Homemade Tomato Paste

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The flavor profile of this Homemade Tomato Paste is far superior to that of store-bought tomato paste. And you only need 1 ingredient here!

Big bowl of tomato paste

My garden has an abudance of tomatoes this time of year! I have gone from failing woefully at gardening to producing more ripe tomatoes than I can imagine! It feels like so much more than last year, which is a good thing.

After using pounds and pounds of tomatoes for stews, pasta dishes, and vegetable dishes, and still having lots of tomatoes left over, I knew I had to find another way to preserve it. Enter homemade tomato paste!

This recipe doesn’t just give you a small amount of tomato paste; it produces 2 pounds, making it excellent for home cooks who need more than just the small cans you find at the store. Not to mention, it has a rich tomato flavor.

Picture showing texture of homemade tomato paste

With excess tomatoes available in stores, farmers market, or maybe even your own tomatoes from your garden, you too can make tomato paste. Thank goodness for tomato season!

Tomatoes are perfect for pasta sauces, homemade tomato sauce for pizza, and tomato soup. If you’re interested in these types of recipes, I suggest trying my Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup or Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce recipes!

But when it comes to this recipe, you’ll love it because the flavor of real tomato paste is to die for. It is a thick paste that can be used in all sorts of ways. Also, it is insanely easy to make and store! Okay, get your tomatoes, and let’s make some homemade magic.

The 1 Ingredient You Need

You only need one ingredient for this homemade tomato paste recipe: regular tomatoes! Many different types of tomatoes would work, but try to pick a kind with more tomato pulp, like Roma tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes. Those are the best tomatoes for this recipe. However, you can also use Early Girl tomatoes!

Lots of fresh tomatoes

Some people add other ingredients like a little olive oil, citric acid (could come from lemon juice) and table or kosher salt to their homemade tomato paste. I prefer to keep it simple and most importantly salt-free.

It is better to add salt to the dishes you make with tomato paste as needed rather than have the tomato paste already salted. Later on, when you cook with it, you can dress it up with the different seasonings and herbs like bay leaves.

And this one-ingredient paste has low acidity compared to paste with added citric acid. Of course, tomatoes are naturally somewhat acidic, but this recipe has a more natural and consistent acidity and sweetness than other recipes.

4 Simple Steps For Making The Best Tomato Paste

You can make homemade tomato paste in 4 simple steps. There is no need for cooking tomatoes in boiling water beforehand since you’ll cook them after blending them. Although cooking them might feel like a long time, much of it is hands-off, and the prep time is only a half hour!

1. First, cut room temperature tomatoes into quarters, after rinsing them with cold water (you don’t need to remove the tomato skins).

Quartered tomatoes on a chopping board.

2. Blend the tomatoes to create a tomato purée.

Tomato puree in blender

3. Strain the tomatoes to remove the remaining seeds before beginning the cooking process.

Tomato seeds in fine mesh sieve

4. Place into a large pot and cook down until most of the liquid evaporates. As it cooks, you can lower the burner to medium heat, and then low heat. Give it enough time to transform into a thick tomato paste and allow it to become the right consistency, allowing the tomato water to evaporate.

Reduce tomato pure in pot

Hint: Removing the seeds from the tomato paste leads to smoother looking tomato paste similar to that you will find in cans.

Some people allege that making tomato paste with seeds will make it bitter, but I have made tomato paste with seeds before, and I didn’t notice a difference in flavor. It is up to you whether you prefer no seeds, fewer seeds, or all of them in your paste.

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Flavor Variations

Have fun while making homemade tomato paste, and try these variations.

  • Roasted Tomato Paste – Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and let it roast in the oven until slightly charred for a smoky roasted tomato paste. After roasting, blend the cooked tomatoes and proceed to make the tomato paste. Roasted tomatoes give it so much flavor!
  • Spicy Tomato Paste – Add once scotch bonnet or habanero pepper while blending the tomatoes to make spicy tomato paste.
  • Herby/Garlicky Tomato Paste – Blend the tomatoes with some fresh garlic, basil, and thyme to make a flavor-infused tomato paste.

You can literally add any flavors of choice to your homemade tomato paste.

