Tomato Purée

Homemade Tomato Purée Recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 2 to 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
20 Calories
0g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 20
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 1g
Calcium 11mg 1%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Among the many types of canned tomatoes we find on the grocery store shelves is tomato puree, which is often an ingredient in recipes for pasta sauce and tomato-based soups. Tomato purée is silky smooth and free of any seeds or skin that tend to make their way into chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce. It keeps in the fridge for up to a week, freezes beautifully, and can be canned for longer storage.

The amounts are flexible here; using the same method, you can make 1 to 6 pints depending on how many tomatoes you have on hand. If you plan on canning the puree, be sure to have a 1 pint jar, lid, and ring for every 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes for each pint jar
  • For Canning:
  • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid or 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice for each pint jar

Steps to Make It

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

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  2. 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.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Put all the tomatoes in a pot.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  4. 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, 10 to 15 minutes.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Let the mixture cool. Then run the tomato mixture through a food mill or whirl quickly in a blender or food processor.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds and bits of skin; this also makes for a smooth purée.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  7. If the tomato puree 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. Taste it along the way—you want a nice, bright tomato flavor along with a smooth and slightly thick texture.

    Tomato puree recipe
    The Spruce

To Chill or Freeze Purée

  1. Transfer the purée to sealable container(s) and chill or freeze until ready to use.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce

To Can Tomato Purée

  1. Bring a large canning kettle full of water to a boil.

    Tomato puree recipe
    The Spruce
  2. Sterilize the pint jars by boiling them for 10 minutes.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Allow the jars to air dry.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Soften the lids by simmering them for a few minutes.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Put 1/4 teaspoon citric acid or 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice in each pint jar.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Return the purée to the stove and bring back to a simmer.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Fill each jar with the hot tomato purée, leaving about 1/2-inch head-space at the top of each jar.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  8. Set the lids on the jars and secure them with the rings.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  9. Lower the jars into the canning kettle and boil for 40 minutes.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce
  10. Remove the jars and let cool. Canned items are shelf-stable for up to 1 year.

    Tomato puree recipe
     The Spruce

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.

Tip

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.

How to Use Tomato Purée

Homemade tomato purée can be used as a base in condiments such as salsa, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce. It is also ideal to use 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).