Can You Freeze Grape Tomatoes?

Can You Freeze Grape Tomatoes?

It’s tomato season again! Your grape tomato plants are bursting with vibrant little red fruits just begging to be picked. After enjoying them fresh for weeks, you find yourself with more grape tomatoes than you know what to do with.

Freezing them is a great option to preserve your tomato harvest for months to come. Their sweet, summery flavor can be enjoyed all year by following a few simple steps.

In this detailed guide, you’ll learn everything about freezing grape tomatoes successfully:

  • How to prep and freeze whole or sliced grape tomatoes
  • Blanching – is it necessary?
  • Storage times and conditions
  • Best uses for frozen grape tomatoes
  • And much more

After reading, you’ll be fully prepared to freeze those abundant grape tomatoes from your garden or local farmers market. Let’s dive in!

So, Can You Freeze Grape Tomatoes?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze grape tomatoes to enjoy their sweet flavor year-round. Grape tomatoes freeze very well when you select ripe fruits, wash and dry them thoroughly, flash freeze them on a tray, and store them in airtight bags. Frozen grape tomatoes are great for cooked dishes like soups, sauces, and casseroles

An Easy Method for Freezing Grape Tomatoes

Freezing grape tomatoes is one of the simplest ways to preserve your harvest. Here is an overview of the basic process:

  • Select ripe, undamaged tomatoes
  • Wash thoroughly and dry completely
  • Leave whole or slice in half – remove seeds if desired
  • Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours until solid
  • Transfer to freezer bags or containers, removing as much air as possible
  • Store in freezer for up to 1 year

The keys are starting with quality grape tomatoes, freezing them quickly on a baking sheet, and storing in airtight packaging. Follow those guidelines and your tomatoes will freeze beautifully!

Now let’s look at the detailed steps for prepping and freezing.

Step 1: Choose Fully Ripe Grape Tomatoes

Always start with fully ripe tomatoes that are free of blemishes, cracks, or mold. Overripe or damaged tomatoes will not freeze well.

Look for grape tomatoes that are:

  • Glossy and firm to the touch
  • Fully red with no green patches
  • Heavy for their size
  • Freshly picked with intact stems

Hard, underripe grape tomatoes have less flavor and will turn mushy when thawed. Only use ripe tomatoes for best results when freezing.

Step 2: Wash and Dry Thoroughly

Give your grape tomatoes a bath to remove any dirt, dust, or residues. Rinse under cool water and gently rub off any debris.

Dry the tomatoes very well before freezing. Any moisture left on their surface can cause ice crystals to form, damaging the texture.

Use a salad spinner or blot with paper towels. Allow to air dry for 10-15 minutes until no moisture remains on the skin.

Step 3: Leave Whole or Slice in Half

Here is where you have a choice – leave the grape tomatoes whole or slice them in half before freezing.

Whole grape tomatoes are quick and convenient to use. Simply wash, dry, freeze, and bag.

Their rounded shape does leave some empty space when freezing though. For maximum efficiency, you may wish to slice them.

Slicing grape tomatoes in half lets you fit about twice as many in each freezer bag. Cut them in half lengthwise for stability.

If desired, you can also remove the seeds and jelly at this point to reduce the mess later on.

Either way works well, so choose based on your planned uses and preferences.

Step 4: Flash Freeze on Baking Sheet

Here is where the magic happens. For frozen grape tomatoes that don’t clump together in a solid block, flash freezing is vital:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Use a nonstick pan if you have one.
  • Arrange washed, dried tomatoes in a single layer cut-side up.
  • Place the uncovered pan in the freezer for 1-2 hours until the tomatoes are completely solid.
  • Once frozen, the grape tomatoes can be packed without sticking to each other.

Flash freezing prevents the tomatoes from freezing together in a solid mass. It locks in their flavor beautifully.

If you skip flash freezing, the grape tomatoes will freeze into one globular chunk. Not good eats!

Step 5: Pack in Freezer Bags or Containers

After flash freezing, transfer the solid grape tomatoes to zipper freezer bags or plastic freezer containers.

Prior to sealing the bag, press out any excess air to prevent freezer burn. Submerge the open bag in water to force out air bubbles before sealing completely.

Label the bags or containers with the date and contents. Stack them flat in your freezer to conserve space.

Step 6: Enjoy Frozen Grape Tomatoes up to 1 Year

Properly frozen, your grape tomatoes will retain excellent flavor and texture for up to 1 year.

For the best quality and nutrition, use within that timeframe. After a year, they’ll still be safe to eat but may develop an off-flavor.

Now you can enjoy summer’s bounty of grape tomatoes anytime!

Do You Need to Blanch Grape Tomatoes Before Freezing?

Blanching is a common pre-treatment for vegetables before freezing. It stops enzyme actions that can cause loss of flavor, color, and texture.

For delicate vegetables, blanching is a must. But when it comes to tomatoes, blanching is not necessary.

Grape tomatoes maintain their flavor and bright color well without blanching. Their natural acidity prevents them from developing off-flavors during freezing.

Some people do choose to briefly blanch or scald tomatoes before packing them for long-term storage (over 6 months).

