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If you’re trying to find simple, easy recipes to use up lots of tomatoes, you’re in the right place! This list of tomato recipes will have you feeling less overwhelmed when your garden or CSA box gives you more tomatoes than you can possibly eat immediately.
Sometimes, your garden creates a good problem: too much food. While this problem beats not having enough food, it can put you in quite a pickle (pun intended): what do you do with it all?
One of the plants most often responsible for creating an overabundance of food for home gardeners is tomatoes. While everybody loves having a perfectly ripened, garden-fresh tomato, having to figure out what to do with giant piles of ripe tomatoes can be overwhelming.
If this is the situation you’re in right now, don’t fret! Get creative and turn those tomatoes into delicious foods and beverages you can enjoy now or throughout the year. Just try to finish them before next tomato season comes!
18 easy recipes to use up lots of tomatoes
Our list of easy recipes you can make with lots of tomatoes is based on our personal favorite tomato recipes. Individually or collectively, they’ll help you make that pile of ripe tomatoes disappear from your countertop.
To better help you decide which recipes you might want to make, we’ve done our best to order them from easiest to more difficult.
Happy tomato eating… and drinking!
1. Sundried tomatoes (in a dehydrator or oven)
This might just be our favorite thing to do with a giant pile of tomatoes because: a) it’s ridiculously simple to make, and b) we use so many sun-dried tomatoes throughout the year.
2. Classic tomato salsa
Toss ingredients into a blender and you’re done. Doesn’t get any simpler than that!
Hence why this simple, classic salsa recipe is a go-to recipe for us in the summer. Just BYOC (bring your own chips) — tortilla chips of course.
For this recipe, we used an heirloom tomato that weighed a little over 1 pound to make four servings. However, drier sauce tomatoes (like Romas) are typically preferred since they make a less watery salsa.
*Makes a little over 2 cups of salsa, or four servings.
- 2 cups diced tomatoes (~1 lb)
- 1/2 cup diced red onions
- hot pepper to taste, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- juice from half of a lime
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed (or you can use fresh cilantro to taste)
- cumin to taste
- sea salt to taste
Blend all ingredients until there’s an even consistency, then serve at room temperature. Or chill first, then serve if you prefer cold salsa.
3. Pico de gallo
Pico de gallo is basically salsa without the blender. Same ingredients, same great flavor. Lots of tomatoes put to good use.
The other nice thing about pico de gallo is it makes a perfect topping on tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and other Latin American cuisines, whereas a blended salsa may be too runny.
To make pico de gallo, use the same ingredients and ratios from our salsa recipe (above), but dice them with a knife instead of putting them in the blender.
You can also use different colored tomatoes for more visual interest. (Our pico de gallo picture above was made with a yellow/orange ‘Pineapple’ heirloom tomato).
4. Greek-style tomato cucumber salad
Greek-style tomato cucumber salad is our favorite summer salad. It takes about 5 minutes to make and also uses up some of those excess cucumbers from your garden.
Plus, feta cheese. Anything with feta cheese in it tastes good.
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup cucumbers, sliced thin and into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, freshly crumbled from block
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- sea salt to taste
Combine ingredients. Chill or serve fresh at room temperature. Stores for ~12 hours in fridge before the tomatoes lose their fresh tomato texture.
5. Tomato rosemary kabobs
This is a great recipe to use up a pile of cherry tomatoes. The only caveat is that you need to have access to a mature rosemary plant so you can harvest entire sprigs to use as kabob sticks.
Instructions: Cut your rosemary kabob sticks to desired length, punch the sticks through the tomatoes, and grill until just right.
Sprinkle tomato kabobs with large flake sea salt before serving and enjoy!
6. Rosemary pickled tomatoes
Pickling is a process, not a recipe — and not all pickling recipes have to involve cucumbers. You can scream this out loud in the pickle section at your grocery store where there seems to be a conspiracy amiss to make people think that “pickles” = pickled cucumbers.
1) This recipe is best with cherry tomatoes, rather than chopped up large tomatoes. For visual interest, we also recommend using a colorful mix of tomatoes rather than just all red tomatoes.
2) We recommend using rosemary sprigs to spear (kabob style) your tomatoes, like in the rosemary tomato kabob recipe above. This does two things: a) allows the brine to penetrate the skin of the tomatoes, and b) adds a wonderful rosemary flavor to your pickled tomatoes.
Don’t have rosemary? Just poke a hole through each tomato with a toothpick or skewer.
*When you’re done with your pickled tomatoes, add some of your left over brine to tomato sauces or Bloody Marys (recipes below)!
*For one quart jar of pickled tomatoes.
- 6 rosemary stem cuttings
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 garlic clovea for flavor
- 1 tablespoon pepper corns
- tablespoon honey or sugar (optional)
- Whisk to dissolve salt and (optional) sugar in water using saucepan on stovetop.
