If you don’t use all the tomato paste in the container, can you freeze tomato paste for future use? Tomato paste is a foundational ingredient in almost every tomato-based recipe. As such, it’s an absolute staple in any kitchen.
Even though tomato paste comes in small containers, there’s nearly always some leftover paste. It feels wrong to waste it by throwing it away, which leads many to ask whether you can freeze it or not.
Can You Freeze Tomato Paste?
The short answer is yes. You can freeze tomato paste if you have some leftover and would like to use it at a later date. But you won’t be able to refreeze the tomato paste you’ve thawed. And if you freeze it incorrectly or for too long, it could alter the texture of your paste.
However, freezing your tomato paste in portions for no more than 3 months should prevent this from happening.
How to Freeze Tomato Paste
The Pre-Freeze Scoop Method
One of the best ways to freeze your tomato paste is to split the leftovers into portions before freezing. This way, you’ll only need to thaw what you need when you tackle the next recipe that calls for tomato paste.
Simply use a tablespoon to scoop your leftover paste into a baking sheet positioned on a plate. You’ll then have tablespoon-sized dollops of tomato paste spread out on the sheet. Then place the plate in the freezer for approximately 2 hours.
You should now have frozen tablespoon portions of tomato paste on the sheet. Remove them from the sheet and place them in an air-tight container or bag in the freezer. When you need tomato paste next, simply pop the number of tablespoon portions you need out of the container and into the pot.
The Ziploc Bag Method
Another popular method for freezing tomato paste is pre-portioning and storing it in a Ziploc bag. Decant your leftover tomato paste into the Ziploc Bag. Then pat the bag down gently with your hands to remove any excess air.
Using the back edge of a knife, not the sharp edge, score the Ziploc bag. The idea is to separate your tomato paste into rectangular or square portions.
Place the scored apportioned bag of tomato paste in the freezer on a flat surface and let it freeze. Next time your recipe calls for tomato sauce, simply snap off a frozen portion or two and pop it into your dish.
The Ice Tray Method
You can also easily freeze and store your leftover tomato paste in an ice tray. However, you should ideally use an ice tray that either comes with a sealable cover or can be closed. Using an air-tight cover will protect your frozen tomato paste from freezer burn.
Being stuck with leftover tomato paste is more common than you might imagine. So, for those asking, “Can you freeze tomato paste?”: yes, you can, and the above guide will show you how.