This can help retain maximum nutrition. However for most uses within a year, simply flash-freezing grape tomatoes works great.

Save the extra time and skip blanching your grape tomatoes. Just be sure they are very dry before freezing for best results.

How to Use Frozen Grape Tomatoes

Once thawed, frozen grape tomatoes will be soft and lose their fresh, crunchy texture. Plan to use them in cooked dishes rather than raw.

Here are some of the best ways to enjoy those frozen grape tomatoes from your summer harvest:

  • In soups, stews, and chilis – Adds sweetness and color
  • In pasta sauce or salsa – Use instead of canned tomatoes
  • Roasted with veggies – Toss with olive oil and seasonings
  • In omelets, frittatas, or quiches – Defrosted tomatoes add juiciness
  • Puréed into tomato sauce – Great way to use up leftovers
  • In chili or tacos – Adds flavor without excess juice
  • On homemade pizza – Defrosted tomatoes provide great topping

The possibilities are endless! Use your frozen grape tomatoes whenever a recipe calls for canned diced or crushed tomatoes.

Their naturally sweet flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture when thawed makes them an ideal substitute.

Tips for Freezing Grape Tomatoes Successfully

Follow these tips for the very best results when freezing your bountiful grape tomato harvest:

  • Select only fully ripe tomatoes – underripe will be mealy when thawed
  • Dry thoroughly before freezing – at least 10-15 minutes
  • Freeze sliced tomatoes in a single layer first to prevent sticking
  • Work quickly and freeze tomatoes within a few hours of harvesting
  • Remove excess air from bags before sealing to avoid freezer burn
  • Allow space for expansion – don’t overstuff freezer bags
  • Label bags with contents and date for easy identification
  • Use within 1 year for the best flavor and texture

Adhering to these guidelines will reward you with great-tasting frozen grape tomatoes to enjoy for months on end!

What if You Have Too Many Grape Tomatoes?

Did you get an overwhelming grape-tomato harvest this season? Here are some creative ways to use up a bounty of fresh grape tomatoes beyond eating them out of hand:

  • Make homemade tomato sauce or salsa to enjoy year-round
  • Roast halves drizzled with olive oil, balsamic and seasoning
  • Skewer on kebabs with veggies and meat, then grill
  • Toss into garden salads or use to top sandwiches
  • Puree into gazpacho soup or tomato bisque
  • Make a bruschetta spread with olive oil, basil, and garlic -Pickle into tasty refrigerator pickles for a crunchy garnish
  • Dehydrate into flavorful sun-dried tomatoes to add intense umami flavor
  • Can into quarts or pints using a water bath canner

Peruse farmer’s markets or donate extra to food pantries. With so many options beyond just eating fresh, you’ll find creative ways to use every last grape tomato.

When to Harvest Grape Tomatoes for Freezing

Timing your harvest correctly is key for grape tomatoes with the best flavor for freezing.

Pick grape tomatoes when they are fully vine-ripened with a deep red color. Allowing tomatoes to stay on the vine longer develops more sugar for optimal sweetness.

However, once they become overripe the texture suffers when frozen and thawed. Walk that flavor/texture tightrope carefully.

Ideally, harvest grape tomatoes for freezing in the mid-late season as plants ramp up production. The weather is still warm for excellent flavor development, but not so hot that texture declines.

Look for the following signs your grape tomatoes are ready to pick for freezing:

  • Plump, firm fruits that are heavy for their small size
  • Full red color without green patches, especially at the stem end
  • Easily detach from the vine when gently twisted
  • Consistently high day and night temperatures (70-80°F range ideal)
  • Noticeable sweet aroma and robust flavor when taste-tested

Time your grape tomato harvest in that ripening sweet spot for the best freezer candidates.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you thaw frozen grape tomatoes?

Thaw frozen grape tomatoes overnight in the refrigerator. You can also place the sealed bag in a bowl of cool water to speed up thawing. Once thawed, let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before using.

Can you freeze on-the-vine grape tomatoes?

Yes, on-the-vine grape tomatoes can be frozen successfully. Clip the stem so tomatoes are separated, then wash, dry, and freeze using the same methods as regular grape tomatoes.

Is it better to freeze grape tomatoes whole or sliced?

Both methods work well. Whole grapes are quicker to freeze. Halved lets you fit more in the freezer bags. Choose based on your planned uses.

Wrapping up!

When your grape tomato crop hits peak production in late summer, embrace the bounty!

Freezing lets you capture the garden-fresh sweetness to savor all year in soups, stews, sauces, and more.

Follow these simple tricks for flash-freezing grape tomatoes at their flavorful best. In no time you’ll have a year’s supply of sweet, juicy grape tomatoes ready to add color and pop to meals.

Next time you’re overloaded with diminutive red orbs, remember – freeze, don’t waste!

Preserve more of your late-season tomato harvest with these easy grape tomato freezing methods. You’ll be thrilled you did once old man winter strikes.


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Mohsin
By Mohsin

Hi, I’m Mohsin, creator of Tomato about website. I have over a two decade of gardening experience and I love helping others growing healthy tomatoes!


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