60+ Delicious Fresh Tomato Recipes for Summer
Succulent, juicy fresh tomatoes may just be the most highly anticipated arrivals at the summer farmers’ market—and for good reason. A summer tomato at peak ripeness requires little more than a sprinkle of flakey salt and a grind of black pepper to be absolutely delicious. Of course, they do also contribute bright acidity, a touch of savory, and a vibrant visual cue that summer is on to countless (slightly more involved) dishes. And with a stunning variety of tomato types available at this point in the year, no two tomato-centric recipes you make this summer need be quite the same. From layering them into hearty sandwiches and lively summer salads to roasting them to bring out their inherent sweetness in fresh pasta sauces, to candying them for a most incredible caprese inspired ice cream sundae, here are some of our favorite ways to highlight the glory of fresh summer tomatoes.
The Ultimate Summer Tomato Salad
Everything about this stunner of a salad screams summer. Visit your local farmers’ market, favorite roadside produce stand, or get your hands on a CSA to bring this seasonal salad to life with the freshest flavors possible. With a variety of vibrant flavors and textures—all tied together with an addictive Herbed Avocado-Tahini Dressing—this dish puts a standard salad to shame. You’ll be sure to turn heads with this beauty at your next family cook out or weekend block party; of course, it’s totally worth making all for yourself, too… because it’s just that good, and you deserve it.
Caprese Ice Cream Sundaes
This super-sophisticated, wow-worthy dessert is a great twist on two separate dishes. It takes some time, but it’s worth it, especially for a special occasion. Poaching tomatoes in simple syrup brings out their fruitier side. Paired with buttery and salty ice cream, you’ve got a smart and different winner. Here, it’s crucial to be gentle with the tomatoes: You’re turning them from a vegetable into a fruit culinary. If you’ve got an overgrown basil plant, use those leaves for the basil syrup; thyme sprigs would also work well here, if you’re looking for something a little different.
Corn Salad With Soybeans, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil
This simple, tasty salad from Abra Berens' Ruffage is summer in a bowl. Pan-frying the corn kernels enhances their complex sweetness, and adding fresh basil and tomatoes brings in a note of bright acid.
Summer Vegetable Chowder
This vegetable chowder is bursting with vibrant farmers’ market fresh flavors. Although the soup its inspired by peak season summer produce, it’s could be made year-round with frozen vegetables. The luscious texture is achieved by incorporating a roux as the thickening base, as chowders made with cream alone can often feel overly heavy and bland in flavor. We’ve also included three easy ideas for topping this summer chowder; each is a delicious addition that has this simple-to-make recipe feeling company-worthy. And thanks to the Instant Pot, it’s speedy enough to whip up at a moment’s notice.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Chicken and Couscous
Not only does this vibrant salad taste like summer on a plate, but it’s also a fantastic make-ahead recipe that doesn’t require heating up the kitchen. While this is certainly not a meal that will weigh you down, store-bought rotisserie chicken makes the tomato salad hearty enough to serve as a satisfying entree. Soaking the couscous is a genius trick that yields a perfect fluffy texture—no cooking necessary. Plus, the overnight soaking means your couscous will be chilled and ready to go when you’re ready to assemble the salad. Plan ahead to take advantage of this savvy meal prep move.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
What better way to capture the flavor of summer (to be enjoyed months from now as the weather starts to cool down) than with your own fresh tomato sauce, made with plump, peak season maters? Jarred, grocery store brands simply cannot compare to the vibrant tomato flavor this sauce delivers. The recipe here is for canning a very basic salted sauce—which can be used as the base for pasta/pizza sauce or tomato soup—as you’ll want to wait until you’re ready to pop the seal and cook with your sauce to add in aromatics and seasonings like garlic, onion, and herbs. It’s important that you closely follow the recommended directions for canning tomato products in order to avoid the risk of botulism. You can find citric acid on the baking aisle or where canning products are located in the grocery store; however, you can also substitute bottled lemon juice in place of the citric acid (1 tablespoon of juice per pint-sized jar).
Paleo Southern-Style Tomato Pie
This modern take on the traditional tomato pie starts with a gluten-free crust that is buttery, delightfully crumbly, and, even better—tastes like bacon. Anyone who’s been saving their bacon grease after weekend recent breakfasts is in luck, because now is the time to let it shine. Rendered bacon fat is easiest to work with if it has solidified after chilling in the refrigerator. Use a tablespoon measure to scoop the solidified bacon fat into a small bowl to freeze; once frozen, simply pop it out of the bowl and give it a rough chop. All of that said, feel free to use a different solid fat here, such as coconut oil, if you prefer. Enough about the crust, though. The real star of this pie is the tomato—and that’s the way it should be. Featuring homemade mayo, the filling is just richly creamy enough and just herbaceous enough to make your peak season tomatoes feel extra special. And the fact that the whole thing is Paleo-friendly is just the cherry on top! While clearly, you will want to dig into your tomato pie as soon as humanly possible (we can relate), don’t skip out on salting your tomatoes. This step is crucial to a great final product as the salt helps drain the tomatoes of excess liquid without messing up their texture. We recommend baking this tomato pie in a (9-inch) glass pie dish or light metal pie pan to prevent over-browning the crust.
