13 Culinary Hacks For Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are so cute that they make a really eye-catching addition to so many dishes. Think mango salsa recipes made with cherry tomatoes or as an addition to 5-ingredient gnocchi. Cherry tomatoes don't just look good either; they're lovely, sweet, and juicy too. Tomatoes are technically a fruit, and cherry tomatoes, while usually red-colored, do come in yellow, green, and even black hues too. As one of the top types of tomatoes, cherries are perfect in salads and for adding some sweetness and umami flavors to other dishes. 

They're also incredibly good for you too. One of the main ingredients to note in all tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes, is lycopene (via WebMD). This is a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radicals. The little gems are also a good source of Vitamin C, as well as A and E, plus potassium. The nutrients in cherry tomatoes have been linked with lower risks of strokes and prostate cancer and have positive effects on bone health. 

While it's tempting to just halve cherry tomatoes and eat them as is, there are so many other amazing ways you can cook them. All you need are culinary hacks for cherry tomatoes — whether recreating a viral TikTok recipe, making them fizz, or turning them into a sweet dessert. There are some fantastic ways to cook these little tomatoes — which bring the sweetness to the fore — or to preserve them from spoiling. Celebrate the cherry tomato with some terrific ideas.

Cut cherry tomatoes the easy way

Cherry tomatoes can be a faff, and a bit fiddly, to cut in half. Not to mention time-consuming, which isn't really what you want when making a simple avocado and cherry tomato salad recipe. Cherries are small and round, so they don't always stay in place while cutting them, and yet you have to pierce that quite robust skin, so you need a sharp knife. If only there were a simpler way. Actually, there is, as posted on TikTok by @whatgreatgrandmaate. And, you don't need any special equipment. Start by grabbing yourself two identical plates.

Put one plate upside down on your countertop. Add a handful of cherry tomatoes to fill the base of the plate. Now, place the second plate on top so that it's in line with the plate underneath. The cherry tomatoes should now be between the plates. Press the palm of your hand down on the top plate so that the cherry tomatoes are fixed in place and aren't going to roll around. You have to be quite firm and press down evenly for this. Using a serrated knife, slice across the tomatoes between the plates so that you're cutting the tomatoes in half. You can also try this with one plate on top and just use a wooden board underneath. (via TikTok @turleytestkitchen).

Try the cherry tomato and feta pasta TikTok trend

One delicious cherry tomato hack that really caught fire on TikTok has to be cooking these cute fruits with a big salty block of feta cheese. Simple and easy, and the flavors of this TikTok feta pasta recipe go together so well, as shown in a post by @feelgoodfoodie. Coat your lovely cherry tomatoes in olive oil and season in a baking dish. Add a block of feta in the middle with a drizzle of olive oil and some pepper. Pop in the oven for 35 minutes at 400 F, and cook some pasta as you wait. Once your cheesy tomatoes are done, add chopped garlic and fresh basil, then stir. Your cooked pasta goes straight into the cheesy mix, and stir this in so that all the ingredients melt into the hot carbs.

Or, you could try making feta cheese and cherry tomato dip instead, which you can eat straight from the dish, making it perfect for placing in the middle of a table with everyone helping themselves. @cookingwithayeh reveals this great idea, and as with the best culinary tips, it's straightforward and fuss-free. Put olive oil over olives and halved cherry tomatoes in an ovenproof dish, and add garlic. Seta your block of feta cheese in the middle and season with dried oregano and chili flakes, plus a drizzle of olive oil. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, and spread the cheese and roasted tomatoey-olive mix onto crackers. 

Make cherry tomato candy like Waffles + Mochi

Michelle Obama's cooking show Waffles + Mochi showcased a great tip on what to do with cute cherry tomatoes. They're turned into tomato candy. Chef and culinary author Samin Nosrat has plenty of tips for beginner cooks and showcased the pasta recipe in the show's first episode. And while it may have been made by a celebrated culinary whizz, it's pretty darned easy to make, and the candy part is bound to appeal to kids.

You can use any pasta you like, just make it is a short variety. And you also need some cheese that you can grate, such as Parmesan, plus sugar, salt, olive oil, and fresh basil. Don't forget the star of the dish, some cherry tomatoes, of course. Easy it might be, but you do need time as it takes five long hours to cook the tomatoes in the oven after tossing them in olive oil, sugar, and salt. Make sure you mix in the cheese and tomatoes before, adding the basil last minute, so it doesn't wilt. Store your cherry tomato candy in a jar covered in olive oil and keep it in the fridge or freeze them (via Insider). Either way, there are plenty more dishes that'll taste better with a few of these candies thrown in. 

Follow Nigella Lawson's sunblush cherry tomato tip

Sundried tomatoes are the bomb, and you can literally throw them in anything from pasta to salad. They're also lovely to eat alone, perhaps as part of a tapas-style spread or a charcuterie board. A great tip if you want to make dehydrated tomatoes yourself in the sunshine, then cut them in half and place them on a screen in the sun. At night, bring them inside, cover them, and turn them over so the next day, when you put them outside (if necessary), they dry evenly (via The Meat Eater).  

