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7 Best Fermented Tomatoes Recipes! Homemade DIY

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Naturally fermented foods are a healthier option for you to consume because of the way you preserve them. Your gut will be thankful that you consume fermented foods because it will receive an abundance of healthy probiotics, which are live microorganisms that call your digestive tract home.

The same principle applies to tomatoes. If they are fermented, they will not only give you the boost of energy you need, but they also ensure a healthy and safe eating experience.

Fermented tomatoes also taste delicious when served alongside a seared steak, bowl of pasta, or with a fresh garden salad!

Besides – wouldn’t you prefer fermented tomatoes to those that sit in your refrigerator, exposed to potential molding? Here are some of the best-fermented tomatoes recipes that we could find that will spruce up your daily eating experiences.

7 of Our Favorite Fermented Tomato Recipes:

Read More – How Long Does It Take for Tomatoes to Grow? Tomato Growing and Harvesting Guide!

1. Traditional Russian Fermented Tomatoes

jars of delicious fermented tomatoes and cucumbers
This Russian tomato fermented recipe looks delicious! I bet the celery and garlic add a nice touch of flavor. You can also add a few chunks of cucumber or peppers from the garden. Perfect! Photo credit Healing Harvest Homestead.


Recipe Review and Directions:

The first fermented tomato recipe has a Russian influence – and some extra flavor! It tops my list because I love the fresh garden ingredients – including zucchini, peppers, and cucumbers. Bonus!

Depending on the size of the Mason jars you use, you may need to adjust the amount of sea salt you add to the brine.

For this traditional Russian recipe, half-gallon Mason jars work for the big tomatoes. If you experiment with fermented cherry tomatoes, use quart-size jars.

Get the full Russian Fermented Tomatoes recipe over on Healing Harvest Homestead!

2. Quick Fermented Tomatoes

delicious homemade fermented tomatoes
This fermented tomato recipe calls for a dash of dill. The dill will add an unmistakable flavor and personality to your fermented tomatoes – without question! Photo by Russian Sauerkraut.


Recipe Review and Directions:

We love this fast fermented tomato recipe for its brilliant simplicity! If you want a savory fermented tomato recipe for your leftover medium-sized tomatoes, this is one of our top picks.

Take your celery and cut off the top part that has the leaves. Slice the celery into 4-inch pieces.

Remove the stalk pieces from the tomatoes. Make sure you use a very sharp knife for removal. You can skip this step! But then you guarantee a fermentation period longer than four days.

Get the full Quick Fermented Tomatoes recipe over on Russian Sauerkraut!

DIY Fermenting Kit
Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Fermentation Kit
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This easy fermenting starter kit removes the guesswork. The waterless airlock valve helps keep oxygen out while letting carbon escape. The jar's design allows for less maintenance - and fuss!

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05/09/2024 06:29 am GMT

3. Cherry Bombs – A La Shockey

fermented cherry tomatoes and garlic jar
These fermented cherry bombs are one of the most straightforward ways to use your leftover cherry tomatoes. Perfect if you grew too many! Recipe by Cultured Foodie.


Recipe Review and Directions:

Here’s another fermented cherry tomato recipe ideal for those of us with way too many tomato plants. I love these recipes if you have multi-colored cherry tomatoes! (Orange, yellow, red, and green!)

If you love eating small cherry tomatoes, then you will love this lacto-fermented tomatoes recipe! You first place half of the herbs and the peeled garlic cloves on the bottom of the jar. 

Next, you add the cherry tomatoes and then the rest of the herbs and garlic. Whatever remaining cherry tomatoes you have left, you place them at the top of the jar and leave 1 inch of space. Add the brine. And if you have one, add the fermentation weight.

Get the full Cherry Bombs – A La Shockey recipe over on The Cultured Foodie!

4. Lacto-Fermented Green Tomato Olives

cherry tomatoes on the vine orange red green
These green tomato olives are the perfect solution if you have too many underripe cherry tomatoes. Cold weather gardeners rejoice!


Recipe Review and Directions:

Sometimes in Northeastern US states (and other cold growing climates), homesteaders need to harvest their cherry tomatoes prematurely – before the frost kills them!

No worries. Here’s how you can use your green tomatoes without stress!

Did you know that lacto-fermented green tomatoes can be just as delicious as their red counterparts? The fermentation time of this recipe evolves over one month, so you need patience here.

When storing ingredients inside the jar, alternate between green tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaves. It doesn’t matter what order you place them in.

No matter what ingredients you use – the end results are the same. You get delicious tomatoes that can store easily in your fridge. They’re also perfect alongside your next holiday feast or late afternoon snack.

Get the full Lacto Fermented Green Tomato Olive recipe over on The Cultured Foodie!

