Frozen Tomato Salsa Experiment

Last summer in the midst of Frank’s recovery from back surgery and my gallbladder going out, I did not can one tomato. Not one. Instead, I froze about 12 to 15 gallons of whole tomatoes in freezer bags. That’s about all I could manage. Pick them, wash them off, pack them in a freezer bag, and put them in the freezer. About a month or so ago, we ran out of the previous year’s salsa we had canned, and we really like salsa. So I tried the frozen tomatoes to see how they would work in a fresh salsa.

As the tomatoes thawed, there was quite a bit of watery liquid. I thought about pouring some of it off, but decided to keep it this time. This gallon of tomatoes yielded six cups of tomato product. 

I got out my frozen jalapeno peppers. I didn’t get any peppers canned last summer either, but I did freeze up a quart of chopped peppers just for this possibility. Following my regular salsa recipe, which is scribbled on a piece of paper, with these frozen vegetables was all guess work. 

I splurged and bought some fresh cilantro for this batch of salsa, just because we really like it. My regular recipe calls for 5 onions, so I dutifully chopped up 5 onions. This was a mistake. 

The salsa looks great, but it turned out to be onion salsa instead of tomato salsa. The onion flavor was VERY strong. Luckily we like onions, but I found this salsa was better cooked into something than used as is.

We ran out of the onion salsa last week, so this week I got out another gallon of tomatoes. Thus begins experiment #2.

This time I poured off most of the watery liquid after the tomatoes thawed, and I only got 3 cups after I removed the skins and cores.

I used a few more frozen jalapenos, since the last batch was very mild aside from the over powering presence of onions.

Initially, I only used one onion, but there weren’t quite enough, or so I guessed. So I added another half of an onion I had in the frig. The reusable wraps are great.

I had fun taking a picture of adding the salt. Just because.


 This time I used some of the cilantro I dried last spring from the herb bed. I have read that dried isn’t near as strong as fresh, so I doubled the amount. I have also heard that dried isn’t worth using, so we will see after this has had a couple of days to sit and blend flavors.


I have my fingers crossed that this batch will taste much better. We seldom cook with tomatoes of any kind anymore, so I will keep using our frozen tomatoes for salsa until we can make some fresh next summer.

I really enjoy experiments like this. It gives us yet another opportunity to learn something new. I hope you’re planning for your garden, we certainly are. We’re going to leave potatoes out of our garden this year. Frank and I have introduced a low carbohydrate regimen into our diet. We plan this to be a life long change for the better. So our garden plans are changing somewhat to provide the new things we are eating. 

Until next time – Fern

10 thoughts on “Frozen Tomato Salsa Experiment

  1. Fresh cilantro is much better than dried, SFG, but dried is better than none. I have also used coriander seeds in place of cilantro, and it's okay, but nothing beats fresh cilantro. Hmmm…..eating frozen tomatoes sounds interesting, cold, but interesting. Thank you for sharing!Fern

  2. I've always wondered about freezing the tomatoes for salsa. I also have tried the dried cilantro. I didn't really like it. Fresh is soooo much better. Talking about freezing tomatoes, I freeze cherry tomatoes. Then in the middle of winter, I take out a few, add some salt, and eat them for snacks, frozen. Yummmmmm!!!!

  3. You are welcome, Kathy. We much prefer canned salsa to frozen tomato salsa. If the tomatoes are really juicy, I cut them over the chicken scrap bucket so they will drip in there, leaving our fresh tomato salsa thicker. We grow Arkansas Travelers and Rutgers, which are a very meaty tomato, almost as much as a Roma, but they also have a great flavor for eating fresh. I'm sold on these two varieties. This batch of frozen tomato salsa is better than the first one. I still put in a few too many onions, and it is much peppier with the additional jalapenos. The half pint is already gone and we're getting ready to start on the quart! We really do like salsa. Thank you for sharing.Fern

  4. I am following the frozen tomatoes with interest. My husband loves his salsa and grows a variety of tomatoes and peppers to make it. Canning it has reduced the chunks and made it watery and we have wondered about freezing the salsa made up already. Experimenting is fun and we have the luxury of time and an abundance of tomatoes as a rule. Must admit one of the best things about reading others blogs is when they do something I am thinking about and now I don't have too! Thanks!

  5. Go ahead and experiment, Mare. If you're like me, you will have to tweak it a bit before it will come out the way you like it. Don't put anywhere near as many onions as you think you might need. I think I still put too many in this time.Our new way of eating, we aren't really calling it a diet, is working out very well. Sometimes we are still a little hungry, and I have been challenged to think up new ways to fix some very similar ingredients, but it has been a good challenge. When we went to Christmas dinner this year, we only had turkey and green beans, and didn't really feel deprived. We feel much better without the daily heavy carb load. Thank you for sharing, Mare, I appreciate it. And thank you for your kinds words.Fern

  6. The chickens got the tomato 'water', Fiona, and the skins. The cilantro worked out pretty well, I think. Now, I wonder if I dried enough to keep making salsa out of the rest of the frozen tomatoes. We'll see. Thank you for the comment.Fern

  7. We had the salsa with supper this evening. I think I still put in too many onions, and it was more spicy with the extra peppers. The verdict is still out, though, because we also had jalapenos with supper. I don't think the cilantro was too strong at all. I'm glad you enjoy your time here. Thank you for sharing.Fern

  8. Last year my husband had 2 surgeries which meant I only canned about 7 pints of tomato sauce. I did get some tomato relish done but most of mine went into the freezer, too. I've been using in some dishes that require tomatoes or tomato sauce but haven't tried them for salsa, etc. Looking forward to hearing what you think of this last experiment. Maybe I will get up my nerve and try some, too.We ate low carb for about 4 years then began slowly adding back things until eating a regular diet for the past couple years. We began slowly cutting back the carbs again at the first of the year. I really feel better when eating low carb but I LOVE potatoes. Holiday dinners always look like we're having a few sides with our potatoes (au gratin, boiled with butter, cooked with green beans, potato salad, mashed with gravy and chips as one of the things to nibble on). So I'll still be planting potatoes but not too many. As replacements, cauliflower, celeric, rutabagas and turnips. Have never tried growing celeric or rutabagas before, always bought them. Haven't had a whole lot of luck with turnips or cauliflower so we'll have to see how things turn out this year. Thanks for the wonderful blog and the inspiration to try new things.

  9. I was looking forward to how your frozen tomatoes turned out….can you use the liquid for other things? I found my dried herbs are better than store dried but not as good as fresh.

  10. Looking forward to your results. I have always been told that dried herbs were more potent than fresh?! Really enjoy your blog and find its information helpful.

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