Fresh Tomato Puree/Sauce

Each time I visited my relatives in Palestine, I noticed that they never had tomato sauce in canned form. Instead, I watched as my grandmother and aunts used to cook tomato-based yakhni (stews), pasta sauces, and pizza sauces using homemade jarred tomato sauce.

I recently had the urge to learn how to make and can my own homemade tomato sauce. So I picked up my phone and called up a cousin in Palestine for our family’s recipe. She told me to remove the stems, boil the tomatoes, peel the tomatoes, and blend them. At the end of the conversation, she says, “Don’t bother canning them…just freeze the sauce you make! It will save you time and energy, and I promise it will be great!”

I was so excited.  I’m pretty lazy and the canning process seems complicated and tedious. So I’ll take any shortcut I can get!

So, fast-forward a few days. I call up my my Khalto (Aunt) Leena and I tell her about my tomato sauce excitement and she tells me, “Don’t even bother boiling them or peeling them. My mother in Nablus used to take fresh tomatoes, blend them up, and freeze them.”

Now I was beyond excited…an extra shortcut!

Below I’m going to give both my cousin’s recipe and Khalto Leena’s recipe.

Khalto Leena’s Tomato Puree/Sauce 


Quart Freezer Bags

Option 1 (If you’re a fan of tomato seeds in your sauce) 
Step 1: Wash the tomatoes.
Step 2: Remove the stems and peel the tomatoes.
Step 3: Cut tomatoes into fourths.
Step 4: Blend the tomatoes.
Step 5: Pour into freezer bags.
Step 6: Freeze.

Option 2 (If you’re lazy and don’t care for the seeds)
Step 1: Wash the tomatoes.
Step 2: Remove stems and cut into fourths.
Step 3: Blend the tomatoes
Step 4: Pour into a strainer and stir using a spoon. You’ll see all the skin and seeds left behind.
Step 5: Pour tomato puree/sauce into freezer bags.
Step 6: Freeze

Cousin’s Recipe: 


Large pot
Quart Freezer Bags

Step 1: Bring large pot of water to a boil. The amount of water you use depends on the number of tomatoes you have. You simply want to be able to submerge all of the tomatoes. Add salt.
NOTE:The amount of salt is determined by the amount of water/tomatoes you have and your personal preference. But remember that you are freezing this and you will cook it in the future – you can always add more salt later.
Step 2: Wash tomatoes
Step 3: Remove stems and cut tomatoes into fourths.
Step 4: Boil tomatoes for about 10 minutes or until nice and tender.
Step 5: Blend tomatoes and strain.
Step 6: Allow to cool and then place into freezer bags or freezer-safe container.
Step 7: Freeze.


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