Homemade Tomato Paste Cubes

This is the beginning of many tomato posts to come in the next few weeks.   Right now we’re handling Tomato Season 2013 so I’m constantly looking for new tomato ideas to both use our harvest, but also preserve so we can enjoy it until next summer!

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A great way to use up lots of tomatoes you have is to make homemade tomato paste.  Tomato paste is a great ingredient to have on hand to thicken up sauce and soups.  Not to mention it’s a great base to make some yummy marinara sauce.  I love this specific recipe because we are going to freeze them in ice cube trays which means you can use a little bit  at a time. No more using one of those tomato paste cans that you only need 2 tablespoons for.   By using ice cube tray size you use what you need, nothing goes to waste.  

The best type of tomatoes for paste is roma or plum tomatoes (think elongated in shape) because they have the least amount of seeds.  In this recipe, we don’t take the skin off or deseed the tomatoes, we just cut them in half.   Tomato paste is super easy to make, it just takes a little patience until it’s done.  It’s made by cooking the tomatoes on the stove for hours to the point of where you boil away all the liquid, causing a very concentrate form of tomatoes, which turns into “paste”.     By the time the hours are over, you are going to have beautiful tomato paste.. and a house that smells wonderful!  You will be hungry after smelling this on the stove.. :)  These cubes last a very long time, months. I could easily throw a cube in some tomato sauce in January that I make this week.   I love these tomato paste cubes because when it’s snowing out and I reach for one, I get to remember the good garden days had months prior.. and that just makes me smile!

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3629

Homemade Tomato Paste
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 pounds of roma or plum tomatoes
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 3 cloves garlic
Instructions
  1. Slice tomatoes in half.
  2. Put tomatoes and garlic in food processor (in batches), pulse until smooth.
  3. Put your tomatoes in a pot, add salt and stir.
  4. Turn your stove on to medium high heat and bring the tomatoes to a boil.
  5. Turn your stove down to low medium heat to keep them at a constant low simmering boil.
  6. Cover and cook for 3 hours, stirring once in a while, until tomatoes turn into a paste and liquid is gone.
  7. Put your paste in ice cube trays and freeze.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
 

 Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3608
Here’s your beautiful roma tomatoes.  

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Slice them in half and take the stems off if there are any.

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Throw in food processor and pulse until liquid smooth.  Then it goes onto the stove.. in a few hours all that liquid tomato  will turn into…

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3626
Great smelling tomato paste!

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Fill up your ice cube trays and throw in the freezer.

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Pop a tomato paste cube out whenever you need one!

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Easy and fresh, does it get any better?

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Comments
  1. Nicole@HeatOvenTo350

    I never realized how simple it was to make your own tomato paste. This looks wonderful. I also love any excuse to use all those freezer trays I bought when I was making baby food. :)

    • Pamela

      Thanks Nicole! Somehow I also ended up with way too many ice cube trays!

  2. What a great post girl! I’m so doing this because I always end up wasting a can of paste each time I use it. I don’t know why they don’t make smaller cans because you always only need 1 to 2 tablespoon for each recipe. You’re a true gardener because you know how to do it all and make use of everything! xoxo, Jackie

    • Pamela

      I know, right? It’s such a bummer when you only need 1 tablespoon and need to open up a entire can. This will save you money, as well as make your tomatoes to last all year! :)

  3. Whoa! Such an awesome idea!!

    • Pamela

      Thanks Nora! I love how it makes it feel like garden season in the winter!

  4. Miss Messy

    What a super idea :D I think i need to do this!

    • Pamela

      Thanks Miss Messy, I hope you do!

  5. Pam (Sidewalk Shoes)

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve made lots of homemade condiments, but have never tried tomato paste!

    • Pamela

      Thanks for stopping by Pam, this is one of my favorite things to make the garden season last into winter.

  6. Kelly

    Your garden tomatoes are gorgeous and what a great way to use them up! I’ve never thought of making my own tomato paste but it sounds like a great idea. Never realized it was so simple to make. Thanks so much for sharing Pamela :)

    • Pamela

      Thanks Kelly! I’ll be making another batch tomorrow, picked a big load of tomatoes today!

  7. Monica

    This is why I love food blogs – I get inspired and sometimes see something I never thought about! I never thought about how tomato paste was made, and I was just using it the other day to make a quick ad-hoc tomato sauce of my son’s tortilla pizza. It worked out great but now I’m wishing I had homemade tomato paste. Great job!

    • Pamela

      Thanks Monica! Tortilla pizza… mmmm! :)

  8. Ash- foodfashionparty

    Look at you, you’ve been busy. The best part of this you can freeze and remember your homegrown for a while.
    I am inspired. Thanks for the post and Nice to meet you Pamela..

    • Pamela

      Thanks Ash! That’s one of my favorite parts of these cubes, thinking back a few months at when these tomatoes were just babies. :)

  9. Sarah | The Sugar Hit

    UMMMMM. This is such an awesome idea! It’s so simple – I’m always chucking out dried out tomato paste – and I bet it’s way better both in taste and nutrition. Genius.

    • Pamela

      Thanks Sarah! I love how simple it is in the winter too, just take out a cube and throw it in the pot!

