I realize for some of you, this post may trigger feelings of tomato jealousy.
And for that, I’m genuinely sorry.
However, if you happen to be having a bumper tomato crop this year, you might be peering over baskets and buckets of tomatoes to read this post. If that’s the case, I would imagine the recipes here might just be a welcome sight.
Throughout my years of gardening adventures, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum– tomato feast and tomato famine…
I’m still not quite sure where I’ll end up this year. My plants are loaded down with green fruit, but with the bizarre weather we’ve been having, I think I’ll be pretty lucky if the frosts holds off long enough to allow my ‘maters to vine ripen. If the frost comes early like I suspect it will, I’ll have to use some of the green tomato ripening strategies I used last year so my crop isn’t a total loss.
Thankfully tomatoes and preservation go together like peanut butter and jelly. ‘Maters lend themselves well to canning, drying, freezing, and fermenting, which makes them an ideal candidate for filling your larder for the winter. If you can get the buggers to grow in the first place, that is…
(I do have some tomato growing tips for ya here, but no guarantees… I have yet to find the magic bullet for growing perfect tomatoes, and I still attribute my most bountiful years to mostly luck…)
Anyway, regardless of your tomato situation this year, be sure to pin, bookmark, or save this post for later– because your tomato bounty will come eventually!
40+ Ways to Preserve Tomatoes
Start by reading my article on How to Safely Can Tomatoes at Home so you’re ready to can them with confidence!
How to Make & Can Tomato Juice
How to Can Rotel-Style Tomatoes
How to Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes
How to Make Tomato Paste (both drying and normal instructions included)
How to Freeze Tomatoes the Easy Way
Fermented Grape Tomatoes Recipe
Fermented Whole Tomatoes in Brine
Fermented Green Tomato Pickle Recipe
Fermented Green Tomatoes and Hot Peppers Recipe
Fermented Roasted Tomato Salsa
Making Tomato Condiments:
Homemade Maple BBQ Sauce (can easily be frozen)
Preserving Green Tomatoes:
Lacto-Fermented Green Tomato Salsa
Green Tomato Salsa Verde Recipe
Ellen Westphal says
Love your web site. Some great tomato recipes I really want to try
Oh, this is great!! Just what I needed… I will definitely be trying several of these out. Thanks, Jill!!
Edward Smith says
I was looking for fried green tomatoes receipt
How can I preserve very ripe tomatoes traditionally since I don’t have a drier
Kris @ Attainable Sustainable says
Thanks for including me, Jill! Great collection; I’ll be sharing it.
Jill Winger says
You’re very welcome Kris– great post!
Holly Andrews says
Hi Jill, thanks for all the great ideas! Do you have any tips on storing all those fabulously filled mason jars, and then as they empty? All I see available are some really cool plastic boxes, but at $15+ each to hold 12 jars, the savings of canning starts flying out the door!
Jill Winger says
I just arrange them on shelves in my basement. 🙂 I never thought the boxes look like they are worth it.
Stacey P. says
At the end of the season last year, I sliced a gallon of green tomatoes, breaded them with flour and corn meal and slightly deep fried them. After they cooled, I placed them on a cookie sheet single layer and froze them. When completely frozen, I put them in a gallon bag, and kept them frozen. We took out what we wanted, and baked them till they were hot and a little crispy. Very tasty!
Fill jars with water, seal and waterbath for 10 min. and line shelves. If the lights go out and no way to use the well, you will have water to drink.
The link for the tomato/mango salsa is dead.
Joan Adolf says
So is the link for How to Can Bruschetta.
All these great recipes makes me want to grow more tomatoes. I only have one plant in a container. Thanks, next year I will have to grow more for sure.
Our house has a fabulous use for all the extra tomatoes at the end of the season (green & ripe).
First, for the green tomatoes, I always make “Mock Raspberry Jam” (as real raspberry jam is WAY more expensive to make). Shred & chop firm green tomatoes and add sugar, cook down until they are tender (doesn’t take long and you can taste them to be sure they’re sweet enough before you process for storage), then add in Raspberry flavored jello (or if you prefer not to use jello, use Raspberry flavoring-extract and pectin to thicken), cook to thicken. Then they may be put into pint jars and boiling water bath processed for longer storage or cover with Paraffin wax for shorter storage. It’s delicious & very inexpensive to make!
