Freezing Cherry Tomatoes, No Blanching Required

Freezing cherry tomatoes is the perfect way to preserve them for future use, which is great news for gardeners with too many bushels of homegrown tomatoes!


Freeze-ability Index
Freezability Index of Three

Best Stored In…
Airtight container or freezer bag or a Mason Jar

How to Thaw
In the fridge, in cold water, in the microwave or over the stove

What to Expect
Mushy, misshapen, minor flavor loss

Can I Re-Freeze?
Yes, but not recommended


Can You Freeze cherry tomatoes?

Can you freeze cherry tomatoes? Yes, and you don’t need to blanch them beforehand—all they need is a quick rinse before flash freezing them so they don’t clump together.

The bad news is they won’t be as firm and plump as they were before freezing. In fact, they’ll be mushy. Defrosted cherry tomatoes are best for recipes like soups, sauces, or stews, not salads.

Freeze cherry tomatoes straight away after picking them from your garden to seal in the freshness and get the best results in terms of flavor. I wouldn’t freeze cherry tomatoes from the store if you’ve had them for more than 5 days—especially if they’re beginning to shrivel.

You can also freeze roasted cherry tomatoes. Whichever process you choose depends on your preference. Try them both to find out which method you prefer best.

Freezing cherry tomatoes - A gardener with a handful of freshly-picked cherry tomatoes
Freeze freshly-picked cherry tomatoes straight away to seal in their freshness and get the best results in terms of flavor.

How To Freeze Cherry Tomatoes Without Blanching

This method involves no blanching, takes no time at all, and requires very little effort. Learn how to quickly freeze cherry tomatoes in either a freezer bag or airtight, resealable container.
Prep Time 10 mins
Freezing Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins

Equipment

  • A colander/strainer
  • A clean towel
  • A baking sheet
  • Resealable, plastic freezer bags OR an airtight, sealable container
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker
  • Space at the back of your freezer

Instructions
 

  • Pluck off the green stems from the cherry tomatoes, if any.
  • Place the cherry tomatoes into a colander/strainer and rinse them under running water. Shake off any excess water.
  • Lay a clean towel or cloth onto a flat surface. Empty the cherry tomatoes from the colander/strainer onto the cloth. Pat the tomatoes dry.
  • Pour the cherry tomatoes onto a baking sheet. Ensure they are evenly dispersed in a single layer, like in the image below. Don't overcrowd or pile the tomatoes on top of each other, or they'll freeze together in a clump.
    Freezing cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet in the freezer
  • Place the baking tray into the freezer and allow the tomatoes to freeze for 2 hours.
  • After at least 2 hours has elapsed, remove the baking sheet from the freezer.
  • Open a freezer bag or airtight container and fill it with the flash-frozen cherry tomatoes.
  • If you're using a freezer bag, gently press the air out of the bag and seal it. You don't need to use the "straw trick" here because the tomato skins do a pretty good job of protecting the tomato's flesh while in the freezer.
  • Write today's date on a freezer label, stick it to the bag or container, and place it in the back of your freezer.
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Equipment Shopping list

I made this quick list for you in case you noticed that you were low on freezer bags or realized it was time to replace that old baking sheet (RIP).

I’ve either used these tools or added them to my own shopping list because they’re affordable and they get great reviews. Add them to your next Amazon order!


The Best Baking Sheet (Nordic Ware)

• Over 9,300 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Durable; will never rust

The Ultimate Freezer Bags (Hefty)

• Over 2,000 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Tough and easy to fill

The Handiest Freezer Labels (Chinco)

• Hundreds of Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Water-resistant, easy to remove, no residue

The World’s Best Colander (Bellemain)

• Over 3,500 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Amazon’s Choice


Freezing Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Alternatively, you can freeze roasted cherry tomatoes if you want that oven-roasted flavor profile for savory pasta dishes or sauces. Here’s a simple recipe for roasting cherry tomatoes in the oven that only involves a few basic ingredients.

This next how-to guide will show you how to freeze roasted cherry tomatoes in a freezer bag, airtight, sealable container, or a Mason Jar.

If you’re using a Mason Jar for freezing roasted cherry tomatoes, review this guide to freezing using Mason Jars to learn the Dos and Don’ts of freezing using glass jars.

I also highly recommend spending a few bucks on a wide mouth funnel if you’re freezing roasted cherry tomatoes in a freezer bag or Mason Jar. It’s a great tool for tidily filling jars or bags and avoiding messes.

