Fruits & Vegetables - Preserving the Harvest

Homemade Tomato Paste

tomato paste
tomato paste

Make Your Own Tomato Paste

The tomatoes are still ripening in my garden and I’ve been cooking and canning my own spaghetti sauce for the last week and a half. The latest batch of tomatoes wasn’t large enough to make a full canner of sauce, so I processed tomato juice and had some left over. I cooked the remaining juice on low overnight to make my own tomato paste and it came out great. It wasn’t enough to can, so I’m freezing it. But it made me think about trying a full batch of tomato paste that I could can for the winter.

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I started searching online to find out if it is safe to can tomato paste. I wondered if it is too thick to safely process. But I found this site that mentioned a recipe from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. They didn’t share the link, but a quick search led me to the article, Preserving Food: Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products. At the top of page 9, they share a recipe for making and canning tomato paste. If you wish to can your tomato paste, please check out their recipe and follow the directions listed. I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I hope to soon.

Tomato paste
Straining tomatoes through my Victorio strainer

Here are the instructions I followed for my tomato paste…

How to Make Your Own Tomato Paste

  • wash your tomatoes and remove cores
  • cook tomatoes in a large stainless steel pan until soft
  • cool and strain tomatoes with a food mill or food strainer
  • pour tomato juice into a heavy stainless steel pan
  • cook on medium until it begins to boil
  • turn the burner down to low and stir occasionally until the juice has thickened into a paste
  • remove from burner, cool slightly
  • scoop tomato paste into freezer containers, place in refrigerator to cool overnight
  • label with contents and date, freeze

Notes: I just cooked down all of the ripe tomatoes that were ready from my garden. The best tomatoes for this recipe are paste varieties. If you wish to follow a more specific recipe, please see the link above. You may add seasonings to your juice for more flavor. I used pizza seasoning. I had about 2 quarts of juice and cooked it for 12 hours to thicken it. The amount of time necessary will depend on how much juice you use, the variety of tomatoes, and how hot the burner is.


Do you make your own tomato sauce? Have you ever canned it? I always enjoy hearing about your experiences!


6 Comments on “Homemade Tomato Paste

  1. I dry some extra tomatoes in my food dryer till the y are crisp and then blend them to a fine powder and add a 1/4 cup to bread with dried basil makes a lovely savoury bread. I do the same with mushrooms

  2. Putting-Up Tomatoes is GREAT, but IF “YOU Need MORE” Please Remember Your Local Farmers or “Farmer’s Markets! It’s ALWAYS Easier with “Too-Many” Tom’s instead-of too “FEW”! And who Knows What-Else You might P/U?

  3. When I try to cook down, I use my crockpot and leave the lid off. Or else put in a pan and set in the oven (temp on low) all night. I don’t like to cook down on the stove, it is too easily scorched.

    1. Hi Gretchen,
      I really have to keep the temp low and use a pot with a very heavy bottom to cook the sauce down without scorching it, but it does allow me to do a much larger batch. When I have smaller batches, I will have to try the crockpot…thanks for the tip!

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