Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes: A Simple Summer Appetizer

Summer entertaining lends itself so well to simplicity: fresh produce abounds, needing little to no adornment, and the most a host should need to do is wash the produce well and serve. Since everything is so fresh and tasty so why complicate things?

One of my favorite summer snacking foods are cherry tomatoes. Fresh from the vine, bursting with warm juices, and available in an assortment of bright colors, they are nature’s Jujubes, in my opinion.

Sure you can put out a bowl of cherry tomatoes for all-day snacking, but here’s a suggestion for something slightly more sophisticated, yet still very simple: a slow-roasted cherry tomato.

Also known as oven-roasted tomatoes, these are dynamic, flavor-packed little morsels. For a easy appetizer, I like to serve a bowl of them alongside a wedge of soft cheese and a plate of crackers. Guests can create their own canapés that are easy, delicious and, best of all, seasonal!

How to make slow-roasted tomatoes in a nutshell?

Slice cherry tomatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil, season with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, and top with a fresh herb. Then leave them in a slow oven for many hours, during which time they partially dry out, but not nearly so much as a sun-dried tomato.

Yes, this method is easy to do, and as with most other drying techniques, the tomato flavors are concentrated into a tiny parcel that can be added to many other dishes for a punch of flavor.

Looking for more options on how to serve the slow-roasted tomato?

You can use them in place of their far more potent cousin, the sun-dried tomato, in almost any recipe, and here are a few of my favorites uses.

  • Mound onto a wedge of crusty bread, top with mozzarella and broil to melted sandwich perfection.
  • Toss them with crumbled feta and serve over fresh greens for a light lunch.
  • Add to pizzas toppings; feel free to skip the tomato sauce and drizzle pizza with olive oil instead.
  • Toss with hot pasta and chopped fresh herbs for a simple, yet elegant meal.

Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Servings: 1 pint
Calories: 585kcal
Author: Aimee


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 5-6 sprigs Thyme
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic optional


  • Cut the tomatoes in half end-to-end, and place cut side up on a pan.
  • Optional: Slice 4-5 cloves of garlic, and sprinkle over the tomatoes.
  • Strip several sprigs of fresh thyme, and sprinkle the leaves over the tomatoes.
  • Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and drizzle extra-virgin olive oil liberally over all of the tomatoes.
  • Place in the oven at 200°F for 6-8 hours; the tomatoes will collapse, but not completely dry out. (since they’ll be in there a while, preheating is not necessary)
  • Cool and serve with crackers and soft cheese or package to preserve.


Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 1080mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2551IU | Vitamin C: 120mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 5mg

Preserving Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Freezing: Pack tomatoes into a freezeable container, and pour the oil from the pan over the top. Cover with more olive oil if needed, label and freeze for up to 6 months.

Fridge: Transfer tomatoes to a jar and cover with olive oil. Cover jar with lid and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

What do you serve that could be spiced up with a few slow-roasted cherry tomatoes?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Too funny–I just slow-roasted some tomatoes the other day! Last night I stirred some into a flatbread batter, along with roasted eggplant & pesto. So. Good.

  2. Oven roasted tomatoes rock! I’ve been known to use them in salads and pastas. Yummy. 🙂

  3. Oh my!! Those look sooooooo good! I love sun dried tomatoes so I can only imagine how good these will be with tomatoes from my garden. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. I just made slow roasted tomatoes a week ago! They are simply delicious. I added them to my sliders and sliced some up for a roasted garlic cream sauce topped pasta. This is one of my new favorite things to have on hand in the freezer!

  5. Oh, these look wonderful! I love the idea of serving them with cheese for an appetizer. Gorgeous!

  6. Can I just order that plate of tomatoes, cheese and crackers for my dinner? I’d be in heaven! Too bad my cherry tomatoes aren’t doing as well as I’d hoped.

  7. Our tomatoes are just starting to turn red. I can’t wait to roast a batch!

  8. I like the idea of incorporating into bread! This is one of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes. It’s so easy, yet feels so indulgent while you’re eating them. I like to do this during the winter, too, to make dull winter tomatoes come to life. Have you tried a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar before you roast? It adds another wonderful layer of flavor. I picked my first large bowl of tomatoes yesterday – can’t wait to roast them!!

  9. These little red gems look great! I love them on top of some crackers with goat cheese…yum!

  10. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) says

    Aimee, your tomato recipes have revolutionized my ideas about this simple beautiful food.

  11. I’m halfway through making my first batch of these… they already taste delicious! I can’t wait for the end product. I got some garlic & herb cheese spread to go with some of them, and I’ll probably put the rest in a crawfish pasta I’m making for dinner next week. YUM!

  12. Hi Aimee.
    We LOVE these tomatoes in our house . We call them “bursts of flavor” and I’ve been amazed by how many non-tomato-eating children have not only tried them when presented with this title (and the enticing smell of them slow-roasting in the oven) but have gone on to renounce their distaste for this delicious fruit.

  13. I’m not a huge tomato fan and always end up with tons of cherry and grape tomatoes in my CSA share each week. I made this recipe this past weekend and OMG!! They were SO good!!! I found myself snacking on them all weekend and even chopped some up and incorporated them into my toddler’s scrambled eggs on Sunday. She gobbled them up! Thanks for giving me something to do with all of my tiny tomatoes.

  14. I am definitely doing this over the weekend! I have a huge bowl of sweet 100’s and also yellow pear tomatoes.

  15. Pam @ Kitchen Cookware says

    I have not tried making it with cherry tomatoes till now, this looks too yummy and I love the picture of chips, cheese and slow roasted tomatoes ready to eat! Yummy, thanks Aimee.

  16. Great tips and recipes for slow roasted tomatoes. Love that they are bursting with flavor and can be used in so many recipes (or of course on their own!!)

  17. What a great way to use the abundance of cherry tomatoes in the market now. I might put some mozzarella on a flatbread, top with your cherry tomatoes and basil and bake until the cheese melts – caprese flatbread!

  18. Absolutely gorgeous. Just made some last week as well, and I love your serving suggestions, especially the yummy crackers!

  19. These look amazing! Have you ever tried roasted grapes?! They’re amazing, I just made them last night for the first time!

  20. Christine Hunter says

    I made these today by laying them on parchment paper in my electric roasting pan so I didnt have to heat up the kitchen using the oven. When they were done I could lift the paper and pour the olive oil straight into the jar I put the tomatoes in. So Easy!, Thank-you for posting this receipe, they are great! I just put some on french bread w / mozzarella and broiled a few minutes. WOW

  21. Hi ! I loved the recipe. Is there any way to make it ‘fast roasted’ ? 5-6 hours is a looooong time. Can it be stored for long?
    By they way, I tried making sun-dried tomatoes a few times ( we have loads of tomatoes and sunshine here) but it always ends up being mushy and by the third day- a black fungus sets in.
    Any ideas to avoid that and can the roasting be speeded up?

  22. 4 stars
    I used grape tomatoes, found the slow cooking (much slower than I usually do) was ideal as the little tomatoes do not burst. Lovely flavours.

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