Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and 10 Things to Do With Them

This post is not so much about a recipe as it is about inspiration. Anyone can slow roast tomatoes, there’s really not too much art to the process. The question is what to do with those beauties once they come out of the oven. And the answer is that the possibilities are quite endless. Once you taste a slow-roasted tomato, you will want to put them on everything! I know this post seems better suited for August than November, but we still have gorgeous cherry tomatoes in Be’er Sheva. If you don’t, then at the very least I’m hoping this brings you a little sunshine. You can bookmark it for next summer.


Slow-roasting tomatoes really coaxes out their flavor. They end up sweet and concentrated, not entirely dissimilar from sun-dried tomatoes but so much better. I like to roast them alongside a few cloves of garlic, then store the tomatoes and soft garlic in a jar topped with olive oil in my fridge. Then out they come when you want a little something special on your salad, or to gussy up that grilled chicken. Here, just a few ideas of how to put them to good use.

  1. Make a lighter chicken Parmesan by topping grilled chicken with roasted tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and baking just until the cheese melts.
  2. Make cute hors d’oeuvres by alternating roasted tomatoes with bocconcini halves (small fresh mozzarella balls) on a toothpick.
  3. Make the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich by adding roasted tomatoes along with your favorite cheese.
  4. Or, how about a fancy BLT with roasted tomatoes instead of raw?
  5. Toss the roasted tomatoes in with any salad to make it extra special.
  6. Add the roasted tomatoes to any pasta dish, whether with tomato sauce, pesto, ricotta, or goat cheese.
  7. Make a tart with ricotta and slow roasted tomatoes layered on a pastry shell.
  8. Prepare crostini with brie (or pesto, or ricotta, or tapenade) and slow roasted tomatoes
  9. Add the roasted tomatoes to a quiche along with other vegetables.
  10. Serve on top of polenta for an elegant side or comforting lunch.

What are your favorite uses for slow-roasted tomatoes?

4.8 from 5 reviews
Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Slow-roasted tomatoes are easy to prepare and versatile. Once cooled store in a jar topped with a bit of olive oil and refrigerate.
Recipe Type: Side
Yield: Makes 2 cups
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved (or any tomatoes)
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 250F. Put the tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the tray to the oven and roast for 2 to 3 hours, until shriveled but still moist. Allow to cool and peel the garlic cloves. Enjoy immediately or store in a jar in the refrigerator topped with olive oil.
Vegetarian, Vegan, Parve, Gluten Free



60 thoughts on “Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and 10 Things to Do With Them

  1. judee@ gluten Free A-Z

    I love roasted tomatoes, but truthfully never think of any ideas of what to do with them. I love the polenta idea and the grilled cheese. The last of our cherry tomatoes plants froze in the unseasonal 5 inches of snow we had last week here in Pennsylvania, but I’ll bookmark for next summer as suggested. Great post.

    • Katherine

      Oh no! That’s too bad about the tomatoes freezing over. I heard about the crazy unseasonal weather! Well, there’s always next summer! Thanks so much Judee 😀

  2. mjskit

    I have to admit that I have never roasted tomatoes, but that is going to change. All of your ideas for how to use are fantastic. I especially love the fancy BLT because it sounds like a great way to have a BLT when you’re out of the home grown tomato season. Definitely going to have to try this. Thanks!!!

    • Katherine

      I hadn’t until recently and now I’m completely obsessed! It’s a great way to preserve tomatoes for sure (especially for people who are canning-savvy). Also, this works with all tomatoes, not just cherry 🙂

  3. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Slow roasting for 2-3 hours! I sometimes keep the tomatoes in the fridge and the skin get wrinkled up a bit (inside is juicy but outside skin doesn’t look too good for salad etc). I wonder if I can use those tomatoes… I’m going to try this and use it for pasta!

    • Katherine

      This is a perfect use for those tomatoes! Yes, it takes a little while but it’s totally hands off so you can put them in and totally forget about them. It’s delicious in pasta – just had that tonight!

  4. kitchenriffs

    I LOVE roasted tomatoes. Great when stirred into a risotto, or maybe as a lasagna layer, or stuff a chicken breast or wrap a thick fish fillet or steak around them & grill. Yum!

    • Katherine

      Me too!! Mmm all your ideas sound delicious! I served them to guests last night on crostini and along with grilled chicken. And tonight I added them to penne with ricotta! So many possibilities!

  5. James m

    Well it all looks lovely being a Bloke who normally only pulls stuff out of the freezer when I make yea tomorrow I am going to try to cook for my wife the grilled chicken with cheese and roasted tomatoes will let you know how it goes thanks for the ideas

  6. Patty

    I roasted 12 lbs of plum tomatoes this last weekend, as you can imagine I was casting about for more ways to use them — making the chicken parmesan tonight, LOVE the ideas and photos!

    • Katherine

      Wow, that’s amazing!! So happy to have provided some inspiration 🙂 I hope you enjoy the chicken parm! In my book everything is better with slow roasted tomatoes.

  7. Lucia

    Hum… made those yesterday, but with the sweet grape variety of tomatoes! Served it in a make-your-bruschetta party.
    It was a huge hit over home-made pesto and bocconcini, and also over home-made chicken liver paté. Had some leftovers for lunch today. I’m in love with these tomatoes. Dreaming about pasta with pesto and slow roasted tomatoes… Gonna make it this week.

  8. Sheila

    I am a slow-roasted veggie addict! Love your ideas on ways to use these delicious cuties. How long is it safe to keep them in fridge in jars?

