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11 Ways to Use Up All Those Extra Tomatoes

A BLT by Natasha's Kitchen, baked feta pasta by Feel Good Foodie, and Pico de gallo by Natasha's Kitchen.
Natasha’s Kitchen/Feel Good Foodie

It’s hard work tending a vegetable garden, so when your tomato plant yields all that red, juicy goodness, it’s truly rewarding. Sometimes, though, you might end up with too much bounty. If you’ve got tomatoes for days, here are 11 ways you can incorporate your bountiful harvest into your meals.

No one likes to waste food—especially when you’ve labored to grow it yourself. Luckily, tomatoes are so versatile, it won’t take long to use them all up with a bit of menu planning. From pasta to pico, you’re sure to find a tomato-centric recipe below to suit any palate.

Tips for Cooking with Fresh Tomatoes

From slicing and dicing to cooking and serving, there’s plenty of valuable information when it comes to working with tomatoes.

Below are a few things to keep in mind whenever you’re working with juicy tomatoes:

  • Always use a serrated knife: A flat edge just isn’t up to the task.
  • Remove the skins before canning or puréeing: They tend to be tough and taste bitter.
  • Always cook tomatoes in nonreactive cookware: An aluminum pot or pan can cause tomatoes to taste metallic and/or bitter. We recommend using stainless steel.
  • Make your own tomato sauce from scratch: It’s actually super easy (and impressive). We’ve included a recipe below. If there is one sauce you should know how to make, it’s this one.
  • Add some sugar: This lessens the acidity of tomatoes.

Now that you know a little more about working with tomatoes, it’s time to dive into some of our favorite ways to use them.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Two images: the left image is of cherry tomatoes, scattered over a large sheet pan before roasting, and the right image is of pesto spaghetti toped with roasted cherry tomatoes.
Dinner at the Zoo

Halved cherry tomatoes, covered with herbs and garlic, then roasted to perfection, means a versatile dish that is easy to make. Schmear a spoonful over warm crusty bread, or a crostini, top it over a plate of pasta, or spruce up a jar of sauce.

There’s so much you can do with such an uncomplicated (and tasty) recipe.

Baked Feta and Roasted Tomatoes

A large Staub casserole dish, filled with cavatappi pasta, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes.
Feel Good Foodie

Baked feta was a tasty TikTok sensation a few years back, and it’s still going strong.

If you haven’t yet given this one a go, it’s high time you tasted what you’ve been missing! It’s so easy to make and incredibly delicious.

There are numerous variations on this classic, including a dessert version, but we love this tasty recipe courtesy of Feel Good Foodie.

Pico de Gallo

A bowl full of Pico De Gallo with chips, tomatoes, and lime on the side.
Natasha’s Kitchen

Fresh pico is another easy and tasty way to use up all those extra tomatoes!

You just combine some diced onions, jalapeños, and cilantro, with your excess tomatoes, and you’ll have a fresh take on salsa. Grab a bag of crispy tortilla chips to dip or add a few spoonfuls to your burrito or taco.

Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers

A large bowl of chickpea salad filled with tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas and more.

Feel free to dice your tomatoes a bit larger, and then combine them with chickpeas, cucumber, red onion, and herbs to make this fresh and healthy salad. It makes an excellent side for any grilled dinner or a quick and tasty lunch.

BLT with Avocado

Two side by side images of a BLT sandwich. The left image is of a stacked BLT, displaying the ingredients in the sandwich and the right image is of a side view of the BLT.
Natasha’s Kitchen

BLT’s are always a hit, but if you also add a few fresh slices of avocado, you’ll take this classic sandwich up more than a notch or two! In fact, avocado with a bit of salt and pepper makes a healthy mayonnaise substitute.

However, if you’re not watching the calories, then absolutely give this BLT sauce a try. Trust us, it’s the ingredient you never knew your BLT needed.

Tomato Basil Bruschetta with Balsamic Drizzle

Scattered crostini's, topped with freshly made bruschetta and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.
Cookie + Kate

Ah, bruschetta, the Italian version of Pico de Gallo. Made with basil and garlic, this tasty topping is fit for crostini, chicken, and so much more!  You can use any type of tomato to make bruschetta, but we prefer Roma.

Once you add a balsamic reduction over the top, you’re sure to fall in love. Then, all you need is a few slices of fresh mozzarella and a glass of vino, and your life (and dinner) will be complete.

Mozzarella and Basil Stuffed Tomatoes

A halved roma tomato, filled with cheese, garlic herbs with a cast iron skillet full of stuffed tomatoes in the background.
Simply Recipes

You’ve tried stuffed peppers, but have you enjoyed a cheesy stuffed tomato? The shredded mozzarella and parmesan, combined with breadcrumbs, garlic, and herbs, create the perfect filling for these plump tomatoes.

These are vegetarian, but feel free to add chopped bacon, prosciutto, or cooked sausage, to beef them up with a little protein.

BLT Pasta Salad

A large serving blow filled with BLT pasta salad, topped with fresh cherry tomatoes and chopped chives.
The Salty Marshmallow

If you love BLTs, then you’ll really enjoy this pasta salad rendition. It’s packed with juicy cherry tomatoes, crispy bacon, cheddar, and rotini pasta, all laced with a homemade dressing.

The crisp romaine and hints of delicate onion flavor from the chives give this pasta salad a crunchy (and tasty) flair you’ll love to bite into. Serve this with a grilled bbq chicken dinner or a slab of baby back ribs.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti with homemade tomato basil sauce.
Once Upon a Chef

It’s finally time to learn to make a homemade tomato sauce. This recipe was adapted from Marcella Hazan’s tomato butter sauce, but with a few minor tweaks.

You’ll learn how to blanch your tomatoes, peel the skin, add a few ingredients, and let them all simmer away until it’s ready to top that pasta. It’s a pretty simple process, if a tad time-consuming, but the delicious results are so worth it! You’ll never buy the jarred stuff again!

Loaded Caprese Grilled Cheese

A stacked sandwich, filled with fresh mozzarella, pesto, and tomato garlic sauce.
Pinch of Yum

We love everything about this sandwich! Each bite is perfection! From homemade garlic tomato sauce and pesto to the fresh mozzarella and grilled sourdough slices.

The Caprese sandwich has made a name for itself, but this recipe is a level up from the ordinary combo you usually eat. If there is any way to use up extra cherry tomatoes, it’s with this recipe.

Fried Green Tomatoes

A deep cast iron skillet frying up 7 slices of fried green tomatoes.
Simply Recipes

When you have an overabundance of ripe tomatoes and want to try something a bit different, fried green tomatoes are a fantastic option.

The firmness of unripened tomatoes is what holds these tasty treats together and once they’re coated with breadcrumbs, there’s no turning back! All you’ll need is some chipotle ranch dressing to dip them in!

If your gardening efforts have handed you too many tomatoes, don’t let them go to waste. You can use them to make salsa, bruschetta, BLTs, and much, much more. So, grab that cutting board and get to slicing and dicing!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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