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  • Writer's pictureJessie Alice Smith

What To Do With Too Many Tomatoes

If there ever is such a thing! Here are 3 quick and easy ways to process an overabundance of tomatoes without canning.


If you are anything like me, you usually plant too many tomato plants in your garden year after year. Always thinking that this will be the year that you are sensible and scale things back... nice try, huh?

I love raising tomato plants in my garden but they do tend to be harvest-ready all at the same time leaving you with a mountain of tomatoes to eat quickly. This is a wonderful problem to have! Here are 3 simple and easy ideas to transform your garden-fresh tomatoes and never waste even one of those meaty and delicious red beauties.


1) Roasted Garden Salsa:

The below instructions should be followed loosely. Feel free to make your own additions and adjustments since we all have different salsa tastes.


  • Preheat oven to broil on high.

  • Fill a baking sheet with clean tomatoes that you have already sliced and cut away any brown spots or imperfections.

  • Add sliced yellow onion - about 1 whole onion.

  • Add garlic cloves - I use about 6 cloves.

  • Add hot pepper, pieced - I am a spice wimp so I only add 1 pepper.

  • Salt and pepper everything generously.

  • In the middle rack, let everything roast for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are blistered and there are nice char marks throughout. (Keep on eye on things, broiling moves quickly)

  • Remove and let cool.

  • Once cooled, scoop everything into a food processor and add:

    • A bit more salt and pepper

    • Fresh lime juice (1 full lime at least)

    • A large handful of fresh cilantro

  • Process until it is to the consistency that you like.

  • Pour it into a mason jar and let it cool in the fridge.

  • Enjoy! Garden fresh, homemade, roasted salsa. YUM!


2) Tomato Sauce:

I have not bought marinara from a store in several years now. I have found that homemade is tastier, healthier, and only takes about 5 minutes to make. To make your own marinara, you first need a pure tomato sauce. Also, use this for any recipe that calls for tomato sauce throughout the winter... chili, stews, etc.


  • Clean tomatoes and cut away any stem spots or imperfections.

  • Cut into large chunks and fill your food processor.

  • Process it down to your desired consistency for a sauce.

  • Then pour everything into a large pot.

  • Bring it to a boil, turn down the heat to a low simmer.

  • With the lid off, stir occasionally and allow it to reduce down.

  • Once it reaches the consistency of a sauce and most of the water has boiled out, remove from heat, let cool, and carefully pour it into dated and named freezer bags.

  • Lay flat in your freezer.


3) Chopped Tomatoes:

This bag of processed garden tomatoes will take any pasta, stew, soup, or casserole up a notch during the winter months.


  • Clean tomatoes and cut away any stem spots or imperfections.

  • Cut into large chunks and fill your food processor.

  • Pulse your food processor until a nice chunky consistency remains.

  • Title and label a freezer bag and pour in the tomatoes.

  • Lay flat in your freezer.

  • It doesn't get easier than that and now you have a freezer filled with ripe tomatoes to use in your meals all fall and winter long.


And there you have it! No canning and no wasting the fruits of your labors.


All photography by Jessie Alice Smith

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