Recipes With Tomatoes To Use Up Your Summer Produce
Fresh blackberries. Cold watermelon. Giant tomatoes. Summer produce might just be the best produce, and if you're trying to find a use for your last summer harvest, these tomato recipes for fresh tomatoes will help you. Whether you're working with traditional tomatoes, a big bowl of cherry tomatoes, or some colorful heirloom varieties, there's a delicious dip, sauce, or dinner in your future.
Tomatoes are a staple in just about every culture's cuisine, and their versatility makes them easy to experiment with in the kitchen. They pair well with their fellow summer season fruits and veggies, like garlic, avocado, and corn. And, even if you've never had them with a specific ingredient, chances are they'll play together nicely once your dish is plated up.
There are actually thousands of different kinds of tomatoes in the world, and while each type is tasty, they all have their own purpose. Because grape and cherry tomatoes are thicker and sturdier, they do well when tossed in pastas or cooked down to serve with dinner while still holding their shape. Roma tomatoes are some of the most flavorful, which is why they're commonly used to make sauces and pastes.
So, whatever type of tomato is currently in your kitchen, there's a way to use it up before it goes bad (and even then, at least they're good for throwing).
1. Pesto Zucchini Noodles With Burst Cherry Tomatoes
This recipe from Jessica In The Kitchen will help you use up all the tomatoes and zucchini in your produce drawer. The burst cherry tomatoes add a ton of flavor to light and nutritious zoodles, and it's all coated in a creamy cashew pesto. This dish is a totally vegan, gluten-free pasta alternative that's just as delicious as the traditional version.
2. Easy Gazpacho
While summer is technically coming to a close, some folks won't get cooler weather for a few more months, which means traditional tomato soup just doesn't have the same appeal. Enter: gazpacho. This one from Five Heart Home uses fresh, ripe tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, sea salt, EVOO, and a dash of sherry vinegar. Serve with crispy bread and call it a day.
3. Tomato Galette With Fresh Basil & Feta
This sweet and savory tart from A Cookie Named Desire — loaded up with tomatoes, feta, garlic, basil, and oregano — looks super elegant without being too difficult to make. The dough only needs common pantry staples to make, and the fillings will help you get through five or six tomatoes. A slice of this galette would be equally delicious at breakfast or lunch.
4. "Sun-Dried" Tomatoes
Who knew DIY sun-dried tomatoes were a thing, and that you could make them without the sun? Sun-dried tomatoes can be replicated at home if you happen to have a surplus of cherry tomatoes. Once roasted, this recipe from Eating Richly can be refrigerated for up to six months, so you can enjoy your summer produce all throughout the winter.
5. Marinated Heirloom Tomato Salad
This simple salad from Tori Avey is all about celebrating the flavor of heirloom tomatoes, which are surprisingly different from the usual red tomatoes in the grocery store. Heirloom vegetables are varieties grown from seeds that were introduced more than 100 years ago, and are pollinated naturally by bugs, birds, wind or weather. This dish is meant to let all that shine through.
6. Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes
Tomato lovers who honestly just want to enjoy their tomato-y goodness, well, here you go with a recipe from Five Heart Home. Roasting them brings out their best flavors, and they're topped simply with balsamic vinegar, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, and fresh herbs. They take about 35 minutes in total, but be sure to watch them closely in the oven so they don't burn around the edges.
7. Cretan Dakos
You've heard of bruschetta, but what about cretan dakos from Wild Greens & Sardines? Dakos is a Greek appetizer consisting of toasty bread piled high with tomatoes, feta or goat cheese, oregano, and sometimes olives or capers. Drizzle it all with a bunch of extra virgin olive oil and serve. It's a super yummy way to get those tomatoes off your kitchen counter.
8. Pan Con Tomate & Mozzarella Bake
If you like recipes that don't require measuring but come out equally as delicious every time, this pan con tomate with mozzarella from The Skinny Pig is perfect. Garlic-rubbed bread meets fresh, melty cheese and plenty of cherry tomatoes. When you're done, you can just plop the sheet pan on the dining table and let everyone dig in with their hands.