British food writer Nigella Lawson has a trick to sweeten tomatoes, resulting in a splendid sunblush cherry tomato hack to make inside. And it's a great way to add some brightness to tomatoes when they aren't in season and perfect for if you've got too many to eat all at once. Turn your oven heat to 450 F. Halve your tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and sugar, and thyme if you like. Add to a baking tray and put in the oven. Turn the oven off, and leave your tray of tomatoes until morning! Meanwhile, another way to make sundried tomatoes in the oven is offered in a TikTok post by @annainthekitch. Roast cherry tomato halves on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper, topped with salt and olive oil, for a few hours at 480 F. Drench them in olive oil in a jar, with some more seasoning added. 

Ripen cherry tomatoes in a bag

The beauty of cherry tomatoes is that they're wonderfully sweet and succulently soft at the same time. That means that if they're not ripe enough, then the texture is going to be a bit hard, and the taste way less flavorful. On the other hand, if it's hot out, you don't want your tomatoes to ripen before you've got round to eating them. During the summer, you might want to keep the fruit in the fridge, but away from other high ethylene-producing fruits and vegetables that'll spoil them. You also need to keep them away from other salad ingredients like cucumber, which could go off as a result of the ethylene from the tomatoes. You can then take them out of the chiller in time to ripen. But what if you don't have time or you've forgotten to take them out? A hack revealed in the Express speeds up the process.

All you need to ripen your cherry tomatoes quickly is a paper bag and a banana. Put the tomatoes in the bag with the unpeeled banana and leave them for a few hours, or less. If you can put the bag somewhere with some sun on, it will also quicken up the ripening. The trick might be to make sure you don't overripen them. Of course, if you do, the article suggests that you may have to find a preparation that suits you, such as our 30-minute gazpacho soup recipe

Make budget cherry tomato Blood Mary

If one cocktail clearly celebrates the taste of tomato, it's got to be the popular brunch beverage, a classic Bloody Mary made with tomato juice, vodka, and Worcestershire sauce, garnished by a stalk of celery on the top. Scottish TV journalist Kirsty Walk told Brit presenter Joe Lycett, who appeared on a celebrity edition of the Great British Baking Show, about her budget-friendly take on this cocktail concept: boozy cherry tomatoes. And yes, it does involve soaking cherry tomatoes in vodka (via Metro). There's only one way to find out what they're like, and that's to make them yourself.

Get a punnet of cherry tomatoes and make a small incision on the top of them. Put them in a container with a lid and pour vodka over them, so they're submerged in the spirit. Place this in your fridge overnight. When you drain the liquid out the next day, don't throw it away, as you can use this tomato-infused vodka to make cocktails in the future. Meanwhile, to sample your vodka-soaked cherry tomatoes, dip them in salt and pepper before popping them in your mouth. While you may look like you're on a health mission with a tub full of cherry tomatoes, you'll know what the truth is, and that might make them all the more decadently delicious.

Grill cherry tomato skewers the clever way

The idea of putting cherry tomatoes on kebabs and grilling them is nothing new. They're remarkable when the skins blister and blacken, and you get all that wonderful sweetness with every bite. And the flavor goes so well with other grill-friendly ingredients as well, such as halloumi. Of course, you can thread cherry tomatoes onto a stick with other salad ingredients and enjoy kebabs that aren't cooked too. A great idea for this is Caprese kebabs with mini mozzarella balls, basil leaves, and a balsamic glaze, along with tomatoes, of course. While there are common mistakes often made when grilling kebabs, this brilliant cherry tomato kebab hack isn't one of them. 

When creating your kebabs, it might look pretty to alternate steak, chicken, or fish with cherry tomatoes, but don't. The fact is, these ingredients don't cook at the same rate at the same time. If you mix and match them on the sticks, you could end up with super soggy tomatoes and meat that's just done, or cherry tomatoes that are overly charred just as the chicken's cooked through. Instead, skewer tomatoes separately, and cook them to fit with the completion time of your other foods. of course, you can add a few different vegetables together, so if you're grilling onions and bell peppers, and if they're about the same size as your cherry tomatoes, you can combine these on the same skewer. Once you know, this hack just makes sense.

Make a colorful mosaic design dish without cooking

If you're used to throwing salad ingredients into a bowl and mixing everything up with a dressing drizzled over the top, then you might want to add a touch of culinary, artistic quality next time. Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis showcases an amazing flavor combination using cherry tomatoes that creates a visual feast too, and her stunning design also uses the colors of the Italian flag, which is apt for flavors that come from Italy. Yes, it's time to stop mixing up your salad and turn it into a mosaic on a plate instead, as she demonstrates on Instagram at @giadadelaurentiis.

