Quick Pickled Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

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Learn how to make this super easy quick pickled cherry tomato recipe with just a few simple ingredients. A great way to preserve fresh tomatoes to last a little bit longer.

pint mason jar full of pickled cherry tomatoes with garlic and dill in a brine. The jar sits on a wood countertop with red pepper flakes and dill

These zesty, tangy little gems have the power to transform a boring recipe that will leave your taste buds begging for more. 

I love growing cherry tomato plants. And every year I tell myself that I grow too many plants and I will plant less next year. So I plant less and then somehow still have way too many cherry tomatoes. 

Not that I am complaining. There are so many ways to use them. From freezing, to making sauce, and just eating them fresh. None of them go to waste.

Don’t worry, I will be sharing all the ways I use up this summer favorite. But these quick pickled cherry tomatoes are one of our favorites.

pickled cherry tomatoes in a jar with dill and garlic on a wood countertop with more dill to the right

Why Pickle Cherry Tomatoes?

Preserves the freshness and flavor: of cherry tomatoes. By immersing them in a brine or vinegar solution, you not only extend their shelf life but also lock in their natural sweetness and tanginess. This means that even days or weeks after pickling, you can still enjoy the vibrant taste of freshly-picked cherry tomatoes in every bite.

Enhances texture. While the raw tomatoes are juicy and firm, the pickling process gives them a unique crunch that adds an interesting dimension to your salads. This contrasting texture can elevate even the simplest of salads, making them more exciting and enjoyable to eat.

Healthy: As with all tomatoes, they are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants.

Reduce food waste: Instead of letting excess cherry tomatoes go bad, pickling them allows you to make the most out of your produce. By preserving them in jars, you can enjoy their deliciousness a little longer. This not only reduces waste but also promotes sustainability in your kitchen.

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cherry tomatoes, garlic, dill, glass jars of vinegar and water, and a teal bowl of salt and sugar are on white and yellow towel

Ingredients you will need:

Fresh summer tomatoes. Look for ripe tomatoes that are firm and ripe, as they will hold up well during the pickling process. The vibrant colors of cherry tomatoes will not only add visual appeal to your salads but also provide a burst of sweetness with every bite. Use your own tomatoes or store-bought grocery store tomatoes. Either will work.

Vinegar: which is a key component in pickling. Traditional options such as white vinegar or apple cider vinegar work well, but feel free to experiment with different types for a unique twist on flavor. Vinegar not only adds tanginess to the pickling liquid but also acts as a natural preservative, extending the shelf life of your pickled tomatoes.

Sugar is often used, but you can also try alternatives like honey or maple syrup for a more nuanced taste. The sweetener will enhance the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and provide a delightful contrast to the tangy vinegar.

Herbs and spices: Classic combinations include dill, rosemary, garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. However, don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite herbs and spices.

Tools you will need:

Luckily there is no special equipment really needed:

Mason jars (I like to use pint jars) or other airtight containers for storing your pickled cherry tomatoes. 

Funnel on hand to make pouring the pickling liquid into the jars a breeze.

Colander

jar of quick pickled cherry tomatoes in a brine on a wood cutting board.

How to Make Easy Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

cherry tomatoes in a colander being washed in a sink

Wash cherry tomatoes and remove the green tops.

water being poured into a pot

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and set aside.

Prick the tomatoes with a toothpick to make a small hole or make a small slit in each one, which allows the pickling liquid to penetrate and infuse them completely. 

Clean your mason jar or airtight container.

adding dill and garlic to a mason jar on a cutting board

In each jar add spices, herbs, and garlic if desired. Classic options include a clove of garlic, dill seed, mustard seeds, dill seeds, black peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. However, feel free to experiment and tailor the spices to your personal preference. 

cherry tomatoes added to a mason jar on a wood cutting board with garlic surrounding the jar.

Place cherry tomatoes in each jar. 

pouring a brine into a mason jar of cherry tomatoes on a wood cutting board with garlic in front of the jar

Pour the hot liquid over the tomatoes and leave about 1/2 headspace. Using a funnel can be very handy.

Remove air bubbles by tapping the jar gently on the counter or running a non-metal utensil around the sides of the jar. Add more brine if needed.

Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature and then move to the refrigerator.

Let the pickled cherry tomatoes refrigerate for at least 2-3 days before using. This is for the best flavor.

Storage

Store in the refrigerator for a few weeks, up to one month, possibly longer.

