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. Thanks so much for this recipe! I have been looking for a recipe for homemade tomato sauce for some time. It turned out GREAT! I hope you don't mind that I shared a link to this post on my blog.

  2. I have been looking for a simple way to use the abundance of tomatoes I have and have been wanting to try a homeade tomato sauce. I can't wait to try this today!!! Thank you for making this recipe available.

  3. this looks so simple to do! definitely looking forward to doing this this year with our tomatoes! thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  4. To the person who has left a comment telling me I’m making this sauce the wrong way, I don’t believe there is only one way to do things in the kitchen. Yes, you can core and peel the tomatoes. That’s one way to make tomato sauce. This is another method. I’ve made sauce that I enjoyed using this method, and apparently so have others (if you read the comments.) Feel free to use any method you like, but don’t visit my blog and tell me I have to cook things your way.

    • Absolutely! There is usually more than one way of doing things and creativity is the name of the game in cooking. Its what separates cooks from great cooks! Love your method and plan to use it this week When making my sauce for freezing Thank you!

  5. Phil, I cook it with the lid off so the water can evaporate and concentrate the sauce. I also like to take a rubber scraper and scrape off the carmelized tomato that makes a ring around the top of the pot as it cooks, so this gets incorporated into the sauce too. Thanks for the questions! I should have mentioned that.

  6. Does it matter whether I leave the top of the cooking pot on or off during this 6-8 hour slow coo?

    Hour 3 with top on,

  7. Glaucia, so glad it worked well for you, thanks for letting me know.

  8. Wow! Thanks for this recipe. I just made the tomato sauce and the roasted tomatoes as per your suggestions, and am so glad that I’ll have plenty of fresh tomatoes to use throughout the winter. Thanks for sharing this. It was exactly what I was looking for.

  9. I’m going to give your sauce a try. I’ve got tomatoes coming out my ears, and not enough people to give them to! This looks so simple and easy – and eliminates having to skin & seed – yuck! Thanks – and I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  10. I didn’t plant any tomatoes this year but my aunt just sent me a photo of all the tomatoes her plants are producing this year. I think I’ll forward this to her!

  11. Anonymous, heirloom tomatoes would be fine. You could use a crock pot for some of the cooking, but I think you’d have to reduce it on the stove at the end of the time.

  12. Heirloom tomatoes are delicious & so plentiful this time of year. I have never used them for anything besides salads, do you think they would work well for this sauce?

    Also, do you think this recipe will work if you let it cook down in a crock pot w. the lid off so the sauce can reduce?

  13. Great idea, Kalyn! I’ll be trying this with my tomatoes. I do like the idea of not having to can them.

  14. oooh, i did this too!
    except i passed them through the food mill and just froze the puree
    i’m waiting for the first real day of winter, then i’ll pull out my frozen ‘maters and some frozen herb/garlic moosh i made and craft a huuuuuge! pot of marinara sauce that will still taste of summer
    it almost makes me look forward to winter!

  15. It´s such great idea to preserve all that summer goodness. Normally I slow roast the tomatoes, but this sounds very good too.

  16. Scott and Gattina, I’ve made it both ways and haven’t really noticed any difference in the sauce with seeds or without. I think the long cooking of the tomatoes brings out the sweetness. Of course you could take out the seeds if you want, this is just something I tried once on a whim and I’ve been doing it this way ever since.

  17. Yet again this foodblog introduces me to another new concept, this time the “Green Blog Project” – something I’m going to have to get involved with.
    (Gattina) – I also find the seeds can make sauces bitter, however a touch of sugar soon rectifies this.
    Nice simple recipe by the way.

  18. Kalyn,
    I was told that the seed make the sauce slightly bitter, so I firstly cook the cut tomatoes briefly, them push them through a sieve to catch all the seed and skin, then continue to cook the sauce… but after seeing your post, about the seed thing may not be true huh?

  19. Mimi, I know what you mean. Homemade sauce is just better!

  20. I made tomato sauce recently and it was the best I’ve ever tasted (she said modestly).