Tomato sauce can refer to many variant sauces made from tomatoes, typically served as part of a dish, rather than as a condiment. Tomato sauces are famous for vegetables and meat, but they’re maybe best known as bases for Mexican sauces or salsas for pasta dishes.
Tomatoes possess extreme water content — a rich flavor — soft flesh that breaks down quickly, and the right composition or way to thicken into a sauce when cooked (without the need of thickeners like roux). All these qualities make them ideal for appealing and simple sauces.
Also, tomato sauce is easy to make and is a very versatile ingredient. You can put it in pasta, use it as a dip, add it into a dish, or make some soup out of it. Additionally, it is not that difficult to use either, so it is perfect for those who need a quick meal or are not kitchen-savvy.
However, can you freeze tomato sauce? Absolutely! You can freeze tomato sauce. Freezing it would allow it a longer life span (up to 4 months), and doing so will not affect the taste.
If you are freezing up some tomato sauce, whether homemade or store-bought, it is relatively easy to do so grant that you follow the instructions to the dot.
Freezing Tomato Sauce
Freezing tomato sauce make longer or extends its life to up to 3 – 4 months, or even more if you make use a deep freezer instead of ones on a refrigerator. If you make tomato sauce from scratch and freeze tomato sauce for later use, use ripe tomatoes and not the overripe ones. Moreover, all ingredients you put in should be ripe to get the right taste and not worry about its color and not or whether it is still suitable for consumption.
Also, tomato sauce tends to look watered down because the water and the pulp will separate. To prevent this, ensure the tomato sauce is well-blended — or you can heat it to simmer.
Spices or putting in less seasoning and making a basic tomato sauce also provides you with the chance to change the way it tastes each time you use it.
However, before putting inside the freezer, ensure that the tomato sauce has cooled down to room temperature. You might end up thawing other items in the freezer if you do not.
How to Freeze Tomato Sauce
Freezing tomato sauce is somewhat helpful and easy if you will be making large quantities but do not intend to use them all up right away. The following is the step by step of how to freeze your tomato sauce.
Step 1: Figure out How Much Sauce You Might Need
Firstly, estimate or figure out how much tomato sauce you might need for each time you cook. In this regard, you will have an idea as to what kind of container you will need. If you will be cooking small servings at a time — then small sealed pouches would do.
Step 2: Fill up Containers
Fill up the containers about halfway full to make room for your tomato sauce as it expands. If you are using jars, wait until the sauce has frozen and expanded before covering it up with the lid.
Step 3: Using Plastic Pouches
However, if you are using plastic pouches, lay each filled bag flat on one side on the freezer. Once it is solid enough — stand them like books on a shelf.
To thaw it, submerged the jar or pouch in water for about 1 and 1/2 hours. Then when it is partially thawed, transfer it into the fridge for another 3 – 4 hours. If you are about to cook it up, you do not have to thaw it completely before doing so. Hence, just let it simmer on low heat for a while.
How to Reheat Tomato Sauce
The best quality of reheating a tomato-based sauce (like spicy Italian sauces) is in a pot. This is one of the easy and simplest ones to reheat tomato sauce since it is less likely to burn than cream-based sauces. However, follow these instructions, and you will have fresh tomato sauce in no time.
- Pour tomato sauce into a saucepan or pot on medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil on medium heat — stirring occasionally.
- Once boiling decrease heat to low and simmer for about 12 minutes with no lid — stirring occasionally.
- You’ll notice your tomato sauce has thickened and reduced a little bit. That means it is ready.
Reheating Tomato Sauce via Stove-top
- You can add meat or extra spices to your tomato sauces anytime before simmering. You’ll want to add in prior to the simmering portion as this will add more flavor than just dumping in the meat or spices last minute.
- You can also add water or even broth if the tomato sauce is too thick for your liking.
Does Freezing Tomato Sauce Affect the Taste?
It is usually great to consume frozen tomato sauce within two to three months. After that, it is feasible that your frozen tomato sauce may critically experience freezer burn, affecting its taste, consistency and flavor.
Bear in mind that frozen food can still expire. That’s why some people recommend throwing or disposing of away tomato sauce in your freezer for more than a year.
At the same time, tomato sauce loses its taste and texture when getting mushy and thawed. Freezing breaks down the pulp fibers and expands them when they freeze. The result is watery and soft. Freezing tomatoes reduces their taste and flavor.
How to Know if Leftover Tomato Sauce is Safe to Use?
This time, do not let your leftover tomato sauce go to waste.
You will most likely be fine. If there was no mould, odor, or bad taste, these are all significant indicators that your tomato sauce didn’t experience any major bacteria growth that might be harmful to health, so it is safe to use. If the sauce was bacterial, therefore, you probably did not even use enough for it to cause an issue.
Although once opened, tomato sauces are only good for five days to a week. Don’t wait for the mould to form. In some cases, you will not see the mould in the sauce after five days, but it actually could be there.
Moreover, reducing your tomato sauce waste may assist you save some money and time too!