Want to make easy crushed tomatoes at home without the hassle of removing the tomato skin? Well, you're in the right place. This simple recipe walks you through the process of transforming your fresh garden tomatoes into flavorful garden fresh crushed tomatoes, made perfect for freezing!
⭐ Why You'll Love This Recipe
- No peeling or seeding of tomatoes is required!
- An easy way to preserve fresh garden tomatoes.
- No canning equipment is needed; this recipe was created for the freezer!
- Made for smaller batches of tomatoes.
- Makes a great base for tomato sauces and soups.
- A great way to elevate recipes that call for canned crushed tomatoes!
🍅 Why You Shouldn't Peel Tomatoes When Making Sauce
This is a personal preference thing. I love leaving the tomato skins on for homemade sauce, and I hate peeling tomatoes, so it's a win-win for me. Here are a few more reasons why you should feel good about leaving the skins on in this recipe:
- Adds more flavor and texture. In my opinion, it always tastes better than crushed tomatoes that have been peeled. I love how the tomato flavor concentrates with the skin on.
- The skin has a ton of vitamins and minerals - According to this article on Well + Good tomato skins are chalked full of antioxidants as well as calcium, zinc, and selenium. Who knew making things simpler would be so much healthier?!
- Time is money - We are busy people who want to make the best food possible with the little time we have available!
Hopefully, some of these reasons will convince you to try this lazy sauce-making!
ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT: If you can't stand the texture of the skin, you can blend these crushed tomatoes with an immersion blender. It will technically be a tomato puree or sauce, but it is still going to taste a million times better than canned tomatoes!
🥘 Equipment You'll Need
Dutch oven or stock pot
Freezer containers or mason jars
🧂 Crushed Tomatoes Ingredients
- Tomatoes—fresh tomatoes! Preferably from your garden..so good. You can use any type of tomato for this recipe. I used heirloom tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, pear, and cherry tomatoes! Trust me, this recipe is easy, and there are no hard and fast rules so get creative!
- Salt - just a little bit to enhance the flavor of the tomatoes
- Fresh Basil (optional) adds an herbal freshness to the crushed tomatoes.
🥫 How to Make Crushed Tomatoes
Wash tomatoes, remove stems, and cut them into ½-inch chunks. They do not need to be precisely the same size, but they should be around the same size.
- Add chopped tomatoes to a Dutch oven or stock pot.
- Place over medium-low heat with the lid on. Allow the tomatoes to come to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Add the basil, if desired.
- Simmer for 60 minutes, on low, with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
- After a nice sauce has formed, crush the tomatoes with a potato masher. If you prefer a concentrated sauce, simmer with the lid off for 10-20 minutes or until the desired flavor is reached.
🥡 How to Store
Refrigerator: Store covered, in an airtight container like a mason jar, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Freezer: Store in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers in the freezer for up to 1 year.
🌡️ Thawing Frozen Crushed Tomatoes
- Refrigerator (Recommended): Put the container or bag in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw slowly over 24 to 48 hours. This is the safest method, as it prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and preserves the quality of the tomatoes.
- Cold Water: Submerge the bag or container in a large bowl or basin of cold water. Make sure the tomatoes are fully submerged, changing the water every 30 minutes to ensure it remains cold. It should take about 1 to 3 hours for the tomatoes to thaw.
- Microwave (for Immediate Use): Transfer the frozen tomatoes to a microwave-safe container. Use the defrost setting, or low power setting and microwave the tomatoes in short 30-second to 1-minute intervals. Stir the tomatoes frequently to prevent them from cooking. Repeat until thawed.
- Cooking Directly from Frozen (if you're making a cooked dish): You can use frozen crushed tomatoes in a recipe while you are cooking, just add them directly to the pan while they are still frozen. As they begin to thaw, break them up with a wooden spoon.
Use within 3 days of defrosting. Refreezing tomatoes that have been thawed is not recommended unless they have been cooked into a dish first. Repeated freezing and thawing can affect the texture and flavor of the tomatoes.
🍝 Ways to Use Crushed Tomatoes
Use these homemade crushed tomatoes in sauces like this blush sauce for a nice, easy pasta dinner. Or use it to make chicken parmesan, meatballs, pizza, or chili. Use it in soups to make a garden-fresh tomato basil soup or minestrone.
The options are endless!
Whatever way you decide to use these crushed tomatoes; I hope you love them!
Easy Crushed Tomatoes at Home
- 16 cups Fresh Tomatoes diced
- 1 tsp Salt or to taste
- 1 stem Basil optional
- Wash tomatoes, remove stems, and cut them into ½-inch chunks. They do not need to be precisely the same size, but they should be around the same size.
- Add chopped tomatoes to a Dutch oven or stock pot. Place over medium-low heat with the lid on. Allow the tomatoes to come to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Add the basil, if desired.
- Simmer for 45-60 minutes, on low, with the lid on, stirring occasionally. After a nice sauce has formed, crush the tomatoes with a potato masher. If you prefer a concentrated sauce, simmer with the lid off for another 10-20 minutes or until the desired flavor is reached.
- Allow to cool for 1 hour and store in mason jar or freezer-safe containers.