Is It Worth Freezing Fresh Cherry Tomatoes?

Cherry tomatoes go well with everything. Think: a cherry tomato and basil salad, or even as a side to a feta-stuffed salmon. They're versatile and tasty to the point that it's a shame that cherry tomatoes aren't available everywhere all year round. Their season changes from place to place and depending on where you are, they might be available only during the summer. However, there's a way to make sure you always have cherry tomatoes at home, and that's by freezing them fresh to enjoy the taste of summertime even when the snow hits the ground.

It's important to note that thawed tomatoes will lose their texture, as well as some of their flavor, once out of the freezer, so it might not be the best idea to add thawed cherry tomatoes to a salad or a sandwich if soggy isn't what you're looking for. Frozen cherry tomatoes aren't as versatile as fresh fruit, but they can be used in multiple recipes and it's helpful to have cherry tomatoes frozen and on hand to add to dishes (and drinks!) all year round.

How can you prepare frozen cherry tomatoes?

To freeze your cherry tomatoes, you want to make sure that you purchase the fruit when it's in season, which is when they taste their best. Then, wash the fruit, dry them, and spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave the cherry tomatoes in the freezer for a minimum of two hours. The cherry tomatoes can be frozen as they are or, if you prefer, they can be cut in half, or quartered, and frozen skin side down on the baking sheet. Once they're frozen, the fruit can be stored in an air-tight container or freezer bag and remain in the freezer for a maximum of 12 months.

When you're ready to cook, you can add your frozen cherry tomatoes to warm dishes — with no need to defrost them. The heat will turn both fresh and frozen tomatoes soft, so the temperature isn't an issue. To fix the problem of the cherry tomatoes not being as flavorful frozen as they would be fresh, it's important to cook them slowly and on low heat, as that will dry out the water in them and concentrate the tomato flavor.

Ways to use frozen cherry tomatoes

To create a dish with frozen cherry tomatoes, you can roast them straight from the freezer, no need to defrost them. The roasted cherry tomatoes can be used in various ways, on most stove-top and baked dishes where one would use canned or even diced fresh tomatoes. As an appetizer, they can be added on top of a piece of toast to create a bruschetta or crostini. As a main dish, they can be added to a TikTok-inspired feta pasta or as a topping to a whole wheat vegetable pizza. They can even be served as a side dish with burrata, or with meat. Frozen cherry tomatoes can also be used in the preparation of a sauce or soup, with no need to be defrosted since all items will be heated and blended together. Whether you roast them or toss them straight from the freezer into your pot, the sky is the limit.

Frozen cherry tomatoes can also be enjoyed as they are, frozen — as they can be used for various drinks. All you need to do is add the frozen fruit to a blender with water and ice to create an icy juice. You can then drink it as tomato juice, or make a Bloody Mary cocktail or mocktail — and whole frozen cherry tomatoes make fun little ice cubes in your Bloody Mary too. You can also add the frozen cherry tomatoes to your favorite smoothie recipe for a little extra zesty flavor.