How To Make Out-Of-Season Tomatoes Taste Amazing

eating tomatoes in the winter

I love tomatoes, and I can’t get enough of them the during the summertime. Fresh tomatoes from my garden or the local farmer’s market are hard to beat! And although winter and tomatoes go together like oil and water, my devotion to tomatoes inspired me to find out whether there was any way to turn the tomatoes available in year-round in the produce department into something worth eating.

(Spoiler alert: I did! But more on that shortly…)

eating tomatoes in the winter

The Trouble With Winter Tomatoes

If you’re hoping to enjoy the same transcendent experience while eating fresh tomatoes in the winter as you did during the summer, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Out-of-season tomatoes can be a bit grainy in texture, and they just don’t have the same intensity of flavor as their peak-season counterparts.

The chill of winter makes it tricky to grow really good tomatoes. Luckily, there’s a fairly easy way to take those less-than-ideal winter tomatoes and make them taste absolutely delicious!

eating tomatoes in the winter

How To Make Tomatoes Taste Delicious, Even In Winter

Slow roasting is one of the best approaches to use with winter tomatoes because it intensifies their flavor and gives them a meatier, more robust texture. You can transform even the homeliest tomato into a thing of beauty through the magic of slow roasting.

Roasted tomatoes are as versatile as they are tasty — you can add them to pasta or salads, layer them on sandwiches, or enjoy them a delicious side dish!

eating tomatoes in the winter

Shopping For Tomatoes During Winter

Look for darkly colored, firm tomatoes that smell tomato-y — all key indicators of ripeness. The varieties that are typically available in grocery stores during the winter, such as Roma and Vine Ripe, aren’t all that distinct in terms of flavor, so you can use them interchangeably in recipes. (And both are great for roasting!)

eating tomatoes in the winter

How To Roast Tomatoes

Wash and quarter the tomatoes you want to roast, then place them on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or aluminum foil. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, then sprinkle salt, pepper, and fresh thyme (optional, but tasty!) over the top.

Roast the tomatoes at 350°F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until dark red and just a little bit charred. (Slow roasting takes time, so be patient and be sure to enjoy the incredible aromas wafting through your kitchen!) 

eating tomatoes in the winter

Using And Storing Roasted Tomatoes

If you have any left after digging in, your roasted tomatoes will stay fresh for about a week if refrigerated in an airtight container. You can always freeze them if you’d like to store them longer.

Here are a few delicious ideas for putting your roasted tomatoes to good use:

Toss whole wheat linguine with a little bit of olive oil and lemon juice, then top with 1/2 cup of roasted tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese.

Prepare a delicious, low-carb breakfast by arranging a couple of poached eggs on a bed of spinach leaves, then top with a few pieces of roasted tomato and drizzle hollandaise sauce over the top.

Use roasted tomatoes to take a standard grilled cheese to new heights! Juicy and flavorful roasted tomatoes are a perfect compliment to the melted cheese and crispy bread.

eating tomatoes in the winter

A Few Notes On Canned Tomatoes

  • Some argue canned tomatoes are even better than fresh ones, especially during the winter!
  • The main advantage of canned whole tomatoes is consistency, because they’re always preserved at peak ripeness. You just can’t beat the flavor of in-season, vine-ripened tomatoes!
  • Whole canned tomatoes are also peeled before they’re canned, which means you won’t end up with any of those curly, papery tomato skins in your sauce or soup.
  • There’s even a relatively new variety of canned tomatoes you may want to check out: canned cherry tomatoes! I love them, and I’m sure you will too!
eating tomatoes in the winter

Roasted Tomatoes

Jill Nystul
You can still enjoy flavorful tomatoes, even when summer is long gone! The key is to roast them slowly at a low temperature to concentrate their flavor and improve their texture. Delicious!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 3
Calories 159 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 10 tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Quarter the tomatoes and place them on a lined baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes, then season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves.
  • Roast at 350°F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the tomatoes are dark red and slightly charred.

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 21mgPotassium: 986mgFiber: 5gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 3526IUVitamin C: 60mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2mg

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

MORE IDEAS FROM

Food & Recipes

  • When we decide that we would like some tomatoes during winter, we only buy either cherry, grape, or campari tomatoes. That way there’s no prep, other than rinsing, slicing and eating them. I don’t even waste money on the other types.

  • Just don’t buy tomatoes in Winter, really. They taste like nothing, use a lot of precious energy to grow – buy vegetables and fruit in season. Canned tomatoes – good ones – are perfect in Winter.

  • Thank you Miss Jillee! This is great :) LIving in central Texas (and having a gas stove) I try diligently not to turn on my oven LOL I’ve successfully roasted both halved cherry tomatoes and quartered romas in my Instapot Vortex and they turned out beautiful!!

  • Love these, Jillee! Just made my second batch, as the first one didn’t last long. We ate them alone, then on hot dogs the next day (with onion and mustard, of course!). With part of today’s batch, I used them to make a BLT – yum!! Just one question – does anyone have an easy way to remove the fresh thyme from the stems without having to pluck them off the stem one at a time? I tried pulling them off by running my thumb and forefinger along the stem, but that didn’t work. Help – and thanks!

  • I learned about roasted tomatoes from Our Best Bites several years back – soooooo good! I roast bushels of tomatoes, run them through my food processor, and freeze them as tomato sauce/paste for pizza, spaghetti, etc. I even have my MIL doing this now. She says it’s the best sauce ever.

  • I really enjoy Tomatoes Home grown especially Id never touch canned tomatoes yuck fresh Home grown organic or farmers markets are best. From a child I remember eating away at Tomatoes I just love them home grown and still today I enjoy the Tomatoe they are classed as a fruit but when I was little I thought vegetable so I used to water the Tomatoe plants and watch them grow and my Grandparents grew huge ones and lots you can alway,s tell the difference between home grown or tinned our family don,t touch canned just organic home grown or farmers markets and I am glad to see some ways you can eat Tomatoes in the winter they look delicious a big thank you for now I will be trying these recipes kind regards

  • You can grill tomatoes on the grill, too. Cut them in half, drizzle with olive oil or even spray butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with parmesan cheese. Wonderful!

  • Great idea. We always have gobs tomatoes from our garden . When the weather starts turning cold my Dad picks the green ones, wraps them in newspaper. Put them in a bowl in our sunroom and eventually they will,ripen. It.might take a few weeks. How long will they keep frozen. This method sounds delicious.

  • What are you freezing then in, just zip top bags? How long do they last in the freezer? Could these be canned? Can’t wait to try this with some home grown tomatoes this summer.

  • I LOVE TOMATOES. IF YOU ARE LIKE ME, AND GROW YOUR OWN, YOU JUST CAN’T WAIT FOR THAT VERY FIRST RIPE ONE. HUBS AND I CHECK EVERY DAY. MAKE SURE WE HAVE DUKE’S” MAYO AND MUST HAVE FRESH BREAD.

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