From grilled tomatoes to salsa, there are so many ways to use fresh tomatoes, from the garden or from the store. Get some ideas for this list of Budget-Friendly Fresh Tomato Recipes.
For more ideas of what to cook, check out all of our recipes.
We’re in the thick of our garden tomatoes growing, which means we have a lot of tomatoes right now. So we’re always incorporating tomatoes (and our other fresh vegetables form the garden) into our meals. Luckily, we have a huge list of budget-friendly fresh tomato recipes to choose from.
If you don’t have a garden, don’t worry. You can just go to your local grocery store or farmer’s market and pick up fresh tomatoes there for these recipes.
Fresh is best — for these recipes, anyway. We do use canned tomatoes a lot, but that’s a whole different recipe list. When we get that one posted, we’ll link it here.
Growing you own food and knowing how to cook it is such a great way to save money. You still get delicious dinners, but without the high price tag of take out. For help and ideas, check out The Ultimate Guide To Saving Money By Cooking At Home.
20+ Budget-Friendly Fresh Tomato Recipes
We broke this list into two sections: Fresh tomato recipes with meat and vegetarian fresh tomatoes recipes.
As we add more tomato recipes to the blog, we’ll be sure to update this list. So make sure you save this post (pin it, bookmark it, etc.) and come back to it from time to time to see what’s new.
Vegetarian Fresh Tomatoes Recipes
The fresh tomatoes really shine in these vegetarian fresh tomatoes recipes. A few of them are vegan too.
If you like tater tots, but you want a twist on them, you need to try this Bruschetta Totchos recipe.
The tater tots are cooked, then topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh cherry tomatoes, then baked until the cheese is melty. It’s then topped with fresh basil leaves and served. It’s the perfect party recipe.
Grilled Tomato And Mushroom Skewers With Garlic Butter
If you’re looking for an easy recipe for summer, these Grilled Tomato And Mushroom Skewers With Garlic Butter is it. Cherry or grape tomatoes are skewered with button mushrooms and then grilled.
The juicy tomatoes pop in your mouth, which is delicious. These are coated in garlic butter, which adds a little seasoning to the kabobs (and helps to prevent them from sticking to the grates of the grill).
Vegetarian Couscous with Zucchini, Chickpeas, and Tomatoes
I’m such a big fan of couscous. It’s a really simple base to build delicious recipes from. And this Vegetarian Couscous with Zucchini, Chickpeas, and Tomatoes is one of our absolute favorite ways to make couscous.
And yes, I’m chatting about couscous, but tomatoes are one of the main ingredients of this dish. They’re roasted on a sheet pan with zucchini, green onions, and a little olive oil, then added to the couscous with a few other ingredients.
It’s a recipe your whole family will enjoy.
Pasta alla Norma
Whenever I make Pasta alla Norma, I always joke and say, “I don’t know who Norma is, but I love her pasta.” There’s a history behind this classic Italian dish, but you don’t need to know who Norma is to like this pasta.
You make a fresh tomato sauce with eggplant and use that to top spaghetti.
This homemade spaghetti sauce is really easy to make and a great idea for the nights you want a red sauce but don’t feel like making a classic tomato sauce.
Garden Tomato Caprese Tart
One of the tastiest and lightest ways to use fresh garden tomatoes is in this Garden Tomato Caprese Tart. If you only have store-bought tomatoes, those work fine too.
This tart combines mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil (all the components of a caprese salad) in a flaky pie crust. Bake it and serve.
Also, side note: We call this a tomato tart, but it’s also known as a tomato galette, if you’ve heard of that.
Baked Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes are best made with garden tomatoes. When you have a garden, you can pick your tomatoes early, right before you have ripe tomatoes, in order to make this recipe.
Most grocery stores don’t generally sell green tomatoes and if they do, they sell tomatillos, which are used in fresh salsa verde. Tomatillos wouldn’t work here.
For this, you slice the green tomatoes, bread them, and bake them. That’s the best way to make these, if you’re making them at home. That way, you don’t have to deal with frying and hot olive oil and all that mess.
Mini Tomato Pies
These Mini Tomato Pies are the perfect taste of summer.
Puff pastry, mozzarella cheese, and fresh summer tomatoes are baked together to make this poppable bite.
This is a great side dish, if you’re hungry. It also works as a light dinner, which are better for summer. When it’s hot out, I don’t feel like eating anything too heavy.
I always say, if you’re making dinner on the grill, it makes sense to grill your sides too. That way, you’re not running between the grill and the kitchen to check on your food. You can watch everything in the same place.
This Grilled Tomatoes recipe is such a simple recipe. You just slice the Roma tomatoes, sprinkle them with breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and a touch of oil, and grill them in a pan. It’s delicious and will definitely be one of your favorite tomato recipes from now on.
This is one that we make when we have an abundance of tomatoes in the garden and need a way to use them quickly because you can make a huge tray of them with minimal effort.
Baked Tomatoes with Panko
If it’s not grilling season, Baked Tomatoes is a good alternative to the side dish above. It’s very similar except its made in the oven.
Take fresh tomatoes, sprinkle them with Panko breadcrumbs and bake them. The Panko gives the fresh tomatoes a really great crunch and breading taste without you having to do all the work of actually dredging and coat the tomatoes in flour and breadcrumbs.
This Stuffed Tomatoes recipe is a really fun side dish.
