Can You Freeze Tomato Paste? Yes!

Can you freeze tomato paste?  You bet you can!  Here’s how to do it so you always have a tablespoon on hand when you need it.

There’s no funny little story or anecdote to go with this post on how to freeze tomato paste   It’s just a smart thing to do.  You’re going to find this hard to believe but once when I froze tomato paste I woke up the next morning with longer legs and the ability to macrame.  Speed macrame!  See?  Super-smart thing to do.

The only time I use an entire can of tomato paste is when I’m making my world famous spaghetti and meatballs.  I use world famous kind of loosely.  The same way every coffee shop in New York says their coffee is world famous. Having said that, my spaghetti and meatball recipe is killer.

How to Freeze Tomato Paste

Open the can up.


Scoop out however much you need for the recipe you’re making …

… then drop the rest onto the waxed paper.


1 tablespoon at a time.


Stick the waxed paper into the freezer (having it on a level surface like a plate).


Remove the tomato paste once its frozen.

Stick the tomato paste balls into a container or plastic bag and stick them back in the freezer.

See?   This way when you have a recipe that only calls for 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste you have exactly the right amount on hand!


  • If you use a Ziploc type of baggie you can wash them in the washing machine.  I know!  It’s shocking but I tried it one day and it works. Just make sure you wash them in a cold cycle and don’t put them in the dryer. 
  • If you use more than a tablespoon at a time regularly and like things neat and orderly you can freeze them in an ice cube tray for perfect little cubes of tomato paste.

Not having to run to the grocery store for a can of tomato paste saves time. Time that can be spent on other things. Like macraming a pair of exceptionally long leggings.

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  1. Pam says:

    Hi Karen,
    I got one for ya. I spilled some grease (hamburger) on the toes of my new suede boots. I love them. I had to wait until I got home to try and figure out how to fix it but all my efforts were in vain. It’s been 4 days now and I’m afraid I may have to wear as is. Do you have any ideas for me to try.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pam – My cure for just about everything is kitty litter. Regular kitty litter for this, not the clumping kind. It can work to remove grease from things like cement and stuff. So I would fill a box with litter and dip the toes of your boots in it. However, having said that I’m not convinced you’ll ever get rid of the grease marks completely. :( Give it a shot tho! ~ karen

  2. Denise Leavens says:

    Well. I am ALMOST ashamed to tell you what kind of pasties I thought you were talking about freezing. My daughter took a class this spring – Burlesque 101. I went to her graduation performance and learned all about pasties, but none of them were frozen!

  3. Holly says:

    I am so excited about this new trick! I don’t know why I never thought about it. I tried this last night and woke up to frozen tomato “pasties” spread out onto my plastic jack-o-lantern plate. Happy Halloween!

    • Karen says:

      Yay! I just used a frozen pastie last night to make beef stew! All I needed was 1 Tbsp. so it was perfect. Glad you found the trick. ~ karen

  4. Wendy says:

    Karen, you are a freakin’ genius. I may have to go out and buy tomato paste now just to do this!!!!

  5. linda says:

    what a great idea, and such beautiful images to illustrate it!

  6. Lisa says:

    Very good idea. You could also do like you do with wine and put it in an ice cube tray. But, I must tell you, I am from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (where pasties are popular) and when I saw the “freezing pasties” title, I was sure I was in for a post on making and freezing delicious Cornish/Finnish rutabaga filled meat pies ( Darn!

    • Pam'a says:

      LOL– I’m not from the U.P., but spent some time there and thought the same thing!

      My husband and I have an ongoing discussion about this delicacy, and have decided that every culture on the planet has some form of it, all with very different names. Pierogis are common here in the midwest, as are Runzas(r)… One of those treats people yearn for after they foolishly move away.

      But the tip was genius, like always. :)

  7. JennC says:

    Jessica: I like your idea of freezing the paste as a log, but how do you get it out of the can intact? I can never do that!

    • linda says:

      i get things out of a can intact by opening the lid and removing then flipping the can upside down on a plate/saucer and opening the other end. i don’t take off the open disc but use it to push the ingredients out the open end on to the plate/saucer. hope this works for you too.

