|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: 2 to 12|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 0g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Tomato purée is an ingredient often used in pasta sauce and tomato-based soup recipes. It is silky smooth and free of any seeds or skin that tend to make their way into chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce. While tomato purée is among the many types of canned tomatoes found on grocery store shelves, making it from scratch is easy, and the taste is hard to beat.
Fresh tomato purée keeps in the fridge for up to a week, freezes beautifully, and can be canned for longer storage. The amounts in this recipe are flexible; using the same method, you can make 1 to 6 pints depending on how many tomatoes you have on hand. If you plan to can the purée, be sure to have a 1-pint jar, lid, and ring for every 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes.
Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this tomato purée and canning process is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for cooking.
Make the Tomato Purée
Gather the ingredients.
Starting with clean, dry tomatoes, halve smaller tomatoes and roughly chop larger tomatoes. The tomatoes are going to be puréed, so they don't need to be chopped evenly; cutting allows the tomatoes to release their liquid and cook down faster.
Put all the tomatoes in a pot.
Over medium-high heat, bring them to a boil. As the temperature in the pot increases, the tomatoes will release some of their liquid, providing their own liquid in which to cook. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady and active simmer (gentle small bubbles should pop up here and there). Cook, stirring frequently until the tomatoes start to break down, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Let the mixture cool for at least 5 minutes. Run the tomato mixture through a food mill or whirl quickly in a blender or food processor.
Strain the purée through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds and bits of skin; this also makes for a smooth purée.
If the tomato purée is thin and looks watery, you can return the purée to the pot, bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until it reduces to the texture you want, stirring often. Taste it along the way—you want a nice, bright tomato flavor along with a smooth and slightly thick texture.
Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients
Steam expands quickly in a blender and can cause ingredients to splatter and cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only 1/3 of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.
- Tomato purée can be made with any variety of tomato. Choose paste tomatoes such as Roma or San Marzano to create a thicker purée. Tomatoes typically reserved for slicing are juicier and will produce a thinner purée.
- A food mill separates the tomato skins from the juice and pulp and results in a thicker purée. Some of the pulp will get trapped in the skins if you just blend and strain the purée.
- While straining the purée, stir and press it in the sieve to release more of the pulp. Scrape the bottom of the sieve to release any pulp that gets caught in the mesh.
To Chill or Freeze Purée
Transfer the purée to sealable container(s), leaving an inch of headroom, and chill or freeze until ready to use.
How Long Does Homemade Tomato Purée Last?
Choose the storage method based on how long you want to keep your tomato purée. Refrigerated purée (including canned purée once open) should be used within a week. Tomato purée can be frozen for up to six months but starts to lose its fresh flavor after about three months. Be sure to use freezer-safe containers. Create smaller portions, by freezing the purée in ice cube trays then transfer to freezer bags. For longer preservation, can the tomato purée; it will keep for up to one year.
To Can Tomato Purée
Bring a large canning kettle full of water to a boil.
Sterilize the pint jars by boiling them for 10 minutes.
Allow the jars to air dry.
Soften the lids by simmering them for a few minutes.
Put 1/4 teaspoon citric acid or 1 tablespoon lemon juice in each pint jar.
Return the purée to the stove and bring back to a simmer.
Fill each jar with the hot tomato purée, leaving about 1/2-inch head-space at the top of each jar.
Set the lids on the jars and secure them with the rings.
Lower the jars into the canning kettle and boil for 40 minutes. The jars should be covered by at least 1-inch of water.
Remove the jars and let cool.
- When recipes call for lemon juice, it is encouraged that you use freshly squeezed. Canning tomatoes, however, is one of the only times you should use bottled lemon juice as you want its reliable acid level.
- If canning, make sure you give yourself about an hour for this process.
How to Use
Homemade tomato purée can be cooked down to make a thicker tomato paste. The purée is also used as a base in condiments such as salsa, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce, and an ideal option when you need a thinner marinara or pizza sauce. Conversely, tomato purée is used to thicken soups such as minestrone or stews like cioppino (fisherman's stew). You can even use it as a tomato juice substitute in bloody marys.
Is Tomato Sauce the Same as Tomato Purée?
The major difference between tomato sauce and tomato purée is seasoning. Tomato sauce is typically seasoned with salt, oregano, garlic, and even sugar. Bottled, pasta-ready tomato sauces tend to be thicker and have a variety of ingredients. A tomato purée generally only contains tomato; if canned, a small amount of citric acid or lemon juice is added.
Are Crushed Tomatoes a Good Substitute for Tomato Purée?
Crushed tomatoes will add a chunkier texture to dishes than tomato purée. For a smoother texture, blend crushed tomatoes to make a quick tomato purée.