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Pickled Cherry Tomatoes for Canning, Plus More Cherry Tomato Ideas

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This recipe for pickled cherry tomatoes came about as a way of preserving the huge harvest of cherry tomatoes we had last year. The cherry tomatoes and an assortment of vegetables are cold packed and covered in hot brine. Vinegar lowers the pH, making it safe for water bath canning. Added salt and sugar tie up free water, inhibiting bacteria growth. Our neighbor (who loves pickled foods) can eat a whole jar in one sitting. Below the pickled cherry tomato recipe, you'll find more ideas for what to do with cherry tomatoes

pickled cherry tomatoes

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Pickled Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups celery, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups sweet pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cups cucamelon, optional
  • 6-7 cloves garlic (one per jar)
  • 6-7 heads of dill (one per jar)
  • 6 tablespoons canning salt
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions

Prepare vegetables, water bath canner, jars and lids. I kept my veggie piles separate so I could make sure to get some of each veggie in every jar.

tomato pickle ingredients

In  large saucepot, combine salt, water, vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Pack vegetables into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Add one head of dill and one garlic clove to each jar.

pickled cherry tomatoes row

Ladle hot liquid over vegetables, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and double check headspace. Wipe rims and cover with two piece caps. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

Remove to a towel on the counter to cool for 8-12 hours. Remove rings and check seals. Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use within a month. Label jars and store in a cool, dry location out of direct light. Best if used within 12-18 months.

What to Do with Cherry Tomatoes

I grow a few different types of cherry tomatoes each year because I enjoy the different flavors and colors. (See How to Grow Tomatoes Organically for tomato growing tips.) So what do you do with cherry tomatoes when they're coming out of your ears?

Of course, we can only eat so many fresh tomatoes (and pickled cherry tomatoes). I share some with friends and family, but we also use them in cooking and canning. Although they don't work so well for home canned salsa, they can be added to spaghetti sauce and home canned tomato soup.

Cherry tomatoes can also be frozen, dehydrated and freeze dried. (They keep their color amazingly well during freeze drying, as you can see in the bottom photo of this post.)

Instead of eating the cherry tomatoes fresh, you can also saute them gently in the oil of your choice until the skins begin to wrinkle. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and the herbs of your choice. Add minced garlic and onion while cooking, if desired.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are great for stuffing as appetizers or snacks. Simply slice off a bit of the top of the tomato and a sliver from the bottom (so it sits flat). Tip upside-down and squeeze gently to remove seeds and juice. Stuff with the filling of your choice, such as:

rinsed cherry tomatoes

For even more ideas, check out the book “Too Many Tomatoes, Squash, Beans, and Other Good Things: A Cookbook for When Your Garden Explodes“.

Print Friendly Recipe

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Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

This easy recipe for pickled cherry tomatoes combines tomatoes with other garden veggies for long term storage.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 7 quarts 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Canning
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups celery, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups sweet pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cups cucamelon, optional
  • 67 cloves garlic (one per jar)
  • 67 heads of dill (one per jar)
  • 6 tablespoons canning salt
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions

Prepare vegetables, water bath canner, jars and lids. I kept my veggie piles separate so I could make sure to get some of each veggie in every jar.

In  large saucepot, combine salt, water, vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Pack vegetables into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Add one head of dill and one garlic clove to each jar.

Ladle hot liquid over vegetables, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and double check headspace. Wipe rims and cover with two piece caps. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

Remove to a towel on the counter to cool for 8-12 hours. Remove rings and check seals. Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use within a month. Label jars and store in a cool, dry location out of direct light. Best if used within 12-18 months.

Notes

The nutrition information is an estimate only, including the brine, making the sodium count very high. If you eat the tomatoes and other veggies and don't drink the brine, the sodium count per serving would be much lower.

Keywords: cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, canning

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More Pickling Recipes

Do you love pickled foods and preserving? We have a great list of canning and preserving recipes and guides on the site, including:

Originally published in 2017, updated in 2018.

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41 Comments

  1. Are you using white vinegar? This looks delicious. I’ll be making it this summer. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Either cider vinegar or white vinegar will work. If you want the color to be brighter, use white vinegar. If you like the flavor profile and ingredients in apple cider vinegar, go for that option, but the finished product will be a bit darker.

    1. Oh nuts! I suspect the boys were updating more than one recipe at the same time and the lists got mixed. The end proportions are pretty similar, but the one in the print friendly version should eliminate leftover brine.

    1. Yes, it’s not unusual. The top photo in the post is jars after processing, and if you look closely, you will see some splitting. You’re boiling them inside their skins during processing, so the liquid needs somewhere to go. You may be able to reduce splitting by poking holes in them so they can vent in a more orderly fashion, but it’s not a guarantee.

    1. You could add a teaspoon of celery seed for flavoring if you like, but there’s not a one for one swap. You could substitute more of the other vegetables listed or more tomatoes and add the celery seed for flavor.

  2. I made this today…it took at least twice as many tomatoes as called for and I had to make more brine for the last 2 jars. Hoping the taste is good later! I did try the brine and it was delicious. Had to use dry dill weed as I had no fresh.

  3. I am planning to make these today, are the processing times the same no matter the jar size? I want to put these in quart sized jars bit want to make sure I process long enough. These sound delicious, I can’t wait to try them!!

  4. I can’t wait to try this out later this evening! Thanks for the recipe, and thanks for answering folks’ questions, some of which I’d have had, too!

  5. Sounds great ! Plan on making some this week. Can I use other vegetables with the cherry tomatoes safely, such as sliced carrots , cucumbers or sliced jalapeño ?

  6. You can use cherry tomatoes in salsa, just oven-roast them, let them cool a bit, then puree them in your food processor. Proceed as with your favorite salsa recipe.

  7. Not a big fan of dill, what other herb/herbs do you think could be subsistuted? I would imagine the brine is the most important part of the recipe, for the acidity level. I just started water bath canning this year, with home made violet jelly, and looking forward to canning lots of tomatoes this year.

      1. I’ll have to try that! I was leaning towards a more ‘italian’ type blend. <3 you guys and your blog!

  8. Could the sugar be omitted to achieve a more classic pickled taste rather than a sweet pickle? Thanks you for the tomato recipe. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them all!

    1. It won’t give the same results, but it would be edible. Part of what sugar does is to bind free water, which helps maintain the texture of the pickled vegetables. With sugar substitutes like erythritol, the vegetables will tend to get mushy and may develop off flavors.

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