Expert Tips

  • I don’t recommend using canned tomatoes. By far, using fresh tomatoes is the way to go, as it produces the best flavor and texture.
  • You can also make this recipe in the slow cooker. Follow the prep and directions, then once it is in the slow cooker, allow the paste to reduce and thicken until there is little water left. You don’t need to stir it too often.
  • Aside from cooking with the tomato paste, you can also turn it into homemade ketchup. I love doing this since it means I can skip all of the preservatives in store-bought ketchup! All you need is the tomato paste, white vinegar, a small amount of sugar, and seasonings to do so.
  • As a good rule of thumb, the more the water evaporates, the lower you want to adjust the heat. This prevents the paste from burning on the bottom and having an unpleasant flavor.

No Special Equipment For Tomato Paste

You could make homemade tomato paste with just a blender for blending the tomatoes and a fine mesh sieve for straining the tomatoes. You can also use a food processor.

Also, some people use a food mill to process the tomatoes but you could totally just use a blender and strainer. However, I don’t recommend an immersion blender.

How To Store It

There are a few different ways to store your own homemade tomato paste for later use, extending its shelf life. After all, who doesn’t love longer storage? Here are a few ways to do so:

Ice Cube Method: A great way to store tomato paste is to put it into an ice cube tray and freeze it overnight. Once it freezes, remove the tomato paste cubes from the ice tray, put them into a plastic bag, and store in the freezer for 2-3 months. You can also put them in an airtight container. Add frozen cubes to recipes as called for.

Tomato Paste in an Ice Cube Tray

Olive Oil Method: Put homemade tomato paste in mason jars up to three-quarters full. Then, pour a layer of olive oil to completely cover the tomato paste. Screw on the lid and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Tomato Paste in Mason Jar

Canning Method: Canning the homemade paste is one of my favorite ways to store it. You can learn how to can tomato paste in a glass jar at home! For best results, follow this guide.

For every 10 pounds of fresh tomatoes used, you get about 2 pounds of homemade tomato paste.

Recipe Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Preserve Homemade Tomato Paste?

As mentioned above, the best ways to preserve the paste are either to can it or freeze it, as both of them extend its shelflife significantly. If you don’t think you can consume it all within a week, I recommend preserving it!

What Are The Ingredients In Tomato Paste?

It all depends on the recipe! My recipe only requires one ingredient, while other recipes might require more, such as oil, lemon juice, or seasonings. What’s more, store-bought tomato paste often has preservatives.

Can You Freeze Uncooked Tomato Paste?

In this case, the uncooked tomato paste is just tomato puree. If you plan on making a paste with it, I recommend cooking it first and then freezing the paste after it cools. However, if you want to freeze the puree and use it in another way, you can certainly do so.

More Tomato Recipes To Try

If you make this recipe please leave a star rating below. Your rating helps others find the recipe plus I love hearing from you! Thank you!

Big bowl of tomato paste

Homemade Tomato Paste

5 from 3 votes
In 4 simple steps, you can make tomato paste at home! The taste is far superior to anything you can get in a can. Add to stews, sauces, soups, and more meals for a rich tomato-ey flavor!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 10 pounds tomatoes


  • Cut Tomatoes. Rinse tomatoes thoroughly then cut them into quarters.
  • Blend Tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in a blender and blend then into a puree. You'll have to do this in several batches.
  • Sieve. Pass the blended tomatoes through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and some of the skin.
  • Cook Down To a Paste. Place the sieved tomato puree into a large pot and let it cook down until it reduces and looks like tomato paste. When it reduces significantly, turn the heat down to medium to prevent it from burning. Do not stir as it cooks. This whole process takes about 2-3 hours depending on the intensity of the heat and how watery the tomatoes are.
  • Store. Store tomato paste by freezing in ice cubes, refrigerating in mason jars or canning. See Note 2


1. Any tomatoes you have on hand would work but if you are to choose, pick tomatoes with more pulp like Roma or San Marzano tomatoes.
2. Follow one of the following methods for storing homemade tomato paste: 
Ice Cube Method: Put homemade tomato paste into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Once it freezes, remove the tomato paste cubes and put into freezer safe bags and store in the freezer for 2-3 months. Add frozen portions to recipes as called for.
Olive Oil Method: Put homemade tomato paste in mason jars up to three quarters full. Then pour olive oil to completely cover the tomato paste. Screw on the lid and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Canning Method: You could also can homemade tomato paste to make it last longer. To learn how to can tomato paste at home follow this guide.
3. The 10 pounds of tomatoes used in this recipe cook down to about 2 pounds of tomato paste.


Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 1792mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 6297IU | Vitamin C: 104mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Recipes
Cuisine: Western
Calories: 136
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at YouTube.com/PreciousKitchen.

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