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How to Freeze Green Tomatoes

Green tomatoes are part of gardening, making it necessary to practice all methods for preserving this unripe garden delight. In addition to canning, learning how to freeze green tomatoes is another means to be able to enjoy the harvest.

Green tomatoes are part of gardening, making it necessary to practice all methods for preserving this unripe garden delight. In addition to canning, learning how to freeze green tomatoes is another mean to be able to enjoy the harvest.

A Farm Girl in the Making participates in multiple affiliate programs. She also participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program linked to Amazon.com and other affiliated sites. This allows us to make a small amount of money on goods you purchase at no extra charge. For that, we thank you!

The Mighty Green Tomato

Without fail, by the end of the summer season there is always an abundance of green tomatoes. However, there are many individuals, myself included, that intentionally pick fresh green tomatoes with preserving them in mind. Keep in mind, many booths at your local farmer’s market will stock unripe tomatoes to sell.

Here are a few delicious ways to preserve a green tomato, or 50, at the end of the growing season –

Also, my tomato jam recipe (a substitution for ketchup) calls for ripe red tomatoes. However, a green tomato jam recipe would be incredible. Use green tomatoes as a substitute for red tomatoes. For example –

  • Salsa verde – substitute the tomatillos for green tomatoes
  • Green tomato salsa – combine both green and red tomatoes or simply use all green tomatoes
  • Tomato pie – in addition to ripe heirloom tomatoes add a few green ones to the recipe
  • Green tomato chutney – generally made with ripe cherry tomatoes, though green cherry tomatoes work quite well

As you see, the options for preserving green whole tomatoes is endless, and remember, cherry tomatoes which have not ripen yet.

Use a mandolin to evenly slice tomatoes.

Various Varieties of the Green Tomato

For those of you who seek to grow varieties of green tomatoes here are a few options to try –

  • Green Zebra tomato
  • Cherokee Green tomato
  • Aunt Ruby’s German cherry tomato
  • Green Grape tomato

The varieties mentioned above are a green variety and are full of flavor making them great for eating fresh. Just remember, these varieties are not necessary to grow if you seek to utilize unripe green tomatoes.

Freezing Green Tomatoes

With so many methods available for canning and fermenting green tomatoes, why would it be necessary to freeze them?

The answer? Green tomatoes are firmer in texture than ripe tomatoes, making them a great option for freezing. Select the freshest item to use when freezing foods.

How you freeze green tomatoes will depend on the type of tomato you’re freezing. Freeze cherry whole or halved. Whole tomatoes are best when quartered or sliced 1/4-inch thick. Many individuals prefer to slice the tomatoes to use for making fried green tomatoes. Just remember, you can also can green tomatoes for this very reason.

Also, tomatoes which have been frozen can later be canned using many of the recipes mentioned above at a later date.

Place the green tomato slices onto parchment or wax paper.

How Long will Frozen Tomatoes Keep?

When packaged correctly, frozen tomatoes will keep for an entire year, possibly longer. To ensure they do not get freezer burn, it is best to package the tomatoes using a vacuum sealer. Foods which are vacuum sealed help to ensure the freshness of the item.

Cooking with Frozen Tomato Slices

Have you ever had fried green tomatoes? No? Well, you’re missing out!

There is no better way to prepare this southern appetizer than with the use of lard and cast iron skillets. Generally bread crumbs are used to coat the green tomato slices, though panko breading can be used. If you’re looking for a great recipe for fried green tomatoes, take a look at the one I included in my canning green tomato slices article.

How to Freeze Green Tomatoes

If you are not interested in canning this unripe fruit, the following method for freezing green tomatoes is extremely easy and will take only minutes to complete.

Ingredients

  • Select firm, blemish-free green tomatoes (vine ripe or cherry)

Equipment

  • Baking tray, also known as, a cookie or baking sheet
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Freezer Ziploc bag, vacuum sealer, or airtight container
Learning how to freeze green tomatoes is a great method for preserving the harvest.

Instructions

Prepare the Green Tomatoes

  1. First, wash the tomatoes in cold water to remove any dirt, dust, or bugs.
  2. Next, remove the leafy green area and the stem.
  3. For best results, cut fresh tomatoes into thick slices, roughly 1/4-inch thick slices, or cut cherry tomatoes
  4. This next step is optional. Dunk the lemon slices in a lemon juice and water solution, this helps the fruit retain its vibrant color.

Package

  1. On the cookie sheet, add the parchment paper or wax paper. Make sure it is the length of the tray.
  2. Add the first layer of tomatoes, followed by another sheet of parchment or wax paper.
  3. Repeat step two until all the tomato slices have been used.
  4. Add your final sheet of parchment or wax paper to the last layer of tomatoes.
  5. Place the baking tray into the freezer. It will take roughly 2 hours for the tomatoes to thoroughly freeze.

Prepare to Store Long-term

  1. Remove the baking tray from the freezer once the tomatoes are completely frozen.
  2. Working quickly, place the frozen slices into a vacuum sealer or freezer bag, making sure to leave a 1/2-inch head space.
  3. If a vacuum sealer is used, remove the air from the bag and seal.
  4. Place the sealed bag back into the freezer, making sure to label the content and add the date to the bag.

Note

The process for freezing green tomatoes which are to be used as an ingredient for home canned recipes is a bit different. The tomatoes can be frozen whole, quartered, or cut to the size which the recipe calls for. I prefer the tomatoes be frozen whole. 

Printable Recipe Card

For your convenience a printable how-to card is available.

How to Freeze Green Tomatoes

A basket full of green tomatoes for freezing.

Green tomatoes are part of gardening, making it necessary to practice all methods for preserving this unripe garden delight. In addition to canning, learning how to freeze green tomatoes is another means to be able to enjoy the end of the season harvest.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes

Materials

  • Green tomatoes - firm, blemish-free green tomatoes (vine ripe or cherry)

Tools

  • Baking tray, also known as a cookie or baking sheet
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Freezer Ziploc bag, vacuum sealer, or airtight container

Instructions

  1. Wash the tomatoes in cold water to remove any dirt, dust, or bugs.
  2. Remove the leafy green area and the stem.
  3. For best results, cut fresh tomatoes into thick slices, roughly 1/4-inch thick slices, or cut cherry tomatoes
  4. This next step is optional. Dunk the lemon slices in a lemon juice and water solution, this helps the fruit retain its vibrant color.
  5. On the cookie sheet, add the parchment paper or wax paper. Making sure it is the length of the tray.
  6. Add the first layer of tomatoes, followed by another sheet of parchment or wax paper.
  7. Repeat step two until all the tomato slices have been used.
  8. Add your final sheet of parchment or wax paper to the last layer of tomatoes.
  9. Place the baking tray into the freezer. It will take roughly 3 to 4 hours for the tomatoes to thoroughly freeze.
  10. Remove the baking tray from the freezer once the tomatoes are completely frozen.
  11. Working quickly, place the frozen slices into a vacuum sealer or freezer bag, making sure to leave a 1/2-inch head space.
  12. If a vacuum sealer is used, remove the air from the bag and seal.
  13. Place the sealed bag back into the freezer, making sure to label the content and add the date to the bag.

Recommended Products

A Farm Girl in the Making participates in multiple affiliate programs and is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program which is linked to Amazon.com and other affiliated sites. This allows for us to make a small amount of money on goods you purchase at no extra charge to you. For that we, thank you!

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Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo of it on Instagram!

By the end of the growing and preserving season we are exhausted. Just promise me that you will not let your green tomatoes go to waste! Freezing them now will allow you the time to process them at your leisure during the early winter months.

The Pinterest image for freezing green tomatoes can be pinned.

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