Panzanella Caprese Stack
This panzanella-meets-caprese stack makes for an impressive appetizer salad for two or can be enjoyed as a lovely summer lunch for one. Layering the stack with the dressing in between each delicious layer allows every component of the stack to get well coated, as the elements of a tossed salad would. Add extra cucumber and red onion (and cheese) as desired to create your perfect tower of tomato goodness. You’ll probably want to eat this composed salad with a fork and knife… and a heavy handful of napkins.
This simple and vibrant vegetable tart is great go-to recipe for entertaining. Encasing all of the classic flavors of ratatouille in a buttery, flakey crust (not to mention, adding a sprinkling of creamy goat cheese), is a beautiful and delicious way to enjoy a bounty of summer produce. Pre-roasting the vegetables allows them to develop nice color and keeps them from leaking liquid onto the crust while you bake the assembled tart. Serve as an appetizer or with a green salad for a light and lovely meal.
Caprese Galette with Balsamic Reduction
The fresh summer favorite, Caprese Salad, gets a delicious and elegant makeover in this savory galette. Featuring thick slices of heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, boosted with a fresh basil pesto and rich balsamic reduction, this stunning tart is loaded with bold, fresh flavors and makes for the perfect addition any summer gathering. And the best part is, despite its lovely presentation, this Caprese Galette is incredibly simple to pull together. If possible, try to use ripe, locally sourced tomatoes for this recipe, as they’ll generally offer fuller flavor than what you pick up at the supermarket. This galette can be served warm from the oven or at room temperature—just garnish with a few fresh basil leaves before you put it out, and get ready to rake in the compliments.
Roasted Tomato, Salami, and Mozzarella Pasta
This recipe gives you all the favorite flavors of a baked pasta dish without heating up the oven. Round out this easy weeknight meal with a simple and satisfying dessert. When a recipe calls for a small amount of an ingredient, such as the cup of arugula in this recipe, save money and buy what you need from the salad bar at your grocery store instead of purchasing an entire package.
Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise
One of the season’s simplest and most iconic pleasures, the beloved BLT, can also double as an effortless appetizer. The quality of your tomatoes will make or break this simple sandwich. We like the color contrast of red and yellow heirloom tomatoes, but choose whichever large tomato is ripest. These little sandwiches are perfect for outdoor picnics or brunch with the ladies.
Kettle Chip-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes with Tasso Tartar Sauce
Pull out the fryer and make crunchy fried green tomatoes. Tasso is a highly spiced, cured, and smoked pork used to flavor dishes in Cajun cooking. You will often find it used in gumbos. If you can’t find tasso, look for Andouille sausage, another heavily spiced pork sausage used in Cajun dishes.
Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
A Caprese salad—tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese—is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to show off peak-season Southern-grown tomatoes. Give this salad a fun new look by using a mix of multicolored cherry tomatoes and small fresh mozzarella balls (also called “bocconcini”) tossed in a simple vinaigrette. The dressing calls for white balsamic vinegar—regular balsamic vinegar will taste fine, but will turn the cheese brown—but you can use white wine vinegar instead. While we love the look of this side dish on a pretty platter, you can also skewer the ingredients to make Caprese kebabs. Either way, Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad is best served at room temperature (not straight from the refrigerator) when the tomatoes are juicy and the cheese is soft.
Sheet Pan Pizza with Corn, Tomatoes, and Sausage
We topped this summer pizza with fresh corn, bell peppers, plum tomatoes, and hot Italian sausgae. The sausage and tomatoes cook together to create a rich sauce, which is used as a base for summer corn, peppers, and even more tomatoes. Use fresh pizza dough and par-cook the crust before adding the toppings for the crispiest results.
Grilled Steak and Tomatoes with Tofu Ranch Dressing
There's no need to pull out the food processor to make the small amount of breadcrumbs for this recipe. Just tear bread by hand into very small pieces; the rustic texture is perfect.
Aglio E Olio With Roasted Tomatoes
This pasta looks special, but it’s doable for a weeknight dinner if you roast and refrigerate the tomatoes in advance. You can store them in an airtight container up to two days.
Meatball and Tomato Salad
Use ground beef or bison here. Available in most grocery stores, bison is eco-friendly and has fewer calories and less sat fat than beef. Try these meatballs with spaghetti, or pile them on a whole-wheat hoagie for a wholesome take on the classic meatball sub.
Blistered Peppers and Tomatoes
Popping up in more grocery stores these days, shishito peppers are a mild, thin-skinned pepper that have a secret—about one in eight has a surprising kick of heat. For a milder dish, substitute mini bell peppers.
Warm Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Eggplant
Congratulations—You just found your new go-to pasta salad! This veggie-packed beauty is nice and filling, thanks to meaty eggplant. If you can’t find burrata, simply tear 6 ounces of fresh mozzarella into bite-size pieces. Heading to a potluck? Feel free to make this recipe ahead of time; just be sure to let it come to room temperature and toss with an extra drizzle of vinegar and oil before serving. Add a few tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves for an extra layer of flavor.
