Our tomato plants have gone crazy this summer! Here are twelve ways we’re processing and enjoying tomatoes– for now and later! Plus, get a free printable freezer inventory chart to keep track of all the food you’re filling your freezer with right now!
The links below may be affiliate links, meaning I earn a small compensation at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure policy here.
My life (and consequently my social media) have been taken over with tomatoes in all shapes, colors, and sizes! Every surface of my kitchen is covered with trays of tomatoes, boxes of freezer bags, stacks of canning jars, and so on.
Never did I expect this when I told my husband at the time of planting that my biggest hope was just to have some fresh tomatoes from our yard to make into salsa and put on sandwiches.
I’m so thankful for our amazing bounty of tomatoes, though! It’s been incredible to be enjoy them, preserve them, share them, and even sell some last week at an impromptu pop-up farmer’s market.
I know many of you are also picking heaps of tomatoes (or just know where to get them), so I put together a list of twelve ways I’m processing all our tomatoes. Be sure to also check out this list of over fifty recipes and resources for tomatoes and other summer produce!
(Keep going all the way to the end of this post to get a free printable freezer inventory to keep track of your freezer’s contents too.)
How I’m Processing A Bounty of Garden Tomatoes
- Marinara Sauce. (I’m using the recipe from my cookbook, but I have a similar stovetop version on the blog too. I’m freezing, not canning, my sauce. Also, I’m not peeling or removing the seeds from my tomatoes first. Skipping this step really makes the process easier and no one is complaining.)
- Canning diced tomatoes. (I follow the directions in the cookbook, Homemade Pantry, but here are instructions online).
- Slow roasted grape tomatoes.
- Lots of fresh salsa. (I’m not freezing/canning this because I really just like salsa fresh. We are not having any difficulty eating enough right now).
- Enchilada Sauce. (I’m freezing this in two-cup portions in freezer bags to use with this recipe that we LOVE).
- Pizza Sauce. (I’m just kind of winging this on the stovetop, but Ally has a great oven-roasted version she freezes in muffin cups–GENIUS).
- Creamy Tomato Soup. (I’m freezing this in quart-sized portions. I already know this soup freezes well because I included it in my Instant Pot Freezer Soups).
- Tomato Jam. (this version uses a lot of sugar (just fyi, not judging). I used the honey-sweetened version in her cookbook, Naturally Sweet Food in Jars)
- Green Tomato Salsa Verde. (with water bath canning instructions)
- Freeze whole or quartered in bags. (perfect for thawing and canning later on, or making into sauce/adding to soups)
- Freeze chili. (freezing in gallon-sized freezer bags, using these two delicious recipes: hearty chili & maple pumpkin chili)
- Freeze jambalaya. (Jambalaya is a meal I’ve included in my freezer plans before because it freezes well.)
When you’re putting up a lot of food, it’s important to keep it all organized in the freezer– both so that you can find what you have, but also because you’re able to fit in more food! These are some of the items we use to make freezing and storing food easier.
- Souper Cubes (1 cup) or (2 cup) (great for freezing liquids and then transferring to a bag once frozen)
- Silicon muffin cups (great for freezing in and popping out once frozen.
- Mason jars (pint jars with wide mouth)
- Plastic mason jar lids (these are good for picnics too)
- Clear plastic storage bins for fridge and freezer (great for keeping similar bags sorted and tidy)
- Ziploc freezer bags (of course)
Freezer Inventory Chart
Speaking of knowing what you have in the freezer, after adding another stash of garden bounty to my freezer yesterday I realized that organizing my freezer and creating an inventory of what we had was top priority! The overflowing stacks of frozen squash, sauces, tomatoes, and so on were in too much disarray for me.
I got to work organizing the freezer (not cleaning it, mind you, so don’t judge me on that!) as quickly as I could. Then I snapped a picture and went back upstairs to create a printable inventory chart so that I could know exactly what was in the freezer.
Let’s be honest, I also just wanted to know what was in the freezer so I could give myself a big pat on the back for months of hard work.
I’d love to see if you use any of these recipes or this freezer inventory chart, so be sure to tag me (@thispilgrimlife) when you share or send me a pic or message! Happy preserving, friends!
Sharing is caring! Don’t forget to pin and share. Thank you!