How to Peel Tomatoes

Scott Conant's Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil Sauce

This is a simple, step-by-step guide on how to gracefully remove the skins from tomatoes. Skin-less tomatoes are a quintessential component in various recipes, especially homemade tomato sauces.

Firstly, remove any stickers and wash the tomatoes thoroughly. Remove the stem, but be careful to remove only as much of the tomato as is necessary to detach the stem and the green skin surrounding the stem from the red flesh of the tomato.

Scott Conant's Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil Sauce

Cut a very shallow X on the top and bottom of the tomato. This will aid in the actual peeling of the tomato later in the process. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set it aside.

Scott Conant's Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil Sauce

Place a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water 4-5 at a time using a slotted spoon. Remove the tomatoes after 20-30 seconds, or when the skin begins to peel, into the prepared bowl of ice water.

Scott Conant's Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil Sauce

Let the tomatoes sit in the ice bath for at least 5 minutes. It is important that the tomatoes be cooled all the way through in order to stop the cooking process that the boiling water began. Once the tomatoes have been chilled, remove them from the ice water.

Scott Conant's Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil Sauce

Peel the tomatoes’ skin off with your hands. If the skin is stubborn, use a small sharp paring knife to remove the pieces of skin that will not budge, being careful not to squeeze the tomato.

Instructions adapted from AllRecipes.com

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3 Responses to “How to Peel Tomatoes”


  • Great post! Peeling the skin of a tomato is very underrated. When I go to a restaurant and see that the skin is peeled off a tomato, it just shows me how much care and attention that place puts into it’s food. I would actually go ahead and actually core out the top of the tomato and X the bottom.

  • Great post, especially for those kitchen newbies like myself.

  • Great tip, took the bits of skin out my soup! Cheers

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