How To Saute Tomatoes

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Saute tomatoes for an easy side dish, topping, or to get extra flavor for a soup.

Just a few minutes in a hot pan brings out a richness to the naturally sweet tomato flavor. Sauteed tomatoes are every bit as snackable as their raw counterparts.

Sauteed small tomatoes in bowl

As a topping, you can add garlic, thyme, rosemary, and some balsamic vinegar and spoon over chicken and fish. Or put the tomatoes on crusty bread and add basil and feta for a tasty bruschetta drizzled with a balsamic reduction.

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How To Saute Tomatoes

Keep in mind these tips when making sauteed tomatoes:

First, start with a slightly firmer tomato with less moisture. I recommend small grape or cherry tomatoes in any color you like. You want small, bite-size tomatoes that will hold their juices nicely.

Second, heat the pan before putting in the oil. Because we’re cooking with a medium-high heat, it helps to use an oil with a higher smoking point instead of butter.

Third, add your tomatoes to the pan and keep them moving to saute them evenly. when the skins are blistering and the tomatoes are looking jammy they are done.

Cooked tomatoes in pan

Sauteed Tomatoes

Follow these directions for savory sauteed tomatoes:

Prep the tomatoes: Wash and dry the tomatoes.

Prep the pan: Get out your largest skillet or sauté pan. For me, this Misen pan is the perfect skillet for sauteeing. Put the pan on a burner, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Let it heat up for 1-2 minutes.

Toss frequently: Pour 1-2 tablespoons of oil into the pan, depending on the amount of tomatoes you plan to saute. Then, add the tomatoes.

Sauteed tomatoes in blue and white bowl

Sauté comes from the French word sauter (to jump) because of the way it moves the food. Many cooks use the pan itself to toss the vegetables.

But, if you’ve experienced messy spills like me, you can use a utensil to stir the asparagus or tongs to turn them. Just remember to let them sit long enough to caramelize a bit before you start tossing them.

Tomatoes with herbs in bowl

Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes

Sauteed cherry tomatoes are so good tossed into a pasta salad or spread on bruschetta. They could not be easier to make.

Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then roast just until the skins start to blister, about 2-3 minutes. The goal is hot, juicy tomatoes, not soft or bursting tomatoes. You want those warm juices in every bite, not in the skillet. 

There are so many great ways to cook tomatoes! Once you’ve mastered sauteeing, you may want to try roasting as well.

Tomatoes with herbs in bowl

How to Saute Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of my favorite vegetables. I love knowing how to saute tomatoes into a side dish, topping or to get extra flavor for a soup.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound grape or cherry tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley or basil chopped


  • Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add oil and tomatoes to the pan. Saute the tomatoes about 2-3 minutes, tossing frequently while cooking.
  • When tomatoes varely begin to blister or wilt, remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley or basil. Serve warm.


When the tomatoes just barely begin to blister or wilt, remove them from the heat. The goal is hot, juicy tomatoes, not soft or bursting tomatoes. You want those warm juices in every bite, not in the skillet. 


Calories: 34kcal · Carbohydrates: 3g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 2g · Saturated Fat: 0.3g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g · Monounsaturated Fat: 2g · Sodium: 202mg · Potassium: 166mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 2g · Vitamin A: 370IU · Vitamin C: 17mg · Calcium: 9mg · Iron: 1mg
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Sauteed tomatoes in large skillet

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