20 Things You Can Do With The Tomatoes From Your Garden

20 Things You Can Do With The Tomatoes From Your Garden

Tomatoes are their own beast in the garden. It’s true what you heard about the harvest being good, especially when your tomato plant turns into a hydra that you struggle to contain. With so many tomatoes on hand, where do they go? Well, we’ve got a few ideas!  

1. Chili

A simple way to unload all those tomatoes is to make fresh chili. Depending on how much you make, some recipes call for several cups of chopped tomatoes, meaning you can use a bunch in one go.

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2. Homemade Ketchup

With all those tomatoes lying around, it’s a good opportunity to look into a homemade ketchup recipe. Even better, you don’t need that many additional ingredients.

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3. Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is mouth-watering any time of the year, so with dozens of tomatoes on deck, whip one up for yourself or guests. Fresh tomato slices with thick pieces of cheese and some balsamic drizzle? Yes, please.

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4. Tomato Soup

Forget the stuff from the can! Fresh soup takes about an hour and though it calls for more time and ingredients than other recipes, it’ll be worth it for the end result.

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5. Freeze Them

You can always freeze tomatoes if you’re unsure what to do with your harvest. You’ll need to remove the stem, wash, and dry them first. After that, stick them in a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as you can before you lay them flat in the freezer—they’ll last for months!

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6. Fry Them

Frying tomatoes is a great way to use up your stash, not to mention make a delicious side dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on some herbs before they go in the pan. From there it only takes about five minutes until they’re done. Alternatively, you can also coat them in breadcrumbs first.

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7. Bruschetta

Just about everyone’s go-to appetizer is bruschetta. With so many tomatoes at your disposal, now’s the perfect time to try your hand at making it yourself. You won’t need much outside of fresh bread, tomatoes, cheese, and onion. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and you’re good to go!

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8. Gazpacho

With summer right around the corner, the mood calls for a cooler dish. Enter gazpacho. This summertime favorite doesn’t need a lot of your time or additional ingredients, but it will need your tomatoes. 

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9. Puree

Tomato puree has many uses: it’s a base for salsa, can thicken sauce, and is good in dinner staples like stews or casseroles. It’s simple to make and good to keep on hand while you think of what recipes come next.

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10. Pasta Sauce

Of course, we can’t leave out fresh pasta sauce. And why would we, with so many variations available? Borrow a recipe from your mother-in-law or try one you spotted online—everyone has a pasta sauce recipe and you should join the party.

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11. Donate Them

Does anyone in your family or friend group crave fresh tomatoes of their own? Donate some to ensure everyone has a chance to create in the kitchen. 

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12. Seasoned Tomatoes

Sometimes the best thing is to sprinkle some seasoning and olive oil and just eat them! Seasoned tomatoes work great with whatever kind you grow, though we like cherry tomatoes for this one.

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13. Grill Them

Pop ‘em onto the grill for a summer side dish. With a little olive oil, it doesn’t take much to grill these to perfection, and once they’ve got their charcoal branding you’ll taste the explosion of flavor. 

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14. BLTs

If you think about it, BLTs are perfect any time of the day—and with that in mind, now’s the time to make one whenever the mood strikes! Keep it simple or add fresh egg or avocado in there to make your own version.

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15. Bloody Mary

Gone are the days of ordering these at the bar. Grab your salt, pepper, cucumber, and Worcestershire sauce to make a refreshing Bloody Mary mix in your very own kitchen. 

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16. Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed peppers are great, but these tomatoes have to go somewhere. It’s time to swap out the pepper for your fresh tomato, especially because everything else can pretty much stay the same. You don't have to change too much in terms of what you stuff in there, thereby putting your own spin on this classic recipe.  

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17. Tomato Pie

You’ve heard of shepherd’s pie, you’ve heard of chicken pot pie, but have you ever heard of tomato pie? Well, it’s a thing…a delicious thing filled with cheese and tomatoes and all wrapped in a flaky crust.

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18. Hot Sauce

We’d all like to try our hand at hot sauce, so why not make it a reality? Much like pasta sauce, you can go hog wild and make the recipe your own. It might take a little trial and error, but all good things do.

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19. Chicken Parmesan

How could we turn our backs on chicken parm? It’s rich, it’s full of cheese and juicy chicken…and best of all, it can help rid some of those tomatoes should you make your own sauce or roast cherry tomatoes. 

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20. Eat Them Whole

There’s no shame in chowing down on what you worked so hard to grow. Get in there! Do it quickly, too, because more tomatoes are probably ready for harvest as we speak.

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