Every year I say, “I only need to plant 5 cherry tomato plants.” Only to turn around and end up with at least 10 plants and a million cherry tomatoes! I don’t know how these plants do it but they are machines when it comes to cranking out pounds and pounds of fruit. But come the end of July, I am drowning in them. So here is my favorite round up of cherry tomato recipes and other things we do to use them all up.
Before we get too far into this post, I wanted to give a suggestion about keeping a garden journal. A digital garden journal is a fantastic way to keep track of past, present and future gardens. Our Digital Garden Journal is a great way to keep up with everything without getting too overwhelmed.
Even if you aren’t an amazing gardener, you can probably grow all of the cherry tomatoes you could ever want. Trust me. Every year I struggle with our tomatoes. We lose a lot to pest pressure and blossom end rot. Despite various different methods of treating both, we end up with very few tomatoes. I’ll never stop trying to grow them because when I finally get it right, it will be glorious.
Cherry Tomato Ideas
That’s the first and best way to use cherry tomatoes. Now, I’m not a big raw tomato lover. In fact, I can’t stand the taste of raw tomatoes. BUT the sweet million cherry tomato variety? It is my favorite and I can usually eat those raw without being grossed out. I much prefer doing something with those tomatoes. I usually make my own sauce, even with cherry tomatoes. It makes a really great sweet sauce.
This recipe for Marinated Cherry Tomatoes from Natasha’s Kitchen is great for hot weather snacking. My family doesn’t like big heavy meals when it’s hot out. So something like this is really great for us.
We eat a lot of pasta and sometimes the heavy tomato/pasta sauce is a bit much when you are wanting a quick lunch. This recipe from A Spicy Perspective is a great way to use up some cherry tomatoes and have a great quick lunch. Add some protein and you have a easy dinner too.
Have you ever had Bruschetta? Get some crusty sourdough bread or Italian loaf and enjoy this Bruschetta recipe from The Sunshine Hustle. Here is another amazing snack, appetizer, or in my house, a meal.
Meal Prepping With Cherry Tomatoes
Most of the recipes above can be used in meal prep, whether it’s for lunches or dinners. Really, you could cook your cherry tomatoes with some eggs. Delicious.
But making up a couple of meals with these beauties and storing them for the week would use up a lot of these babies.
Preserving Cherry Tomatoes
After a couple handfuls of tomatoes, even the biggest tomato lover will be burned out on them. So another option is dehydrating. I love to dehydrate these guys for sundried tomatoes. I have a huge dehydrator that I can put several hundred in. Usually, you set your dehydrator to 145* to 155* and let them go until they are dry. This can take anywhere from 5-24hrs depending on your temps, humidity, and water content of the tomatoes.
Cherry tomatoes also freeze okay. But remember, when you thaw them out they are usually extremely mushy. This is due to the high water content in them.
My favorite method, second to dehydrating them, is to can them. This can be done either by keeping them whole or halving them. I prefer to pack the jars, fill with water to 1/2″ head space and then process for 40 min (pints) or 45 min (quarts).
Lastly, give it to your livestock. We grow extra plants of everything for two reasons. 1) if one plant fails, we need to have a back up. 2) if that plant doesn’t fail, we can feed it to the animals. My pigs pack on the pounds every summer.
Cut Back On Next Year’s Garden
If you are anything like me this is absolutely not going to happen. I am still going to plan for 5 cherry tomato plants and then start 15. That’s how it works. Because an overabundance is better than under.
But if you are consistently getting more than you can handle, look at cutting back on your numbers for next year. I hope this post helps you figure out what to do with all those maters. Just remember, there is a blessing in overabundance.