In this article: Do you have a tons of cherry tomatoes? Learn how to preserve cherry tomatoes for later!
If you are like me, you grow lots and lot of tomatoes in your garden every year. You might grow paste type tomatoes for making sauce. And slicers for your sandwiches. And cherry tomatoes for popping into your mouth fresh.
And if you’re like me, you may have a little problem with planting a few too many tomatoes (there are so many types to grow!!). So what can you do with an abundance of cherry tomatoes when you’ve eaten your fill?
Here are just some of the ways to preserve cherry tomatoes from your garden! First up, a little FAQ for those who want a few quick answers.
Can you can cherry tomatoes?
Yes! Tomatoes are just tomatoes after all. You can can cherry tomatoes just like you can larger tomatoes. You can pickle them and can the tomatoes whole- you don’t even have to take the skin off.
Read the guide below for more instructions on canning cherry tomatoes.
Can you freeze cherry tomatoes?
Yes! Freezing cherry tomatoes is one of the easiest ways to preserve them. And I’ll tell you how down below.
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5 Ways to Preserve Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes are Still Just Tomatoes
This may seem to be obvious, but sometimes we can forget that cherry tomatoes are just like any other tomato- just smaller fruits. This means you can use cherry tomatoes in any of your normal recipes and they will turn out just fine.
I have often added cherry tomatoes to my Roasted Tomato Sauce– I just use whatever tomatoes are on the counter when I whip up a batch.
You can can cherry tomatoes the same as you would larger tomatoes- whole or halved. Check out the National Center for Home Preserved Foods for instructions on canning tomatoes.
Here’s a recipe for Pickled Cherry Tomatoes that can be canned (more on pickling in a minute).
Just remember that cherry tomatoes will have a higher water content and maybe more seeds than your paste tomatoes. But it’s completely fine to throw some cherries in with the rest of your tomatoes!
Related Reading: How to Make (and Can) Homemade Ketchup from Fresh Tomatoes
How to Freeze Cherry Tomatoes
Another great option for preserving cherry tomatoes is to freeze them.
To freeze cherry tomatoes you just need to remove any stems or debris. Lay them on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in the freezer.
Once the the cherry tomatoes are frozen (after about a couple of hours) you can move the tomatoes to a freezer bag or container.
When you are ready to use them, simply remove them from the freezer. You can use them straight from the freezer for most recipes that call for cooked or canned tomatoes- like soups or sauces.
You can also cut your cherry tomatoes in half and roast them with some spices, let them cool, and then freeze these roasted cherry tomatoes
Want to more ideas? Here are 11 Ways to Preserve Tomatoes (and Replace Common Pantry Ingredients!)
Sun-dried Cherry Tomatoes
Sun dried cherry tomatoes are probably the most common way of preserving these tiny tomatoes. And for good reason- they are so yummy!
To make sun-dried tomatoes you can use a couple different methods.
You can make OVEN dried tomatoes by roasting the cherry tomatoes in the oven. Here’s a good tutorial for how to oven-dry your tomatoes.
You can use your dehydrator to remove the moisture. This takes about 5-10 hours at 155F. (Need a dehydrator? Check out my buying guide!)
Or you can actually SUN dry your tomatoes. It takes warm temperatures and low humidity to dehydrate tomatoes with the sun, but it can be done! I suggest placing your tomatoes in a solar dehydrator or mesh drying rack to protect them from insects and debris.
Pickled Cherry Tomatoes
You can also pickle cherry tomatoes as a way to preserve them. The vinegar makes for an easy brine and the canning process is simple. Of course you don’t have to can it, most pickled tomatoes will keep in the fridge for quite awhile.
Here are some pickled cherry tomato recipes to try out:
Garlic Pickled Cherry Tomatoes (with canning directions)
Thai Style Pickled Cherry Tomatoes
Quick Dill Pickled Cherry Tomatoes
Fermented Cherry Tomatoes
Fermentation is a great way to preserve cherry tomatoes. Fermenting takes longer than canning, but it is less work for you in general.
Fermenting has a lot of health benefits- which you can read about here– but it can be somewhat of an acquired taste.
You can ferment cherry tomatoes alone in brine- here’s a simple tutorial on how to ferment cherry tomatoes.
Or try out these Fermented Cherry Tomato Bombs (which looks amazing!)
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I boiled my little cherry tomatoes for just a few minutes can I still freeze them ??
As far as I know, it is recommended to par-boil them prior to freezing. Note however that the texture will be fairly mushy when thawed, and the flavour will be less robust. And unless you skin all them little tomatoes after your par-boil them the skins will probably separate which is texturally strange and unsightly in sauces and soups.
You can do what you want. The freezing process turns any tomato into the consistency of canned tomatoes. Personally when freezing tomatoes i just, clean them, let them dry, and freeze them individually before packing in gallon vacuum seal bags. The vacuum seal is not necessary because the tomato skin works well for protecting the pulp.
I always cook them because they are mushy which will kill any surface bacteria that was on your tomatoes before freezing. For larger tomatoes either let thaw on the counter and pluck the skins and cores out or run under tap water rubbing the skins of. Easy peezy just takes up freezer space over canning which I also do.
I cook my cherry tomatoes on top the stove or on the bbq with smoked garlic that I made and sometimes I add zucchini or onions and I always add olive oil. I put it in hot jars and add some salt and lemon juice. I process for 40 minutes I add these to make sauces or anything you use canned tomatoes for.
Do u water bath them
Do you have a specific recipe? I would love to can. Love this idea. Thanks in advance
Do you have a specific recipe?
I would love the recipe for fresh stewed tomato’s that I can can in a water bath
Would luv the recipe for this please sounds so good😊
I make tomato jam with whole cherry tomatoes. Simmer onions, some hot banana peppers or couple of jalapeños (just enough to cut the sweet), in little olive oil till softened. Add cloves and nutmeg, minced garlic and home grown honey, lemon juice and of course, tomatoes. I don’t measure, just taste occasionally and add whatever needs to be added. Simmer for at least couple of hours, stirring frequently, until thick and jammy. Water bath in sterile jam jars. Absolutely delicious!
This sounds delicious! Do you process this jam with the skin on? Just leave the skin in tact?
What would you use this on
I froze about 10 quarts of cherry tomatoes, can I still use them to make dried tomatoes?
The tomato skins are very nutritious. Do we generally remove the skins so when canning tomatoes they look better? I can bushel baskets of roma tomatoes and remove the skins. For my tomato sauce I use the hand blender after I have added onions, garlic, celery and carrots to the batch that cooks down on the stove. Leaving the skins on would be healthier, but would they still blend up the same once cooked down?
I never peel my tomatoes anymore. The hand blender pulverizes the tomato skins completely, after the tomatoes are cooked down.
I prefer the texture of peeled tomatoes when I can canning them whole or in chunks because I usually am adding that to a quick pot of soup or stew. I do however save all the peels and dehydrate them. It doesn’t take long at all to get them crisp enough that they crumble easily. I grind in a spice grinder to a fine powder which I use like a powdered version of tomato paste.
Do you use a dehydrator or oven? How long and what temp? I like this idea. You say you use them as a tomato paste?
just made this with all the ripe cherry tomatoes from my garden.
Really scrumptious. I put ‘Kochchi’chillies for sharp heat. Perfect with roti.
can you freeze roasted yellow cherry tomatoes after they have been oven roasted and cooled? Do they they have to be placed in olive oil, or can you just freeze the to,atoes after they cooled?
When you freeze roasted cherry tomatoes do you have to submerge them in EVOO? Or can you just roast, cool then freeze?