Okay, one of my biggest pet peeves is opening up a can of tomato paste, because a recipe calls for 2 or 3 tablespoons, and then trying to figure out what to do with the rest….before it goes bad.

How many times have you discovered that little an of half used tomato paste, loosely covered with a crinkly piece of aluminum foil, shoved into the back of your fridge, with a delicate layer of mold on the top? Clearly this has happened to me a lot.

But instead of tossing this bummer of a partially used ingredient into the trash, or making yourself figure out a way to use up the rest of the can immediately, so it doesn’t go bad, you can freeze the rest and use it for months.

Just scoop it into a freezer-proof zipper-top bag , press it somewhat flat, and seal it tight, removing as much of the air as possible. Label and date it, into the freezer it goes, and then you can pull it out and break off pieces as you need them.

Sure, it’s not easy to measure exact amounts of frozen tomato paste, but that’s truly ok – tis is one of those ingredients where a little extra or a little less really doesn’t make a whole lot of difference in a recipe, and the more you use it the better you will get at eyeballing the amounts. Also, for the most part, tomato paste is used in recipes that are heated up on the stove, so you can add it still frozen, and it will quickly defrost as you make the dish.

And then where will you use this extra tomato paste:

And it’s great to add to any kind of tomato-based pasta sauce or dish (like this chili) to give it a little more depth and oomph.  It’s also a good trick to add a bit to fresh tomato-based sauces and soups (like gazpacho) if the tomatoes you are using aren’t at their peak of ripeness.


  1. I don’t buy paste anymore. I have a dehydrator, and when I dehydrate 15 pounds of tomatoes I toss them into my Nutribullet and make one full pint of pure tomato powder. A tablespoon of the powder plus a tablespoon of water equals 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. No lost paste in the freezer! It tastes better, too, I think. It hasn’t been cooked, so it hasn’t lost any nutrients. I buy 15 pounds of slightly blemished tomatoes just for this purpose from a farm stand for $5, and they are field ripened all year ’round here in Florida, so they are deep red, juicy and delicious. I could also place slices in olive oil to enjoy that way. Next I’m going to try sugar free, no HFCS ketchup from my powder.

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