Kalyn's Kitchen

How to Make and Freeze Fresh Tomato Sauce

This recipe for How to Make and Freeze Fresh Tomato Sauce is one I used for years when I had a big garden that produced lots of tomatoes! Use Sauce Recipes for more ideas like this one.

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How to Make and Freeze Tomato Sauce

I was completely captivated about the idea behind The Green Blog Project when I first heard about it. It was the brainchild of LG from Ginger and Mango that every food blogger should try to grow some kind of food themselves, and then post about what kind of dish they made from it on their blog.

I heard about The Green Blog Project clear back in June when my garden was little more than a few sprouts. Now that the garden is bursting with produce, I was afraid I had missed the deadline. I’ve posted about so many recipes using garden produce and I haven’t sent even one to share.

But when I went back to Ginger and Mango to check, I was happy to see that the deadline has been extended to September 25. (There’s also another deadline for those in the Southern Hemisphere in March.) If you have a garden or even a pot of tomatoes on the deck, there’s still time to post about what you made from the food you grew yourself and send it to The Green Blog Project!

A lot of people are into canning tomato sauce, but I’ve been able to successfully avoid the home canning impulse for quite a few years now, even though most of my family has that gene. I prefer the flavor of frozen tomatoes to canned, and always freeze slow roasted tomatoes and Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce every year which I make from garden tomatoes.

The recipe I’m posting here is for the sauce that I make when I’ve made roasted tomatoes, marinara sauce, and eaten fresh tomatoes by the handfuls and the garden is still producing tomatoes! It’s nothing more than plain tomato sauce, but oh what flavor when you make the sauce yourself from tomatoes still warm from the sun and picked the day you make the sauce.

The most inspiring thing about my recipe is the flash of brilliance I had when I realized that you don’t have to peel the tomatoes. You can put them in a food processor and puree everything, and then when you cook them the peeling disintegrates into the sauce for brighter tomato color and more flavor. This method will produce a rather rustic tomato sauce which still has the seeds. You can always use a food mill to remove seeds when you defrost the sauce if you’re making something where you want a more pure type of sauce. Read more about that below.

How to Make Fresh Tomato Sauce for the Freezer

This recipe is for the fresh tomato sauce I made for years when I had a big garden!


  • use 6-8 large tomatoes for each cup of sauce


  1. It’s important to use tomatoes that are well-ripened and it’s best to pick them the day you make the sauce if that’s an option.
  2. I’d estimate that it takes about 6-8 large tomatoes to make a cup of sauce, but make as much as you can because this tastes wonderful in the winter when you’re dying for the flavor of fresh tomatoes.
  3. Put tomatoes in the sink and rinse well with cold water.
  4. Cut out stem area of each tomato and discard.
  5. Cut each tomato into pieces about 1 inch square. (Don’t make the pieces too large or the tomatoes won’t puree easily.)
  6. Using the food processor with the steel blade, puree diced tomatoes in batches and add to large heavy stock pot. The puree should be nearly all liquidized when you add it to the pot.
  7. Turn the heat as low as you can get it and cook the mixture until it is reduced by at least one half and as thick as you want it.
  8. I usually cook my sauce at least 6-8 hours to condense it down to the thickness I want. Your house will smell delightfully tomato-like while you cook this.
  9. I like to use a rubber scraper to scrape off the caramelized tomato that sticks to the side of the pot as the level decreases and do that about once every half hour.
  10. When sauce is condensed and thick, put into individual plastic containers and let cool on the counter for an hour or so.
  11. When sauce is cooled, snap on plastic lids and freeze.
  12. This will last for at least a year in the freezer.When you’re using the sauce, if you want a more pure tomato sauce that doesn’t have any seeds you can put it through the food mill after it’s thawed.
  13. Freezing the sauce this way with no added seasonings at all creates endless possibilities for using it. Add garlic, oregano, basil, or any other seasonings you want when you use the sauce to create soups, stews, pasta sauces, or other dishes this winter.


This method perfect by Kalyn from many years of being an enthusiastic gardener.

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    93 Comments on “How to Make and Freeze Fresh Tomato Sauce”

  1. So glad i found this! Everything i was finding was for pasta sauce and I wanted to replace my pantry staple also wanted something I could freeze. I used the food processor, then a slow cooker, then the stove top. It was still a tad to chunky for my taste, so i used my stick blender and smoothed it some more. So happy with the results. The seeds add that homemade rustic flare. I have so much to freeze.

    • So glad you liked the way it turned out. It has been many years since I shared this post and I still make it exactly like this!

  2. Can you freeze it in a glass jar?

    • I don't think I would because it's hard to predict how much the sauce will expand when it freezes and you don't want broken glass in your freezer. If you have frozen similar things it might work, but I don't have any experience with that.

  3. I used to take tomato sauce with bread in morning breakfast. Therefore, I will definitely try this yummy sauce recipe. Thanks for this nice sharing.

  4. Try putting up your tomatoes this way ! I take my fresh picked tomatoes, core and rinse. throw the whole tomato in the freezer for about 24 hours to a hard freeze..Rinse under hot water, the skin falls off, and throw the frozen balls in a large pot and simmer down..(I use a 23 quart pot)..no need to chop the tomato, they macerate down to a perfect sauce consistency..add your onion garlic, herbs, freeze in plastic containers, pop out when frozen and vacuum seal..I put up an average of 20 gallons each summer..I plant around 40 plants each year ~

  5. Bernadette, glad that worked well for you!

  6. So I tried the idea of putting the pureed tomatoes into the tea container and let them set overnight. I woke up to a layer about 2-inches thick of "water" that I just drained out. Great idea … thanks for the recipe and the site. Love the no-heat lunch ideas too.

  7. Just came across this and am making the tomato sauce as I write this, have much more to do. Will be a busy week. I am freezing in 1 pint jars this year. See how that turns out. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. Paul, it's interesting how we end up doing so many things like our parents did them, isn't it?

  9. What a great blog! My mother used to do this, and recently, that gene has surfaced in me. Dad also grew a ton of basil, so mom would toss a bunch in the blender, and puree' with olive oil, pour into ice cube trays and freeze. After it was frozen, she quickly transferred to a freezer baggie. In winter, she would float a cube or two on her sauce. She did the same with Sage, and other herbs.

    My sister puts a whole peeled carrot into her sauce when she cooks. The sugars sweeten the sauce. She simply pulls it out out before serving or freezing.

    Now, I am hungry….

  10. I am making this as we speak. Virtually every receipe I looked at online was for "spaghetti" sauce and I wanted plain ole tomatoe sauce.