How To Make Tomato Paste

Homemade tomato oil drizzled with olive oil in a white bowl with blue edges.

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Tomato paste made at home with fresh meaty tomatoes and salt.


  • 11 lbs (5 kilo) tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil (needed for storing)


    1. Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters, removing the stems. Put them in a food processor. Puree them in batches and pour the puree into a large pot.
    2. Sprinkle salt over the tomato puree and heat it over medium high heat uncovered until the tomatoes release juice and start to boil. Keep boiling for about 30 minutes.
    3. Remove the foams you will see on the top when heating.
    4. Reduce the heat to medium low and let the puree simmer until it has a consistency, for about 40 minutes. Let it cool a bit.
    5. Put a strainer over a large bowl. Pour the tomato sauce into the strainer. Press down the sauce using a spoon until only the seeds and the skin remains in the strainer.
    6. Pour it back into the pot. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer over medium heat until thick, for 40-50 min. It will reduce almost by half.
    7. Pour the sauce in one or two baking sheets in a thin layer. Wait it under the sun for 3-4 days depending on the temperature, until it gets really thick.
    8. After this duration, you can put the tomato paste into jars.
    9. Transfer the paste into clean jars using a spoon, pressing it down well each time you put a spoon. Flatten the surface and pour olive oil on it. Tighten the lid of jar. Store it either in the refrigerator or in your pantry, away from sunlight.


No enough sun in your area or no place in your house for sun-drying? Don’t worry! After straining the cooked tomato sauce/puree, there are two alternative methods you can use:

Method 1: Continue cooking the sauce over the stove: After straining the sauce, pour it back in the pot and keep cooking over low heat until it reduces by more than half and gets thick. This might take several hours. Keep stirring it once in a while.

Method 2: Bake it in the oven: After straining the sauce, pour it back in the pot and let it simmer over low heat until thick, for 40-50 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200F/90C and turn on the fan. Pour the sauce in a large baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven, give it a good stir, spread it evenly and put it back in the oven. Bake for 3 hours repeating the same steps after every 30 minutes. You will end up with a thick paste.

After the drying methods above, let your tomato paste cool completely and then share into jars. Pour olive oil to coat the surface. 


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