Triple Tomato Salad with Crispy Farro
Our salad update is a spectacular platter of tomatoes treated in all the ways that make the most of their flavor: pickled, roasted, and left raw. It does involve a few steps, but you can fry the farro and pickle the green tomatoes a few days in advance to get ahead.
Spicy Tomato-Cucumber Salad
This elegantly simple salad is summer in a bowl. Sunshine-yellow and ruby-red wedges of juicy tomato anchor this dish with a hefty dose of lycopene, a heart-helping, cancer-fighting antioxidant. Cucumber and bell pepper bring their crunch to the party, while lemon and chile keep things lively with heat and zing. Remember—summer tomatoes are extra juicy, so plan to serve this salad soon after making it for the most concentrated flavor.
Ultimate Grilled Tomato Sandwiches
Toasty bread, juicy tomatoes, melty cheese, and smoky bacon—what’s not to love? These decadent grilled sandwiches are the perfect place to put your ripe summer tomatoes, and pair beautifully with a light, refreshing summer soup. While you could certainly prepare them in a skillet on the stove, going to the grill takes these superb summer sandwiches to the next level.
Pasta with Shrimp and Tomato Cream Sauce
Smaller tomatoes, like cherry or grape, have brighter, fruitier flavors than larger ones. Look for colorful selections such as the orange Sun Gold and the purple Black Cherry. Cherry tomatoes need only a few minutes in a hot pan before they soften and release their naturally sweet juices. For the best flavor, use fresh shrimp, not frozen, and don’t overcook them, or the shrimp will become tough. Tarragon’s anise notes complement the cherry tomatoes and cream, but you can substitute basil or oregano.
Grilled Steak Salad with Green Tomato Vinaigrette
You can swap out your favorite garden tomatoes for the heirlooms in this tomato-centric salad, but don’t replace the green tomato. Some tomato selections (like Green Zebra) ripen to a lovely shade of green, but this dressing calls for a not-yet-ripened red tomato. Its tart flavor is key to the vinaigrette, which tastes great with any grilled meat or vegetable.
Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Charred Tomato Relish
This smoky relish is delicious on just about anything you grill; from fish to chicken, or even thick slices of country bread.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Blistered Tomatoes
This twist on chicken piccata has the traditional sauce made from butter, lemon juice, capers, and white wine, but gets a burst of summery flavor from blistered tomatoes. Avoid over-stirring the cherry tomatoes in the hot pan; you want them to brown and caramelize. Use your favorite dry white wine in the recipe, and serve the rest with dinner.
Bacon-Spinach-and-Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes
We love beefsteak tomatoes because they are meaty, firm, and perfect for stuffing. Brush the inside of each hollowed-out tomato with bacon drippings to make them extra smoky and savory. As the tomatoes roast and soften, their tangy juices enhance the bacon, spinach, and couscous stuffing. You can easily swap out the couscous for rice, orzo, or quinoa.
Best-Ever Crab Cakes with Green Tomato Slaw
Flavored with fresh herbs, lemon, and a hint of hot sauce, and coated with crunchy panko breadcrumbs, these crab cakes truly live up to their name. The tangy and crisp slaw is a fantastic accompaniment to this dish, or any type of fried seafood.
Creamy Chicken-Tomato Skillet
Yes! You can make chicken and rice in 20 minutes. When a craving for comfort food hits and you need it in a hurry, this fast take on chicken and rice hits the spot. Stirring chopped baby spinach into warm brown rice is a smart way to get more vegetables and jazz up an otherwise plain starchy side. Our pro tips for speedy cooking: Cut chicken into bite-size pieces so it cooks in just a few minutes, use precooked rice and heat it in the microwave, then use the hot rice to wilt the spinach for you while you finish the chicken. Fresh thyme, chopped basil, or parsley are all good stand-ins for the rosemary. Round out the meal with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Shortcut Southern Tomato Pie
When you’re working with juicy, ripe summer tomatoes, there’s really no need for fuss. We keep it simple in this no-frills tomato pie recipe by utilizing store-bought pie crust and pimiento cheese. We found that a thick pimiento cheese, such as Palmetto brand, works best for this recipe.
Pork Chops with Tomato-Bacon Gravy
This recipe will remind you of how good a pork chop can be. While the pork chops roast in the oven, the savory pan gravy comes together quickly on the stove-top, making a company-worthy meal in under an hour. You can easily swap out the green beans for thin asparagus spears or sliced zucchini for a personalized dish.
Ziti with Mushroom, Fennel, and Tomato Ragu
Think your Ragu has to filled with ground beef? Think again. While traditionally a meat sauce, we’ve developed flavors and textures in this sauce with multiple varieties of mushrooms. Serve a loaf of warm bread to sop up all the saucy goodness of this pasta dish. Use a Parmesan rind in your Ragu, soups, and stews to subtly infuse the dish with the flavors of the cheese. If the rind doesn’t dissolve during the cooking process, you can remove it from the mixture, as instructed in this recipe, or break it up with a fork into small, chewy pieces. While any pasta shape will work with this hearty vegetarian dish, we prefer penne or ziti; these noodles help capture every last bite of the chunky sauce.