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Marinated tomatoes is a great way to use this juicy, seasonal produce! Heighten the flavors with olive oil, balsamic, garlic and herbs.

Marinated Tomatoes

Want a secret for making tomatoes taste incredible in minutes? Try Marinated Tomatoes! Mix this juicy seasonal produce with olive oil, balsamic, garlic and basil, then let it stand for 30 minutes while you go about your business. The flavor that’s infused is unreal: zingy, garlicky, sweet and salty, with a hint of heat on the finish. These are pure gold: use them as an appetizer for crostini, serve as a salad, spoon over chicken or fish, or eat over toast for a simple lunch!

Ingredients for marinated tomatoes

It’s high tomato season here in the Midwest. What to do with an excess of fresh tomatoes? Make marinated tomatoes! They work as a side dish, appetizer, or condiment. You can use any type of tomatoes you like or have on hand. We love the shape and flavor of cherry tomatoes, but you could also use larger tomatoes depending on what you have on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cherry tomatoes or ripe heirloom tomatoes: A mix of colors looks nice, but is not required! Use either 2 pints cherry tomatoes or 1 ½ pounds of any variety of tomato you have on hand. The only requirement: make sure they are ripe and juicy!
  • Basil or other herbs of choice (see below)
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Calabrian chili paste or red pepper flakes, optional
Marinated Tomatoes

How long to marinate tomatoes?

How long to marinate tomatoes? Honestly, they taste good right away! So you can get away with mixing the ingredients above and eating immediately. But for best flavor, let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. You can also go even longer to intensify the flavors: up to 2 hours of marinating heightens the flavors.

One thing to avoid: don’t place the tomatoes in the refrigerator! Chilling tomatoes dulls the flavors. However, you can store leftovers of the marinated tomatoes refrigerated: just let them come to room temperature for about 20 minutes prior to serving. Keep in mind that the olive oil solidifies in the refrigerator.

Other herbs to pair

Basil and tomatoes are an obvious pairing: but there are lots of other great fresh herbs to use here! One downside of basil is it turns dark in the refrigerator, so it’s not as bright green for leftovers. If you’d like some herbs that stay green longer, some good fresh herb options are:

  • Chives
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary (but use a small amount; it can be overpowering)
Marinated Tomatoes

Ways to use marinated tomatoes

Once you’ve made up a batch of marinated tomatoes, how to use them? There are infinite ways! Here are some serving suggestions:

How do you plan to use it? Let us know in the comments below!

More fresh tomato recipes

When it’s tomato season, make all the fresh tomato recipes! Here are a few more of our favorites we make every season:

This marinated tomatoes recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Marinated Tomatoes

Marinated Tomatoes

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes (+30 minutes marinade)
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4cups 1x


Marinated tomatoes is a great way to use this juicy, seasonal produce! Heighten the flavors with olive oil, balsamic, garlic and herbs.


  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes of any kind, sliced into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 small handful chopped basil (or other chopped herbs of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Calabrian chili paste (or 1 pinch red pepper flakes), optional


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir gently to combine.
  2. Cover and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours before serving.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Marinated
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Marinated tomatoes

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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