What Do I Do with All These Tomatoes?

If you read my dejected post outlining my garden failures and my subsequent, more hopeful garden update, you’ll be pleased to know that I am now swimming in tomatoes! My wildest gardening dreams have come true, because I’ve always wanted to be someone who had more tomatoes than she knew what to do with. This year, I can’t claim I’ve saved any money by starting a garden, but in the following years I just may break even or even start saving a few dollars by planting my own produce.

ideas and recipes for garden tomatoes

Over 8 pounds in one day!

So what can I do with the eight to fourteen pounds of tomatoes I’m picking each week? Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Gazpacho (Here’s a recipe from the Gluten-free Gourmand)
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Roast, then freeze
  • Caprese salad

I am also considering canning, but I’m a little intimidated by that. Any other ideas?


  1. I haven’t even had one ripe tomato yet this year, but we have been having an unseasonably cool summer (like today, it is about 25 degrees below average – Chicago area!) Anyway, I actually have planted fewer plants the last couple years for that very reason – too many tomatoes. But one thing I did with excess romas was wash them, cut them in half and freeze them. I didn’t blanch them or anything. I froze them on a cookie sheet first so they didn’t all stick together, then transferred them to a bag. They worked really well in any cooking I needed to do, like beans for Indian food. The were mushy, but since they cooked down so much, they were just perfect for my purpose!

  2. Salsa!!!

    We eat tons and tons of salsa at our house – I wish we were getting that many tomatoes. We are getting quite a few, but they are the tiny ones that are good for salads.

    If you have too many, you should consider donating to a food bank. They get so many donations of canned foods/boxed foods, I think it would probably be refreshing (in more ways than one) to get some fresh food, too.

  3. Canning is SO great – don’t be intimidated! 🙂 Tomatoes are one of the easiest things to can… they are what I started with years ago and now we do tomatoes, green beans, peaches, all kinds of jams, pears, pickles… it’s so much fun (for us dorky food types) and so rewarding, almost instant gratification. Also – canned tomatoes and beans especially taste nothing like ones you’d buy canned at the store – super yummy and no worries about extra added salt etc. when you do it yourself.

  4. We freeze a lot of extra tomatoes (and we’re doing our best to get as much “extra” veggies as possible this summer) — just remove the stem and freeze the whole thing, to be cooked down into sauce or soup or whatever else later — just like Kelly said. Last week, my husband tried dehydrating them for the first time, and it was AMAZING — they came out tasting like expensive store-bought “sun-dried” tomatoes. On homemade pizza? Delicious!

  5. We also started a garden this year and thought we would have hardly any yield and so far we have had a ton of peas, beans, peppers and tomatoes!!! We are making Salsa like crazy 🙂 We have also incorporated our tomatoes into pasta sauces.

  6. You can also do “sun-dried” tomatoes in the oven. slice them into thick slices, seed them, stem them, oil and salt them and cook them at 200 until they are the right dryness.

    I’m going to try a new idea tonight for gazpacho and tomato sauce usage. Stay tuned!

    Thanks for the link!

  7. Hi! We really loved your post over at KiwiLog and decided to feature it as a part of our weekly mom blog round-up. Thanks!

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