Do you have a mountain of fresh tomatoes from your garden? Use them to create delicious freezer salsa that you can enjoy all winter long.

It’s harvest time!

Baskets and baskets of tomatoes are covering our kitchen countertops.

Our small gardening space comfortably fits 4 tomato plants but we’ve been known to pack in 6 … okay, okay, 8 plants into our tight little space. When you have a limited area, one must maximize their gardening space to get the biggest harvest. Between the 8 plants on our property and the 6 tomatoes plants we are growing on my parents land, we have quite the abundance this year — hallelujah!

I love to top my salad with a drizzle of homemade Italian dressing and fresh tomatoes from our garden. Adding homegrown tomatoes in my marinara and pizza sauce is also delicious. However, one of my favorite ways to preserve the harvest is to turn tomatoes into freezer salsa. It’s also great way to use up peppers and onions from the garden if you’re growing them.

I’ll be honest, I began experimenting with freezer food recipes because canning seemed intimidating. Too many articles warned of the dangers of canning and required equipment I did not have on hand. So instead, I delved into the world of freezer food.

I learned along the way what freezes well and what does not. For example, I threw caution to the wind and tested out a roasted veggie salsa that was meant to be eaten fresh not frozen. I thought “this tastes great, let’s save it by freezing it”.

Bad idea.

While the salsa still tasted great after being frozen for several months, the thawed salsa now resembled something along the lines of kitty vomit. Not exactly appetizing.

Thankfully, since then I’ve created many freezer foods that taste AND look great. Selecting the right ingredients when creating a freezer meal matters. Not everything works well when frozen.

How to Use Up an Abundance of Garden Tomatoes

Do you have a bumper crop of fresh tomatoes from your garden? Why not use them to create a salsa you can enjoy throughout the entire winter?

Freezer salsa is super easy to make and requires no special knowledge or tools like canning does.

Start by filling a stockpot with chopped tomatoes, onions, your favorite spicy pepper, some tomato paste, lime juice and salt. Cook for 25 minutes then puree with an immersion blender. Toss in some cilantro and you’re done. Easy peasy.

Watch Video Tutorial

Easy Salsa Recipe You Can Freeze to Eat Later

Makes: 3 quarts

Ingredients

4 lbs of tomatoes, chopped into chunks
2 large onions chopped
2-3 spicy peppers such as a jalapeño or carrot bomb
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs tomato paste
1/4 cup lime or lemon juice
2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
1/4 cup water

Tools

Stock pot
Immersion blender
Plastic containers or bags

Combine tomatoes, onions, peppers, tomato paste, lime juice, salt, garlic and water in a large stockpot.

Turn the burner onto medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes have softened and released their juices. Stir frequently and if necessary, use a potato masher to break up the larger tomatoes.

Remove lid and cook for another 20 minutes to allow the salsa to thicken a bit. Stir occasionally. Remove pot from heat and cool for 15 minutes. While the salsa is cooling, chop up the cilantro.

Using an immersion blender, puree the salsa until smooth with little to no chunks remaining. Stir in chopped cilantro.

When the salsa is completely cool, pour into a container. Leave 1/2” of space at the top of the container to allow for expansion during the freezing process. To use salsa, simply thaw for a few hours and enjoy! We love using this salsa recipe on tacos or served with tortilla chips.

Tips for Making Freezer Salsa

The best part about this recipe is you can use any type of tomato you have. Large or small, cherry tomato or beefsteak, any variety will create a delicious salsa.

I rarely blanch any vegetable. It may be due to my lack of time and perhaps a bit of laziness. The skins on a tomato contain tons of nutrients and get blended together in the final product so my family does not mind leaving the skins on. But if you have an aversion to tomato skins, you are more than welcome to blanch your tomatoes and removes the skins before you make your freezer salsa. Do what suits your preferences.

Lime juice is ideal for making salsa however, if you’re like me, you rarely have lime juice on hand. Lemon juice will work fine in a pinch.

Don’t have an immersion blender? A regular blender works too. Just be careful pouring the salsa into a blender if it’s still warm.

To freeze the salsa, you can place it in a ziplock bag, plastic container or glass jar. I have had much success with these food storage containers.

Be sure you label everything. Otherwise you might forget what you made and mistake your freezer salsa for pizza sauce. I often write the name and date on my label so I know not only what it is but when it was made. Try these removable freezer labels. They work great!

One downside to freezer food, is a little thing called freezer burn. The best way to prevent this is to remove all of the air out of the bag or container before you seal it.

Yield: 3 Quarts

Easy Freezer Salsa

Easy Freezer Salsa

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs of tomatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 2-3 spicy peppers such as a jalapeño or carrot bomb
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

    Combine tomatoes, onions, peppers, tomato paste, lime juice, salt, garlic and water in a large stockpot.

    Turn the burner onto medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes have softened and released their juices. Stir frequently and if necessary, use a potato masher to break up the larger tomatoes.

    Remove lid and cook for another 20 minutes to allow the salsa to thicken a bit. Stir occasionally. Remove pot from heat and cool for 15 minutes. While the salsa is cooling, chop up the cilantro.

    Using an immersion blender, puree the salsa until smooth with little to no chunks remaining. Stir in chopped cilantro.

    When the salsa is completely cool, pour into a container. Leave 1/2” of space at the top of the container to allow for expansion during the freezing process. To use salsa, simply thaw for a few hours and enjoy! We love using this salsa recipe on tacos or served with tortilla chips.

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