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05/08/2024 08:59 pm GMT

5. Lacto-fermented Cherry Tomatoes with Basil

Fermented Tomatoes Recipe - Fermented Cherry Tomatoes with Basil
Here’s one of our favorite fermented tomato recipes – with tons of details and step-by-step instructions. Ferment your tomatoes in style!


Recipe Review and Directions:

Behold! One of the best ways to use your heaping pile of cherry tomatoes and fresh garden basil. I love this recipe for the rich instructions and detail.

Perfect if you have garden fresh tomatoes and herbs!

If you have either one half-gallon jar or two quart-sized jars, you can give this recipe a go.

Wash the tomatoes and basil leaves, and then the stems are removed from the tomatoes. Then, poke holes in the tomatoes with a toothpick. Make the holes near the stem area.

This lacto-fermentation process lasts for 14 days, so you won’t have to wait too long to eat these fermented cherry tomatoes. These tomatoes will stay fresh in your fridge for as long as six months. Loosen the jar lid every day to let carbon dioxide escape.

Get the full Lacto-Fermented Cherry Tomatoes with Basil recipe over on Mary’s Nest!

6. Fermented Cherry Tomatoes

fermented cherry tomatoes in a bowl
Fermented tomatoes make for one of the best all-natural spaghetti or pasta sauces. Try mixing with fresh mozzarella cheese for an unworldly pizza topper!


Recipe Review and Directions:

Here’s one of our favorite fermentation recipes if you do lots of savory cooking! The ingredients add a rich flavor and zest ideal for sauces, pizzas, and pasta.

The grape leaf is placed on top to pin the tomatoes under the brine. The fermentation process takes 2-4 days.

Get the full Fermented Cherry Tomatoes recipe over on Leda Meredith!

Ball Jars
Ball Half-Gallon Jars, Wide Mouth, Set of 2
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Ball jars are one of the most reliable and trusted brands for jars or canning! These half-gallon jars have ultra-wide-mouths and are perfect for storing fermented vegetables, fruits, oats, herbs, smoothies, soups, and more.

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05/09/2024 08:26 am GMT

7. Yang’s Fermented Cherry Tomatoes

fermented tomatoes garlic peppers
The best part of fermenting tomatoes is adding experimental ingredients. What types of herbs and veggies could you add? Mushrooms? Garlic? Kale?


Recipe Review and Directions:

We had to include Yang’s fermentation recipe because we love how straightforward it is to make! If you want to explore the world of food preservation, but it seems too tricky – then try this recipe first!

I like how practical and straightforward this recipe is because you don’t need to get a specific number of any ingredients. This part leaves you open to interpretation and provides culinary flexibility.

The water and salt mix together to form the brine. Every other ingredient except for the tomatoes goes in the bottom of a jar. Add the cherry tomatoes to the top of the tomato jar.

The salt brine is then poured into the fermentation to cover the tomatoes. After sealing the lid, the tomatoes are left alone in a dark spot to ferment for one week. Consider opening the jar every day to release gas. 

Get Yang’s Full Fermented Cherry Tomato recipe over on Yang’s Nourishing Kitchen!

Complete Guide to Home Canning!

Want more fermented tomato recipes? How about oodles of excellent fermented recipes?!

I found this epic fermentation guide with dozens of canning and fermentation recipes. You can snag the PDF for free. It’s from the USDA and packed with helpful insights.

It’s called The Complete Guide to Home Canning, and it contains dozens of pickled and fermentation recipes. You can easily download, print, and store the book for free.

Perfect for canning and fermenting everything! Pickles, asparagus, beets, carrots, baby carrots, pearl onions, green tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, okra, and tons of other veggies! It’s a must-read for homesteaders who want to get into canning and preserving.

General Tips on Fermenting

Now let’s discuss the fermentation process itself and what is generally needed to have a successful fermentation. You will notice a pattern taking shape when you read through all the above recipes.

The number one thing you must account for when fermenting foods is an oxygen-free environment. Promote anaerobic fermentation, which means oxygen is absent. Lactic-acid bacteria are responsible for fermented food to become healthy and stable.

Hence, why we often call these tomato recipes lacto-fermented. 

Exposure to oxygen stunts the growth of good bacteria while also leaving the fermented food open to mold and yeast taking it over.

It is critical to have an airtight jar or container for the process. Though these are not the only options, Mason Jars are great for canning fermented foods because they have been tried and tested over the years, bearing good results. 

Use the right kind of salt for fermenting foods like tomatoes. Iodized salts like table salt don’t cut it because they stunt the growth of good bacteria.

Most vegetables require a 2% salt brine to succeed in fermenting. Mixing in approximately 19 grams of unrefined salt with 1 quart of water will be enough to make a salt brine.

