How Long Do Cherry Tomatoes Last?
The simple answer, is about a week or so at room temprature. If you are lucky enough to grow cherry tomatoes, leave them on the vine and bring them in. They will last longer. If you are like us, buying cherry tomatoes weekly at the grocery store you want to know how long they will last.
Only refrigerate if you need to, trust us!
While you may be tempted to put in the fridge when you bring them home from the grocery store, do not. Think about it, were they in the fridge at the store? No, so leave them out on your counter, in a cool area away from direct sunlight. A countertop or shelf in the kitchen that doesn’t get too warm is ideal. In fact, take them out of the package and put them on a plate, so they are in a single layer, to avoid bruising. Room temprature is key for the tastiest tomatoes. If you buy these once a week, and eat them up, you will be set. If you scored a ton of cherry tomatoes at the farmers market, read on, to see some ideas for short and long term storage.
When it is tomato season, we are all about growing, locating and eating vine ripe fresh tomatoes. However, when the tomato season ends, we don’t stop eating tomatoes. We just shift from regular tomatoes to Cherry Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are small, delightful bursts of flavor that can elevate any dish they are added to. And knowing how to properly store them can make a significant difference in their freshness and taste. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best ways to extend the shelf life of cherry tomatoes, from peak ripeness to long-term storage, using various methods and ideal storage conditions.
Tips for Optimal Storage and Shelf Life
Understanding the Ripening Process:
The ripening process of cherry tomatoes greatly affects their shelf life and flavor. For the best taste, allow tomatoes to ripen on the vine. Once fully ripe, they can be harvested and enjoyed immediately. Unripe tomatoes, on the other hand, can be left to ripen at room temperature. Keep them in a single layer away from direct sunlight to prevent them from getting too much heat and turning overripe too quickly.
Best Way to Store Fresh Cherry Tomatoes:
The best way to store fresh cherry tomatoes is to keep them at room temperature if you plan to consume them within a few days. Choose a cool place away from warmer temperatures, such as air conditioning vents or direct sunlight. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet or in an airtight container, leaving enough space to allow good air circulation. Avoid stacking them, as this can lead to bruising and spoilage.
Store Away from Ethylene-Producing Foods:
Keep cherry tomatoes away from ethylene-producing fruits like apples and bananas, as ethylene can accelerate the ripening process and lead to faster spoilage.
Storing Cherry Tomatoes for a Longer Period:
Yes, we know we said do not put cherry tomatoes in the fridge….unless you have to. If you have a surplus of cherry tomatoes and want to extend their shelf life, the refrigerator can be your best bet. While refrigeration might cause a slight loss in flavor compared to perfectly ripe tomatoes, if you store cherry tomatoes in the fridge, the cold temperature will keep them fresh longer. So only use this plan if you have an abondance of tomatoes that are overly ripe, and you can not get to using them up till the weekend. To prevent excess moisture from ruining the texture of the tomatoes, place the ripe cherry tomatoes in a paper towel-lined container or a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. This setup will allow the tomatoes to breathe without accumulating too much moisture.
Oven Roasting and Freezing Cherry Tomatoes for Future Use:
A great way to preserve cherry tomatoes for an even longer period, consider roasting and freezing them. This is our FAVORITE way of using ripe cherry tomatoes! If you get your hands on large quantities of over-ripe tomatoes, this is a surefire way to preserve the flavor to use at a later date! If you love sun-dried tomatoes, you are going to LOVE oven roasted tomatoes! Simply place tomatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt, and roast at 275F for 2 hours, checking half way. We add a few cloves of garlic and drizzle a little balsamic on them for the last 30 minutes. Allow to cool, and store in freezer bags. You can add a little more olive oil to the bag. The extra time it takes to roast these is definately worth the intense flavor these tomatoes add to sauces, pizza, and pasta. We like to store them in an air-tight container in the fridge, covered with a little olive oil.
Different Types of Cherry Tomatoes:
Cherry tomatoes come in various types, such as grape tomatoes and long cherry tomatoes. While they all have unique characteristics, their storage needs are generally the same. Pay attention to their size and adjust storage containers accordingly. Grape tomatoes are smaller, so ensure they are adequately spread out to prevent bruising, while long cherry tomatoes may require slightly larger containers.
The Importance of Handling and Storage Conditions:
When handling cherry tomatoes, it’s essential to be gentle and avoid squeezing them, as they can easily bruise and develop dark spots. The stem scar is the most delicate part, and it’s best to handle them by their sides or bottoms. Always inspect your tomatoes for signs of mold or overripe spots before storage.
Avoiding Bad Tomatoes:
One bad tomato can spoil the whole bunch. Cherry tomatoes are packaged in containers that you can see the product. Do a quick check of them when you are shopping. If you see any that are spoiled, put them back. When you get home, open them and check again for any that may seem to be spoiling. Just toss those bad tomatoes out, and make sure the rest do not have any spoiled tomato juice on them. Simply rinse them off and dry them with a paper towl.
The shelf life of cherry tomatoes can vary depending on their ripeness, storage conditions, and handling. For the best flavor and freshness, keep them at room temperature in a cool, dark place. If you have excess tomatoes, refrigeration or freezing can extend their shelf life, allowing you to enjoy them later. Remember to handle them gently and avoid stacking to prevent bruising. By following these tips, you can savor the sweet flavor of cherry tomatoes in various dishes throughout the year.
20 Cherry Tomato Recipes to try!
- Spinach Frittata with Bacon and Tomatoes
- Italian Chicken Cutlets
- Tomato and Caramelized Onion Tart
- Caprese Grilled Chicken
Check out these Cherry Tomato Recipes!
- Panzanella Toscana from Maricruz-Maricruz Avolos
- Arugula Salad with Cherry Tomatoes & Parmesan from Alex-Bayevs Kitchen
- Cucumber Avocado Salad Recipe from Lama-Taste Great Foodie
- Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad from Bernice-Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
- Mediterranean Pizza Pasta Salad from Michele-A Taste for Travel
Pasta & Soup Recipes:
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup from Lynn-Lynns Way of Life
- Zucchini Pasta w/Yogurt Herb Sauce from Dianna & Alyssa-In Fine Taste
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Orecchiette Pasta from Jacqui-The Pasta Project
- Pasta with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce from Myra & Laurier-Delicious on A Dime
- Bruschetta Chicken Pasta from Kristin-The Cookin’ Chicken
- Pressure Cooker Chicken Pesto Pasta from Marrekus & Krysten-Soul Food & Southern Cooking
- Pan seared Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes from Lilian-Simple Living Recipes
Seafood & Vegetarian Recipes:
- Baked Pesto Butter Salmon from Sarah-Season and Thyme
- Healthy Mediterranean Shrimp & Scallops Recipe from Mary-Oh That’s Good
- Puff Pastry Tomato Tartlets from Ellien-Baking With Butter
- Tomato Chutney from Prajakta-Profusion Curry
- Air Fryer Roasted Cherry Tomatoes W/Balsamic from Betty-Bite on The Side
- Easy Sun-Dried Cherry Tomatoes from Hayley-J Cooking Odyssey