10 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

You work hard all summer tending your garden, but sometimes, you might end up with too much bounty. If you’ve got tomatoes for days, there are numerous ways you can incorporate all that juicy goodness into your meals.

No one likes to waste food, but especially when you’ve labored to grow it yourself. Fortunately, tomatoes are so versatile, it won’t take long to use them all up with a bit of menu planning.

First, we’ll cover some important tips about working with fresh tomatoes, then it’s on to the recipes! From big beefsteaks to pretty plums, we’ve got something to suit every 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.

Get the Recipe: Dinner at the Zoo

Baked Feta and Roasted Tomatoes

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

Oh, baked feta, the tasty TikTok sensation that went viral a few months back. If you still haven’t given this one a go, be sure to. It’s so easy to make and really is delicious. In fact, we had it for supper this week.

There are numerous variations on this classic, including a dessert version!

Get the Recipe: Feel Good Foodie

Pico de Gallo

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

Making fresh pico is another great way to use up all those extra tomatoes. Combining diced onion, tomato, jalapeno, and cilantro, you’ll have a fresh take on salsa best accompanied with crispy tortilla chips. Feel free to add a few spoonfuls to a burrito or your next shredded chicken taco dinner.

Get the Recipe: Natasha’s Kitchen

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, combining them with chickpeas, cucumber, red onion, and herbs in this fresh and healthy salad option. It’s an excellent side for any grilled dinner and a great dish to bring to any summer party.

Get the Recipe: skinnytaste

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 once you add in a few fresh slices of avocado, you’ll take that sandwich up a notch. The avocado with a bit of salt and pepper makes a healthy mayonnaise substitute, but If calories are no bother, then be sure to make Natasha’s BLT sauce; it’s just what the sandwich needs.

Get the Recipe: Natasha’s Kitchen

Tomato Basil Bruschetta with Balsamic Drizzle

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

Ahhh, bruschetta, the Italian version of Pico de Gallo, made with basil and garlic, fit for crostini’s, chicken, and so much more!  Any variation of tomato will do for bruschetta, but we always use Roma.

Once you add a balsamic reduction over the top, you will fall in love! Then, all you need is a few slices of fresh mozzarella and a glass of vino!

Get the Recipe: Cookie + Kate

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.

Get the Recipe: Simply Recipes

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.

Get the Recipe: The Salty Marshmallow

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 to blanch the tomatoes, peel the skin, add a few ingredients and simmer away until your sauce is ready for the pasta. It’s a pretty simple process, but just a tad time-consuming.

Get the Recipe: Once Upon a Chef

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.

Get the Recipe: Pinch of Yum

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 little different, fried green tomatoes is a great option.

The firmness of the unripened tomatoes is what holds these tasty treats together; once coated with breadcrumbs, there is no turning back. All you need is a chipotle ranch dressing to dip them in!

Get the Recipe: Simply Recipes

So when life hands you an abundance of tomatoes, make salsa, bruschetta, BLTs, and homemade tomato sauce!

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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