    • Katherine

      Me too Sheila! Thanks 🙂 The tomatoes will keep in the fridge for at least a week – honestly they will probably keep even longer, they’ve just never made it in my fridge that long 🙂 I imagine if you properly can them they can have a longer shelf life.

      • Liz

        I freeze them after I’ve roasted them. Then, depending on what I’m preparing for dinner, I will use my immersion blender for pasta, whole for fish, etc. let your creative imagination run wild!

  9. iluvs2fish

    I love roasting vegetables and tomatoes w/garlic are at the top of the list with fresh basil shredded on top when they come out of the oven and fresh shredded parm or mozz. My DH & I have a mini orchard w/12 varieties of fruit trees&shrubs&large veggie plots.We put up over 500 jars annually of pickles, jams, jellies, chutneys, conserves, pie fillings to die for-) all kinds of veggies, sauces, vinegars,catsups, etc. Been canning for 37 years, taught canning classes to new brides&gardeners, won my state fair grand champion categories for home preservation so as u can tell I’m a tiny bit obsessed w/all things having to do w/canning & providing my family w/great fresh food. I’ve roasted tomatoes w/EVOO & garlic &stored in frig but haven’t thought about canning roasted-in-oil tomatoes. The problem is, oil floats to the top & this creates an anaerobic environment, exactly what botulism needs. If food is properly acidified it’s safe but there’s no way to accurately test for acidity in home kitchens. It’s much much better to be safe then sorry, I’ve seen what botulism in a jar of home canned tomatoes did to the family of an old friend-( Across the board it’s best to avoid using fats in home canning OR to use a professionally tested recipe that’s been proven to be safe. I contacted the USDA before I entered my comments here to be sure I was not being inaccurate. For now I think it’s best to stick to storing them in the frig rather then risking the health of your family/friends. Bon Appetit!

    • Katherine

      Thanks so much for this informative post! I personally always keep the tomatoes in the fridge and use them up fairly quickly and don’t say anything about canning in the post (except in passing in a comment). Now that you bring it up, I am curious about all those oil-packed items in the supermarket (like sun-dried tomatoes, tuna, artichokes, etc.)? I guess on a large scale like that they’re able to test to make sure that it’s been properly acidified? Anywho, thanks again so much for this info!

  10. Mark

    Our local newspaper today ran a recipe in the Food section that was a slight variation on yours. It included a splash of balsamic and a sprinkling of fresh thyme. I was inspired and immediately went out to the garden picked a bunch of cherry tomatoes from a couple of vines, grabbed a handful of thyme sprigs, completed the prep and put it in the oven. The newspaper recipe called for 350 but didn’t have a cook time which is how I found your recipe after a Google search. They’ve been roasting for an hour, and the aroma is terrific. I couldn’t wait and scooped out a spoonful which I ate with crackers. Delicious. So looking forward to the result after the full cooking time.

    • Katherine

      Love the addition of balsamic and thyme! Enjoy your slow-roasted tomatoes. Makes me want to put a batch in the oven right now! Also, a note on the time: I bake mine at a lower temperature for longer. If you are baking at 350 I would cook it for less time than the 2-3 hours I recommend. Also, how done they are is a matter of taste. Some prefer them still plump and juicy, while others want them totally dehydrated (you can make sun-dried tomatoes by leaving them in a very low oven overnight). So taste them and decide for yourself when they’re done 🙂

  11. Marcy

    All the ideas sound wonderful! I can’t wait to try them. I wonder, aren’t the skins tough or chewy? How long will they last in the frig? Thank you so much for the recipe and advice!! 🙂

    • Katherine

      Thanks Marcy! I’ve never experienced the skins getting tough and chewy (or at least not chewy in a bad way). And they will last at least a week in the fridge – truth is mine have never lasted that long because I eat them all 🙂 This same method can be used on tomatoes of any size, bigger ones will just take longer. And if you keep them in a really low oven overnight you can get something akin to sun-dried tomatoes! Lots of room to play. I hope you enjoy!

  12. Ellen

    I’ve made these a few times over the past few years and just put them in bags in the freezer. Really yum ie in Jan if I’m careful not to eat them sooner!

  13. crystal

    Hey Katheine this site is great some good ideas. Now i have a bunch of cherry ones. now how do i go about roasting them? do i cut in half and put in oven or put in whole? do u use evoo so they dont stick &how long and what temp to you usse.sorry about all the questions but now im in the mood for roasted cherry tomatoes haha

    • Katherine

      Thanks Crystal! The recipe above is for cherry tomatoes. I typically cut them in half, toss them in a light coating of olive oil and some herbs if you like and roast them in a 250F oven for 2-3 hours. Then I store them in a fridge in a glass jar topped with some olive oil.

  14. Paula hogan

    My husband’s first satisfactory year of production..I am eager not to lose too many! Does your roasting method allow me to store in ziplock bags and freeze?

  15. Katrina

    I am about to
    make these and I am just wandering if the purpose of the garlic being roasted whole is for use later or do they somehow add flavor to the tomatoes during roasting?

    • Katherine

      I think they do add flavor during roasting (they flavor the oil, which ends up flavoring the tomatoes), and I also just think they’re delicious, but you can totally omit them and the tomatoes will still be fab. Enjoy!

  16. Marianne

    I was just wondering… what’s the purpose of “topping them with oil” when you put them in the fridge?

Comments are closed.