The BEST Marinated Tomatoes

July 27, 2022
Easy to make Marinated Tomatoes are simplicity at its best! Just 5 simple ingredients come together to make the BEST marinated tomatoes around. We tested a multitude of variations, and decided when it comes to marinated tomatoes, less is more. But don't let their simplicity fool you -- these little beauties deliver up big flavor.

Serving Marinated Tomatoes With a Fork Image

If you're looking for a simple and delicious way to enjoy all those summer garden tomatoes, this marinated tomatoes recipe is for you. Easy to make and just 5 simple ingredients, it takes just 10 minutes of hands-on time to whip up a batch.

But don't let the simplicity of the recipe fool you, because these sliced little beauties deliver up big flavor!

We tested many variations to figure out the best marinated tomatoes recipe. And it turns out when it comes to marinated tomatoes, less is definitely more.

Just 5 simple ingredients come together to make the BEST marinated tomatoes around.

What We Tested:

  • Type of vinegar
    • Our tests: White, apple cider, white wine, red wine, and balsamic vinegars
    • Findings: We found basic white vinegar to produce the best marinated tomato flavor result, letting the flavor of the tomatoes shine through. While red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar are widely used in marinated tomato recipes, we found them very overpowering and overshadowing of the tomatoes. White wine vinegar would be our second choice, but still much preferred the tomatoes made with regular basic white vinegar.

  • Sugar
    • Our tests: Sugar vs. no sugar; different amounts of sugar ranging from 1 teaspoon to 1/4 cup
    • Findings: A small amount of sugar enhances and rounds out the flavor of the marinated tomatoes, "softening" the flavor of the vinegar. Tomatoes made with no sugar at all were not as flavorful as those with a small touch of sugar, but too much sugar made the tomatoes unpleasantly sweet. We found 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar to be just right.

  • Garlic
    • Our tests: Fresh minced garlic vs. no garlic
    • Findings: Leaving out the garlic produced the best marinated tomatoes. Garlic was very overpowering in our marinated tomato tests, and created a very strong, harsh flavor.

  • Herbs & seasonings
    • Our tests: A variety of herb and seasoning additions in different combinations, including fresh basil, dried basil, fresh parsley, ground thyme, oregano, Italian seasoning, and chopped green onion.
    • Findings: The simplicity of chopped fresh parsley is best! And I'll admit, this finding was surprising to us. We fully expected basil, other herbs, and more seasoning ingredients to create the most flavorful marinated tomatoes. But this is truly a case where less is more. 

What's to Love About This Recipe?

  • Super easy to make - Marinated tomatoes take all of about 10 minutes of hands-on prep to make. Simply slice fresh tomatoes, whip up a simple marinade, and pour it over the tomatoes. Then let them sit to allow the flavors to develop. -- That's truly all there is to it.
  • Just 5 simple ingredients - You don't need a long list of stuff to make great marinated tomatoes. Just 5 simple ingredients (plus a little salt and pepper) is all it takes. -- And one of those 5 ingredients is the tomatoes!
  • Delicious - Don't let the simplicity of this recipe fool you, because this simple mix of ingredients delivers up big flavor! 
  • Great way to enjoy those garden tomatoes - If you've got an abundance of fresh garden tomatoes, making marinated tomatoes is a great way to enjoy them.
  • Versatile in their use - Serve marinated tomatoes up as a side dish just as they are, put them as a tasting topping on a burger, use them in sauces, or make the most delicious marinated tomato BLT! Or hey, they make one amazing straight-up tomato sandwich, too. Marinated tomatoes make for one very versatile little ingredient, for sure. 

Top View of a Platter of Marinated Tomatoes Image

Marinated Tomato Ingredients:

It doesn't take a long list of stuff to make great marinated tomatoes. Just 5 simple ingredients (plus a little salt and pepper) is all it takes. To whip up a batch, you'll need:

  • Fresh tomatoes - Tomatoes fresh from the garden are the best, but grocery store tomatoes work very well, too. If purchasing from the store, choose vine-ripened or nice beefsteak tomatoes for the best result.

  • White vinegar - Brings the acid element to the marinade. In our tests we found basic white vinegar to produce the best marinated tomato flavor result, letting the flavor of the tomatoes shine through. While red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar are widely used in marinated tomato recipes, we found them very overpowering and overshadowing to the tomatoes.

  • Extra virgin olive oil - Brings the oil/fat element to the marinade. Choose a good quality extra virgin olive oil with a taste you love.

  • Sugar - A small touch of granulated sugar rounds out the flavors and "softens" the vinegar.

  • Salt & pepper - Seasons the marinade and tomatoes. A small sprinkling of salt on the marinated tomatoes just before serving is also nice to even further enhance their flavor.

  • Fresh parsley - Our simple herb of choice for seasoning the tomatoes. Stick with fresh chopped parsley, rather than dried, for the best flavor and texture result.

Marinated Tomatoes Ingredients Image

How to Make Marinated Tomatoes:

Marinated tomatoes take all of about 10 minutes of hands-on prep time and are super easy to make. It's hard to believe the flavor result you get takes so little effort!

