Marinated Tomatoes

Ripe, juicy tomatoes soak up olive oil, red wine vinegar, onion, garlic, & fresh herbs in Marinated Tomatoes, a zesty summer salad or a versatile side dish!

Marinated Tomatoes with text overlay.


'Tis the season for homegrown tomatoes! Thanks to my father-in-law's bountiful garden, by this time every summer, we're positively swimming in big, juicy, deep red specimens of tomato perfection.

We eat 'em sliced, with salt and pepper. On bread with good mayo for a tomato sandwich. Caprese-style...drizzled with balsamic, layered with fresh mozzarella, and sprinkled with basil. Roasted. In gazpacho. On pizza. In marinara. In salads. But there can never be too many ways to enjoy garden fresh tomatoes, so why not add another recipe to the ol' repertoire?

Close-up of fresh produce and herbs on table.


Marinated Tomatoes are effortless to throw together with a handful of simple ingredients. What I love most about this recipe, though, is that not only does the pure, tomato flavor shine through, but it's actually enhanced by the vinegar, aromatics, and herbs.

  • Tomatoes. Homegrown tomatoes have the BEST flavor, of course, but any type will work. See the "Types of Tomatoes" heading below for tips on how to slice 'em.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Red wine vinegar. I recommend red wine vinegar for this's zippy without being overpowering. However you could also experiment with white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, champagne vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar...each one will add a different flavor profile to the dish.
  • Onion. My family likes onion (and I don't), but I'm happy to make a separate batch of Marinated Tomatoes for them, throwing in a couple tablespoons of finely minced red onion. They report the red onion adds a sweet sharpness to the dish. I'll take their word for it. 😉
  • Garlic. On the other hand, I'm definitely a garlic gal, but I don't go overboard with this recipe. One large or two small cloves are plenty. I prefer to crush my garlic in a garlic press or very, very finely mince it.
  • Herbs. You can also customize the herbs for your Marinated Tomatoes. I highly recommend finely minced fresh herbs if you've got access to them -- I typically use parsley and basil. But you can also use dried herbs. Just remember that since dried herbs are stronger and more concentrated, you'll only need about ⅓ the amount as compared to fresh herbs.
  • Salt + pepper. Don't leave 'em out!
Close-up of sliced marinated tomatoes garnished with herbs.

Types of Tomatoes

Another nice thing about this dish is that it's totally customizable.

I happen to have lots of giant, beefsteak-sized tomatoes right now, so I cut them into thick slices, lay them in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over the top. The large surface area of the slices allows them to really soak up the deliciousness.

If your tomatoes are smaller, however, you could choose to cut them into wedges.

Tiny little cherry or grape tomatoes could be halved.

Aerial view of white platter piled high.

Marinating Them

How long you choose to marinate the tomatoes is up to you.

My preference is to marinate them in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours for lotsa' flavor, then bring them back to room temperature before serving.

Alternatively, if you have less time, you can marinate them on the countertop for just two or three hours. The infusion of flavor into the tomatoes will be less intense, but they'll still be delicious.

Marinated Tomatoes on serving platter with herbs.

How to Enjoy Them

These Marinated Tomatoes are scrumptious on their own as a salad. Be sure to serve with crusty French bread to sop up all those magical juices!

Or you can chop the tomatoes into smaller pieces and use as a topping for bruschetta. A few shavings of fresh Parmesan on top = HEAVEN.

Aerial close-up of tThe BEST Marinated Tomatoes.

Even if you don't have a garden, the tomatoes at the grocery store are much redder and more flavorful this time of year. So take advantage of the bounty! Marinated Tomatoes is an easy, versatile recipe for enjoying one of summer's simple pleasures.♥

More Garden-Fresh Summer Sides

Marinated Tomatoes on serving platter.