Freezing roasted cherry tomatoes
If you want an oven-roasted flavor profile for savory pasta dishes or sauces, freezing roasted cherry tomatoes should be your method of choice.
Airtight container, freezer bag, or mason jar

How To Freeze Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Learn how to freeze roasted cherry tomatoes for later use in soups, stews, sauces, and pasta dishes.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins

Equipment

  • A slotted spoon
  • A freezer bag OR an airtight, sealable container OR a Mason Jar
  • Wide mouth funnel (optional, but great for preventing messes when filling the freezer bag or Mason Jar)
  • Freezer labels
  • A straw (optional, for the freezer bag only)
  • Permanent marker
  • Space in the back of your freezer

Instructions
 

  • Allow the roasted cherry tomatoes to cool. This shouldn't take more than 30 minutes.
  • Using the slotted spoon, begin to fill the freezer bag, container, or Mason Jar with the oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, but don't fill it to the top as the food will expand in the freezer. For freezer bags or containers, leave 1 inch of space at the top. For Mason Jars, leave 2 inches of space at the top.
  • Seal the bag, container, or Mason Jar. For Mason Jars, don't screw the lid on tight.
  • Straw "vacuum seal" trick (optional): Slide a straw into the freezer bag and suck out the air so the bag "shrinks" around the cherry tomatoes. Slide the bag down the straw as you inhale, and quickly seal the bag while you remove the straw.
  • Write today's date on a freezer label, stick it to the bag or container, and place it in the back of your freezer.
  • The next day, take the Mason Jar out of the freezer, screw the cap tightly, and put it back (it's no big deal if you forget.)
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The Best Airtight Containers (Glasslock)

• Over 3,700 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars

These airtight glass containers from Glasslock don’t leak or absorb food smells, they’re oven-safe, freezer-safe, microwavable, and affordable.


Best Practices for Freezing cherry tomatoes

  • You don’t need to par-boil or blanch the cherry tomatoes beforehand because their skins do a remarkable job of protecting them in the freezer. This is also why it’s no biggie if your freezer bag has air in it when you put the tomatoes in the freezer: the skins protect against freezer burn.
  • If you’re freezing cherry tomatoes in a freezer bag or Mason Jar, it’s worth it to spend a few bucks and invest in a wide mouth funnel. This tool is amazing for filling jars or bags without any mess.

How Long Can You Freeze cherry tomatoes?

You can freeze fresh or roasted cherry tomatoes for up to a year, but they’re best if defrosted and used within 6 months.

Cherry tomatoes will begin to lose their flavor after being in the freezer for more than 6 months.

Defrosting Frozen cherry tomatoes – The Right Way

Some cooking blogs instruct readers to defrost cherry tomatoes on the counter at room temperature or using warm water.

Sigh. Please, don’t do this. Ever.

As per the National Center For Home Food Preservation, never defrost frozen food at room temperature or in warm water because any bacteria that may have been present before freezing can multiply. Bacteria thrive in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees F (or 4.4 to 60 degrees C.)

Rushing the thawing process is never worth the risk of potential food poisoning. Besides, defrosting frozen cherry tomatoes in a safe manner is easy!

Freezing cherry tomatoes at room temperature or in warm water isn't good
Never defrost frozen cherry tomatoes in warm water or by allowing them to come to room temperature.

There are 4 ways to safely defrost frozen cherry tomatoes:

  1. In the refrigerator, which is the safest way with the least amount of effort, but it requires you to wait. This is the only method you can use to defrost Mason Jars.
  2. In cold water is a faster way to thaw frozen cherry tomatoes, but it involves some effort.
  3. You can only defrost frozen cherry tomatoes in the microwave if you’re eating or using them right away.
  4. You can gently thaw the frozen cherry tomatoes in a pot over the stove.
Fridge

How To Defrost Frozen Cherry Tomatoes In The Refrigerator

This method is the safest and easiest way to defrost cherry tomatoes because you don't need to do anything other than wait (although this can be hard for some of us—myself included.)
It's the safest method because you're always keeping the cherry tomatoes below 40 degrees F (or 4.4 degrees C) and bacteria thrive in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees F (or 4.4 to 60 degrees C.)
Defrosting Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d

Equipment

  • A plate OR towel
  • A bowl (optional)
  • Plastic wrap (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Take the container, Mason Jar, or freezer bag of frozen cherry tomatoes out of the freezer.
  • Place the container/freezer bag/Mason Jar onto a plate or towel. Put it in the fridge. You can also take some flash-frozen tomatoes out of the freezer bag or container, put them into a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and pop the covered bowl into the fridge.
  • Leave the frozen cherry tomatoes to defrost overnight in the fridge.
  • Take the thawed cherry tomatoes out of the fridge. Use them as you like in your recipe, smoothie, or eat them directly. Bonus: freezing cherry tomatoes makes their skins slide right off after you thaw them—no need to blanch them beforehand!
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Defrosting in cold water