  8. Karina says:

    Good idea – or you could freeze some in an ice cube tray. Same goes for pesto.

    • Melissa says:

      I froze pesto last year and it all went brown o the top and was yucky – what did I do wrong? Please tell, I still have some more basil in my garden!

  9. Yvonne says:

    Dumb question from a new cook: How long does this stay good for? Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Yvonne. Not a dumb question! It’ll last forever in the freezer, but it’ll end up getting covered in ice. For it to be at its best an not taste freezer burned 3 months is best. (But I keep mine in the freezer until it’s gone … it won’t go bad just won’t taste as good. This website is reallyyyy helpful for looking stuff like this up.

  10. Great idea! My husband does this type of thing with chicken stock – freezes it into the ice cube tray and then just puts them in a baggie.

    I just sent him this post – I bet we will have frozen tomato paste in no time!

  11. Kendra says:

    I freeze my extra cookie dough in this way also. Then you have perfect little balls of frozen cookie dough at a moments notice.

  12. Shauna says:

    mmmm… Macaroni, knuckles and cheese, yummy!!

  13. giggle says:

    oh my another great idea to start my day! I have a little can of paste in freezer with the lid always falling off when I dig around and now I can solve this problem, YOU are a wonder!

  14. Amy says:

    What a great idea! I always freeze my leftover paste, but I never thought to freeze it in 1 Tbs. dollops.

  15. Angela says:

    This is so timely–I gazed for several minutes at the tomato paste in a tube at the store a couple of days ago, but decided it was too expensive for the quantity. Love this alternative!

    I’ve gotten into the ‘individually frozen’ thing in a big way. Cooked brown rice, hamburger that I cook in the oven then run through the food processor, chopped cooked chicken, fruit–all get laid out on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, frozen individually (the rice and ground meat will break up once frozen so I usually lay that out a half inch or so deep), frozen solid, then put into gallon freezer bags. This works great for getting meals on the table in a hurry.

    One note with freezing the cheese, the texture does change, it crumbles, making it fine for recipes, not so much for straight eating.

    • mothership says:

      OMG… SORRY… had to stop at ” all get laid” then picked it back up at “individually”… ok… hope I do not get banned forever!
      you’re right about the cheese… great(grate?) for pizza though.

  16. Anne says:

    Freezing cheese works perfectly too. When it goes on sale, I always buy lots to have on hand for pizza, mexican or italian dishes that need it!

  17. amyjk says:

    brilliant! but i finally started buying tomato paste in a tube, and has changed my life.

  18. Alisha says:

    I may have to go buy wax paper JUST to do this. I despise throwing away a half used can of tomato paste. It makes me feel so wasteful. But I don’t use it very often so it will go bad in my fridge thus I might as well just chuck it. No more I say!

  19. Jessica says:

    I freeze the tomato paste too, only I do it in a little log with plastic wrap. Then I just cut off how much I want.

  20. Marian says:

    I’m looking forward to the macrame leggings post!

  21. Shannon says:

    You just saved my big jar of tomato paste from imminent green fuzzy mould.

    Is it weird I buy all my fancypants french butter when it is on sale & freeze it? It is good making pie crusts from frozen butter too, you use a box grater to cut it & you get a super flaky crust.

    • Karen says:

      Noooooo … freezing butter that was on sale is brilliant. I’m making some pumpkin pies for an upcoming post … perhaps I’ll try the frozen butter trick. Although I’m not good with a box grater. I once grated my own knuckle into a pot of macaroni and cheese.

      • Shannon says:

        Oh!! I am bad too but once you get anywhere near grating your nuckles you should place your palm flat against the object you are grating..much in the manner of feeding a horse. It is really difficult to grate a flat palm. (obviously doesn’t work too good with butter because it is oily but it works for cheese & potatoes)

        I had to figure this out when I bought a microplane because I have chopped the same corner off my thumb so many times it has now stopped growing back & has no feeling.

      • Robin says:

        Too bad it wasn’t your elbow…hehe.

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