Your average tomatoes turn into something beautiful when slow roasted with a couple simple ingredients. These oven roasted tomatoes are mouth-wateringly delicious!
I love me some tomatoes --- especially in the peak of summer when the tomatoes are as juicy as an orange. Here we are in the dead of winter though -- not exactly the time for fresh tomatoes. However, your average grocery store tomatoes turn into something beautiful when oven roasted for a couple of hours. There's a sweetness that's drawn out of them, and the tomatoes just melt in your mouth.
This oven roasted tomatoes recipe will show you how easy it is to make these versatile tomatoes -- whether you're serving them as a side dish by themselves, or using in a simple pasta sauce, or throwing in with a soup. It's the same basic technique -- for any number of results!
What You'll Need
You'll need just a few basic pantry staples you likely already have in your house! Hallelujah!
- Vine-ripe tomatoes (see note below on how to adapt with cherry tomatoes, Campari or Roma tomatoes depending on your end goal)
- Garlic -- you don't even have to peel your garlic (and everyone knows that's the worst part of using garlic). The garlic is here for serving with your tomatoes or using in your pasta or soup (again, depends on your end goal).
- Fresh herbs -- I use basil, but you can use whatever fresh herbs you have available. If you don't have fresh herbs, sprinkle tomatoes with dried herbs like basil or oregano.
- Good quality olive oil -- I say good quality because the olive oil you choose matters because the tomatoes are taking a long bath in it. You don't want to use the cheapest stuff here.
- Kosher salt -- a generous amount of salt is needed
How to Make Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Place all of the ingredients on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (this is just for an easier clean-up). Put your tomatoes, head of garlic, and herbs on baking sheet and coat with a generous amount of olive oil and salt.
Roast in a 300˚F oven for about 2 hours or until the tomatoes start becoming fragrant and very tender. (See notes below on roasting time for smaller tomatoes than your full-size vine-ripe tomatoes)
The Best Tomatoes to Roast
I've used this same technique (slow roasting with simple ingredients) with all sorts of tomatoes -- from little cherry tomatoes to these vine-ripe tomatoes pictured. What really matters is what you're planning on doing with the tomatoes after they roast.
If you're making roasted tomatoes in the summertime during tomato season, then by God! Use whatever you have available to you and eat them right off the baking tray!
If you're making the oven roasted tomatoes as a side dish on their own and serving them with this pan-seared chicken breast, for example, use vine-ripe tomatoes or Roma tomatoes and cut them in half OR cherry tomatoes and roast for 45 minutes. Whole tomatoes (like the ones pictured) will be a messy presentation if you're serving them immediately.
If you're using the tomatoes for an appetizer like a caprese crostini or something similar, use cherry tomatoes and cut the roasting time in half.
If you're using them for a simple spaghetti sauce, use vine-ripe or Campari tomatoes and keep the tomatoes whole. And, yes, you can keep the stems on, too. The stems easily pop right off after they're done roasting. After they've roasted, you'll cut the tomatoes into ½" pieces and place in a saute pan with the olive oil, herbs, and roasted garlic from the pan as well as a pinch of sugar to cut some of the acidity. Reduce the liquid by cooking the tomatoes on medium for 10-15 minutes. Toss with more fresh herbs and parmesan after tossing with your favorite pasta.
To Seed or Not to Seed
I have ZERO problems with tomato seeds. Like zero. I don't understand why people go to the hassle of coring and removing the seeds because tomatoes aren't like an avocado where you wouldn't eat the seed under any circumstances.
If the seeds bother you, remove the core and seeds before you roast them though.
How to Store
Store the oven roasted tomatoes in the refrigerator until you're ready to use. The tomatoes will be fresh for about 3-4 days.
You can also keep the roasted tomatoes in the freezer and pull them out as needed. Just place the tomatoes (I do 2-3 at a time) in a freezer-safe bag and remove as much of the air as possible. Pop 1 or 2 bags out as needed for a very simple and quick weeknight dinner.
Dreaming of tomato season but these are definitely the next best thing in the dead of winter!
- 8-10 vine ripe tomatoes
- 10 basil leaves (or whatever herbs you have available)
- 1 head garlic, with top horizontally sliced off
- ¼ cup good quality olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 300˚F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up. Place tomatoes, cut head of garlic, and whatever herbs you have available on baking sheet. Coat tomatoes, garlic, and herbs in olive oil and salt. Bake for 2 hours.
- Remove tomatoes from the oven and let sit for a few minutes. Remove stems, pop garlic cloves out of the casing, and peel tomato skin off if you desire. Use tomatoes for a simple pasta sauce with parmesan and fresh herbs, for a soup, etc.