12 Ways to Use Your Ripe Tomatoes Before They Go Bad

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"Have a bunch of ripe tomatoes but not sure how to use them? Try these mouth-watering tomato recipes, from vegan BLTs to creamy tomato pesto."

As summer draws to a close, it’s time to pick the last produce of the season. For many backyard gardeners, that means there’s probably an abundance of tomatoes.

Whether you have heirloom, cherry, plum, or yellow tomatoes, there are an endless amount of tomato recipes to try. We’re talking vegan BLTs, baked feta pasta, and all the salsa your heart desires. You can even make condiments like tomato paste and ketchup to store for later use.

The next time you have tomatoes you need to use up before they go bad, check out the tomato recipes below. There’s something for everyone.

12 Tomato Recipes That Won’t Disappoint

1. Baked Feta Pasta

vegan baked feta pasta

Have ripe cherry tomatoes on hand? Use them in the TikTok-viral baked feta pasta. All you need to do is add your sauce ingredients into a baking dish and pop it in the oven.

2. Mini Tomato Tarts

tomato recipes
Photo: Grandbaby Cakes

Most of us don’t associate tomatoes with puff pastries, but this savory tomato tart combines the two perfectly. These tarts are also great if you’re looking for a recipe that uses all your late garden vegetables.

3. Homemade Ketchup

PHOTO: Jamie Oliver

This classic condiment goes a long way, so why not make your own? There’s no need to buy ketchup from the store (or let your tomatoes go to waste!) when you have this easy homemade ketchup recipe on hand.

4. Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes

tomato recipes
Photo: Cookie + Kate

We’ve all heard of stuffed bell peppers, but what about stuffed tomatoes? If you have a collection of ripe, large tomatoes, you can stuff them with just about anything. (In this case, quinoa!)

5. Fried Green Tomatoes

PHOTO: Grits and Gouda

Who didn’t want to try these after watching the movie Fried Green Tomatoes? If you’ve been growing green tomatoes this season, try this classic Southern snack. It will pair perfectly with your homemade ketchup.

6. Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

tomato recipes
Photo: Minimalist Baker

Switch things up and make your own sun-dried tomatoes for this recipe. Once they’re ready to go (simply cut them in half, sprinkle them with sea salt, and place them in a sunny spot!), use them in this delicious pasta dish.

7. Fresh Homemade Salsa

PHOTO: Isabel Eats

Fresh salsa may not be a unique tomato recipe, but it’s popular for a reason. Salsa made from garden-fresh tomatoes makes the perfect late summer snack or party appetizer. As an added bonus, this is also a great recipe for using up your other vegetables or herbs.

8. Vegan BLT Sandwich

tomato recipes
Photo: Minimalist Baker

You can’t go wrong with a BLT—aka bacon, lettuce, and tomato—sandwich when you have ripe tomatoes on hand. This vegan version swaps normal bacon for a plant-based option made from coconut. You could also try banana peel bacon.

9. Pan Con Tomate

PHOTO: I Will Not Eat Oysters

Bread with marinated tomato. It may not sound groundbreaking, but this traditional Spanish tapa proves the simplest dishes can still be packed with flavor. The tomatoes are grated and marinated, then served over grilled bread. Plum tomatoes work best for this dish, but any tomato will do.

10. Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho

tomato recipes
Photo: Tyrant Farms

Another Spanish staple, gazpacho is a chilled tomato soup. But this recipe adds another element with watermelon. This soup is light, hydrating, and packed with flavor, making it perfect for late summer.

11. Homemade Tomato Paste

PHOTO: Pop Kitchen

Tomato paste can be used for many things: soup, pasta, pizza sauce, and more. If you’re looking to make your tomatoes last a little longer, make your own tomato paste. You can even freeze your paste into cubes, making for an easy sauce base that lasts all winter long.

12. Creamy Tomato Tofu Pasta

tomato recipes
Photo: Eat With Clarity

While tomatoes give this sauce its great flavor, tofu gives it its creaminess. After taking your first bite, it’ll be hard to believe that richness doesn’t come from dairy.


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Have a bunch of ripe tomatoes but not sure how to use them? Try these mouth-watering tomato recipes, from vegan BLTs to creamy tomato pesto.

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