9 Creative Ways to Use Extra Tomatoes


If you have planted a garden in the past, you know tomatoes are often prolific. I recently was helping a friend on vacation by watering his garden and was amazed at amount of tomatoes produced by just a few plants! He had more than he could possibly eat. It got me thinking of ways to use them without being wasteful. Canning takes so much time and effort and freezing doesn’t usually end well. If you’re looking for unique ways to use extra tomatoes look no further.

Slice them up

Use slices for hamburgers and sandwiches. In the South, people have tomato slices as a side dish. If you’ve never tried that, now would be a perfect time. My mother used to love cottage cheese and tomato slices.

Make salsa

There are so many different salsa recipes available in cookbooks, magazines and on the internet. Try different recipes. If you’re tired of store-bought salsa, can some for the colder months. An unusual salsa recipe you can enjoy with fresh from the garden tomatoes also has mangos, onion, jalapenos and avocado.

Eat them while they’re green

Many Southerners love fried green tomatoes, some people from other areas of the country do, too. Slice the tomatoes, bread them and then fry them up for a tasty treat. I prefer a cornmeal breading over panko, but that’s just my preference.

Stuff them

Slice the top of the tomato off, scoop out the seeds and fill with your favorite egg, tuna or chicken salad. Not only will this be a great way to avoid having to wash an extra dish, it will look wonderful and you can eat it when you’re finished with the salad.

Make tomato soup

Canned soup from the store might be good in a pinch but homemade tomato soup is super! Use your family’s favorite tomato soup recipe and can it for the winter months.

Break out the dehydrator

Tomatoes are easy to dehydrate. Cut off any bruises, slice them up, put them on the dehydrator rack and turn it on. Before long you’ll have dried tomatoes which can be used in various recipes throughout the year.

Add them to salads

Cut the tomatoes into cubes along with onions and cucumbers. Add a nice vinaigrette dressing and you’ll have a different salad. Of course, you can also cut them up and add them to typical tossed salad, as well. Better yet, grab some mozzarella and make a homemade Caprese Salad!

Make homemade ketchup

Ripe tomatoes, garlic, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves make awesome ketchup your family will love.

Shish kabob them

The next time you get a nice cut of meat that is the perfect size for a shish kabob, skewer the meat along with tomatoes, red onion and mushrooms. Brush them with olive oil and grill them.

The above are a few of the many unique ways to use extra tomatoes from your garden. If all else fails and you still have too many after trying these ways, give them away to friends, family, local food banks or nursing homes. They’re sure to be appreciated.

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