  10. This is a great idea!! I can’t wait to see the rest of the tomato posts :)

    • Pamela

      Thanks Ashley! There’s lots of tomatoes coming! :)

  11. Anne ~ Uni Homemaker

    Homemade tomato paste sounds awesome! Such a great way to use up your tomatoes you have harvested. I’m looking forward to your other tomato recipes Pamela! :)

    • Pamela

      Thanks Anne! Hope you enjoy them, it’s tomato city here!

  12. Irina @ wandercrush

    Ah, brilliant. So many supermarket tomatoes in London are so appallingly bland—some real tomato flavour would be an ice cube away if I made these little guys!

    • Pamela

      Thanks Irina! I love them because they are so darn convenient!

  13. Genius idea! Love to have this instead of the jar from the supermarket. I´m trying this asap!

    • Pamela

      Thanks Paula! Enjoy your tomato paste! :)

  14. Caroline Taylor

    Great idea, how nice to make your own to enjoy all year round!

    • Pamela

      Thanks Caroline! That’s my favorite part, making that garden season last as long as I can!

  15. Wow, I would’ve thought tomato paste would’ve been way harder to make! Plus I love freezing small amounts so I don’t waste any. Now if only my garden would actually produce some tomatoes for me…

    • Pamela

      Good luck with your tomatoes Kelly! ~ Sending them good tomato vibes! ~

  16. hani@haniela's

    This is wonderful. This year we scaled down with tomatoes, after last years non stop tomato production in the Summer I needed alittle bread. Have you tried making tomato soup you can can it too. It cames handy in winter months.
    Thank you for the recipe for the tomato paste, I’ve made pepper paste but haven’t tried tomato paste yet. On the list to do this year. Also another thing..sun dried tomatoes are awesome, I do them in the oven and then I layer them in the jar with olive oil, into the fridge and you can enjoy them for months to come. I’m so glad I found your blog. So many delicious things to try.

    • Pamela

      Thanks for the sundried tip, that would be great to have on hand! Going to give it a try. During the summer it’s pretty crazy for tomatoes with us, everyday we seem to be picking pounds. Yesterday we picked 16 pounds! I’m big on sauces, tomato soup (definitely!), diced/stewed tomatoes. I love filling our freezer with tomato goodness to last all winter long. Last year we didn’t have to buy tomato sauce in the store until April, so hoping to do it this year too! Thanks for stopping by Hani!

  17. Amy @ Elephant Eats

    This is smart. I always have leftover tomato paste and then i put it in the freezer and then i forget it’s there. I bet your homemade version is so yummy. What’s your favorite recipe to use tomato paste in??

    • Pamela

      Thanks Amy! I love throwing it in sauces or into tortilla soup to thicken it up! It really adds a nice fresh taste too!

  18. Mr. & Mrs. P

    Genius idea!!! Like this you can use them almost year round!

    • Pamela

      Thanks you guys! It’s my favorite part, it’s like saying hi to my tomato plants all over again, except with snow out the window. :)

  19. Vab

    I’ve used a crockpot to cook down peaches to make peach butter; what do you think would happen if I used this method to make tomato paste?

    • Pamela

      I definitely think you can make tomato paste in the crockpot, I would stir frequently, especially if you put it on high. Also I’d add some bay leaves. MMM! Let me know how it turns out!

      • Vab

        Using 3-4 lbs of romas, I had mixed results in the crockpot. I think you need more volume in order for the appliance to perform efficiently, so the initial tomato mix never cooked down to paste consistency (it was thicker than tomato sauce but thinner than paste). I threw the tomato spaste (sauce+paste) in a fine mesh strainer to drain more of the water, which worked like a dream, and then filled my ice cube tray. I don’t think I’d use the crockpot again for paste, but will definitely use it next time I put up tomato sauce. Thanks for this!

        • Pamela

          Thanks for letting me know Vab! I will play around with the crockpot to see if I can come up with some paste and let you know. Thanks again for reporting back!

  20. Jocelyn@BruCrew Life

    Mmmm, homemade tomato paste probably tastes so much better than store bought!!

    • Pamela

      It’s a million times better in my opinion, can’t be beat! :)

  21. Pam

    What a great idea!!!

    • Pamela

      Thanks Pam!

  22. Love this! Totally never thought to make my own tomato paste.

    • Pamela

      Thanks Christin, I love doing it!

  23. Ada ~ More Food, Please

    Using an ice cube tray to store the tomato paste is such a great idea! I will be giving this a try! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Pamela

      It saves up so much freezer space for me. Have fun! :)

  24. Denise@Magnolia Verandah

    Great post – no waste and so much better for you than anything you buy in a can.

    • Pamela

      Thanks Denise! I love just using the amount of tomato paste a recipe calls for, no more wasting! :)

  25. Bb

    I have always frozen leftover canned paste. I just put a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, drop spoonfuls of paste on it, and freeze till solid. Then drop frozen spoonfuls into a labeled freezer bag. But thank you for teaching me to make my own!

    • Pamela

      That’s a great idea!

  26. Bonny

    making this again — made it last year – and making it again this year. amazing. love having tomato paste that is good for me!!!!

    • Pamela

      Enjoy all winter long Bonny!

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