Filtered or boiled water works best for fermenting foods because you would be using clean water. You don’t have that guarantee with water with chlorine or fluoride.

Dirty water kills lactic-acid bacteria. The environment for your tomatoes must be clean as well as oxygen-free.

The above recipes call for you to open or loosen your jars daily during the fermenting process to check on the tomatoes. I suggest that you don’t leave your jars open for too long because you don’t want to give mold and yeast a chance to ruin your tomatoes.

Limit yourself to no more than 3 minutes when you open the jars. It is best not to mess with the fermenting process too much. 

Home Fermenting Kit
Jillmo Fermentation Kit, 1.5 Liter Fermentation Jar

This home fermenting kit comes in a small package but includes everything you need. The kit has two jars, two airlocks, two weights, silicon grommets, and a seal. Fermentation made easy!

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05/09/2024 01:26 am GMT

Read More – Harvesting Basil Without Killing the Plant – 5 Easy Steps!

Tomato Fermenting FAQs

We love tomato fermentation! We also know that fermenting tomatoes is one of the most confusing topics for new homesteaders.

So, we answered some of the most common questions below.

We hope these help – and let us know if you have more tomato or vegetable fermentation questions!

What’s the Best Way to Eat Fermented Tomato Recipes?

Garden salads and barbeques! I love to snack on fermented tomatoes whenever I have barbequed steak, burgers, or sausage. I love the clashing flavors of pickled peppers and tomatoes mixed with the texture and hot temperature of the seared steak.

(If you have spicy peppers, then that’s a bonus.) Yes, please!

Fermented tomatoes also make the best salad topper. Chopped iceberg lettuce, Italian salad dressing, and fermented tomatoes go wonderfully together. I also love other pickled veggies on salads – carrots, cauliflower, peppers, onions, and peppers are welcome!

What’s the Best Fermented Tomato Recipe Container for Brining?

I prefer glass jars. I think glass jars always work the best for preserving tomatoes. Here’s why. (Multiple reasons.) Glass jars are strong enough to hold nearly any variety of fermented tomatoes you want. I have one Ball Mason jar that holds 6 cups! (That’s a lot of tomatoes.)

Also, glass jars are transparent – so you can watch for the fermentation bubbles and easily burp your jar without stress.

Glass jars are also tidy. You can place labels on them without stress, and they store easily on a shelf, on your table, or in a cool dark area of your home.

Another reason they’re the best is that glass jars last forever!

I’ve had jars last for years – and they’re still in perfect (and glossy) condition.

Glass jars also have excellent reputations for fewer chemical bleeds – and most glass jars I’ve researched are 100% BPA-free.

Is My Fermented Tomato Batch Going Bad?

Always err on the side of safety. If you notice any fuss, black mold, or anything else that looks unappetizing? Chuck it out! If you get the impression that your tomato fermentation recipe went disastrously wrong? Throw it out!

Usually, fermented tomatoes will last a lot longer than you think.

But, if you feel like your fermented tomatoes or veggies have a funky smell – or if you used an unknown fermentation recipe that looks unreliable – then discard it!

What’s the History of Tomato Fermentation?

I’ve been researching the history of fermentation, and it seems like it dates back several hundred years! I found another article about the history of fermented foods from Rockefeller University. Their research indicates that the fermentation of foods dates back several thousands of years.

Some historians believe that early civilizations may not have fully understood fermentation science. However, the article from Rockefeller University cites clear samples of fermented dairy, cucumber pickling, and meat preservation dating back thousands of years.

(I’ve also found another reliable source saying that fermentation dates back thousands of years.)

It’s easy to see why the demand for shelf-stable foods was so popular – even dating back thousands of years.

One of the problems with homesteading throughout history – is that there weren’t as many markets or grocery stores. In other words – you might run out of food over the winter!

So, wise farmers and homesteads often needed to rely on themselves for food over the cold winter months. Smart move. Enter the science of fermenting!

Fermenting is a great way to preserve veggies over the cold winter months – especially if you have a short growing season. And according to our research – it’s been here for thousands of years.

Tomato? Or Tomahto? Ferment Them Both!

Fermented tomatoes are organic and healthy for you to consume, and they are excellent additions to any meals you make.

(I’m already thinking about the pizzas I make in my outdoor brick pizza oven as I type this!) Fermenting foods is easy if you have the materials, so why not give it a try?

If you have questions about fermented tomatoes – let us know!

Read More – 14 Best Vegetable Gardening Books for Beginner to Expert!

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  1. Good morning,
    the recipe site for Russian Fermented Tomatoes is no longer available.
    Can you please give us the recipe?
    Thank you,
    S Brooks

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