- Put garlic cloves and peppercorns in bottom of quart jar.
- Cut rosemary sprigs to height 1/2″ below quart lid surface. Punch rosemary sprigs through tomatoes, then place in jar. Pour vinegar plus salt water mix over top of tomatoes, then refrigerate. Make sure tomatoes covered – add more water and vinegar in 1:1 ratio if needed to fully cover.
- Wait at least one week before eating, but can be stored in the fridge for months.
Gazpacho is a cold veggie soup that originated in Portugal and Spain.
From July through the end of tomato season, it’s rare to open our fridge and not see a big jar of gazpacho inside. There is no single gazpacho recipe, and you can pretty much add any ingredient from your garden (including soft-leaved herbs like mint and basil) to your blender to make your own original gazpacho.
On Tyrant Farms, we share our watermelon gazpacho recipe which uses more watermelon than tomatoes, but you can easily jigger this basic recipe to make it more tomato-forward instead.
Tip: serve gazpacho with a dollop of sour cream or milk kefir on top.
8. Savory tomato soup
A grilled cheese sandwich sliced to dip into homemade tomato soup tastes like childhood. Instead of using low quality ingredients, you can up your adult game by using homemade whole wheat 5-minute bread, grass-fed cheddar cheese, and tomato soup made from your own garden tomatoes.
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1 cup chicken or veggie stock
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- Dice onions then saute in pan with olive oil until lightly browned. Put onions in blender with chopped tomatoes and blend until smooth. Keep the skins on your tomatoes – a little extra fiber is good for you!
- Place onion-tomato blend in sauce pan and add stock. Bring to boil, stirring to make sure soup doesn’t stick. Then turn to low and let simmer until enough water has evaporated for soup to be desired thickness. (This will vary depending on the water content of the tomato varieties used.)
9. Tomato paste
Tomato paste is a very efficient way to use and store a LOT of tomatoes. That’s because tomatoes are 94% water and almost all the water is cooked out to make tomato paste.
Plus, tomato paste is a basic ingredient in lots of sauces and dishes.
The other good news: tomato paste is basically tomato soup that’s been cooked down even further. You can use our tomato soup recipe (see above) to make your own tomato paste. Just keep cooking on low until the tomatoes reach a paste consistency.
If you’re uncomfortable with the process of canning your tomato paste, you can always freeze it in ziplock bags for later use.
10. Tomato shrub
In case you’ve never heard of them, “shrubs” are old-fashioned non-alcoholic drinks, which would fall into the “mocktail” category today. They’re somewhat similar to kombucha.
Shrub recipes and ingredients are as diverse as alcoholic beverage recipes. They’re basically interesting combinations of fruits, veggies, herbs, sugar, and vinegar. (Vinegar is also as diverse in flavor and ingredients as alcohol.)
A few years back, my wife got the book Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times. One of our favorite recipes in the book is a tomato, cilantro, coriander shrub, which we’ve since tweaked to our flavor preferences…
- 2 lbs tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 cup cane sugar or honey
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons muddled green coriander seeds (young immature seeds)
- 1 tablespoon toasted dried coriander seed (mature seeds)
- 2 tablespoons smoked red pepper flakes
- Cut tomatoes into 1″ chunks. Place in bowl, then stir in sugar and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours.
- At same time, put muddled green coriander seed, *toasted mature coriander seeds, and pepper flakes into bowl with vinegar. Cover and leave at room temperature for 48 hours. (*To “toast” your mature coriander seeds, put them in a pan on medium heat and stir them around until they become aromatic and show tinges of browning on the surface.)
- After 48 hours, combine ingredients into single jar, and refrigerate for at least one week before using. Strain enough shrub as-needed for the desired amount of drink. Add a few of the tomatoes and coriander seeds into each serving glass as interesting additions to each drink.
11. Fire-roasted (or oven-roasted) tomato sauce
Oven-roasting tomato sauce has a more nuanced flavor than tomato sauce that’s simply been cooked on a stovetop. And it uses a lot of tomatoes!
For this recipe you can either roast your tomatoes in a conventional oven or over a grill.
- 5 lbs fresh tomatoes
- 2 large yellow or white onions, diced
- 10 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons fresh diced rosemary
- 5 tablespoons fresh diced thyme
- 3 tablespoons fresh diced oregano
- 3 tablespoons fresh diced basil
- 1 tablespoon sea salt or to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F. (Or get your grill hot, if you’re going with fire-roasted tomatoes.)
- Slice tomatoes in half then face them sliced-side up on a covered cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. If using a grill, just place tomatoes face up on grate.
- Bake until skins and tops have begun to brown/caramelize. Remove from oven then let cool.
- In sauce pan, saute onion in olive oil until translucent, then add diced garlic (garlic cooks much more quickly than onions so don’t add at same time). Cook until slightly browned.
- Put garlic/onion mixture plus roasted tomatoes into blender and blend until smooth. Pour into saucepan and add diced herbs.
