This freezer tomato sauce recipe is essentially a simple homemade spaghetti sauce that you make from your glut of garden tomatoes, stash in the freezer, and thank yourself for having done so come winter. Here’s how to make it.
If having freezer tomato sauce at the ready is something that sounds pretty nifty to you, then chances are you need to drop everything and make this easy, fresh, homemade tomato sauce recipe that you can stash in the freezer. Kindly note that this freezer tomato sauce recipe makes A LOT of tomato sauce, which in turn equates to a lot of freezer space devoted to tomato sauce. If you’re inundated with tomatoes, this is the recipe for you. And although we’re big proponents of big batch cooking, you could easily halve this recipe and still have an ample stash to tide you through until next tomato season—well, okay, maybe until next month. Originally published August 20, 2016.–Renee Schettler Rossi
How To Use Up That Glut Of Tomatoes
Still have an abundance of tomatoes after making this freezer tomato sauce? You could always take a cue from Spain, where the last Wednesday in August marks La Tomatina, the annual tomato-slinging fest which draws literally thousands of folks to the town of Bunol to engage in what has got to be the world’s most gargantuan food fight. Or at least the world’s most gargantuan tomato fight. We certainly hope they’re not hurling heirlooms.
Freezer Tomato Sauce Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes 3 quarts
- 8 pounds cherry tomatoes or small plum tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 large basil or rosemary sprigs
- 3 large flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
- 1. Toss the tomatoes in a large pot or Dutch oven with 6 tablespoons water. Dampen a large piece of crumpled parchment paper with cold water, open it, and place it directly over the tomatoes. Cover the pot and cook over very low heat for 30 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally to stir. Do not open, as the tomatoes are sweating and cooking in their own steam.
- 2. Transfer the tomatoes to a food processor, working in 2 or 3 batches if necessary, and process until smooth. Strain through a sieve, discarding the skins and seeds, if desired. Place the strained tomatoes, olive oil, shallots, garlic, and herbs in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes, until reduced to about 12 cups. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the sugar, if desired. Use immediately or freeze or later.
- 3. To freeze: Allow the sauce to cool completely to room temperature, then divide it among six 1-quart plastic freezer bags—each bag will contain about 2 cups sauce, making each bag only half full. Place the bag on its side on a flat surface in the freezer until solid, at least 1 hour. Then stand the flat bags of frozen sauce on end, as you would books on a shelf, to minimize the amount of space they take in your deep freeze.
To thaw: Thaw the frozen bags of sauce by completely immersing them in a bowl of cold water, about 1 1/2 hours to partially thaw. Or put the bags of sauce on a plate and thaw in the refrigerator for about 4 hours. You do not have to completely thaw the sauce before you rewarm it.
To serve: Transfer the thawed sauce to a pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and gently simmer for 5 minutes. If only partially thawed, simmer for an extra 5 minutes.