  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Ziploc Bags (Gallon Size)
  • Other Freezer Safe Containers


  • Sharp paring knife


  1. Without washing - fill Ziploc bags and large freezer containers with firm, ripened fresh tomatoes - no blanching required
  2. Place in freezer for minimum of 2 days to make sure well frozen (these will store for up to 1 year in the freezer)
  3. When fresh tomatoes are needed, take out amount needed
  4. Fill sink with hot water and gently place frozen tomatoes into water
  5. Swish tomatoes around to get all sides wet
  6. Working quickly, use a knife, remove the stem tip and squeeze
  7. Tomato will "pop" right out of it's skin
  8. Repeat until all tomatoes are peeled


If a tomato has a dry blemish, this can be easily cut out when it is frozen. In other words, make sure no juice comes from the blemish when lightly squeezed- if it does, discard tomato - don't freeze.


easy peeling tomatoes fast and simple
peeled tomatoes in a large pot frozen and ready to peel

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31 thoughts on “Freezing, The Easy Way to Peel Tomatoes!”

  1. Wow! I just peeled 20 pounds of the tomatoes the many pounds of tomatoes in our freezer. It was so fast and easy with your method! Thank you.

  2. What about deserving tomatoes. I did use this technique but my sauce is full of seeds. Also I’m guessing I simmered my tomatoes too long for a sauce cause it was very pungent (?). Any suggestions? Thank you. 😊

    1. Hi Lorenza,

      I’m not sure if I know what you mean by “deserving tomatoes.” What kind of tomatoes did you use? I use a Roma tomato that has a small seed in it, but we don’t mind the seeds either. If your tomatoes had large seeds in them, this could be part of it. I hope this helps.

    1. Hi Paige,

      This post is for freezing tomatoes whole, it’s not a recipe for anything. If you read on in the post, you will see how the core is removed when you go to use them. It also shows in the video.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

    1. OMG Sandi!! This is a great question, and I don’t have an answer. But you can sure bet I’ll be trying it out. If you have a lot of peaches right now, try a few to see what happens. If I had some, I’d sure try. Let me know how it goes. I will not have peaches again until next season, but I will add that information after trying it myself.

  3. I freeze too but I wash and core before I freeze. Then thaw in fridge for several hours, the skins just slip off at that point. Then I cook down for sauces and canning or just heat to boiling for canning whole. This is much better than blanching to peel, especially in hot summer canning kitchen. I have gotten heat exhaustion many times while canning. Wish it worked for peaches!

  4. I didn’t read all the information and I think I have a batch of tomatoes that needs to be tossed. I’d like opinions PLEASE. Normally I would blanch tomatoes, put in cold water, peel and put in canning jar. Then I would press down to get juice to cover all the tomatoes, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 T lemon juice. If not enough juice I’d add a little tomato juice to cover. Put lids on and water bath. This time I froze tomatoes and used your method to skin. Tomato’s were small 1 -1 1/2″diameter. I cut frozen tomatoes in halves and added salt and lemon juice to jar. I then started canning Procedure. I didn’t like the frozen tomatoes but wasn’t sure what to do. Should I throw this batch out? I’m currently trying another batch but I have peeled tomatoes and I am waiting for them to defrost before adding to jars. Then follow regular canning process. What do you think?

    1. Hi Kathryn,

      If you are cold packing your jars, the tomatoes will need to thaw after they are peeled. They are frozen and hard which keeps them from packing in jars well. I put mine into a large stock pot and heat. There is not a reason to throw them out. Hope this helps.

  5. Iam going to make this pizza sauce today my neighbor has a green house so he gave me a box of Roma’s ,so am going to try this recipe
    Can I leave this skins on,and can I do them in smaller jars like salmon jars
    Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Val,

      You will need to remove the peels. You can freeze them overnight and easily remove them once they are frozen. Watch the video of how to do it – its in this post you contacted me in. You will also need to use true canning jars. I’m not sure what salmon jars are exactly. I’m assuming smaller that pint jars. You can buy half pint jars for canning jams and jellies in – so use these. Not all “glass” jars are safe for canning, the rim is not wide enough for the proper seal and some are not made to withstand the temperature of the processing. The processing time would be the same for half-pint as it would for pints in the recipe. I would ask you to use only canning approved supplies. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

  6. If using them to can things like salsa, diced tomatoes, or pizza sauce, how do you remove the excess water? I have had problems with this in the past and ended up with watery spaghetti sauce or salsa.

    1. Hi Erika,

      I do a couple of things. The first being that I use only Roma or San Marzano tomatoes for making sauces. They are a much meatier tomato and specifically for making sauces & pastes. Anda bonus, they are easy to grow. Then another thing I do, is when I put them into the big stock pot to cook up, as the “clear” water gets to be pretty deep on them, and it is much less with Romas, I use a ladle and dip some of it out. Not a lot because you don’t want to bother the natural flavor.
      And then I simmer my sauces, salsa, etc for a couple hours or maybe even a bit longer until the liquid has reduced by at least half. In my pizza sauce recipe, you can see an image of how I demonstrate how much I cook it down. But cooking slow and easy is the key.

      It’s a great way to can them later. I do this 100% of the time anymore.
      Happy Canning,

  7. Also a great idea if you are like me. We don’t plant enough to all get ripe at the same time to use for sauce. So I put them in the freezer until I have enough to use for sauce or salsa.

    1. Hi Celia,

      I am making ketchup today with tomatoes from my freezer, so this works great!! It allows you to have fresh tomatoes all winter for canning.
      Let me know if you have any questions,


  8. After removing the skin, can they be left on the counter to thaw out over night or do they need to thaw in the refrigerator?

    1. Hi Tracy,

      When I’m canning, I don’t thaw them. I am peeling them when I am going to be using them. I put them into my pot or canner, put it on the stove and turn it on high. They thaw a rather quickly. Don’t stir them yet, and you’ll see the water from the pulp fibers, use a ladle to remove as much water as you think you need and then start stirring. They have thawed in the pot and will fall apart. I then use an immersion blender to puree them well.

      But if you are using just a few of them whole for a casserole – lay them out on a cookie sheet or something in a single layer and leave them sitting on the counter for about an hour – they thaw in this time. Give them a gentle squeeze to remove some water and put into your casserole. They are delicious!

      Hope this helps, if not, please let me know.

  9. This is an excellent idea!! I want to start canning and this makes it more likely that I will actually start because it reduces the prep and urgency with tomatoes. Thank you so much!

      1. Hi Duane,

        Hi Duane,

        2 things – without knowing what your specific ingredients are, that would be hard to answer, feel free to send me your ingredient list and I’ll take a look or use the NCHFP to make sure all ingredients are safe. For example, peppers cannot be water-bathed, they are low acetic, so you’d need to leave those out. 2) the peels will change the flavor. they will make it bitter but still safe to eat.

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