- Bring to boil, then turn down to low and let simmer 30 minutes. Can or freeze extra.
12. Roasted tomato chips
Follow the same oven- or fire-roasted tomato instructions from the recipe above, but sprinkle on fresh chopped herbs (or dried Italian seasoning) before putting them in the oven or grill.
Once they’re out of the oven and cooled down, put them in your dehydrator on 125 for 24 hours or until crispy (time will vary based on size of tomatoes). Voila, tomato chips which can be stored in a ziploc for months!
If they lose their crispiness over time, simply use them like sun-dried tomatoes in other recipes.
13. Lacto-fermented ketchup
We love fermented foods. They taste better and their probiotic properties offer a wide range of health benefits.
Instead of same ol’ same ol’ ketchup, why not make your own lacto-fermented ketchup instead? Here’s how to make one pint of homemade lacto-fermented ketchup:
- 2 cups tomato paste (use the tomato paste recipe above!)
- 1/4 cup brine (best to use living brine from another ferment, like sauerkraut or pickled tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons vinegar (recommend using raw apple cider vinegar or homemade vinegar)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp (optional) dash of cayenne pepper if you like a little heat
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon for additional body and depth
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- Mix all ingredients together, then transfer to jar. Place breathable cloth (linen or paper towel) over lid, held in place by rubber band or tie.
- Stir twice daily for four days, then place lid on jar and store in fridge.
14. Roasted tomato & feta cheese stuffed savory garden green crepes
One of our favorite things to do with garden-fresh or foraged greens is make them into savory green crepes. Savory crepes are very versatile and can be used from breakfast to dinner, unlike sweet crepes which tend to be a breakfast-only affair.
Start by using the savory garden greens crepe recipe from Tyrant Farms to make your crepes.
Then oven roast your tomatoes (using the recipe above) with a sprinkle of salt plus some of your favorite spices/seasoning sprinkled on top: Italian seasonings, garlic powder, etc. Once done, let them cool down a bit.
Then add a generous heap of oven roasted tomatoes, fresh basil (we used purple basil in the photo), feta cheese, and balsamic vinegar glaze. Wrap up your crepe and enjoy!
15. Duck egg shakshuka
We first heard about shakshuka in Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s fantastic cookbook Jerusalem. Shakshuka is a North African dish with a tomato-based sauce as the foundation and fresh eggs on top as the protein. (We prefer duck eggs.)
16. Tomato “Pies”
Ok, this “recipe” is intended to stimulate your imagination more so than to give you a single recipe. “Pie” is a broad term that can mean different things depending on the culture, region, or person.
For instance, tomato pie can include any of the following:
- Italian tomato pie, which is sort of like a cold focaccia slathered with tomato sauce and other toppings.
- Southern tomato pie which is pretty much what you’d expect from us southerners, right down to the addition of mayonnaise.
- Classic pizza-pies, which everyone knows and loves (and fights over about favorite toppings).
- There’s also tomato (or sun-dried tomato) quiches and frittatas which are arguably pies as well.
Each tomato pie recipe you can find or dream up will help put tomatoes to their highest and best use. And if you want to take your pizza game to the next level, make your pies in your own wood-fired cob oven.
17. Bloody Mary
The classic breakfast or brunch adult beverage that’s healthy enough not to induce guilt. Yes, you can choose to drink your extra tomatoes if you’re into Bloody Marys.
Here’s how to make two glasses of Bloody Marys using garden-fresh tomatoes:
Place the following ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth:
- 1 pound of tomatoes (drier sauce tomatoes like San Marzano work best),
- 1/4 cup diced sweet Vidalia onion,
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (preferably Meyer lemons, which you can use skin and all).
Then add the following ingredients to taste:
- sea salt,
- ground pepper,
- hot pepper flakes (or a hot pepper from your garden),
Pour in glasses, then add one shot (or be more aggressive) of your favorite gin or vodka. Garnish glasses with celery or miscellaneous pickled veggies (like your pickled tomatoes from higher up this list!).
18. Homemade V8®
V-8, one of the most popular drinks ever created, is tomato-based. It’s a registered trademark of Campbells and nobody knows the exact recipe.
However, people have come pretty close to replicating V8 in their own kitchens. It’s actually somewhat difficult to make a good homemade V8, but this recipe will help you make a go of it.
Still have too many tomatoes and don’t want to become a farm?
Trade with your neighbors. For instance, maybe you have a beekeeping or home-brewing neighbor who’d be willing to trade a few jars of honey, beer, or mead for a basket of your beautiful tomatoes.
Share with your poultry children. If you have backyard poultry like we do, share the tomato abundance with them. Our backyard/pet ducks absolutely LOVE tomatoes.
Got a giant pile of unripe GREEN tomatoes? You’ll love this green tomato marmalade recipe from Tyrant Farms.
Happy tomato gardening from GrowJourney!