Why Cooking with Herbs & Spices is a Must
While many of the foods we eat taste delicious on their own, herbs and spices work together with our food to elevate natural flavors and make dishes more dynamic. A spice is a seed, root, fruit, bark or other plant substance, whereas an herb is a plant’s leaves, flowers, or stem. There are dozens of popular herbs and spices with distinct flavors and best uses–which means endless options for getting creative in the kitchen!
With more people cooking at home and eating out less often, you may have looked for a list of all the herbs and spices you should have in your kitchen. If you have found yourself cooking more at home these days, you may have already started experimenting with more herbs and spices when preparing your meals. But you may have asked yourself: which herbs and spices will taste best in some of my favorite dishes?
You probably know that there are some herbs and spices that just don’t pair well with certain foods, but what you may not know about are the best herbs and spices to pair with Tomatoes and Tomato dishes! That’s why we created a list of the best herbs and spices you should have in your kitchen to prepare delicious Tomato-based meals.
The Best Herbs to Pair with Tomatoes
There are many fresh and dried herbs that complement the sweet and tangy flavor of Tomatoes. Here are some of the most popular herbs to pair with Tomatoes (plus some of our favorite recipes that use them)!
Tomatoes & Basil
One of the most traditional herbs to pair with Tomatoes is fresh basil!
This simple pairing screams summer. A freshly sliced Tomato-on-the-Vine topped with aromatic basil leaves is the equivalent to soaking up the sun while a warm summer breeze tickles your toes. It’s that good!
One of the main reasons why Tomatoes and basil are such a nice pairing is because they both taste and smell great together. The sweetness of a freshly cut Tomato slice is complemented by basil’s balanced flavor with a hint of pepper. And with both Tomatoes and basil being very aromatic, smelling them together in a dish is enough to make your mouth water.
Tomato & Basil Recipes
Whether you eat Tomatoes and basil together often or this is your first time pairing them up, here are a few Tomato and basil recipe ideas to inspire you:
Tomatoes & Cilantro
If you love Mexican food, then pairing Tomatoes with cilantro will be a no brainer for you. In many Mexican dishes, both Tomatoes and cilantro make an appearance–cilantro is a staple in Mexican recipes like guacamole, salsa, and pico de gallo, and Tomatoes are a versatile food that has been used in Mexican cuisine for hundreds of years.
The strong, citrusy flavor of cilantro pairs nicely with many foods, elevating some flavors and cooling down others (including some of the spicier pepper flavors often found in Mexican dishes). When it comes to cilantro and Tomatoes, the herb brightens up a Tomato’s sweet, fresh flavor perfectly.
Tomato & Cilantro Recipes
Here are some of our favorite recipes (with many fitting in the Mexican cuisine category) featuring both Tomatoes and fresh cilantro:
Tomatoes & Oregano
The flavor pairing of Tomatoes and oregano is a classic found throughout Italian cuisine. Most Tomato-based sauces and marinades with Italian roots will add oregano to the mix, but some Mexican, Greek, and Mediterranean dishes have also been known to pair these two flavors together.
Oregano has a strong aroma and distinct flavor that many people describe as earthy and green. Oregano also pairs nicely with basil, so using both these herbs in a Tomato-based dish will likely be a hit!
Tomato & Oregano Recipes
Take a look at a couple of our favorite fresh recipes that feature Tomatoes and oregano:
More Herbs to Pair with Tomatoes
While basil, cilantro, and oregano are all popular herbs to pair with Tomatoes, there are many more options to choose from! If you want to experiment with more herbs, here are a few extra options that taste great with Tomatoes:
Head to our Recipes page to find more recipes that pair Tomatoes with these fresh herbs.
The Best Spices to Pair with Tomatoes
With dozens of spices to choose from, here are some of the best spices to pair with Tomatoes to bring your Tomato-based dishes to the next level.
Tomatoes & Paprika
A popular spice you may have started experimenting with in the kitchen is paprika. This spice is often added to savory foods like eggs, poultry, fish, steamed vegetables, and creamy sauces. Tomatoes and paprika make a great team when paired together in rich sauces.
One of the most well-known and beloved features of paprika is its ability to add a smoky flavor to almost any savory dish. This makes it a go-to spice when you’re preparing sauces or chilis with meatier, more savory Tomatoes like Beefsteak Tomatoes or Tomatoes-on-the-Vine.
Tomato & Paprika Recipes
Tomatoes and paprika go well together in a range of homemade sauces, chilis, and even condiments! Here are a few of our favorite recipes featuring both of these tasty ingredients.
Tomatoes & Black Pepper
It may be one of the most common spices out there, but never underestimate the power of freshly ground black pepper! Tomatoes and black pepper are a perfect pairing–whether you’re adding pepper to a Tomato-based sauce or topping a fresh Tomato slice with salt and pepper, you just can’t go wrong.
This versatile spice is best when ground fresh from peppercorns, adding a sharp, woody flavor that complements many dishes. So, make sure you always have this spice on hand: almost any Tomato-based recipe will benefit from a dash of freshly ground black pepper!
Tomato & Black Pepper Recipes
Here are a few recipes featuring both Tomatoes and black pepper:
More Spices to Pair with Tomatoes
There are many more spices and seasoning combos you can add to your Tomato dishes. Here are a few to get you started:
- Chili powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Fennel seeds
- Homemade taco seasoning
- Homemade fajita seasoning
- Homemade Cajun seasoning
And don’t forget to check out our Recipes page for more great meal ideas using these spices and seasonings!
More Kitchen Tips & Tricks
Looking for more tips and tricks to use in the kitchen? Check out these helpful guides!