Six tomatoes

Fresh and Simple Tomato Puree and Stewed Tomatoes

The tomato offers its gift of fiery color and cool completeness. 
–Pablo Neruda, Ode to Tomatoes

Do you need stewed tomatoes or tomato puree for your dinner recipe? You can make either from scratch in under 30 minutes.

When we moved to Ecuador in 2013, I often could not find canned tomatoes. I adapted my recipes to use fresh tomatoes instead. Canned tomatoes are easier to find now but I prefer using fresh ingredients so I still make my own sauces.

My favorite chili recipe calls for cans of stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. I make it using only unstrained tomato puree. Thought I would share with you how I make it.

Simple steps to tomato puree or stewed tomatoes

Ingredients (multiply the tomatoes by the number of cups you desire, up to 12 cups)

3/4 pounds ripe tomatoes for each 1 cup of stewed tomatoes or tomato puree

(These photos are with 2 1/4 lbs of tomatoes.)

Six tomatoes
2 1/4 pounds of tomatoes to make 3 cups of puree

Rough chop clean, dry tomatoes and put in a pan. Bring the tomatoes to a boil while stirring frequently. If you want basil, oregano, or other seasoning in your tomatoes, add them now.

Six diced tomatoes
Chopped tomatoes ready to boil

Once there are small bubbles, reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes. As the water releases, your cut tomatoes will become stewed tomatoes.

Simmering tomatoes
Stewed Tomatoes after 12 minutes simmering

Remove pan from heat and cool. If you want stewed tomatoes, you are finished and can use them now. If you want tomato puree, pour contents into a blender and use the puree setting.

Pureed tomatoes
Tomato puree

If you want to remove the seeds and skins for a smoother puree, strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve. The remaining liquid is the tomato puree and ready to be used in your favorite recipe. If it is too watery, return it to the pan and simmer to reduce and thicken the puree.

In my home, I use the puree without straining it for chili because my goal is to have a sauce similar to a combination of stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. I find the unstrained puree fits this requirement perfectly. I pour the fresh puree in my slow cooker with a bunch of other ingredients and 4 hours later, eat delicious chili.

Homemade chili
Chili using homemade tomato puree

What is your favorite food using tomato puree or stewed tomatoes?


Pin it:

Easy and Fresh Stewed Tomatoes Pinterest

Easy and Fresh Tomato Puree

I am a US Expat in Ecuador. I grew up on a Minnesota farm, worked in IT in California's Silicon Valley, then moved to a coastal Ecuador fishing village. My goal is to share Ecuador with you, one snippet at a time. Topics include attractions, compassion, ecotourism, Ecuador products, everyday Ecuador, and flora and fauna. Please let me know what you would like to read more about!


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