Start by slicing tomatoes into thick slices, anywhere from 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick. Place the tomato slices in a single layer in a 9x13-inch baking pan, shallow platter, or other shallow dish, and set them aside while you make the marinade.

Top View of Sliced Tomatoes in a Baking Dish Image

To make the marinade, whisk together some white vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until they're well combined and the sugar is fully dissolved. Then whisk in some chopped fresh parsley.

Bowl of Marinade to Make Marinated Tomatoes Image

Pour the marinade evenly over the tomato slices. Then, cover and refrigerate the tomatoes for 3 to 4 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Keep in mind that refrigerated olive oil solidifies. So allow the tomatoes to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving, which takes their "chill" off, enhances their flavor, and lets that solidified olive oil return to a liquid state.

Then you're ready to dig in to the marinated tomato deliciousness! And oh my, delicious is certainly a great word to describe these marinated little beauties.

Sliced Tomatoes in Baking Dish with Marinade Poured Over Image

How to Use Marinated Tomatoes:

We think one of the best ways to enjoy marinated tomatoes is as a side dish, just as they are. Those big, thick slabs of juicy marinated tomatoes are just so stinking good!

But there are plenty of other delicious ways to enjoy them, too. Here are a few tasty marinated tomato ideas for you:

  • Take that tomato sandwich up a notch! We all know and love the classic tomato sandwich -- thick slices of juicy fresh tomato stacked between two pieces of white bread, slathered with mayo. Well, when those thick slices of juicy tomato are marinated tomatoes, it's one tomato sandwich that's unbelievably good.
  • Make the most amazing marinated tomato BLT. Out of this world delicious.
  • Chop the marinated tomato slices and spoon over grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp.
  • Add to your tossed green salad.
  • Sop up the marinade juices with slices of sourdough or other crusty bread. Sooo amazingly delicious.
  • Top your morning avocado toast.
  • Toss with some grilled fresh corn cut straight off the cob for a super tasty corn salad.
  • Make a super-quick bruschetta. -- Broil or grill baguette slices, and spoon chopped marinated tomatoes on top.

Marinated Tomatoes on a White Platter Image

Recipe FAQs:
  • What type of tomatoes work best to make marinated tomatoes? - While any type of tomato works to make marinated tomatoes, we think tomatoes fresh from the garden are the best. With that being said, grocery store tomatoes work very well, too. If purchasing from the store, choose vine-ripened or nice, big beefsteak tomatoes for the best result.

  • How long do you have to marinate tomatoes for them to have good flavor? - Allow the tomatoes to marinate for 3 to 4 hours before serving to develop their flavor. You can marinate them for less time if need be and the marinated tomatoes will still be good, but just not as flavorful as they are after marinating for several hours.

  • How long can you keep marinated tomatoes? - Marinated tomatoes may be refrigerated for more than the recommended 3 to 4 hours before serving, though they are at their best in that 3 to 4 hour timeframe. We recommend keeping them no more than 24 hours. Marinated tomatoes are still delicious the next day or even two days after being made, but the tomatoes will absorb a lot of liquid and start to break down in the marinade.

Check out these other tasty tomato recipes:

Close Up of Marinated Tomato Slice on a White Platter Image
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marinated tomatoes, marinated tomato slices, easy marinated tomatoes
Salads
American
Yield: about 6-8 servings
The BEST Marinated Tomatoes

The BEST Marinated Tomatoes

Easy to make Marinated Tomatoes are simplicity at its best! Just 5 simple ingredients come together to make the BEST marinated tomatoes around. We tested a multitude of variations, and decided when it comes to marinated tomatoes, less is more. But don't let their simplicity fool you -- these little beauties deliver up big flavor.
Prep time: 10 MinInactive time: 3 HourTotal time: 3 H & 10 M

Ingredients

  • 3 large or 4-5 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Slice tomatoes into thick slices (between 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick). Place in a single layer in a 9x13-inch baking pan, shallow platter, or other shallow dish. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper until well combine and sugar is fully dissolved. Whisk in chopped parsley.
  3. Pour vinegar mixture evenly over tomato slices.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
TRACEY'S NOTES:
  1. Tomatoes fresh from the garden are the best, but grocery store tomatoes work very well, too. If purchasing from the store, choose vine-ripened or nice beefsteak tomatoes for the best result.
  2. Marinated tomatoes may be refrigerated for more than the 3 to 4 hours before serving, though they are at their best in that timeframe. They are still delicious the next day or even two days after being made, but the tomatoes will absorb a lot of liquid and start to break down in the marinade.
  3. Keep in mind that refrigerated olive oil solidifies. Allow the tomatoes to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving, which takes their "chill" off, enhances their flavor, and lets the olive oil return to a liquid state.
  4. Consider sprinkling the marinated tomatoes with a small bit of salt just before serving to even further enhance their flavor.
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The BEST Marinated Tomatoes ~ Easy to make Marinated Tomatoes are simplicity at its best! Just 5 simple ingredients come together to make the BEST marinated tomatoes around. Serve as a side dish, make sandwiches, top burgers, & more!  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


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