How to Use Tomatoes

Whole heirloom tomatoes in a white bowl.

How to Store

Store uncut tomatoes at room temperature, away from light with stem side down. Storing in the refrigerator can reduce the quality of tomatoes, so they are best to enjoy ripe. After cutting tomatoes, store in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days.

To freeze, clean tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30-60 seconds to loosen skins. Cool in ice water and drain. Peel, core, and cut tomatoes into pieces of desired size and place in freezer bags or plastic containers.

How to Clean

Clean tomatoes well under cool, running water.

Five Tips for How to Use

  • Chili – Add tomatoes, corn, and your favorite beans for a simple chili.
  • Egg scramble – Sauté tomatoes and garlic so the tomatoes release their juices. Add eggs and any fresh herbs you have on hand.
  • Pasta sauce – Make your own tomato pasta sauce by cooking down tomatoes, garlic, onion, olive oil, and spices.
  • Salad – Tomatoes are a great addition to salad. Also try a caprese salad with slices of tomato, mozzarella, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Soup – Use fresh or canned tomatoes to make an easy tomato soup to enjoy with grilled cheese.

Hint: Canned tomatoes do not have the same texture as fresh tomatoes, but they work well in most recipes that call for cooked tomatoes. Also, canned tomatoes can make a tasty salsa or bread topping, like bruschetta.

Tomato Bruschetta

Serves: 10


  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced basil
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Crackers or toasted bread, to serve


  1. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can combine.
  2. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve on top of toasted bread or crackers.


  • Add shredded parmesan cheese.
  • If serving with bread, brush slices of bread lightly with olive oil and toast until golden in the oven.

More Delicious Tomato Recipes Below!

Canned Tomato Salsa

Lentil Curry

Spiralized Zucchini Noodles with Quick Tomato Sauce

Tomato Cucumber Salad