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Scooping tomato paste onto a baking sheet.
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5 from 3 votes

Tomato Paste

Easy, flavorful homemade tomato paste that can be used to add flavor to countless dishes
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time4 hrs
Course: condiment, Pantry Staple
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: fresh tomatoes, tomato paste
Servings: 25 tbsp
Calories: 21kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $0.78

Equipment

  • Food mill or mesh strainer

Ingredients

  • 5-10 lbs tomatoes Roma
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin

Instructions

  • Wash and cut tomatoes into quarters. Roma tomatoes won't need to have juicy insides removed, but if using a juicier variety, pull the jelly inside out with fingers. Add tomatoes to a pot.
  • Heat cut tomatoes on medium low heat until they begin to break down and become soft. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking. Once they release more moisture the heat can be increased to a medium simmer until tomatoes are reduced by half.
  • Preheat oven to 275degrees. Lightly rub olive oil over a large, rimmed baking sheet such as a half sheet pan (use parchment paper for aluminum baking sheets).
  • Work cooked tomatoes through a food mill or mesh strainer to remove skins and seeds. Pour strained tomato pulp onto oiled baking sheet.
  • Spread tomato pulp evenly over baking sheet so that there is a uniform thickness less than ¼ inch but thicker than ⅛ inch. (Too thin and it will burn.)
  • Bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to1 hour, using a bench scraper or rubber spatula to scrap up and redistribute tomato pulp evenly every 20-30 minutes (closer intervals towards the end of cooking) until thick and darkened in color. You will notice a reduction in size as the moisture evaporates and it becomes a paste.
  • Reduce heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and continue to cook, scraping and re-spreading every 60 minutes. This will take anywhere from 2-4 hours for 5-10 pounds of tomatoes.
  • Cool tomato paste. Divide into 3-6 tablespoon portions by scooping spoonfuls onto a cutting board or spooning into ice cube trays. Freeze solid, then when frozen the portions can be collected into a zip lock freezer bag and stored in the freezer for up to 5 months.

Notes

  • Don't use aluminum to bake on without laying down parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Any more than 10 pounds of tomatoes will likely require 2 or more baking sheets, and possibly a larger pot.
  • Roma or plum tomatoes work best as they have the least amount of moisture to evaporate, although any variety will work. Just be sure to remove the white core, jelly inside around the seeds.
  • Check tomato paste during cooking time and scrape up/redistribute often to avoid burning. 
  • Do not spread paste too thin, as this will increase the risk of burning it. 
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Nutrition

Serving: 1tbsp | Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 756IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg