Marinated Tomatoes

5 from 5 votes

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Marinated Tomatoes are a quintessential summer side dish, bursting with the vibrant flavors of fresh, juicy tomatoes and aromatic herbs. Whether you use these in salads or as a summer appetizer, this easy tomato recipe is perfect for those warm days when you want something refreshing yet satisfying.

A bowl of marinated tomatoes and fresh vegetables.

Dive into this recipe for marinated tomatoes to discover a new favorite way to enjoy your garden’s bounty or the best picks from your local farmers market. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or trying this for the first time, this dish promises to delight.

What are Marinated Tomatoes?

Marinated tomatoes are fresh tomatoes soaked in a tangy vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and a mix of fresh herbs and seasonings. One of our favorite Italian recipes, these make a great compliment to other summer recipes like baked zucchini parmesan, grilled rolled eggplant, and our hero sub salad.

A man buying vegetables at an outdoor farmer's market.

This simple process enhances the natural sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes, transforming them into a flavorful side dish that’s perfect for any summer meal. Imagine biting into ripe tomatoes that are bursting with flavor, enhanced by the marinade’s zesty Italian dressing and fresh herbs.

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Ingredients for Marinated Tomatoes

Summer tomatoes are one of my favorite summer gifts. When it comes to making marinated tomatoes, you can use a variety of fresh herbs and veggies that you think would go well with a tomato salad.

You can use things like red onion, fresh parsley, a garlic clove, or a white onion. Like other easy recipes, marinated tomatoes can be made using what you have on hand.

A carton of cherry tomatoes and some fresh basil.

For these marinated tomatoes, I use the following ingredients:

1 pint fresh farmers market cherry tomatoes: These little gems are sweet and juicy, ideal for soaking up the marinade. Whether from your garden or the grocery store, fresh cherry tomatoes are the best tomatoes for this recipe.

1 cup red wine vinegar: Adds a tangy kick that balances the sweetness of the tomatoes, making it a great way to elevate the dish.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil: Provides a rich, smooth base for the marinade, ensuring the tomatoes are well-coated.

1 shallot, finely diced: Adds a mild onion flavor that complements the other ingredients, perfect for those who enjoy a subtle bite.

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed: Infuses the marinade with a robust, aromatic flavor that enhances the tomatoes’ natural taste.

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves: Brings a fresh, peppery taste that screams summer, perfect for a marinated tomato salad.

1/4 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves: Adds a bright, slightly bitter note to the mix, enhancing the overall flavor.

1 pinch sugar: Enhances the natural sweetness of the tomatoes, balancing the acidity of the vinegar.

1 teaspoon kosher salt: Balances the flavors and enhances the taste of the tomatoes.

Fresh ground black pepper: Adds a bit of heat and complexity to the marinade.

How to Make Marinated Tomatoes

A jar of minced onions in some red wine vinegar and a bowl of cherry tomatoes.
  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a jar, combine the red wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Add the finely diced shallot, crushed garlic, fresh basil, parsley, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon until well combined. For an extra zing, you can add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or a splash of lemon juice.
  2. Chop the Tomatoes: Coarsely chop the cherry tomatoes using a serrated knife. This helps them absorb the marinade more effectively. If you’re using larger tomatoes like Roma tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes, cut them into thick slices or large pieces.
  3. Combine and Marinate: Add the chopped tomatoes to the marinade and gently stir to coat them evenly. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least 90 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  4. Serve: Before serving, give the tomatoes a final stir. Reserve any leftover marinade to use as a salad dressing or a marinade for other dishes. This is one of the best things you can do to add flavor to your meals.

Recipe Tip

When making this Marinated Farmers Market Tomatoes recipe, cut and add the tomatoes as the last step. This minimizes the loss of juice, the most important part of the taste of these summer beauties.

How to Store Marinated Tomatoes

Store your marinated tomatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep well for up to 3 days, making them a great make-ahead recipe for busy weeks. When ready to use, allow them to come to room temperature for the best flavor.

