Cherry tomatoes are the tiny jewels of this vegetable-that’s-really-a-fruit (botanically, that is) group. Though available year-round, they’re at their best and sweetest in mid-to-late summer. This roundup of naturally plant-based cherry tomato recipes (grape tomato recipes as well) includes appetizers, preserves, sauces, salsas, salads, pastas, and more.
The problem with cherry and grape tomatoes, if you can call it a “problem,” is that even in a home vegetable garden, just a handful of plants can produce more of these juicy gems than you know what to do with.
How to store cherry tomatoes
We’ve all heard that it isn’t best to keep all tomatoes, including fresh cherry tomatoes, at room temperature (refrigerating compromises the flavor and texture), it turns out that the answer is a bit more nuanced:
The prevailing wisdom is that the best way to keep tomatoes on the counter at room temperature until they’re at their peak of ripeness, then use as soon as possible. Find lots more detail in How to Store Tomatoes (and Whether to Refrigerate Them). Here’s another great resource: All about cherry tomatoes.
If your cherry or grape tomatoes are past their peak (that is, they may be starting to get too soft), do refrigerate them, or better yet, explore the recipes ahead for great ways to use them up fast!
These include cherry tomato sauce for pasta, salsas, cherry tomato salad recipes using extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs, and a variety of preserves
Don’t forget about yellow (or golden) cherry tomatoes! They’re sometimes even sweeter than the red varieties.
In the recipes that follow, yellow and red cherry tomatoes can usually be used interchangeably. And of course, grape tomatoes work in any recipe calling for cherry tomatoes.
The main difference between them is the shape, though I’d venture to say that midsummer cherry tomatoes of either color are sweeter on the whole than grape tomatoes. If you love these little beauties year-round, here’s a tutorial on growing your own cherry tomatoes indoors.
Cherry tomato recipes lend themselves to simple ingredients and easy preparation. Thanks to the talented bloggers who gave permission to use their photos and link to their recipes for this roundup.
Appetizers & Bites
Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta: From Little Ferraro Kitchen, here’s an appetizing roasted cherry tomato bruschetta. A deep char, garlic, and a drizzle of fruity olive oil is all you need. Layer the jammy tomatoes over crostini and top with lots of fresh basil for the perfect summery bite.
Gluten-Free Vegan Tomato Basil Galette: From A Dash of Megnut, a fresh-from-the-garden gluten-free vegan tomato basil galette that tastes just like pizza. You won’t even miss the cheese or toppings!
Simple Roasted Cherry Tomatoes: From Veronika’s Kitchen, here are simple roasted cherry tomatoes that come out perfect every single time! Cooked with balsamic vinegar, herbs, and spices, it makes a perfect addition to any meal.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes + Air Fryer Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Herbs: From Recipes from a pantry, each version is made with 10 minutes of prep and just 4 ingredients. Full of amazing flavor, these slow-roasted tomatoes make a delicious appetizer, side dish, or main meal add-in. A great way to preserve your farmers’ market or summer bounty.
Easy Cherry Tomato Toast with Vegan Mayo: From Very Veganish, a simple and flavorful breakfast of tomato toast. Whole grain bread + thinly sliced sweet cherry tomatoes + a little vegan mayo and seasonings = a wholesome breakfast in less than 10 minutes.
Pistachio and Yucca Crostini: From Garden in the Kitchen, a presentation of fresh roasted tomatoes made entirely from plant-based ingredients. A fabulous vegan choice to serve as an appetizer or snack.
Fermented Cherry Tomatoes: From Rootsy, here’s a way to ferment cherry tomatoes for a probiotic-rich and raw side dish or snack that is full of snappy flavor.
Preserving—jam, confit, & pickle
Cherry Tomato Jam: From Noshing with the Nolans, who say that this tomato jam recipe is so easy that once you get into canning, you’ll be hooked.
Cherry Tomato Confit: From The Petite Cook, a super easy confit that can jazz up any kind of meal, and requires just 5 minutes prep. Delicious, slowly cooked to perfection, and packed with tons of flavor, cherry tomato confit can elevate almost any kind of meal.
Pickled Grape or Cherry Tomatoes: From a Chef’s Kitchen presents a fun and tasty way to preserve your tomato bounty. Pickled Grape (or Cherry) Tomatoes are delicious in salads, in a sandwich, or just for healthy snacking right out of the jar!
Salads & sides
Sweet Potato Salsa Salad: If you’re looking for a tasty salad featuring cherry tomatoes that’s hearty enough to be eaten as a main dish, look no further. This sweet potato salsa salad is deliciously sweet, savory, and fresh tasting.
Tomato Balsamic Mint Salad: From What a Girl Eats, a balsamic-flavored tomato and mint salad featuring the season’s ripest cherry tomatoes.
Avocado Chickpea Salad: From Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen, here’s a deliciously easy summertime side dish. It’s perfect for picnics and potlucks, and a nice change from the usual potato salad and coleslaw that can usually be found at cookouts.
Corn Tomato Avocado Salad: From The Clean Eating Couple, an easy Corn Tomato Avocado Salad Recipe that is done in under 10 minutes. Gluten Free, vegan, and delicious! The perfect side dish.
Tomato Cucumber Salad: From Finding Zest, this amazing tomato cucumber salad takes only a few minutes to make using fresh vegetables and herbs!
