Meet Your Ingredients: Cherry Tomatoes

Meet Your Ingredients: Cherry Tomatoes

A salad and veggie tray-staple, cherry tomatoes are sweeter than most other tomatoes. Find out all about this bite-sized fruit, including nutritional benefits, tips for buying and storing, and how to cook with them. 

The Basics

While cherry tomatoes are believed to have been grown for centuries in Mexico and Europe, they didn’t become popular in the US until the 1970’s. 

As a general rule, the smaller the tomato, the sweeter it tastes. And it’s this sweetness in cherry tomatoes that has made it a staple for salads and snacking. 

Cherry tomatoes are small and round, similar to cherries, with thin skins and a high water content – which is why their juices tend to go everywhere when your bite or cut into them. 

Nutrition Overview

One cup (150 grams) of cherry tomatoes provides: 

  • 63 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 2 grams of protein (about 7% of your daily fiber needs) 

They’re also rich in many vitamins and minerals, with 1 cup providing 6-10% of the daily value (DV) for manganese, potassium, vitamin B6, and folic acid; 15% of the DV for vitamin K, 25% of the DV for vitamin A, and 32% the DV for vitamin C. 

As with all tomatoes, cherry tomatoes are also high in a class of antioxidants called carotenoids, which give these tomatoes their rich red color. 

Lycopene, a type of carotenoid found in tomatoes, has been studied for its potential role in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, as well as protecting our skin cells from sun damage.  

How to select

Look for cherry tomatoes with firm, brightly-colored skin. They should also have a distinct tomato-y smell to them. 

Are cherry and grape tomatoes the same? 

While both small, there are some distinct differences between the two: 

  • Shape: cherry tomatoes are round and often slightly larger than grape, which are more oval-shaped similar to grapes. 
  • Texture: grape tomatoes have thicker skins than cherry tomatoes and a meatier texture. 
  • Flavor: cherry tomatoes tend to be sweeter than grape tomatoes. 
  • Storage: grape tomatoes are heartier and will last longer, making them popular for people who like to only go to the store once per week. 

Can you use them interchangeably? Usually yes. However, just remember that for snacking, cherry tomatoes will be a bit sweeter. Additionally, grape tomatoes aren’t as great for stuffing as cherry tomatoes are. 

How to store

As with all tomatoes, keep cherry tomatoes at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Avoid putting them in the fridge as the cold air can cause them to taste more watery than sweet and result in a mealy texture. 

How to use in cooking/baking

As I’ve mentioned several times, cherry tomatoes are great for adding to veggie trays and dipping into a Greek yogurt dip or hummus as well as adding them to salads. 

However, they are also delicious roasted and used as a topping for pasta, chicken, steak, or bruschetta. 

For a simple appetizer, you can also stuff them with an herbed goat cheese.

Cherry tomato pinterest image

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

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As a dietitian I understand that a healthy breakfast is essential for giving you the fuel you need to power through your day. Which is why on TheHealthyToast, you’ll find nutrition guides plus the best healthy breakfast recipes for every diet and lifestyle.

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