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What can I use a tomato press for?

A tomato press is a versatile kitchen tool that can be used for a variety of purposes when preparing meals and snacks featuring tomatoes. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the many uses of a tomato press and provide tips on how to get the most out of this handy gadget.

Making Tomato Juice

One of the most common uses for a tomato press is extracting fresh tomato juice. To make tomato juice, wash and quarter your tomatoes. Place the tomato quarters into the tomato press and twist or push down on the handle to squeeze out the tomato juice into a collecting bowl below. Be sure to strain the juice to remove any seeds or pulp. Enjoy the fresh tomato juice on its own or use it to make gazpacho, bloody marys, or other tomato-based drinks.

Making Tomato Sauce and Puree

A tomato press can also be used to easily make tomato sauce and puree right at home. Just wash and quarter your tomatoes and run them through the tomato press, collecting the squeezed tomato liquid in a bowl below. For a smoother sauce or puree, pass the squeezed tomato pulp through a food mill or sieve to remove seeds and skin. Season the tomato sauce or puree as desired and use it on pastas, pizzas, in soups and stews, or anywhere you would use canned tomato sauce or paste.

Pressing Tomatoes for Stuffing

Hollow out tomatoes easily for stuffing using a tomato press. Simply cut out the core of the tomato and place in the press stem-side down. Gently squeeze the tomato to push out the insides, retaining the hollow tomato shell. Stuff the tomato shells with your favorite fillings like rice, meat, cheese, or vegetables. The tomato press allows you to quickly hollow out tomatoes for stuffing without having to scoop out the insides by hand.

Making Diced and Crushed Tomatoes

A tomato press can expedite dicing or crushing tomatoes for recipes. Place quartered or halved tomatoes into the tomato press and squeeze them through to separate the tomato flesh into smaller pieces. For a diced texture, give the tomatoes a pulse or two. For crushed tomatoes, press the tomatoes until only small bits remain. Use the diced or crushed tomatoes immediately in soups, stews, pastas, or sauces.

Pressing Tomato Water Out

When preparing tomato-based dishes like pizza sauce, soups, or stews, you often want to get rid of excess tomato water or liquid. A tomato press makes this easy. Simply quarter your tomatoes and run them through the tomato press, discarding the liquid that comes out. The pressed tomatoes that remain will have less water and concentrated tomato flavor – perfect for any recipe where you want to reduce or thicken the tomato flavor.

Making Tomato Paste

While it’s convenient to buy canned tomato paste, you can also make your own fresh tomato paste using a tomato press. Core and quarter very ripe tomatoes. Run them through the tomato press and collect the liquid that comes out. Return this liquid to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced significantly and thickened to a paste consistency. Use the homemade tomato paste right away or freeze for later use in casseroles, sauces, stews and more.

Pressing Tomatoes for Canning or Freezing

When canning or freezing tomatoes for preservation, a tomato press can make quick work of preparing the tomatoes. Quarter the tomatoes and run them through the press over a bowl to collect any liquid. Pack the pressed tomatoes into freezer bags or canning jars, along with any seasonings, before freezing or canning. The pressed tomatoes will take up less space than whole tomatoes, allowing you to preserve more tomatoes in each batch.

Making Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a refreshing chilled tomato soup that’s quick and easy to make with the help of a tomato press. Simply wash and quarter tomatoes and run them through the tomato press over a large bowl. Collect the fresh tomato juice and pulp. Add the pressed tomatoes to a food processor or blender along with cucumber, bell pepper, onion and seasonings like garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and chill before serving. The tomato press gives you fresh tomato juice ready for gazpacho in minutes.

Pressing Tomatoes for Salad

Salads featuring juicy tomato wedges or slices can result in a watery mess on your plate. Prevent this with your tomato press. Simply quarter your tomatoes and run them through the press, collecting any excess liquid extruded. The tomatoes that remain can then be sliced and added to salads – they’ll have less water content so your salad won’t get soggy. Press tomatoes for salads for a fresher, firmer texture.

Making Tomato Water for Cocktails

Don’t let that flavorful tomato juice you extract using the tomato press go to waste. Save it to make tomato water for use in cocktails like Bloody Marys. The tomato press gives you access to fresh tomato water that makes a flavorful non-alcoholic mixer. Add vodka and your favorite seasonings for an instant Bloody Mary.

Pressing Tomato Skins and Seeds

Don’t toss out the leftover tomato skins and seeds from your pressed tomatoes. Run them through the tomato press to extract any remaining juice or pulp clinging to the skins and seeds. This extracted tomato juice can add brightness and flavor to sauces, soups and stews. The dried tomato skins and seeds can also be reserved to make tomato powder.

Making Tomato Powder

Once you’ve pressed the tomato juice and pulp from skins and seeds, you can dry out these leftovers to make tomato powder. Spread the skins and seeds on a baking sheet and dehydrate in an oven on very low heat for several hours. Once completely dried, grind in a spice grinder or blender into a powder. Tomato powder adds concentrated flavor when sprinkled on pizza, salads, eggs, roasted vegetables and more.

Pressing Tomatoes for Baby Food

Homemade baby food utilizing fresh ingredients is easy thanks to the tomato press. Simply clean and quarter organic tomatoes and run them through the tomato press, collecting the juice in a bowl below. Transfer the pressed tomatoes to an ice cube tray or freezer-safe container to freeze. Once frozen, pop out the tomato cubes and store in a freezer bag. Defrost and serve as needed for babies starting on solid foods.

Making Fresh Tomato Salsa

The tomato press helps make quick work of prep for fresh salsa. Quarter your tomatoes and run them through the press over a bowl to catch all the juice. Dice up additional ingredients like onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro and season with lime juice and salt. Mix together with the pressed tomatoes for an easy homemade salsa using the freshest ingredients.


From juices to sauces, pastes and powders, the humble tomato press is one of the most versatile tools you can have in your kitchen when cooking with fresh tomatoes. With little effort, you can extract flavorful tomato liquid and pulp for use in a wide array of recipes. The tomato press makes it easy to reduce water content in tomatoes, concentrate flavors, and expedite prep work. Keep this handy gadget within reach when tomatoes are in season for creative uses all summer long.

Tomato Press Use Benefit
Making tomato juice Extract fresh, flavorful juice
Making tomato sauce/puree Easily make tomato-based sauces from fresh tomatoes
Hollowing tomatoes for stuffing Quickly remove insides of tomatoes to stuff shells
Dicing/crushing tomatoes Speed up prepping tomatoes into smaller pieces
Removing tomato water Concentrate flavor for sauces, stews, etc.
Making tomato paste Create thick tomato paste from fresh tomatoes
Canning/freezing tomatoes Save space when preserving tomatoes
Making gazpacho Easy access to fresh tomato juice for gazpacho soup
Preparing tomatoes for salad Extract water for firmer, non-soggy tomatoes in salad
Extracting tomato water for cocktails Fresh tomato water for Bloody Marys, etc.
Making tomato powder Concentrated tomato flavor as seasoning
Pressing tomatoes for baby food Easy DIY baby food from fresh tomatoes
Making fresh salsa Quick prep for homemade salsa