Second, for the ripe tomatoes: I make several (as they never last) “Ripe Tomato Pies” for dessert. It is essentially an apple pie recipe but substitute the tomatoes (peeled and sliced) for the apples. It is delicious served with a nice slice of sharp cheese (just like apple).
LISA DOUGLAS says
Tomato Butter is also a great easy way to preserve!!! Slow cooker does most of the work.
This year, I found instructions online for roasting the tomatoes in the oven (with some seasonings) and canning them into a sauce. Takes tomato sauce to a whole new level.
Thank you for rounding up all of these great ideas! I will definitely be trying some of these!
Please add the link to the roasting tomatoes and canning into a sauce. Sounds awesome!
I didn’t get to plant my normal 2 to 4 tomato plants this year. Too busy taking hubby to the hospital and drs. all summer. But, I saw your photo of the beautiful poblano peppers and wished I could grow those here in Texas. But the heat here is too much and they will not grow well. Others yes, these no.
I do try to catch the Hatch Pepper harvest each year though and this year, I have put over 2 bushels that have been roasted, peeled & seeded in the freezer. Some are opened and laid flat between wax paper to be stuffed. But the rest were diced or pureed and frozen in 1/2 cup measurements in my muffin pans then vacumn sealed in individual packs. These will make some great sauces, casseroles and salsas this winter. I wondered if you roast any of the poblanos? Roast, peel, seed and dehydrate or freeze them and they are delicious!
Or, like we do in Balkan, after you roast, peel and seed peppers, mince them and fry with just oil, salt and some garlic, pack in hot jars – and you will have our famous ajvar (pronounced ayvar)!
Do you pack in hot jars to can or freeze or just refrigerate? What is ajvar used in or with?
Cammy, I live above Austin and grew Poblanos last year with very good success. We bought the plants at our local farm store, and since we get very little rain here we watered a lot.
Hi Jill, lovely list with many possibilities – it will take me some time to try it all!
I remember your techniques to ripen tomatoes – and I’d like to add something that helps ripening anything by the end of summer. Many (real many) years ago i traveled trough Mosel valley in Germany and wondered why their vineyards look like that someone draw lines with black felt pen between the grapes.. I was told that soil contains a lot of crushed dark gray slate stones (also used as roof tiles in the whole area). Those stones perform few functions: prevent weeds, prevent evaporation, get warm during the day and radiate heat at night thus helping not only ripening, but also increasing sugar content in grapes..so this, not so ideal region for grape, still gives famous Mosel wines.. When I told this to my mum, she collected some dark stones and kept them in one corner of her garden – comes August, she orders to dad to take them and place around those plants that need some extra heat to ripen.. They had garden in the weekend home and by mid September they would go back to town – so she wanted to collect as much of her veggies as possible.. Recently, I saw the advise: paint old water bottles in black, fill with water and put them in between veggies – to absorb Sun’s heat during the day and radiate during night .. So, it is similar thing, they say that those bottles can keep temperature up for about 8 hours..
I slice my cherry tomatoes in half and soak them in cheap ($10 a gallon) Burgundy wine. Usually 12 or more hours. I drain them, reserving the wine for the next batch. I use different spices on the cut side of the tomatoes and than dehydrate. Great for snacking or adding to dishes
I learned this trick several years ago, when I had more tomatoes than time: for tomato sauce, I pop whole tomatoes in the freezer until I am ready to can them, then thaw out at room temperature, draining the water as you go (since I am usually canning a couple bushels of tomatoes, this can take several days to fully thaw). Run through the food mill to remove seeds and skins, then cook into sauce. Since the thawing process removed most of the water already, cooking time is reduced by hours, which means fewer flavinoids are destroyed by cooking, and a fresher tasting sauce out of the jar. As an added benefit, I can put off at least one canning chore until the weather cools.
Thank you for the various ways to take care of the ever growing mountain of tomato-y deliciousness. Also, when I was reading through all the ways to can a tomato, my brain went instantly to Bubba from Forrest Gump talking about shrimp 😉