Consider Doing This Before Throwing Out Leftover Tomato Paste

When was the last time you used an entire can of tomato paste to make a pot of sauce — or any recipe for that matter? Unless you're cooking for a caravan, the answer is probably never.

Food Republic calls tomato paste the most flavorful option of shelf-stable tomato products. It's a concentrate made from tomato pulp without the seeds or skins. Often, chefs use tomato paste in small quantities to provide some tomato-y umph to their dishes. It's one of the best substitutes for tomato sauce because It packs all the punch of a can of tomatoes without any of the liquid.

Eating Well recommends using tomato paste early on in the cooking process for peak flavor. A longer cooking time gives the flavors time to caramelize and develop their heavenly nuances and aromas. Most stores offer tomato paste in a tube, but if you're one of many with a pantry stocked full of the canned variety, there are a few tricks to storing what you have leftover.

How to freeze tomato paste

Recipes rarely call for an entire can of tomato paste. In fact, a couple of tablespoons will usually do the trick. If you find yourself left with a can that's mostly full, here's what you can do to preserve what remains.

First of all, don't stick the entire can in the freezer. Yes, you can freeze tomato paste, but getting the paste out of the can in a frozen state is next to impossible. This tomato paste hack is a little more complex than just placing your can in the freezer and forgetting about it until you need it.

According to The Spruce Eats, the simplest way to freeze tomato paste leftovers is to portion individual dollops by tablespoon onto a piece of parchment paper and freeze until solid. Then, you can store the blobs in a plastic bag.

If you're feeling a more high-tech approach, All Recipes notes that you can use an ice cube tray to freeze tomato paste and then pop it out of the tray when it's time to use it.