These cherry tomato recipes highlight the best this sweet, juicy tomato has to offer! Try it in pasta, pizza, sandwiches, salads, and more.
The burst of a bite into a cherry tomato is one of life’s great thrills. There’s so much that this small and mighty vegetable (er…fruit!) has to offer! Cherry tomatoes are most abundant in the summer, when they’re bursting out of farmers markets and gardens. But these days hydroponic tomatoes, those grown in water in a greenhouse, offer beautifully sweet flavor all year long.
Here are all the best mouthwatering cherry tomato recipes to make with these magnificent orbs! There’s pasta that will make your heart melt, or mac and cheese that tastes like a symphony. Whatever you choose, make sure you have the highest quality, ripest cherry tomatoes before you start: it will make all the difference.
And now…the best cherry tomato recipes to try!
Cherry tomatoes vs grape tomatoes: are they interchangeable?
Cherry tomatoes vs grape tomatoes: what’s the difference? Cherry tomatoes are shaped like a cherry: they’re perfectly round and have a sweet flavor. Grape tomatoes are oblong shaped with thicker skin, and not nearly as sweet as the cherry tomato. The two look very similar, so it’s easy to mistake these two tomato varieties.
You can use grape tomatoes for cherry tomatoes in most of the cherry tomato recipes above. Their flavor differences are very subtle. But in all honesty: we like cherry tomatoes much better because of their sweet flavor. So we recommend finding cherry tomatoes if at all possible.
Want more with tomatoes? Try 15 Juicy Fresh Tomato Recipes.Print
This cherry tomato pasta pairs sweet tomatoes blistered in a hot pan with fresh basil and Parmesan. An easy dinner idea that’s simply stunning!
- 8 ounces short pasta (penne, rigatoni, orecchiette (shown here), shells, cavatappi, etc)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 pints whole cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup pasta water
- 1 handful fresh small basil leaves, chopped if large
- Make the pasta: Start a pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes. Before draining, reserve some pasta water with a liquid measuring cup (at least 1/4 cup). Drain the pasta.
- Blister the tomatoes: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a very large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the tomatoes, making sure there is space around each tomato (they are not touching) and the pan is not crowded. If you’re using a medium pan, cook the tomatoes in 2 batches.* Cook for 1 minute without touching the pan, then 2 to 3 more minutes until blistered, shaking the pan several times to rotate the tomatoes. Turn off the heat and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, gently shaking several times to coat. Add 2 pinches kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Remove the tomatoes from the pan to a bowl.
- Finish the dish: Mince the garlic. Once the pasta is done, in the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup pasta water, scraping the pan with a spoon to release all of the flavor of the tomato juices. Turn off the heat.
- Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat. Add the blistered tomatoes, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and basil. Season with 2 pinches of kosher salt and lots of fresh ground pepper. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve with the remaining 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
*If the pan is too crowded, the tomatoes will steam instead of blistering. It all depends on the size of your pan: if you’re using a medium pan, you’ll have to cook 1 pint at a time.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Cherry tomato recipes
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.