How to Use Marinated Tomatoes

A bowl of pasta salad with marinated tomatoes.

Marinated tomatoes are incredibly versatile. Here are a few ideas:

  • Serve them as a side dish alongside grilled steaks or chicken.
  • Add them to a fresh salad with leafy greens, feta cheese, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  • Top crusty bread or avocado toast with marinated tomatoes for a flavorful snack.
  • Mix them with fresh mozzarella balls for a simple and delicious caprese salad.
  • Use them as a topping for grilled fish or in a pasta dish.
  • Combine them with other fresh vegetables like red bell pepper or green onion for a vibrant cherry tomato salad.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Vinegar Variations: Try balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar for different flavor profiles. Champagne vinegar can add a touch of elegance.
  • Herbs: Substitute fresh basil and parsley with other favorite fresh herbs like cilantro, dill, or mint. For a different twist, add some dried herbs or additional chopped fresh herbs from your herb garden.
  • Tomatoes: Use any type of tomatoes you have on hand, including grape tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, or even larger tomatoes like Roma or plum tomatoes. Vine-ripened tomatoes and garden tomatoes also work wonderfully.
An overhead view of a jar of marinated tomatoes.


What type of tomatoes are best for marinating?Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and heirloom tomatoes are all great options.

Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh?Yes, but fresh herbs provide the best flavor. If using dried, reduce the quantity by half.

How long should I marinate the tomatoes?Let the tomatoes marinate for at least 90 minutes for the best taste, but they can sit longer if needed.

A bowl of cherry tomato salad.

This marinated tomatoes recipe is a great way to celebrate tomato season. Whether you’re using fresh cherry tomatoes from your garden, store-bought tomatoes from the grocery store, or the best picks from the Wisconsin farmers market or Elkhart Lake farmers market, this dish promises to be a highlight of your summer meals.

Enjoy this easy way to bring out the best flavor in your tomatoes and make the most of this delightful time of year. Happy cooking!

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Marinated Farmers Market Tomatoes

5 from 5 votes
Marinated Farmers Market Tomatoes are a fresh and tangy side dish perfect for summer. They feature juicy cherry tomatoes soaked in a flavorful marinade of red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh basil, and garlic. This easy tomato recipe can be made quickly and is ideal for showcasing ripe tomatoes from your garden or local farmer's market. Serve these marinated tomatoes as a vibrant addition to salads, avocado toast, or alongside grilled meats for a burst of summer flavor.
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 pint fresh farmers market cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper


  • In jar, combine red wine vinegar and olive oil. Add shallot, garlic, parsley and basil, along with salt, pepper and sugar. Use wooden spoon and mix together.
  • Coarsely chop tomatoes using serrated knife. Add to marinade and gently stir.
  • Allow to set for at least 90 minutes. Before using. Reserve leftover marinade for salad dressing, if desired.


As with all recipes, make this one your own. Adjust amounts of marinade ingredients to your taste. Switch thing up as well. Consider balsamic vinegar in lieu of, or in addition to the other liquid components.


Calories: 134kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 601mg, Potassium: 311mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 578IU, Vitamin C: 28mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side
Cuisine: Summer
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Delicious Tomato Recipes

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Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. 5 stars
    I love visiting my local farmers market. this is a great way to enjoy fresh heirloom tomatoes from the farmers

  2. Definitely marinating my next batch of cherry tomatoes from the CSA share. So delicious! Bookmarked the recipe 🙂

  3. What got my attention was this photo. Tried the recipe out over the weekend. WOW!
    I served @room temp. w/baguette on side. So, so good! Making it again as soon as I get the chance to gather
    the beautiful Aug. summer veggies.

  4. I can definitely attest to that gorgeous blue skies and water having just visited Wisconsin in July! Beautiful. As are these delicious marinated tomatoes. Summer in a jar!

  5. Guys, it is so fun to go to the farmer’s market – a family affair. I love the simplicity of the recipe letting the produce shine.