Marinated Tomatoes

Ripe, juicy tomatoes soak up olive oil, red wine vinegar, onion, garlic, & fresh herbs in Marinated Tomatoes, a zesty summer salad or a versatile side dish!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time:: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 94kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • 3 extra-large tomatoes, about 2 pounds
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 large clove, or two small cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Cut the tomatoes into ½-inch thick slices and arrange in a single layer in a large, shallow dish. Measure the oil, vinegar, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine and evenly pour over the tomatoes in the dish. Cover and marinate for 2 to 3 hours on the counter, or 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Bring chilled tomatoes to room temperature before serving. Transfer tomatoes to serving dishes, spoon juices over the tops, and garnish with additional chopped fresh herbs, if desired.


Dried herbs are more potent than fresh, so you only need ⅓ the amount when using dried herbs. You may substitute 1 teaspoon dried parsley and 1 teaspoon dried basil for the fresh herbs in this recipe. Also feel free to switch up the herbs you use.


Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 392mg | Potassium: 145mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 585IU | Vitamin C: 9.7mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Adapted from Epicurious.
Post originally published on July 11, 2017.



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4.96 from 63 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Our organic garden tomatoes are rich with flavor and juicy as can be... I make a brine of 2 evoo to 1 vinegar, with chopped tomatoes that are bite size...w/crushed diced garlic, red onion, or shallots, salt and pepper and chopped cilantro in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

    I get a bowl and put large curd cottage cheese, with home grown sprouts added in and mixed togeather...I add my brine and tomatoes to the bowl... OMG the olive oil is high grade with an acidic bite at the end. and the sprouts give it a tasty wholesome green nuance to something so simple. My taste buds love this brine!

    You can tone down the taste of vinegar that adjusts to your palate. I tend to have our garden tomatoes with a lot of different meals...I can them in jars and process in a boiling bath and when the winter is here in fall bloom... It makes the greatest of marinara I can muster as a home chef... The taste is so rewarding from all the hard work to grow beautiful sun ripened garden tomato's.

  2. 5 stars
    I had some grape tomatoes that I needed to use & I found this on Pinterest. I used dried herbs because I didn't have fresh & used balsamic vinegar because that's what I had on hand. Even my son, who doesn't really care for fresh tomatoes, loved it! Between my son, teen grandson & myself, we ate all of it & wanted more! lol Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    This is fantastic. I customized and used vegetable oil with lemon juice, and substituted dried oregano for fresh herbs. Using large beefsteak tomatoes is best, and let it marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator as directed.

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this for years but I use grape tomatoes cut in half and add in crumbled feta cheese.- delicious!

  5. How long will these keep? Looks delish, but I have a lot of tomatoes and want to do a big batch. Thanks a bunch

    1. Hi Todd! These will keep for several days in the fridge. They will start to soften and break down a bit the longer they sit, but I find that they're still tasty. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      1. I intensely dislike onions. Raw, they overpower everything they are added to.

        So many recipes are drowning we ith onions. I do not it see the point.

        1. Right there with you, Brian! As mentioned in the post, when I make this recipe for my family, I always do a portion without the onions for myself. 😉

  6. So please, delicious and easy. Used some beautiful fresh tomatoes And a sick from our garden. I also added the tsp of Dijon mustard and it was well received.supper yummy! Thanks for sharing, it’s a keeper!

    1. Wow! Typos! That was supposed to say: so pleasing, delicious and easy, used some beautiful first tomatoes and basil from our graden, and super yummy!

    2. 5 stars
      Awesome recipe. My mom used to make something like this when I was a kid. I was missing my mother and her cooking when I came across this recipe. The recipe is very delicious and well worth the effort.

  7. 5 stars
    These are SO UNBELIEVABLY delicious!!! They sound so simple and are so easy to make, you may think they'll just be ok, but trust me... they are terrific... and the fact that you can make them the night before, jus adds to the wonderful-ness!

  8. 5 stars
    Easy and amazingly good! I fixed them for a family cookout and would definitely make to take and share with friends! I would suggest heirloom tomatoes if you can get them!