Begin with big round slices of watermelon, and then cut them into cubes. Create squares by slicing strips of cucumber into cubes too. And once again, add mozzarella. On a plate, place the squares, alternating the ingredients, and also add halved cherry tomatoes as well. Sprinkle on a good amount of chopped fresh basil once your plate is full, and drizzle olive oil over in circular movements. Your watermelon Caprese salad is complete, and it looks so fresh and summery. One fan added an extra suggestion, which was to drizzle some balsamic vinegar. 

Give kids cherry tomatoes with care

They might be cute, have a bite-size quality, and fit perfectly in kids' lunchboxes, but beware, cherry tomatoes are one of the top choking foods for young children. The fact that they're firm, round, and also smooth makes them easier to slip down and a real danger. Youngsters love them, though, because they're sweet and juicy, so next time you're prepping cherry tomatoes for a little one, follow some safety tips (via Irish Mirror)

It's a good idea to cut cherry tomatoes into quarters first. A paramedic mother advises in Mail Online to clip round foods, so their shape isn't so slick, and to add texture to slippery foods by rolling them in breadcrumbs. You can also cook foods so that they're less firm. Meanwhile, the same paramedic, Nikki Jurcutz, offers the Metro a really useful trick to check if food is a choking hazard. Jurcutz's Tiny Hearts Education, delivers first aid advice for parents. She recommends a squish test for kids who haven't developed teeth yet. Press down on food between your thumb and index finger, and if it doesn't give a bit, then it's no good for youngsters. The fingers mimic a child's throat so that foods that are too hard and could get stuck are eliminated or adapted to be safer to eat in some way. 

Ferment cherry tomatoes so they fizz

While canning might be trending at the moment, there are so many fantastic other ways to preserve all sorts of produce. If you grow your own veggies, herbs, or tomatoes, then you'll possibly want to find a way to keep a bumper crop from going bad. One cool trick you might not have thought about is fermenting. Imagine cherry tomatoes that fizz with flavor and effervescence. Make fermented cherry tomatoes and find a new way to appreciate them (via Grow Forage Cook).

Am important fermenting tip is to only do this with cherry tomatoes that aren't quite ripe; otherwise, they'll turn into alcohol. Fermenting is easy too, and once you're done, you can keep these fizzy tomatoes in the fridge for about six weeks. In a jar, put some mustard and coriander seeds in, along with some peppercorns. Next, add your cherry tomatoes, along with some garlic and some basil and parsley. Soak all the ingredients with brine and make sure the tomatoes are fully under the liquid, possibly using a weight if needs be. Cover the whole jar and put it somewhere cool and dark. Leave the jar to work its magic for about a week. 

Set cherry tomatoes like jello

Presentation is so important with food, and showcasing the simplicity of a cherry tomato in a dramatically beautiful way really celebrates what a wonderful little fruit this is, and how versatile they are. You may have roasted cherry tomatoes, grilled them on a kebab, or eaten them raw in a salad. You might even have tried making a cherry tomato jam. But have you ever thought about making your own jello-style cherry tomato terrine, though? While this gorgeous dish looks amazing, it's straightforward to make, so long as you follow some simple culinary tips (via NPR).

Make some tomato water by blending heirloom tomatoes with basil and seasoning, before adding some cold water and some water with gelatin dissolved in it. Grease a terrine dish and add plastic wrap. Pour a small amount of the tomato water in and let it set in the fridge for 10 minutes. Next, add layers of halved heirloom cherry tomatoes and more of the tomato water, finishing with the liquid. Cover with the wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours, weighing your terrine down. Once set, use a knife around the edge to loosen and gently turn it out before removing the plastic wrap. Use a sharp knife to cut slices of terrine and observe how beautiful the colorful cherry tomatoes look suspended in this savory jello. 

Create cherry tomato lollipops

If you think about it, cherry tomatoes are the same size and shape as lollipops and are definitely a lot more nutritious. And given that they're pretty easy to pierce with a stick, it's a no-brainer to turn your cherry tomatoes into fruity pops. If you'd like some hack-style inspiration, then you could start by making some savory pops that perform as a great buffet party dish or a fun appetizer. They're super easy to make too. Cut off the base of your cherry tomatoes, scoop out the middle, and fill with cream cheese. Insert a small wooden skewer into the other end of each tomato, stand them up in a glass, and sprinkle on some chopped chives (via Claire Justine). 

However, if you want to make cherry tomato lollipops that are actually sweet, like the real thing, follow this salted caramel hack from Mad About Macarons. Get your tomatoes ready to dip by piercing them with cocktail sticks. Make some caramel and add in some salt when it's caramelizing. While it's soft, drop in your cherry tomato sticks and roll them in some seeds for a crunchy top. Sesame seeds, flaxseeds, and poppy seeds look great, and you can make these with different colored cherry tomatoes for a vibrant pop. Each one is a sugary-salty bite. In Taiwan, candied, sugar-coated cherry tomatoes on sticks are a common street food snack (via The Magic Elephant).