What is the best way to store tomato paste or tomato purée? Just to be clear, I'm talking about this stuff

tomato paste

At home we buy metal cans of the stuff (500g or 1Kg), but once opened, within about 5 to 6 days, mould starts to grow, and within 2 weeks, you have a thick layer of green/blue mould on top.

If you scope that top layer off, the you're back to the good stuff underneath.

What is the best way to store this so that I can avoid this mould growth?

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    I've sometimes had it remain free from mould for a long time, when the top dried out. So an experimental technique could be to dry out the top more quickly using in the oven, but I haven't tried this myself. Maybe even under the grill...
    – Cerberus
    Jun 15, 2016 at 0:13

3 Answers 3


We buy large cans at home just like you do. We prevent it from spoiling by freezing it. Stored in the freezer the paste stays good for months, it's just a matter of correct storage.

What we do is the following: spoon a portion into a plastic bag -> twist the bag around several times -> tie off with a tierib (we use the thingies you get in the package with the bags themselves) and then repeat until done.

Every time you want to use the paste, just cut off a portion from the sausage-like string you will have.

Other options include using icecube trays, but we don't prefer that due to the small size of the cubes and the fact that the trays don't have a lid.

  • 3
    The idea of the ice cube trays is after it freezes, you dump it out of the tray and in to a freezer bag (etc.). Not to permanently store it in the tray.
    – derobert
    Jun 14, 2016 at 17:18
  • That is a brilliant addition to above answer, thank you both.
    – J86
    Jun 15, 2016 at 8:04
  • I do this as well. I put the tomato paste in a zip bag and break off a hunk as I need it. While it freezes, it never gets solid enough to be difficult to break off pieces.
    – LMAshton
    Jun 20, 2016 at 6:20

There is no way to stop it. The storage lifetime of opened tomato paste is 5-7 days (you can check storage lifetime at StillTasty).

You have to buy smaller packages of the paste.


Tomato paste is very concentrated, you often don't need more than a spoon. 500g or 1kg cans are really for commercial purposes where you will go through it quickly. The only way to store it long term is to freeze it, so you could parcel it up in single use bags I suppose.

I'd suggest getting smaller cans you will get through, or buy it in a tube. Tubed paste lasts for months in the fridge.

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