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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Cherry Tomatoes

There are countless ways to prepare and eat a cherry tomato.

They can be added raw to salads, sandwiches, and appetizers or cooked into main courses.

If you have ever eaten a cherry tomato from the garden, then you could imagine how sweet they are when ripe.

Cooking tomatoes takes away their super sweet flavor, which is why many people look for substitute ingredients when they want to add a sweet taste to their cooking.

In this article, we will look at the options for replacing a cherry tomato with other vegetables or fruits.

What are Cherry Tomatoes?

what are cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are a type of tomato that typically grows to a much smaller size than other types.

They share many of the same qualities as normal-sized tomatoes; however, they have a sweeter flavor and are less acidic.

As well as being popular in salads, cooking with cherry tomatoes is often recommended due to their juiciness which makes them an excellent replacement for other vegetables.

They are small also means that they take less time to prepare, cooking with them quickly and simply.

The sweetness of cherry tomatoes results in dishes taking on a sweeter flavor when the tomato is included instead of if other vegetables are used.

They can also be juicier than other vegetables, which often require less cooking time to soften.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cherry Tomatoes

Despite being a very popular vegetable, cherry tomatoes are often hard to find in the supermarket.

However, many substitutes can be used as an alternative, with each one being similar enough to still work well in the dish.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Plum Style TomatoesLarger, elongated shape with sweet flavor and less water contentReplace 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 1 cup of chopped plum style tomatoes
Grape TomatoesSmall, oblong shape with sweet, juicy flavor and firm textureReplace 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 1 cup of halved grape tomatoes
Campari TomatoesSweet, tangy flavor, slightly larger than cherry tomatoesReplace 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 1 cup of chopped Campari tomatoes
Ripe OlivesSavory, salty flavor with a soft texture and dark colorReplace 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 1/2 cup of halved ripe olives
Sun-Dried TomatoesIntense, concentrated flavor with a chewy textureReplace 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 1/4 cup of rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Plum Style Tomatoes

plum style tomatoes

Plum-style tomatoes are smaller than a normal tomato and have a flattened shape.

They can be rather sweet, with a good balance of acidity.

It is important to note that their skin may not be as tough as many other types of tomatoes, which makes them easier to cook with.

The skin of a plum tomato is significantly thinner than that of a normal-sized tomato, making them much easier to cook with.

These tomatoes are most commonly used in sauces pastes and can be used when canning or bottling fruits.

They have a unique flavor both in terms of initial and aftertaste, which you may or may not like.

However, most people find that they are generally quite sweet and an excellent replacement for cherry tomatoes in dishes where the latter doesn’t fit.

  • Key Characteristics: Plum style tomatoes are larger and more elongated than cherry tomatoes. They have a sweet flavor and contain less water, making them a suitable substitute.
  • Proper Ratio: Replace 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 1 cup of chopped plum style tomatoes. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe’s requirements.

2 – Grape Tomatoes

grape tomatoes

Grape tomatoes are very similar to cherry tomatoes in terms of their appearance, just much smaller.

They tend to be rounder than cherry tomatoes, which look like small grapes.

As their name suggests, grape tomatoes are produced after being harvested at the ‘grape’ stage when they are considered fully flavored and ripe.

These can be very sweet or slightly sour, depending on how ripe they were picked.

This type of tomato is often used for salads or snacks due to its small size and sweeter than average flavor.

They tend to be very juicy, so you might need to cook them for less time than other substitutes.

  • Key Characteristics: Grape tomatoes are small, oblong-shaped tomatoes with a sweet, juicy flavor and a firm texture. They closely resemble cherry tomatoes and can be used as a substitute in various dishes.
  • Proper Ratio: Replace 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 1 cup of halved grape tomatoes. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe’s needs.

3 – Campari Tomatoes

campari tomatoes

Campari tomatoes are very similar in their flavor and appearance to cherry tomatoes.

The main difference is that they are larger than the latter.

In addition, Campari tomatoes have slightly thicker skin, so you won’t need to spend as much time preparing them before eating them.

This type of tomato originated from Italy and got its name from the Campari company.

When you eat a Campari tomato, its flavor is often mild, an acquired taste.

However, it has been described as being very sweet and tangy both simultaneously.

This substitute is great for salads and pasta dishes, as with other substitutes.

In addition, they are also great for cooking in stews or on the barbecue.

  • Key Characteristics: Campari tomatoes are slightly larger than cherry tomatoes and have a sweet, tangy flavor. They can be used as a substitute while providing a similar taste profile.
  • Proper Ratio: Replace 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 1 cup of chopped Campari tomatoes. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe’s requirements.

4 – Ripe Olives

If you are looking for a substitute that will add a bit of flavor to your dish, then this might be the one for you.

Ripe olives have a salty and meaty flavor, resulting in dishes having a more rich or complex taste.

It is important to note that ripe olives are generally very bitter, whereas cherry tomatoes tend to be quite sweet.

The bitterness of ripe olives can result in you adding a bit more sugar if the taste is too strong for your liking.

Ripe olives are very common and were first produced by the Greeks 2,000 years ago.

They also have a long history of being used as an edible food source, featuring in some of the earliest recipes.

  • Key Characteristics: Ripe olives offer a savory, salty flavor with a soft texture. While they have a different taste compared to cherry tomatoes, they can provide a unique twist to recipes.
  • Proper Ratio: Replace 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 1/2 cup of halved ripe olives. Adjust the quantity based on your preferred level of saltiness.

5 – Sun-Dried Tomatoes

sundried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are a great substitute for cherry tomatoes, especially if they are on sale in your supermarket.

They tend to be much cheaper than other substitutes and can add many flavors when cooked properly.

Sun-dried tomatoes have a sweeter taste because they are dried and then added to dishes.

This means that you don’t need to add as much sugar or salt as you normally would if you were using cherry tomatoes.

Sun-dried tomatoes work well in salads and pasta dishes, as with other substitutes.

However, they also work well on kebabs and baking cakes or brownies.

In addition, they work well in soups and stews if you add them early enough.

  • Key Characteristics: Sun-dried tomatoes have an intense, concentrated flavor and a chewy texture. While the texture may differ from fresh cherry tomatoes, they can add depth and complexity to dishes.
  • Proper Ratio: Replace 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with 1/4 cup of rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes. Adjust the quantity based on your desired taste and texture.

Conclusion

Cherry tomatoes are a great addition to many dishes, especially fresh.

However, not everyone has access to fresh cherry tomatoes all year due to them being out of season or some countries not producing them at all.

The recommendations above are the only substitutes for cherry tomatoes, but they do work well in many situations.

If you want to know even more substitutes, then you could try asking your friends and family what other types of tomatoes they use in their cooking.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cherry Tomatoes

Elevate your culinary creations with the 5 best substitutes for cherry tomatoes. Whether you're seeking a burst of sweetness or a unique texture, this curated list has you covered. Discover delightful alternatives that will seamlessly replace cherry tomatoes in your dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • Plum Style Tomatoes
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Campari Tomatoes
  • Ripe Olives
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for cherry tomatoes
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