How do you store unused tomato paste?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How do you store unused tomato paste?”, talk about its shelf life, and discuss its uses. We will also share a recipe for homemade tomato paste.

How do you store unused tomato paste?

You can store unused tomato paste in the refrigerator or the freezer. It will last longer and stay fresh for a couple of months in the freezer. In the refrigerator, it can last for a few days only.

For storing it in the freezer, refer to the following options.

Use an ice cube tray: Pour out the same amount of tomato paste in all of the cubes in the ice cube tray. Place this ice cube tray in the freezer. Take out the tomato paste cubes as needed later.

Use a sheet pan: Place a wax paper or butter paper on a sheet pan and put dollops of tomato paste on it at least an inch or two apart. Use one tablespoon for each dollop so you know the exact amount of tomato paste to take out when required. Once frozen, put all the dollops in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer again.

If you wish to store it in the refrigerator, pour all the tomato paste in an airtight container to keep it away from moisture. Mold tends to grow on tomato paste not stored properly in the refrigerator.

What is the shelf life of opened tomato paste?

An opened can of tomato paste will last for about 2 days. In the freezer it can last for upto 3-4 months and retain its freshness. Remember to use a heavy duty freezer bag for storing it to protect it against freezer burn when freezing it for a long period of time.

What can you do with a can of tomato paste?

Let us look at some ways of using tomato paste for a flavorful dish.


This is probably one of the most common uses of tomato paste. Add some tomato paste to the tomato based pizza sauce and enjoy the amped up flavor


This is another common use of tomato pasta. Most pasta sauce recipes require a spoon full of tomato paste. It goes best with spaghetti bolognese. 


You can add tomato paste to stews whether it is a vegetable stew or meat stew. It gives a burst of flavor to the stew and also thickens it.

Marinara sauce

You can add paste sauce to marinara sauce for an intense flavor. You can add it to store bought marinara sauce or to homemade marinara sauce.

BBQ sauce

You can make your own BBQ sauce at home by using tomato sauce and tomato paste. Add spices, sugar, and vinegar to it. You can even add fruits for some added sweetness.

Korean dishes

A lot of Korean dishes use tomato paste as an ingredient for an elevated flavor profile. You can mix tomato paste in the chili paste and use it to make various dishes.

Tomato powder

Dehydrated tomato paste makes tomato powder which is great for seasoning. Just place the tomato paste in the oven on low heat and let it sit there until the paste is fully dry. Crush this into a powder form and use it as a seasoning.


You can also use tomato paste as a marinade for meat and vegetables. Add tomato paste with a bunch of desired spices and coat the meat in it. Leave this overnight and cook the meat the next day. This is especially a great way for people who love tomatoes.

Learn more about tomato paste here.

How to make tomato paste at home?

Making tomato paste at home is easy and uses very few ingredients.


  • 3.6 kg tomatoes
  • 20 g extra virgin olive oil


  1. Rinse the tomatoes with clean water and remove their stems.
  2. Chop them up in big chunks. Cut up one tomato in 4-6 chunks.
  3. Put them in a blender and blend them until they form a sauce-like consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture in a strainer and use a spoon to press down the mixture to remove any seeds.
  5. You can also add onion or bell peppers to it if you want.

Now there are two ways to cook it:

On the stove

Take a non-stick pan and pour the strained tomato sauce in it. Turn the flame on low heat and let it simmer. You can add olive oil and heat it prior to this step if you wish to.

As the water starts to evaporate, the sauce will thicken. Keep stirring the sauce as you do not want it to burn. 

Once it is thick enough, transfer it into a jar and place it in the fridge for later use.

In the oven

You can also put the tomato sauce in the oven to bake. This process will give it a caramelized flavor.

You can place it in the oven first as it is or you can thicken the sauce over the stove first and then place it in the oven for added flavor. You can choose whichever way suits you best.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How do you store unused tomato paste?”, talked about its shelf life, and discussed its uses. We also shared a recipe for homemade tomato paste.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.