Fresh juicy tomatoes are marinated in olive oil, garlic, & seasonings for a simple yet sensational combination of flavors. This easy recipe for Italian Marinated Tomatoes is a fresh & healthy side dish, appetizer, or salad.
When summer brings a bounty of fresh tomatoes, this recipe is on repeat in our house all season long. Vine-ripened tomatoes are bursting with juice & flavor. Marinating them with just a few ingredients elevates & preserves them for a few more glorious days.
This cold recipe is great for enjoying as an appetizer served with other Italian small bites. Set up a grazing board or charcuterie display with these marinated tomatoes, Italian Black Pepper Cookies, Baked Marinated Artichoke Hearts, & Garlic Butter Wings. That's the ultimate Italian party food display!
Ingredients for Italian Marinated Tomatoes
Just a few simple ingredients are needed to make marinated tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes with other classic Italian ingredients come together for this recipe.
- Fresh Tomatoes - Use any medium to large tomato variety that is fresh, ripe, & ready to eat.
- Garlic Cloves - Fresh garlic from the bulb is best for the marinade dressing.
- Olive Oil - Use your best quality extra virgin for the marinade.
- Dried Oregano - Just a sprinkle to add pungent flavor
- Water, Salt, & Pepper - To season & complete the marinade recipe.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Marinate Tomatoes
This recipe for marinating tomatoes takes 20 minutes to prepare. It is 3 simple steps. Once it is ready to go in the refrigerator, the hard part starts - waiting for it to marinate!
Here are the easy steps for making Italian Marinated Tomatoes...
- Blanch & Peel the Tomatoes
- Cut Garlic & Tomatoes
- Marinate in the Refrigerator
1 - Blanch & Peel the Tomatoes
To blanch tomatoes, you will need a simmering pot of water & a bowl of ice water. Make sure each has enough hot or cold water to cover the tomatoes as you add them.
Use a tomato huller and remove the core of each tomato. Gently slice through just the skin of each tomato in an X.
Gently add the tomatoes to the simmering water & let them sit for 15-20 seconds (depending on the size of your tomatoes). Use a slotted spoon to lift the tomatoes out of the simmering water when done.
Carefully plunge them into the ice water. Let them sit for 15 seconds then remove them and place them on a cutting board. Repeat until all the tomatoes are done.
Let the tomatoes cool for a few minutes so they are easy to handle. Using your hands gently remove the peels, they should slide right off.
2 - Cut Garlic & Tomatoes
Peel the garlic cloves. Using a sharp knife or mandoline, slice the garlic thinly.
To a large container with a tight-fitting lid, add the garlic, olive oil, and dried oregano.
Add the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle in some salt & pepper. Stir to combine so all the flavors start coming together. The final step is adding enough water to cover the tomatoes.
3 - Marinate in the Refrigerator
Place the container in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours. It is best to make this the night before you want to serve it. Refrigerate overnight and up to 2 days before serving.
Hint: These Italian-style tomatoes marinated in garlic & oregano are great served cold or at room temperature. Do not heat them.
How to Serve Italian Marinated Tomatoes
Marinated tomatoes are meant to be served cold or at room temperature. They are a great cold appetizer to make ahead of time, pack for picnics, or take it to-go.
This recipe is what my family calls tomato salad. But yet they don't eat it like a salad. They serve it and enjoy it more like a dip. Crusty bread, like Homemade Ciabatta, is served on the side and then dipped so it soaks up all the yummy tomato juices.
I like to dip it and then top it. This way the soft texture of the bread comes together with the plump tomatoes & crunchy bits of raw garlic. Like a soft bread version of Tomato Bruschetta Italiana. Amazing!
Or try one of these ways to use homemade marinated tomatoes:
- Add it to a green salad, pasta salad, or my recipe for Italian Chopped Salad.
- Spoon it over toasted bread (crostini/bruschetta).
- Spoon it over fresh grilled fish, chicken, pork, or your favorite protein.
- Sprinkle on fresh basil and/or shaved fresh parmesan & stir into warm pasta.
Substitutions & Variations
Here are some great recipe variations & ingredient substitutions that can be made. Add, omit, or use one of these alternatives for other delicious recipe ideas for marinated tomatoes. These may help you enjoy this recipe even with dietary, health, or personal nutritional preferences.
- Garlic Cloves- Instead of thinly slicing whole cloves, add minced garlic. (Fresh garlic is key, try not to use garlic powder)
- Dried Oregano - Use fresh oregano if you have it; finely mince & use half the amount.
This is already vegan, vegetarian, nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, low-calorie, low-sodium, low-carb, & keto-approved. With all those healthy notes, it is unbelievable how tasty it is & you won't want to change a thing.
- Spicy - Add ¼ teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- Colorful - Use a variety of different colors & varieties of tomatoes.
- Deluxe - Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, freshly torn leaves of basil, and/or some briny capers.
The right ingredients, supplies, & equipment help recipes taste amazing & turn out well. Here are recommendations for products that are needed for making this recipe. Shop this recipe & buy these top-rated items today.
The Short Order Cook participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you. This helps with the costs of running the blog. Thank you!
It will last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator & tastes better the more it sits! I do not recommend freezing marinated tomatoes.
All of these great tips are shared in the post. But these are so good and important they are worth mentioning again so you don't miss them.
- Use fresh ripe tomatoes & fresh garlic.
- Let it marinate a minimum of 4 hours but overnight is best.
- Serve with crusty bread as an appetizer.
This recipe calls for peeled tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are hard to blanch & remove the skins from. Large "cherry-sized" tomatoes are ok but the petite-sized ones are too small. For this reason, I do not recommend using small varieties of tomatoes. If you have a lot of cherry tomatoes, try my recipe for Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup.
You do not have to but it is the key to why this recipe is better than others. Blanching slightly softens the tomatoes which readies it for a quick marinade. Peeling the tomatoes makes for a nice velvety texture & allows the marinade to penetrate all surface areas.
Italian Marinated Tomatoes
- 2 cups fresh ripe tomatoes cored, peeled, & diced
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- loaf crusty rustic bread optional for serving
Blanch & Peel the Tomatoes
- Fill a medium-sized bowl with ice & water. Set aside. To a small sauce pot fill halfway with water. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. While waiting for it to come to a boil, prep the tomatoes.
- Wash & dry the tomatoes. Remove the core of each and gently slice through just the skin of each tomato in an X.
- Once the water comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium to simmer. Gently add the tomatoes 1-2 at a time to the simmering water. Let them sit for 15-20 seconds (depending on the size of your tomatoes). Use a slotted spoon to lift the tomatoes out of the simmering water when done.
- Carefully plunge them into the ice water. Let them sit for 15 seconds then remove them and place them on a cutting board.Repeat until all the tomatoes are blanched.
- Let the tomatoes cool for a few minutes so they are easy to handle. Using your hands gently remove the peels, they should slide right off.
Combine the Ingredients
- Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Dice up the tomatoes.
- To a large 4-cup container with a tight-fitting lid, add the garlic, olive oil, oregano, & tomatoes. Season with salt & pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add enough water to the tomatoes just to cover them. Stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the container. Store the Italian tomatoes in the marinade in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.
- Before serving season with additional salt & pepper to taste. Serve with sliced bread or over fish, meat, or grilled vegetables. Also great as a salad or added to a salad or pizza.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7.2g||9%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||5%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4.6g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.2g||4%|
|Total Sugars 2.4g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
|Recipe analyzed by|