Add-Ins

  • Garlic
  • Fresh dill or dill seed.
  • Mustard seed
  • Rosemary
  • Whole peppercorns
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Or a variety of different herbs
overhead photo of pickled cherry tomatoes in a jar on a wood cutting board

How To use Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

  • Salad: Add them to a simple green salad and watch how they transform it into a flavor-packed masterpiece. Their tanginess pairs well with crisp greens, creamy cheeses, and a variety of dressings. You can even use the pickling liquid as a base for a tangy vinaigrette – waste not, want not!
  • Pasta: Elevate your pasta dishes by tossing in a few pickled cherry tomatoes. Their bright and zesty flavor cuts through the richness of pasta sauces, adding depth and complexity to every bite. Whether you’re making a classic tomato-based pasta or experimenting with different flavors, these little bursts of tanginess will take your dish to the next level.
  • Bruschetta: Add a tangy twist to traditional bruschetta. Chop them up and mix them with fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Pile this vibrant mixture onto toasted baguette slices for a burst of flavor that will impress any crowd.
  • Garnish: Use them as a garnish to add a pop of color and tang to various dishes. Whether it’s topping off a grilled fish, a creamy soup, or a juicy burger, these little gems will not disappoint.
  • Pizza: The tanginess complements the richness of melted cheese and adds an exciting contrast to the traditional pizza flavors. Experiment with different combinations and find your favorite flavor profile.
  • Appetizer: They make a great addition to a charcuterie board.

FAQ

jar of pickled cherry tomatoes with dill and garlic on a wood cutting board with pepper flakes surrounding the jar

Can I use any type of cherry tomatoes for pickling?

Yes, you can use any variety of cherry tomatoes for pickling. Whether you prefer the classic red cherry tomatoes or want to experiment with different colors like yellow or even purple, the pickling process works well with all types. Just make sure to choose tomatoes that are firm and ripe for the best results.

How long do pickled cherry tomatoes need to be stored before they can be enjoyed?

While you can technically enjoy pickled cherry tomatoes as soon as they are chilled, it’s recommended to give them some time to develop their flavor. Ideally, you should let them sit in the refrigerator for at least a few days to allow the flavors to meld together. This will result in a more intense and well-rounded taste.

How long do pickled cherry tomatoes last?

When stored properly in airtight containers in the refrigerator, pickled cherry tomatoes can last for several weeks, if not longer.
However, it’s important to note that the texture and overall quality may start to decline after a certain point. To ensure the best taste and texture, it’s recommended to consume them within a month of pickling.

Can I adjust the level of spiciness in pickled cherry tomatoes?

Absolutely! Pickling is a versatile process that allows you to customize the flavor profile according to your preferences. If you enjoy a little heat, you can add chili flakes or even a small diced jalapeño to the pickling brine.

On the other hand, if you prefer a milder taste, simply omit the spicy ingredients and focus on enhancing the other flavors, such as garlic or herbs.

What is the best way to preserve cherry tomatoes?

Can cherry tomatoes be water bath canned?

Yes they can, but you need to make sure you are using a recipe that has been proven safe.

This recipe has not been proven safe for canning.

Find More Preserving Recipes:

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pickled cherry tomatoes in a jar with dill and garlic on a wood countertop with more dill to the right

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

Learn how to make this super easy quick pickled cherry tomato recipe with just a few simple ingredients. Pickling turns regular tomatoes into zest and tangy ones.
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Author: Amy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs salt preferably picking or sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 head fresh dill or a few sprigs of dill

Instructions

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and set aside.
  • Wash cherry tomatoes and remove the green tops.
  • Prick the tomatoes with a toothpick to make a small hole or make a small slit in each one, which allows the pickling liquid to penetrate and infuse them completely.
  • Clean your mason jar or airtight container.
  • In each jar add spices, herbs, and garlic if desired. Classic options include a clove of garlic, dill seed, mustard seeds, dill seeds, black peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. However, feel free to experiment and tailor the spices to your personal preference.
  • Place cherry tomatoes in each jar.
  • Pour the hot liquid over the tomatoes and leave about 1/2 headspace. Using a funnel can be very handy.
  • Remove air bubbles by tapping the jar gently on the counter or running a non-metal utensil around the sides of the jar. Add more brine if needed.
  • Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature and then move to the refrigerator.
  • Let the pickled cherry tomatoes refrigerate for at least 2-3 days before using. This is for the best flavor.

Notes

Switch up the herbs and spices used. Rosemary would be a great addition

Nutrition

Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 1761mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 574IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pickled cherry tomatoes, pickled tomatoes
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