Want to learn how to peel tomatoes the easy way? And by easy, I mean a simple, no-boil method where the tomato skin practically falls out by itself.
Peeling tomatoes is an essential step in many canning recipes as well as homemade sauces and this post shows you how to do it in the oven without blanching.
Peeling Tomatoes the Easy Way
The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to roast them long enough to where the skin separates from the meat and you can peel them easily.
While some tutorials use the blanching method which entails submerging fresh tomatoes in boiling water and then inside an ice water bowl; I’ve found that roasting the tomatoes involves fewer steps, it’s safer, and it adds a nice caramelized flavor.
With the roasting method, you won’t have to score the bottom of each tomato or try to submerge a dozen hot tomatoes in iced water. All you need is a sheet pan and the oven does the rest.
How to Roast and Peel Tomatoes
Alright, let’s get to the step-by-step directions on how to roast and peel tomatoes!
Preheat the oven to 450F and lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Rinse the tomatoes under warm water and give them a good towel dry.
- Place the tomatoes onto the baking sheet
Line them up in a single layer. The bigger the baking sheet, the more tomatoes you can fit.
Place the tomatoes in the oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are bright red, and shriveled.
- Let them cool
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the tomatoes to cool down until they are easy to touch.
- Time to peel
Using your hands gently remove the skins from the tomatoes.
- Optional step
Remove the seeds by cutting the tomato in half and using a spoon to scoop out the center. While this isn’t necessary, some people appreciate this step.
Benefits of Roasting Before Peeling Tomatoes
Roasting makes it possible to peel tomatoes in a single step therefore, it’s much faster.
Roasting tomatoes eliminates other steps, like having to slice the skin first, submerging them in boiling water, and then the ice bath water.
The tomato “meat” softens in the oven and the skin separates from it on its own. Plus, roasting caramelizes the natural sugars and makes the tomatoes even sweeter.
How Long to Roast Tomatoes Before Peeling
Roma or medium tomatoes will need to roast for 20 to 25 minutes in a 450F (230C) oven. You will know they are ready once the tomato is easily pierced through with a fork and the skins have separated from the meat.
They should look like this:
Do You Need to Peel Tomatoes for Salsa
To make great canned salsa the tomatoes should be peeled before mixing it with the remaining salsa ingredients.
Unlike fresh salsa, which doesn’t require peeling, canned salsa needs to be cooked in order to be shelf-stable. Leaving the skins on the tomatoes can give canned salsa a weird texture with tough pieces of skin throughout.
How to Store Peeled Tomatoes
Once your tomatoes are peeled and seeded they can be stored by canning them, refrigerating, or freezing.
Once your tomatoes have peeled, follow the recipe directions. This process turns tomatoes into a shelf stable food, for up to 18 months, like my canned salsa recipe.
Once you’ve peeled the tomatoes and they’ve cooled down to room temperature, transfer them inside an airtight container and refrigerate for 5-7 days.
Peel the tomatoes, and allow them to cool down completely. Then, transfer them whole or chopped into a large freezer-safe container labeled with the date. Freeze for up to 2 months.
How to Use Peeled Tomatoes
Check out these recipes for some delicious ideas to use those peeled tomatoes. Some of the recipes will call for a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, which you can easily swap out for 3 cups crushed tomatoes, or 2 cups diced tomatoes in place of a 15-ounce can.
How to Peel Tomatoes
- Cooking spray
- 5 lbs Roma tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 450F and lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Rinse the tomatoes with warm water and completely dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Arrange the tomatoes in an even layer onto the baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the tomatoes are easily pierced through with a fork and the skins peel back.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow the tomatoes to cool until they are easy to touch.
- Using your hands, gently remove the skins from the tomatoes and discard them. Your peeled tomatoes are ready to be used in your favorite recipe with or without the seeds.