HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Help! I have too many tomatoes.

Between my CSA and my farmer's market addiction, I have way too many tomatoes and need to use them up. Any ideas aside from pasta sauces and gazpacho? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. -Salsa
    -serve w/ fresh mozarella & fresh basil
    -homemade ketchup

    1. Oven roast (i.e. like sun dried tomatoes, but done in an oven) a bunch of them and then store for later use.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Darren72

        I like to take this one step beyond traditional drying and make them absolutely dry and crispy...tomato chips. It takes overnight in a low oven, then a watchful eye to make sure they don't burn.

        1. Looking for a main course idea. Have some chicken breasts then also the basics (fresh herbs, carrots, onions, stock, wine, etc.). Keep in mind that I am in the South so nothing too heavy...it is hot here!

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Blissful Glutton

            One nice thing about oven roasting them is that you can them serve them cold (or room temp) on hot days. The flavor is great. Very concentrated. SInce you roast them at a very low temp (say 200 degrees) you won't heat the house that much either.

          2. if you like spicy, hot tomato salad is good
            stuffed tomatoes
            tomato pie or tart
            tomato cucumber salad
            tomato soup, tons of varieties- freeze for the winter

            1. I hope to have this problem in a couple of weeks! I plan to slow-roast them in the electric smoker and can the excess in olive oil. With luck we should be feasting on smoke-roasted tomatoes through winter.

              2 Replies
              1. re: cheryl_h

                My (25) tomato plants are *finally* starting to ripen. I wonder if/how I could do something similar to this in my gas BBQ. Does anyone have experience with this?

                1. re: Funwithfood

                  I don't know why you couldn't do it over indirect heat on your gas grill. It would take a bit more work - you'd have to check on the charcoal fairly regularly, but it's much the same as doing pulled pork or brisket. You'd need to check the temperature so the tomatoes will roast slowly and not burn, but that's about it.

                  Cookshack has recipes for smoked tomatoes on their website which is why I think my idea will work. This link gives some details and the rest of their recipe index is good too:


              2. We are using up all of our garden tomatoes on heavenly open faced broiled sandwiches. The recipe is so simple it doesn't seem worth posting, but it is so delicious and so summery it is ALL I want to eat these days - breakfast, lunch and dinner - at least while the tomatoes are hanging ripe on the vine and there is fresh basil growing in the garden. We get our bread from the local artisan bakery, and biting into one of these little sandwiches makes summer living just plain great.

                The second recipe is more of a salad than a main dish, but with a glass of chilled wine and some fresh bread, on a hot day it might suffice, especially if you have dessert.

                Layered Summer Tomato, Gouda and Basil Broil:

                1) Select great bread, cut in thick slices (Rye, Sourdough, French, Multi-grained all work well) for as many broils as you want.

                2) Layer with thickly sliced garden tomatoes - big slicers are perfect, but I also slice up and use our Sungold cherry tomatoes for this if that's what I have in the garden

                3) Top tomatoes with slices of Gouda to cover tomatoes (or other favorite cheese - we used Goat's Milk Gouda)

                4) Broil until bubbly

                5) Top with shredded fresh basil and cracked black pepper to taste.

                Simple? Yes. Heavenly? Even more so.

                Cold Tomato/Mango/Basil Salad

                1) Cut ripe tomatoes in wedges
                2) Slice up equal amount of ripe mangoes
                3) Gently tear up fresh basil
                4) Toss all ingredients into a bowl with a dressing of great balsamic vinegar and olive oil, add seasonings to taste
                5) Add fresh mozzarella if you want a heartier salad.

                The last idea for warm weather main dishes is to grill your own pizza on your grill if you have one out of doors. Just get a lump of pizza dough, roll it out very thin, brush both sides with olive oil (to keep from sticking on the grill) and add lots of sliced tomatoes, herbs and little dabs of goat cheese....or add more of those CSA veggies - thinly sliced zucchinis work well on grilled pizza, as does fresh arugula.

                Enjoy your ripe tomatoes - 'tis the season!

                1. That sandwich sounds great. My farmer's market had a stand the other day that was making grilled tomato sandwiches with fresh mayo and salt. Nothing else. Delish.

                  1. If you have really a lot, make tomato paste. It's miles better than the canned stuff and can be "Put up" to be used whenever.


                    1. Do you have a recipe for the paste?

                      1. Well, really all you really need to do is chop some tomatoes, put them in a dutch oven (Add garlic or red bell pepper) and simmer them for about an hour. Run them through a strainer or food mill or something like that (removes the seeds and skins and stuff), return the liquid to the pot and reduce to the consistency of tomato paste. When you get there, season it with salt and pepper. Don't season it before since the salt will concentrate as you cook it down. Jar it up and process.

                        Most home canning books have recipes and a quick look at google showed a lot of hits.


                        1. I adore tomato jam. Lots of recipes out there. To me there is nothing better on a hot biscuit. People encountering it have no clue as to the jam's base.

                          My first is just coming ripe. A BLT with Neuske's bacon is definitely on the hotizon.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Candy

                            Oh dear god, yes. I made some last year – my own tomatoes won't be ripening for a few weeks yet, but we had some of last year's jam on hamburgers tonight. My advice is to make as much of this as you possibly can:


                          2. Caprese salads with lunch and dinner EVERY night!

                            1. By all means, find a sauce recipe that you like and can it. I spend a ridiculous amount of time in August and September putting up tomato sauce to last throughout the long fresh tomato drought. The effort is supremely worth it!

                              1. Bruschetta.

                                Tomato, potato, and green bean salad with vinegrette (can add chicken or hard boiled eggs if desired).

                                And of course the already mentioned salsa and BLTs.

                                I guess yours are already ripe, but if it was a question of tomato plants overproducing, I'd head some of it off by making fried green tomatoes. (Has anyone tried doing this on the grill instead of frying? I'm trying to be healthy -- I suppose you can grill these?)

                                1. There is no such thing as too many fresh garden tomatos!

                                  Love all these ideas...
                                  Here is another: spread the summer joy and give those garden jewels to friends and neighbors!

                                  I have a backyard (9 plants) full of green ones now and can't wait!


                                  1. Parboil then freeze. You'll kiss yourself later when, in the fall, the market varieties one buys are tasteless! :)KQ

                                    1. Wrap tomatoes individually in foil and freeze. This winter take a couple out of the freezer and rinse under cold water, peel skin and core and drop into your chili or soup.

                                      1. Every summer night I finely dice a tomato or two and mix with piquant olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper and basil. We eat it on bruschetta or plain bread, as a sauce on grilled meat, over fish, with polenta, plain, spooned over green salad, as uncooked sauce for pasta, etc. This is also a good way to use up those tomato "shoulders" leftover from slicing tomatoes.

                                        1. Has anyone every heard of or tried this Italian technique of tying tomatoes together and smoking them. Apparently it makes them last a long time.

                                          I can't remember what tv show I saw it on but they looked amazing. Maybe it was on David Rocco's Dolce Vita.

                                          1. A nice alternative to fresh salsa, that takes 20 minutes and lasts a while in the fridge:

                                            Roast a panful of tomatoes skin up under the broiler, with some onions (until they blister, about 15 minutes). Toss in a chipotle or two, some of the adobo sauce, add salt and pepper, maybe cilantro or whatever you have on hand, and process.