Do you know the best thing about tomato pie? Tomato pie is absolutely delicious. It makes a great meal and it really quite easy to make. Chances are when you make it you won’t have to worry about leftovers. But in the off chance you do have leftovers, you need options.
So, the question is, can you freeze tomato pie? Here’s where it gets dicey. You can freeze tomato pie but it really is not recommended. Tomato pie contains ingredients that just don’t always freeze very well.
We will walk you through the steps for freezing tomato pie as it is a viable option, but we will share some alternative storage solutions with you as well. On another note, it’s perfectly acceptable to use frozen pie crust when making your own tomato pie – so there’s that.
Stick with us through this guide as we discuss how tomato pie is made and how you can change up or personalize your tomato pie. As we progress we will explain how to freeze tomato pie and the process for doing so as well as provide recommendations and further insight as to why freezing is not your best option.
A Guide to Tomato Pie
Tomato pie was originally an Italian-inspired American dish. Originally, the crust was made with thick dough that was similar to focaccia bread. Then the dough was topped with tomato sauce and various Italian herbs as well as cheese and baked.
Additionally, tomato pie is traditionally not served warm straight from the oven. It is often allowed to cool and then served at room temperature. You might think this description sounds a lot like pizza without the toppings but it really is quite different.
Tomato pie has adapted from what it started out as. You can still use the same crust but it’s also popularly made with pie crust rather than focaccia now. Additionally, you can add other toppings, particularly veggies into the mix as well. It is also commonly served fresh from the oven now.
Check out this simple recipe below that is a common way to make tomato pie now.
Tomato Pie Ingredients
- 9-inch pie crust (frozen, store-bought, or make your own)
- 3-4 tomatoes, chopped or diced to small chunks (you want to end up with about 3 cups
- ½ TSP salt
- Basil, oregano, or your choice of Italian seasonings
- 2 cups grated cheese (any kind you like)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- Black pepper
Instructions to Make Tomato Pie
- Pre-bake the crust. This is optional, but it seems to turn out so much better if you do. If your crust is store-bought, follow the package directions. Otherwise, you can bake it at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until slightly browned.
- Dice the tomatoes and drain them, pat with paper towels or use a ricer and squeeze out excess juice from the tomatoes.
- Season the tomatoes to your tastes. Feel free to make this part your own. Add other veggies or even hot sauce if you’d like.
- In a mixing bowl like this one from Amazon, mix together grated cheese, mayonnaise, and black pepper. This will be gooey and lumpy from the cheese, just mix it well and evenly.
- Spread the mixture over the tomatoes.
- Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-45 minutes. Times will vary by oven. Watch for the cheese to turn brown and bubbly.
The best thing about this is you can personalize it however you like. In the tomatoes, you can add peppers and onions or even various meats like chopped ham, bacon, or sausage. This basic recipe was shared simply to provide you with a picture of how tomato pie is made and what ingredients could potentially affect storage or freezing attempts.
Another great alteration is to turn the tomatoes into a sauce or paste, pureeing them and seasoning them. This will embolden the natural flavors of the tomatoes and any herbs or spices you add as well.
Tomato pie is often cooled to room temperature before serving. This can be served either way. If you prefer it piping hot straight out of the oven, then absolutely enjoy it that way! Allowing it to cool to room temperature actually brings out the flavors of the tomatoes or the tomato sauce.
Freezing and Reheating Delicious Tomato Pie
Now that you understand the basics of how tomato pie is made, let’s get down to why you are really here. Maybe you’re looking for a solution to use up all of those garden tomatoes you have left and you need freezer options!
While freezing tomato pie may not always produce the best results, we have some options and solutions for the potential downsides to freezing tomato pie. Speaking of downsides, let’s further discuss the upsides and downsides to freezing tomato pie.
Upsides to Freezing Tomato Pie
- A great way to preserve leftovers
- Tomato pie reheats well if freezing goes well
- Freezing preserves your tomato pie up to about 6 months
- It is relatively easy to freeze tomato pie
- There are options to get the most out of freezing tomato pie and improve overall results.
Downsides to Freezing Tomato Pie
- Freezing can cause ingredients to separate, depending on the recipe to use. Items like mayonnaise simply don’t freeze very well and tomatoes can be challenging.
- Follow special tips and tricks for the best results when freezing
- Freezing works better if you only freeze the crust and tomato portion and make the cheese mixture fresh when you are ready to bake it.
- Freezing works best if you do a pre-freeze step prior to officially storing and freezing.
Freezing tomato pie can certainly present its challenges, but it is still an option so let’s discuss the steps.
How to Freeze Tomato Pie
- Allow tomato pie to fully cool from cooking prior to attempting to freeze.
- Pre-freeze the pie for 20-30 minutes without wrapping or covering. This will help prevent the cheese mixture from separating or turning an odd texture.
- After pre-freezing, tightly wrap the pie in aluminum foil and then seal it with plastic wrap or place into an airtight container. The double-layer best preserves the tomato pie to prevent the texture from altering significantly.
- Freeze tomato pie for up to 6 months.
Reheating Tomato Pie
- You can reheat individual slices in the microwave if you’d like. Simply unwrap and separate the slice onto a plate. Heat a frozen slice for about 1 minute or until warmed through.
- If you are reheating in the oven, we recommend that you either fully unwrap the pie and allow it to thaw at room temperature or take it directly to the oven from the freezer. This will help prevent the top layer from altering textures and also help the tomatoes not become mushy.
- Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-30 minutes depending on whether you are heating it thawed or frozen.
You can store tomato pie in the fridge for about 3 days, even when you are reheating previously made tomato pie.
Tips for Optimal Results When Freezing
- Use tomato sauce or paste rather than using diced or sliced tomatoes. Tomato sauce or paste freezes much better and the consistency is less likely to be affected.
- Freeze just the crust, tomatoes, and seasoning and make the cheese/mayonnaise mixture when you’re ready to reheat.
- Be sure to complete pre-freezing steps if you are freezing the entire tomato pie.
- Be mindful of thawing instructions if you are freezing the entire tomato pie.
- Don’t forget the double layer of protection when freezing.
- Be open to trying alternatives to mayonnaise for your topping mixture. Some ingredients freeze better than others.
- Prepare the entire tomato pie but do not bake. Freeze unbaked and simply pull out and bake when you’re ready to serve.
We hope that this guide is informative and will help you freeze your tomato pie with the best results. We invite you to take a look at some common questions below for additional information.
How is Tomato Pie Different from Pizza?
While these appear to be very similar, they are actually quite different. The crusts used for tomato pie and pizza are very different. Additionally, pizza is always made with a tomato sauce base and then built onto with cheese and additional toppings.
Tomato pie can be made with tomato chunks or a tomato paste. The additional toppings are mixed with the tomatoes and are typically limited if there are any at all. The cheese topping is not just cheese but a cheese mixture that often contains mayonnaise or a similar option.
Is Tomato Pie a Main Dish or a Side Dish?
You can serve tomato pie as the main course for a meal or you can use it as a side dish with meat. It’s quite versatile in this manner.