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leftover tomato paste?

Have you ever opened up a can of tomato paste so you can add like 1 TB to a recipe? Do you think I could freeze the rest for other recipes where I'm going to use another TB? I almost put some into ice cube trays this weekend to try and freeze 1 TB servings for later. Has anyone else tried something like this?

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  1. You can definitely freeze it as you suggest, though I've come to prefer using the kind that comes in the tube - I think it has better flavor and you don't have the storage issue.

    1. I do that with pesto. Put it in ice cube trays, when it freezes put it in plastic bags. You can freeze tomato sauce so I am sure it would work with paste. Also, look for the paste in the squeeze tubes. Much more handy!

      1. put it into a jar and put a layer of oil on top of it effectively not letting any air in, will last a long time in the fridge.

        1. As an aside tomato paste in tubes is available. Squeeze out what you need, pop it in the fridge, and use the rest another day.

          1. I freeze it all the time in small 2 Tbsp. Tupperware mini-containers.

            1. For me, I hate the hassle of freezing stuff and it rarely gets used. At 30-50 cents a can, I just ditch what is leftover if I don't plan to use it in the near future. Occasionally I'll buy the stuff in a tube if I can find it when I need it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Janet from Richmond

                Isn't that a bit wasteful, though? I did that last time I bought the stuff, but I just opened a can today and I'm definitely going to freeze it.
                By the way, can you tell me where you can buy it for 50 cents a can? They charged me over twice that at Safeway...

                1. re: LePetitChefCanadien

                  that was 4 years ago!

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    And now I buy it in the tube :-)

                  2. re: LePetitChefCanadien

                    The price will not inflate that much in 4 years. Pls also note the 2 different countries involved. You can't expect Canada to support US prices. And look at the store.

                    LaPetit, you have to buy them when they're on sale and stock up. They last a long time.

                2. I absolutely freeze it...though I open both ends of the can and push the paste out (using the bottom lid) onto wax paper. Then wrap it up and freeze it. When you need to use it just take it out of the freeze, wait about 30 seconds and slice of what you need. Re-wrap and re-freeze. I'm sure you could do the ice cube tray trick as well. The tomato paste in tubes is convenient if you need a dollop, but not inexpensive if you need 2T or so. Even though the cans are inexpensive, I think it's shame to just throw out what you don't use right away..

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: gourmanda

                    I agree! I do the same thing, just with a little ziplock freezer bag. You can press it flat and it takes up next to no room. Whenever I need some I just break off a tablespoon sized piece. I think it's great, one can has last me for months!!

                    1. re: roasted138

                      You're right, I keep the roll in a ziploc too. Here's a question: when you put a ziplock bag (full of whatever) in the freezer, after first getting all of the air out, does your bag puff up w/ air of its own accord? Mine do and I don't know why. Mostly if I have just a little something in the bag, say frozen roasted garlic cloves or the above mentioned tomato paster, pesto cubes, etc.

                      1. re: gourmanda

                        Actually, no, that doesn't happen to me. It's really interesting though. It reminds me of how a bag of chips will puff up when you're on an airplane b/c of the pressure changes in the cabin. Could it be your freezer possesses such an ultra, super-suction that it's creating a small vacuum in your freezer?? I don't know the theory is sound, but the possiblity makes me smile!

                        1. re: roasted138

                          Well, if you could hear the strange noises that our refrigerator makes, you would think anything is possible. Honestly, it might very well be possesssed. And it's strange, too, bags that I have a lot of frozen apps in, or wrapped chicken breasts for example, those bags don't puff. Gremlins, perhaps. Thanks for the chuckle!

                        2. re: gourmanda

                          gourmanda, using the cupcake tin method until the rounds are frozen, I use a piece of tin foil to protect the tin inbetween uses.

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Thanks, HillJ, a cupcake tin would solve my puffy bag problem.

                    2. I take a cupcake tin and place a dollop of tomato paste and 1 fresh basil leaf in each round. Freeze. Then I add the individual rounds to eggs, pasta, beef dishes..as I need to.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: HillJ

                        Now that's a good idea! thanks HillJ

                        1. re: chef chicklet

                          chef chicklet...I also use this method for pesto, roasted garlic, edible flowers soaked in white wine and citrus peels.

                      2. I guess I'm just lazy because I don't want to clean up much or dig out frozen chunks from ice cube trays (for some reason, I can never pop out tomato paste cubes like ice cubes :)....

                        What I do is line the tray from my toaster oven with wax paper. Spoon out 1 TB dollops, spaced so they're not touching, on the pan. Lay on an even surface in the freezer. When it's frozen, peel off the wax paper and store the individual portions in a freezer bag. Only thing that needs to be washed is the tablespoon and the original can for recycling. :)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: 4Snisl

                          I found that anything flat will work, even a piece of cardboard from a box I'm about to recycle. I like this method a lot better than the ice trays, cuz you KNOW they will get stained red from the tomato paste! :o)

                        2. Freeze or pour some olive oil into can to cover and put it in the refrigerator. It will keep a week or more no problem.

                          1. I'm with gourmanda. 2 T seems to be my basic tom paste requirement for dishes, so I just freeze that portion in tin foil and thereafter in a freezer bag. Thaws for cooking in no time flat and you don't have to put an ice cube tray through the indignity....

                            1. OK so I'm not crazy. I thought something like this would work. thanks for all the tips. I don't mind the expense of a few small cans of tomato paste, but it sucks when you need a small portion in a recipe and have to run all the way to the store to get it. I'll look for the tubes next time as well.

                              1. I freeze it in a flat rectangular shape about 1/4 inch thick and just break off how much I need and rewrap.