They take a little bit of work because you do have to stuff each fresh tomato individually, but it’s totally worth the effort. Just be sure to make more than you expect your family to eat. These are really easy to eat quickly — and your family will do just that.
Avocado Toast Bruschetta
Avocado Toast is still really popular. So lean into the skid, as they say, with this Avocado Toast Bruschetta.
It’s everything you like in avocado toast, plus the addition of fresh tomato, but in a bite-sized, appetizer form. Every time I make these, they’re eaten so quickly and are definitely the hit of the party.
Vegan Pasta Salad
We generally have one vegan item at every one of our backyard barbecues, so our friend, who is vegan, has something she can eat.
This Vegan Pasta Salad, which has fresh tomatoes chopped up and added to the rest of the ingredients, is perfect. We do often have a container of Feta cheese next to it (because I think it’s better that way), but it’s vegan without it.
Although you can top White Pizza with anything, we often choose fresh tomatoes.
See, White Pizza means the “sauce” is ricotta cheese, not a marinara sauce. So you don’t have any tomato on this, even though most pizza traditionally has tomatoes in some capacity. So that’s why we love topping our White Pizza with fresh tomatoes.
And, if you like pizza, don’t forget to check out all of our homemade pizza recipes.
Super Spicy Salsa
It’s so incredibly easy to make homemade salsa. And it’s so good too. After I started making this, we completely stopped buying salsa at the store.
This fresh tomato salsa is really spicy because of the fresh jalapeno peppers in it. Personally, I think when you eat it with tortilla chips, it’s not that bad. But, you can use less jalapeno peppers and make a mild salsa, if you prefer that.
Orzo Greek Salad
If you’re a fan of Greek salad, you’ll love this Orzo Greek Salad. It has the elements of a Greek salad (tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, etc.), but instead of a lettuce base, it’s an orzo base.
So if you’re making a pasta salad for a pot luck, and you want one with a twist, this is the perfect recipe for that. It’s good hot or cold too, so you can make it ahead of time.
Kale Pesto Bruschetta
Kale Pesto is, without question, my favorite condiment. It goes well with bread — especially when you add fresh tomatoes and turn it into a bruschetta.
We love making bruschetta for parties and no matter what type we make, or how much we make, it always goes quickly. So if you’re looking for the hit of your party, this Kale Pesto Bruschetta will be it.
Caprese Grilled Cheese
There’s a whole restaurant in Wilmington geared towards grown up grilled cheese. Because honestly, everyone likes grilled cheese.
This Caprese Grilled Cheese is a delicious grown up grilled cheese, filled with mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato, and pesto.
Vegan Taco Pasta Salad
There’s a whole pint of fresh grape tomatoes in this vegan Taco Pasta Salad. The recipe is the perfect side dish for a backyard barbecue … for vegans and meat eaters alike.
This pasta salad has all the flavors of tacos, just no meat in it. Although, if you weren’t worried about keeping it vegan, you could add meat. We don’t feel like it needs it, but you do you.
Easy Garden Tomato Salad
If you have a lot of garden tomatoes that you need to put to good use, this easy Garden Tomato Salad is the way to go. Those homegrown tomatoes are really the only ingredient besides liquids and seasoning.
What’s great about this tomato salad is you make it ahead of time and let it sit an marinate overnight. When you’re ready for it the next day, it’s ready to go.
Lentil And Cauliflower Vegan Tacos
Fresh tomatoes are only a garnish in this Lentil And Cauliflower Vegan Tacos, but the tacos would be incomplete without them.
The whole recipe tastes fresh, thanks to the tomatoes, which lighten up what could be a potentially heavy lentil/cauliflower base.
Fresh Tomato Recipes with meat
These fresh tomatoes recipes with meat recipes let the tomatoes shine while still appealing to your carnivorous side.
Sausage And Egg Breakfast Quesadillas
Tomatoes are a great way to start your day, and you can do that when you make these Sausage And Egg Breakfast Quesadillas.
Sausage and eggs fill the inside of the quesadilla, which is topped with cheese and fresh tomato slices. The recipe is super hearty, so it’ll definitely keep you filled until lunch.
Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Fresh tomatoes are diced, then added to the mixture used to stuff the zucchini for these Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats.
The fresh tomatoes add a nice pop of color to this recipe too, and everyone knows, you eat with your eyes first.
Bacon Tomato Jam
Bacon Tomato Jam is the perfect way to use a lot of garden tomatoes, if your garden is overflowing with them. Of course, you could also use store-bought tomatoes.
You can make the jam then use it to top chicken breast, steak, meatloaf, or just use it as a dip for crackers. It’s so good, you might want to drink it with a straw. But don’t. Those bacon chunks will probably get stuck.
Bacon, Spinach And Tomato Sandwich
This Bacon, Spinach And Tomato Sandwich is a really fun twist on a BLT. Instead of lettuce, this sandwich uses fresh spinach leaves.
It also shows you how to make a bacon weave, which is a great way to assure there’s a bit of bacon in every bite.
Caprese Chicken is such a good weeknight dinner meal that feels fancy. I think it’s all the gooey, melty cheese on top of the chicken breast tenderloins.
The fresh tomatoes add a little bit of sweetness to the dinner too, which is a welcome flavor to the mild chicken and cheese.
Which of these budget-friendly fresh tomatoes recipes have you tried? Be sure to let us know in the comments.