9. Cheesy Orzo Baked Stuffed Tomatoes
When you take some big, fresh tomatoes, then add whole wheat orzo, garlic, mozzarella, and Parmesan, good luck keeping these baked stuffed tomatoes from Jen Elizabeth's Journal on the table for long. They're a filling, savory way to use up your fresh tomatoes and pump them up with some tasty fridge and pantry staples.
10. Marinated Tomatoes
If you have some extra large tomatoes, turning them into a marinated, flavorful side can be as simple as marinating and serving, according to Five Heart Home. Red wine vinegar adds an acidic zip, and all the fresh herbs, garlic, and chopped red onion add all the flavor you could ask for. You can substitute in dried herbs, too; it doesn't get much easier than that.
11. Tomato, Leek, & Black-Eyed Pea Stew
While this recipe from Cooks With Soul calls for two cans of canned diced tomatoes, you could easily swap in fresh ones if you have them on hand. It's a high-protein, vegan-friendly stew that seems like one of those foods that gets better as leftovers (a la spaghetti sauce and chili). Just dump all the ingredients into the pot and walk away.
12. Heirloom Tomato Salsa Fresca
Of course, if you're stocked up on tomatoes, this homemade salsa from Tori Avey is a natural recipe to try (and should use up the bulk of your 'maters). Using heirloom tomatoes adds tons of color and a unique flavor to this salsa, which also includes sweet yellow corn, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
13. Easy One-Pot Feta Chakchouka
Whether you serve your chakchouka over couscous or rice, or scoop it with naan, this version from Jen Elizabeth's Journal is going to be delicious. Chopped fresh tomatoes make up the base of the sauce, which is then loaded up with herbs and spices, and other ingredients like feta, eggs, and chickpeas. Yes, please!
14. Caprese Tomato Soup
Using up tomatoes in caprese salad is one delicious option, but if you're a fan of the Mediterranean classic and some good old-fashioned tomato soup, this recipe from Damn Delicious can give you the best of both worlds. A little touch of burrata, balsamic, and basil on top, and you're good to go!
15. Sauteed Shrimp With Spinach & Tomatoes
This sauteed shrimp from Gimme Some Oven with spinach and cherry tomatoes would make a delicious weekday lunch if you're looking for something light, healthy, and flavorful. Pop it all over some brown rice or quinoa to make it even more filling, and guaranteed you'll return to this dish time and time again for a quick bite.
16. Easy Tomato Salad
If you have enough cherry tomatoes to make them the star of their own dish, this one's for you: a simple tomato salad dressed up with red onion, basil, EVOO, and a delicious balsamic from Cookie + Kate. If you want to spruce it up even more, a little mozzarella, arugula, or some diced peaches would all be delicious additions.
17. Heirloom Tomato, Basil, & Manchego Toast
Avocado toast who? This recipe from Half Baked Harvest combines Spanish pan con tomate with good old cheesy toast. Although toast usually screams breakfast, this version topped with heirloom tomatoes would taste just as good at lunchtime or as an appetizer before dinner. The recipe points out that if you don't have manchego just lying around, sliced cheddar is just as tasty.
18. Maureen's Avocado Tabbouleh
Fresh tabbouleh with lots of herbs and oil makes for a delicious, healthy side dish or appetizer. When you add in avocados and cherry tomatoes, not only do you get some additional nutrition, but the flavors get even better, too. Food blog Cooke + Kate recommends serving tabbouleh in a lettuce wrap to make it a meal.
19. Easy Baked Feta With Tomatoes & Honey
Baked feta is a delicious appetizer, and a nice change from the usual charcuterie board. Feta is delicious in any form, but when it's warm and spreadable, and paired with blistered cherry tomatoes and oil, let's just say it reaches a whole new level. Serve this recipe from Jen Elizabeth's Journal with pita bread, crackers, or just a big spoon, TBH.
20. Mini Chicken Caprese Quesadillas
This recipe from Meatloaf and Melodrama is made for using up leftovers. Grab your fresh tomatoes and leftover cooked chicken (rotisserie would be tasty, too) and any other fillings you're craving. Quesadillas take just a few minutes on the stove top, but they're a hit with adults and kids alike for lunches or dinners.