Tomato paste is a freezer-friendly product that can be frozen. However, it is a bit tricky, especially with homemade and canned tomato paste, because once you have excess or remnants, you’re left with the question, Can you freeze tomato paste? The answer is yes, and the good thing is that they freeze exceptionally well.
In this article, we’re walking you through how you can freeze tomato paste, the best tips to ensure you freeze them successfully, and how to defrost them.
What Is Tomato Paste?
Tomato paste is a blend of fresh tomatoes that is cooked through till its moisture content dries out. This low content is the reason why tomato paste can be frozen for an extended period. Tomato paste is added to some dishes, soups, and stews, and is mostly sold in cans.
How To Freeze Tomato Paste
The excellent news about tomato paste is that it can be frozen to extend its shelf life and maintain freshness because of its low moisture content. Coming back to the question of whether you can freeze tomato paste, we recommend the following steps to ensure you freeze it properly:
STEP 1: Divide into Portions
The first step to freezing tomato paste is to divide it into smaller portions. This allows you to defrost in smaller portions instead of defrosting the entire batch.
It is worth noting that if you are preparing the paste at home, allow it to cool completely before freezing. To preserve and freeze food products correctly, you must ensure the food is cooled down completely before freezing. When you freeze food while it is hot or warm, it affects the freezing temperature and may lead to spoilage even while in the freezer.
STEP 2: Mold Them
This step is entirely up to you; it is optional. You may want to flash-freeze the portioned tomato paste for 2 hours until it is solid. After freezing, you can mold the paste into round or circular shapes by using your hands.
Alternatively, you can simply portion the paste into an ice cube tray and flash freeze for 2 hours. This molding step helps you defrost frozen paste easily and quickly.
STEP 3: Wrap Them
Next, using plastic wrap or cling film, wrap the frozen balls or ice cubes in tomatoes. Be patient and ensure there are no holes or tears. This adds an extra layer of protection to the paste to prevent freezer burn.
STEP 4: Package Them
Once you have successfully wrapped the tomato paste, place it in a freezer bag or airtight container. If you decide to make use of a freezer bag, squeeze out excess air before sealing bags, and if you use an air-tight container, ensure you close the container with a lid tightly and firmly.
STEP 5: Label and Freeze
Lastly, label the package with the storage date and place it in the freezer for about 3 months.
How Long Can You Freeze Tomato Paste?
You can freeze tomato paste for around 3 months in the freezer.
We recommend consuming tomato paste within this time frame because, beyond this period, it is generally not safe to consume as the quality may have degraded.
5 Tips For Freezing Tomato Paste
The question of whether can you freeze tomato paste has been answered. Below are recommended tips for you to ensure the best results while freezing them.
TIP 1: Push excess air out of freezer bags before sealing and placing them in the freezer.
TIP 2: Label containers or freezer bags with the date of storage.
TIP 3: Consider molding the paste into cubes or balls for easier thawing.
TIP 4: Allow the paste to cool completely before freezing.
TIP 5: Close the lid of the container tightly and firmly before placing it in the freezer.
How Do You Defrost Tomato Paste?
Defrosting tomato paste is an easy process. When you are ready to defrost tomato paste, transfer frozen tomato paste from the freezer to the refrigerator. It takes 24 hours to evenly and safely defrost frozen tomato paste.
If you are running out of time and have started to prepare your meal, you can throw the molded frozen tomato paste into the pot to defrost and cook. This is why it is best to consider molding the paste into circles before freezing.
How To Tell If Your Frozen Tomato Paste Is Bad
If tomato paste is stored for too long or not properly, it begins to go bad. Below are the signs of badly frozen tomato paste:
- Sour smell and taste
- The appearance of molds
- Mushy and watery texture
Can You Refreeze Tomato Paste?
Tomato paste should not be refrozen. Once defrosted, it is best to make use of them immediately instead of refreezing. To avoid refreezing, you should make tomato paste in small batches and portion them before freezing.
Does Tomato Paste Freeze Well?
Tomato paste freezes beautifully because of its low moisture content. They stay for around 3 months in the freezer.
In summary, freezing tomato paste is a good way of extending its shelf life and maintaining its freshness for around 3 months. However, it is essential to follow our recommended steps and watch out for signs of spoilage. I hope you found this post helpful.
You could also check out: Can You Freeze Cauliflower Cheese?
Why can’t you freeze tomato paste?
On the contrary, tomato paste can be frozen, and it freezes extremely well because of its low moisture content. It freezes for up to 3 months.
Can I use frozen tomato paste?
Yes, absolutely. Frozen tomato paste can be used once defrosted or can be added directly to the pot until it defrosts appropriately.