Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

5 from 5 votes

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If you’re looking for a way to use perfectly ripe tomatoes and keep them raw and fresh, you have to try these marinated cherry tomatoes. You start by whisking red wine vinaigrette with garlic and herbs for your marinade. Then you stir in the tomatoes and give them some time to marinate. From salads to pasta to bruschetta, there are so many ways to enjoy them.

Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

There’s no better way to celebrate tomato season. Whether you’re a gardener or a farmers market shopper, nothing beats beautiful ripe tomatoes. One of my goals every summer is to eat a many raw tomatoes as I can while they are at their peak.

This is a no-cook recipe. Tomatoes grow most in sunny hot weather. That’s the time of the year when you don’t want to heat up your oven. Marinating tomatoes is a wonderful way to prep them without switching on an appliance.

Marinating tomatoes is so easy. You just have to slice the tomatoes in half, chop the onions and fresh herbs and mince the garlic for prep. Then you’re ready to whisk the vinaigrette and stir in the tomatoes.

There are so many ways to use these marinated tomatoes. It can’t be as basic as spooning them over a slice of crusty bread. You can add them to pasta or eat them as a marinated tomato salad with or without greens.

The Ingredients

Ingredients including tomatoes, herbs, garlic, vinegar, oil, onions, salt and pepper.

This is what you need for this cherry tomato recipe:

  • Cherry Tomatoes: Since this recipe is so simple, it’s important that you use the best cherry tomatoes you can find. This is the time to head to a farmer’s market during peak tomato season. You can also use grape tomatoes or a variety of small tomatoes.
  • Garlic: It is amazing how 2 minced garlic cloves add lots of flavor to the marinade.
  • Onions: Red onions are my first pick, but any color onions will work. Make sure to chop them finely, so you don’t bite into a chunk of onion. This dish is all about the tomatoes!
  • Red wine vinegar: For acid, I whisk in red wine vinegar. If you are looking for a stronger vinegar flavor, reach for balsamic vinegar.
  • Olive oil: I always use extra virgin olive oil when I am making any vinaigrette.
  • Chives & parsley: Never one to skip on fresh herbs, I like both chives and parsley for the tomatoes.
  • Salt & pepper: The final touch to the marinade is seasoning with salt and pepper.

How To Make Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

Marinating tomatoes is not difficult. It will probably take you longer to prep the tomatoes by cutting them in half and chopping the onions and herbs.

  1. Make the marinade. Whisk together minced garlic, onions, red wine vinegar, olive oil, chives, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl. It’s just a vinaigrette.
  2. Add the tomatoes. Stir them around, so everything is well combined. I like to give the tomatoes an hour or 2 to marinate. You can do this at room temperature. If you want the tomatoes to marinate longer, put them in the fridge.
Marinade combined in a bowl. Tomatoes stirred into marinade.

How To Serve Marinated Tomatoes

What’s so great about these marinated cherry tomatoes besides how simple they are to make, is that you can serve them in all sorts of different ways. Even with a single batch:

  • With or without greens, you can eat the tomatoes as a salad. If you want, you can add torn fresh mozzarella or crumbled feta.
  • Turn them into a cucumber and cherry tomato salad.
  • Make a pot of pasta, drain it and rinse the noodles in cold water. Then you can pour in the tomatoes and their juices for a cherry tomato pasta salad. I like to also add grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino and fresh basil.
  • Slice a baguette and spoon on the tomatoes for bruschetta. Add a step by toasting the bread in the oven and rubbing it with a garlic clove for cherry tomato crostini.
  • Stir the marinated tomatoes into cooked grains like quinoa, farro or barley for a side dish.
  • Top grilled fish such as salmon or chicken with these fresh tomatoes.
  • Spoon them on top of avocado toast.
Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

Storing The Tomatoes

Store the marinated tomatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Oil tends to harden in the cold temperatures of the fridges. That’ why I like to let them sit on the kitchen counter at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. The oil will become liquid again. Then stop around the tomatoes in the marinade. Do not freeze them.

Recipe Tips

Use ripe, flavorful tomatoes. This recipe is only as good as your tomatoes. Don’t make this recipe when it’s not tomato season. It’s better to oven roast tomatoes to boost their flavor if they aren’t ripe.

Make sure the bowl that you whisk the marinade in is big enough for the tomatoes. This may seem obvious, but we’ve all been there using a mixing bowl that too small, which prevents you from stirring the ingredients together.

Recipe FAQs

What’s the difference between cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes?

Both are small types of tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes have more delicate skin and are juicer. Grape tomatoes have a slightly thicker skin and don’t have as much juice in the middle. Both kinds will work in this recipe.

Can you use larger tomato varieties such as heirloom tomatoes?

Small tomatoes are best because they hold their shape when you marinate them. If you only have medium or large tomatoes, slice them about 1/4-inch thick. The overall marinade mixture may end up with more liquid from the pulp of the bigger tomatoes. Avoid roma tomatoes which are better for sauce.

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Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Marinating: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
From salads to pasta to bruschetta, there are so many things you can do with these simple marinated cherry tomatoes with garlic, fresh herbs and onions.


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, onions, vinegar, olive oil, chives, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the tomatoes. Let them marinate for 1-2 hours at room temperature. You can also marinate the tomatoes in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Just make sure to let them come to room temperature before serving.


Store the tomatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Let them sit out at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to allow the oil to turn to liquid again. Then stir the mixture.
Serving suggestions
  • Salad with or without greens
  • Bruschetta or crostini (spoon the tomatoes on fresh or toasted sliced baguette)
  • Pasta salad
  • Grains (stirred into cooked quinoa, farro or barley)
  • Topping for grilled fish or chicken


Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 673IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Ilove pasta, and I love tomatoes.
    The instructions are easy and the picture helps these that need to see it to save the image in their mind. Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    So, so good and so easy! We’ve had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes this year, and I’ve made so many batches of these! We can’t stop eating them!

  3. Thank you for all the great ideas! I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but I’m excited to. I want to eat more tomatoes, because they are a nutritional powerhouse! Unfortunately I don’t like the way they taste on their own, but I LOVE them well marinated and/or cooked into dishes. Can’t wait to try your suggestions!