Our tomato plants have been growing abundantly this summer and it’s been hard to keep up with them. At one point I had just shy of 30 tomatoes collected that needed to be used so I decided to make tomato sauce. I would’ve canned the sauce but to properly can tomatoes you need a pressure cooker and that isn’t something I have, so instead I decided to make and freeze my tomato sauce.
Making tomato sauce is actually super easy and there are several ways to go about it. I decided to make a very basic and simple sauce, this way I can use it later for spaghetti sauce, tomatoes in soup or even tomato soup.
Start by cleaning all the tomatoes really well and then pulling off the green stems.
Chop the tomatoes in half and remove the centers.
Then quarter the tomatoes and dice. Like I always say, try and make the tomatoes as equally sized as possible that way they all cook evenly and there aren’t random large chunks.
Set the tomatoes aside in a large bowl – you’ll need a large bowl because there is a lot more tomato juice than you’d think.
Grab an onion, peel it and then dice it up nice and small. This step is optional but I like the added flavor of onions.
Saute the onions in a little oil until soft and translucent over medium heat.
Then pour in all the diced tomatoes and all the juice.
Add in about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and stir.
Cover the pot and let this mixture come to a boil over medium-high heat and then lower the heat to medium-low and let the tomatoes simmer for about 60 minutes. Tomatoes hold a lot of juice and even just a few minutes into cooking you can see that the tomato juice is filling up the pot. yum!
At the half way mark, stir the tomatoes and taste the sauce. If it tastes too acidic, add in 2 teaspoons of sugar. The sugar will help balance out the flavors.
After the sauce has been simmering for an hour, turn off the heat, remove the lid and let the mixture cool down. If you’re going to be using some of it right away, go ahead and use it while it’s hot. Otherwise, let it cool all the way before placing into containers to freeze.
Right now, the tomato sauce is chunky, which is how I’m going to keep it for now. If you want a smooth sauce all you have to do is use an immersion blender, or pour the mixture into your blender, and blend until it’s to the consistency you like. If I end up using this for spaghetti sauce, I will throw the tomato sauce into my blender once it’s thawed out and puree it before heating it up and adding flavor.
I used plastic freezer bags to store my sauce and I kept all 3 quarts of it chunky.
When you’re ready to use the sauce, thaw it completely first. If you’re using it in a soup as a base, just dump the contents right in your pot when it’s the right time. If you’re using it for spaghetti sauce, add the tomato sauce to a skillet and add in the necessary flavors: garlic, fresh oregano, fresh thyme, basil, etc.
This is a super simple way to use up all those homegrown tomatoes and to plan ahead for those winter months when there are no fresh tomatoes around to enjoy!
- 28 medium Tomatoes
- 1 small Onion
- 1/2 teas. Salt
- 1/2 teas. Pepper
- 2 teas. Sugar
- Dice the onion and then saute in a little oil until soft and translucent.
- While the onion is cooking, dice up all the tomatoes removing the stems and hard centers.
- Dump all the diced tomatoes with their juice into the pot with the onion.
- Heat over medium-high until boiling then lower the heat, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for about 1 hour.
- Let tomatoes cool and transfer to containers or zip top bags to freeze.
- TO USE: thaw completely before heating up.