Tomato paste is a handy ingredient for many different recipes, but it doesn’t last long once opened. If you have some leftovers, you may be wondering if you can freeze tomato paste.
You can freeze tomato paste for approximately five months. Although it’s safe to freeze it for longer, it will begin to lose its taste and texture. To freeze the tomato paste, separate it into small dollops and freeze it on a flat surface. Once frozen, you can move it to a freezer bag.
In this article, I will discuss freezing tomato paste in greater detail. Keep reading to learn more!
Is It Safe To Freeze Tomato Paste?
Although freezing inactivates microbes, it’s important to note that it doesn’t kill bacteria. That’s why it’s important to freeze your tomato paste as quickly as possible after opening. The longer you leave it at room temperature or in the refrigerator, the more likely it will go rancid.
It is safe to freeze tomato paste if your freezer remains at the optimal temperature, 0 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately -18 degrees celsius). When your tomato paste is in the freezer, the growth of bacteria and parasites is halted. You should freeze tomato paste quickly after opening.
By placing it in the freezer right away, you ensure that bacteria don’t have the time to grow.
How to Freeze Tomato Paste
Now that you know that it’s safe to freeze, it’s good to know how to do it safely and effectively. Of course, you could freeze it all together, but this isn’t the most efficient way because you’ll have to defrost it all together, meaning you’ll likely waste some product.
Here is the best way to freeze tomato paste:
- Place small spoonfuls of paste on a baking tray or another flat surface. Since you generally won’t need to use large amounts of paste at a time, it’s best to freeze small balls separately. This will minimize waste.
- Place the tray in your freezer. Once you’ve sectioned out all your tomato paste, you can place it all in the freezer.
- Wait for it to freeze entirely. Next, you should wait at least a few hours so that the tomato paste can freeze completely. Ideally, you should wait overnight.
- Remove once frozen. Once the balls of tomato paste are frozen, you can remove the tray from the freezer.
- Transfer to a freezer container or bag and place back in your freezer. You can transfer the frozen tomato paste balls into a freezer container or bag while making sure to push out any excess air before sealing. Since they’re already frozen, they won’t mush together in the freezer.
- Use the frozen tomato paste as you please. You can now defrost and use one ball at a time to prevent waste.
What Is the Best Way To Defrost Tomato Paste?
The best way to thaw or defrost tomato paste is to place it in the refrigerator overnight, and you should only defrost the amount you plan on using to avoid unnecessary waste. Avoid defrosting tomato paste at room temperature because this increases the chances of bacterial growth.
No matter what the food is, it’s never a good idea to leave it on the counter to defrost. If you need to use some of the tomato paste right away, you should prepare it ahead of time and place it in the fridge the night before so that it can thoroughly defrost.
All you need to do is remove your desired amount from the freezer and place it in a bowl in the refrigerator. Use a bowl rather than a flat object (such as a plate). When it defrosts, it will turn to liquid and may spill from a plate.
Can You Refreeze Tomato Paste?
You can refreeze tomato paste, but it’s not ideal because the texture and taste will likely change. You should only refreeze if you have no other option and don’t mind sacrificing the original flavor. Make sure you refreeze it as soon as possible to avoid bacterial growth.
Freezing Tomato Paste – Summary
You can freeze tomato paste and it will last for up to five months in the freezer. Although you can freeze it for longer than this, the taste and texture may suffer if you leave it frozen for too long.
The best way to freeze your tomato paste is to separate it into small balls and freeze it on a flat surface. Once frozen, you can transfer it to a freezer-safe dish or container. You can refreeze it, but be aware that it will affect the overall taste and texture of the paste.