How To Defrost Frozen Cherry Tomatoes In Cold Water

Important: Don't follow this method if you're thawing cherry tomatoes in a Mason Jar. The jar may crack if the temperature of the glass changes too drastically within a short time period. Always defrost Mason Jars in the fridge.
This method is slightly faster than defrosting overnight in the fridge. The trick is to keep the water cold by changing it every 30 minutes.
Prep Time 5 mins
Defrost Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins

Equipment

  • A large bowl OR the sink
  • Cold water (not warm or hot)

Instructions
 

  • For individually flash-frozen cherry tomatoes, remove as many as you need from the freezer bag, container, or Mason Jar, and put them directly into the bowl or sink.
    For oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, remove the freezer bag or container from the freezer and place the whole thing into a bowl/sink.
  • Fill the bowl or sink with cold water—it can't be warm or hot. Let the cherry tomatoes sit in the cold water bath for 30 minutes.
  • After the 30 minutes has elapsed, check on the cherry tomatoes. If they still seem frozen, replace the water with fresh cold water and let them defrost for another 30 minutes. Repeat this until the cherry tomatoes are defrosted, up to a maximum of 2 hours total.
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Microwave

How To Thaw Frozen Cherry Tomatoes In The Microwave

Only use this method if you plan on using defrosted cherry tomatoes right away in a recipe.
Important: Don't use this method for cherry tomatoes frozen in Mason Jars. Glass cracks when it's subjected to rapid changes in temperature. Always defrost Mason Jars in the fridge.
Prep Time 5 mins
Defrost Time 2 mins
Total Time 7 mins

Equipment

  • A microwave-safe plate (for individually-frozen tomatoes)
  • Paper towel (for individually-frozen tomatoes)
  • Microwave-safe bowl (for roasted tomatoes)
  • Microwave-safe cover OR waxed paper (for roasted tomatoes)

Instructions
 

Steps For Individually Flash-Frozen Cherry Tomatoes

  • Place a sheet of paper towel on a microwavable plate.
  • Spread out 1 cup (or less) of cherry tomatoes on the paper towel. Leave space between the tomatoes.
  • Microwave the cherry tomatoes for 15 seconds on 100% power.
  • Try a tomato—if it's still frozen, microwave for 5 to 10 seconds on 100% power and try another tomato. They should still have a little frost on them (if not, it's not the end of the world.)

Steps For Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

  • Remove the airtight container or freezer bag from the freezer. Run the container or freezer bag under warm/hot water for 1 -2 minutes to loosen the roasted cherry tomatoes.
  • Empty the container(s) or freezer bag(s) into a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with waxed paper or a microwave-safe top and put it in the microwave.
  • Microwave the roasted tomatoes at 50% power for 3 minutes.
  • Take the roasted cherry tomatoes out of the microwave and stir them.
  • Microwave the roasted tomatoes again at 100% power for 30 seconds, then stir them. The tomatoes should be defrosted now. If not, put them into the microwave again for 30 seconds at 100% power until it has defrosted.
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Pot

How To Thaw Frozen Cherry Tomatoes Over The Stove

Here’s another short way to thaw frozen cherry tomatoes. The total time to defrost depends on volume, but it shouldn't take more than a half-hour to thaw the tomatoes via this method.
Defrost Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins

Equipment

  • A pot
  • Water
  • A tablespoon

Instructions
 

  • Run the container or freezer bag under warm/hot water to loosen the frozen cherry tomatoes. Important: if you're defrosting a Mason Jar, your only option is to do this in the fridge and allow it to defrost overnight.
  • Pour the cherry tomatoes into a pot and place it on low-medium heat on the stove.
  • Add a little water to the pot (a tablespoon or two should be fine.)
  • Heat until the cherry tomatoes have defrosted. Stir occasionally. Use them in your recipe as needed.
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What to Expect After Defrosting cherry tomatoes

Here’s what to expect in terms of taste and texture after you’ve defrosted cherry tomatoes:

  • Frozen cherry tomatoes taste more or less as they did before freezing. But, if your cherry tomatoes are in the freezer for longer than 6 months, they will begin to lose their flavor.
  • Defrosted cherry tomatoes are mushy, shrunken and misshapen.
  • Bonus: you can slide the skins off cherry tomatoes once they’ve thawed, hence why we didn’t bother to par-boil or blanch them in the first place!
Freezing cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomato skins do an awesome job of protecting the tomato’s flesh from freezer burn. They also slide right off after you defrost them!

Can You Re-Freeze cherry tomatoes?

As long as you keep the thawed cherry tomatoes chilled in the fridge, you can technically re-freeze them within the same day.

Remember, the cherry tomatoes’ texture will worsen every time you freeze and defrost them, so they’ll be even mushier the 2nd time you defrost them. If I were you, I wouldn’t re-freeze them.


Ok, But What About…

Do you know a better way for freezing cherry tomatoes? Or are you looking for info on something else? Leave a comment below or email us—we’d love to hear from you!


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