Quinoa Salad with Lentils and Tomatoes: From Green Bowl 2 Soul, a simple salad loaded with delicious ingredients and textures. It’s a great option to pack for lunch, picnics, and potlucks. This protein-rich salad is also gluten-free.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad: From Gathering Dreams, a Mediterranean quinoa salad recipe is perfect for lunch or for a refreshing summer dinner and can be easily stored in the fridge for a few days.
Summer Risotto Salad: From Bittersweet Blog, sweet cherry tomatoes are slowly roasted to concentrate their natural sugars into tiny umami bombs, bursting with flavor across the landscape of plump carnaroli rice.
Avocado and Radicchio Salad with Lime Vinaigrette: This colorful avocado and radicchio salad. Avocado, radicchio, tender greens (like watercress or others), and cherry tomatoes — that’s it! It’s a simple salad that makes a statement. Feel free to increase the amount of tomatoes in midsummer, when you have an abundance.
Warm Cherry Tomato and Basil Salad: From Culinary Ginger, a warm salad with a very light dressing that allows the jewels of tomato season to shine.
Hearts of Palm Salad with Artichoke Hearts, Cucumbers, Avocado, and Cherry Tomatoes: From Panning the Globe, a Brazilian hearts of palm salad that’s irresistibly good … and ridiculously easy to make. What she loves about this dish is how a couple of cans of artichoke hearts and hearts of palm can transform a simple summer salad into an exotic tropical side dish.
Cherub Tomato Crouton Salad: From Cookilicious, a simple and delicious tossed veggie salad that will go with any meal. Here the croutons are made in an air fryer.
Simple Pasta Salad with Broccoli & Cherry Tomatoes: Here’s a simple and tasty pasta salad with broccoli and cherry tomatoes that can be enjoyed year-round. Feel free to substitute another short, chunky pasta shape, though the tricolor rotini give this dish extra eye appeal.
Italian Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Olives (Panzanella): Italian bread salad, AKA panzanella, must have been invented as an ingenious and tasty way to use up day-old loaves. It almost goes without saying that for best results, use the most flavorful little tomatoes you can find.
Roasted Cauliflower and Tomatoes: From Good Life Eats, a versatile roasted pairing that works great as a a side as well as main dish tossed with pasta.
Salsas and sauces
Cherry Tomato Salsa with Red Onion: From Bite on the Side, a fresh, tangy, and sweet salsa that’s a great topping for tacos and tostadas, or served as an easy side salad. With flavors of red onion, cilantro, and lime, this recipe is vibrant in taste and eye appeal!
Fresh Tomato and Peach Salsa: Fresh tomato and peach salsa is a fantastic variation of classic salsa fresca. It’s especially welcome in midsummer when peak tomato and peach seasons intersect. Feel free to use nectarines in place of peaches.
Homemade Salsa: From Winding Creek Ranch, who says that if you like salsa, you’ll love this fresh homemade recipe. It’s made with juicy, vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions, garlic, and jalapeño peppers roasted in the oven to augment their flavor.
Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce: From Two Kooks in the Kitchen, sweet cherry tomatoes and Moroccan spices come together in 20 minutes to make a rich, rustic, spicy cherry tomato sauce that you just want to put on everything!
Grape or Cherry Tomato Marinara: From Livity Gardens, the trick for this grape or cherry tomato marinara is to use the very best and sweetest grape or cherry tomatoes you can find.
No-Cook Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce: From Rhubarbarians, a 10-minute no-cook fresh tomato pasta sauce! This 3-ingredient raw tomato sauce is perfect for your fresh summer pasta dishes.
Farfalle Pasta with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, and Olives: Just a few simple ingredients go into this easy and tasty farfalle pasta with zucchini recipe that’s good served warm or at room temperature. Plenty of cherry tomatoes and briny olives provide bursts of flavor in every bite.
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca: The characteristic ingredients of this classic Italian pasta recipe, are briny olives and capers. Naturally plant-based, it also features fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, and wine.
Balsamic Roasted Ratatouille: The vegetables that go into the classic French stew are transformed into a versatile roasted dish that can be enjoyed in several ways, warm or at room temperature. It’s especially good tossed into pasta as shown here and embellished with plenty of cherry tomatoes.
Almond Tomato Pesto: From Cilantro and Citronella, an almond tomato pesto that’s simple to make and full of fresh Mediterranean flavors. You’ll need just a handful of ingredients and 15 minutes to make this delicious vegan red pesto that’s perfect to toss with pasta.
Cherry Tomato & Basil Pasta: From No Sweat Vegan, bright cherry tomatoes are the star of this vegan pasta dish. It’s oil-free and ready in just 20 minutes!
Gemelli Pasta with Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes, and Spinach: From Very Veganish, just 4 ingredients and you’ll have a delicious and flavorful one-pot dinner ready to go with this pesto gemelli pasta studded with spinach and cherry tomatoes. Bursting with fresh basil flavor, this easy vegan veggie pesto pasta can be served warm or cold as a pesto pasta salad.
Vermicelli di Positano: From The Pasta Project, this fresh tomato vermicelli di Positano recipe is great for summer. You only have to cook the pasta and marinate the vegetables and herbs. Perfect for vegetarians and vegans, easy, and delicious!