I took advantage of a Muir Glen printable coupon and bought a 6 oz. can of organic tomato paste that ended up being only $.19 after the coupon was doubled. That’s a bargain. I needed tomato paste for the recipe I made last night, but I only needed on teaspoon of it. Most of the tomato paste in the can was unused. I don’t have any meals planned this week that need tomato paste, so I froze the rest of it.

I didn’t freeze the entire contents of the can in one lump, though. That wouldn’t be convenient the next time I need just a small amount of tomato paste I froze it in one tablespoon quantities. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or better yet, line it with a leftover cereal box liner. (I was out of cereal box liners because I used them all up over the holidays so I used parchment, but this is an ideal way to reuse those linings.)
  2. Use a measuring spoon to drop the tomato paste in one-tablespoon measurements onto the baking sheet (see photo above). You want space between the paste so it doesn’t freeze together.
  3. Place the baking sheet flatly in your freezer for six hours or overnight. You can gently place another layer of parchment or lining on the top if you want to cover it completely.
  4. Once the tomato paste is frozen, line a freezer-proof container with parchment or liner (I used the same parchment that had been in the freezer). Then pop each frozen amount into the container (see photo         below), seal it tightly, and put in the freezer. You’ll want to do this quickly. You don’t want the paste to begin to defrost.
  5. Next time you need just a small amount of tomato paste, you can open the container and take out the amount you need.

You can also do this by spraying a plastic ice cube tray with non-stick and putting the tomato paste in by one-tablespoon amounts. When it’s frozen, just pop the paste out like ice cubes and freeze as directed above.

Another option I could have taken so the tomato paste didn’t get wasted was to use the remainder of it in my no-cook, homemade pizza sauce. The recipe calls for a 6 oz. can of tomato paste, and since I’d only used a teaspoon out of the can, it wouldn’t have been a problem to use the rest in this recipe.

How do you save, or use up, the remainder of a can of tomato paste when you opened it for just a small amount?

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

How to freeze leftover tomato paste
If you opened a can because you needed just a little bit for a recipe, don’t toss the rest. Freeze it in useful amounts.