If you don’t know how to peel tomatoes, this post is for you! This is a foolproof technique that will get all those late summer tomatoes peeled and ready for a big pot of sauce.

A photo of Roma tomatoes.

What is the best way to peel tomatoes?

If you’ve ever tried using a peeler to peel a tomato, you quickly learned that that was an impossible task!

There is only one best way to peel a tomato, and it requires quickly blanching them so their skin lifts off, making it easy for you to peel it off the tomatoes.

Now, you must be thinking: “What about roasting? Or freezing? Or even charring the tomatoes over a flame?”

Well, all these methods will peel tomatoes, but they are not the most convenient.

Roasting is great, but changes the flavor of tomatoes, making them smoky and more robust! If that’s what you’re looking for, then by all means, roast ’em!

Charring a tomato over a flame is great if you only need to peel one tomato. When you have 4 pounds of tomatoes that you need to peel for a sauce, you will have to stand by your stove for a long time, charring them one by one!

Finally, freezing takes time, especially cause you’ll have to also wait for the tomatoes to thaw! Not very convenient when you are really craving Nonna’s tomato sauce, amirite?

However, if you have space in your freezer, you could freeze a lot of summer tomatoes and have them all year round. When ready to use, thaw them and easily remove their skin by pulling them off! You will have to use the tomatoes in soups, sauces and stews, as their texture will soften considerably once frozen.

Ok, teach me how to peel tomatoes!

Now that we agreed that blanching is the way to go, let’s learn how to do it.

It might seem like a lot of steps, but it’s actually quite easy! 

What you’ll need:

  • Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Place a bowl of ice water close by so it’s easily accessible.
  • Using a paring knife, slice a shallow X-shaped insertion on the bottom of each tomato.
  • Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the tomatoes into the boiling water. Depending on how many tomatoes you have, you might have to work in batches!
  • Blanch the tomatoes for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the skin begins to loosen and peel off at the X slit.
  • Immediately remove the tomatoes into the ice water bowl so they stop cooking. Let them cool until you can handle them.
A close up photo of how to peel tomatoes.
  • Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, you should be able to just lift their skin and it will glide right off!
  • You can then core them, if desired, by cutting a circular cut with a paring knife. Or you can do like I do and just slice a 1/4-inch off the bottom! I’m lazy like that! 😉
  • Optional: you can halve them and scoop their seeds out with a small spoon. My grandma does that, but I skip that step, as I don’t mind the seeds!
Olivia’s Tip: If you encounter one or two tomatoes that are stubborn and won’t release their skin, just place them back into the boiling water for some encouragement!
A bowl of peeled tomatoes.

Et voila, peeled tomatoes!

You can use them in soups and sauces, or can them to use later, when it’s the middle of the winter and you are missing those fresh summer tomatoes.

Now go, don’t walk, run to the grocery store to get the last of those late summer tomatoes while you can! You have some peeling to do.

How to Peel Tomatoes

How to Peel Tomatoes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 6 minutes

If you don't know how to peel tomatoes, this post is for you! This is a foolproof technique that will get all those late summer tomatoes peeled and ready for a big pot of sauce.

Ingredients

  • Fresh tomatoes, rinsed
  • A pot of boiling water
  • A bowl of ice water

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, over medium-high heat.
  2. Using a paring knife, slit a shallow X on the bottom of each tomato.
  3. Carefully lower the tomatoes into the boiling water, using a slotted spoon. You might have to blanch them in batches if necessary.
  4. Blanch them for 30-60 seconds or until you see that the skin is starting to lift off around the X slit.
  5. Transfer the tomatoes to the ice water bowl to stop the cooking process.
  6. Once they are cool enough to handle, pull their skin off. It should come off really easily! If not, pop the stubborn ones back in the boiling water until it does.
  7. Optional: you can then core the tomatoes and/or scoop their seeds out.

Notes

Uses for peeled tomatoes:

  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Chili

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