With countless varieties and a range of delicious flavor profiles, there’s no question that tomatoes are the perfect addition to just about any dish. Tomatoes are extremely versatile and are great for grilling, roasting, sautéing—even on their own as a healthy snack. Whether it’s a meaty Beefsteak or a small but snappy cherry tomato, adding these antioxidant powerhouses to your meal can add a much-needed burst of flavor.
With so many varieties of tomatoes to choose from, you might be left wondering “what’s the difference?”. We’ve put together this guide to the different types of tomatoes and their uses so you can find the perfect tomato for your next dish.
Your Guide To The Different Types Of Tomatoes (& Their Best Uses)
Crisp and crunchy, grape tomatoes come in a variety of colors that range from sweet to tangy. Thanks to their thicker skin, grape tomatoes hold their meaty texture when cooked, making them a great addition to a main dinner dish—whether you’re roasting them in the oven, tossing them into your pasta, or adding a colorful side to your steak, chicken, or fish. Whether you prefer a red grape’s candy-like sweetness or the tangy kick of a yellow grape, these tomatoes are also great for snacking on raw—perfect for tomato lovers who just can’t get enough!
Red Beefsteak Tomatoes
The king of tomatoes, THE salsa tomato. Red Beefsteak tomatoes are large and meaty with lots of juice, making them ideal to use as a base for fresh sauces and dips. Red Beefsteak’s mild flavor makes them the perfect complement to any dish, without being too overpowering. They make a great addition to your classic hamburger or BLT, and can even hold their own as a patty substitute!
Green Beefsteak Tomatoes
A green tomato doesn’t always mean “unripe”. Green Beefsteaks have a unique flavor that is tart and tangy and pairs well with other flavors to create something special. These tomatoes can be used as an interesting twist on juicing, artisan sandwiches, salsas, dips, and cold or hot sauces. They can even be used in baked items like desserts and pies (trust us, they’re delicious!), and make a great substitute in any recipe you’re using Granny Smith apples.
Try these recipes and make something delicious with a Green Beefsteak:
A favorite of tomato lovers everywhere, cherry tomatoes are one the most versatile tomatoes around. With red, orange, yellow, and purple varieties, these tomatoes are a cooking mainstay, adding a burst of color and flavor to any meal. Sweet and tangy, cherry tomatoes can be cooked, grilled, sauced, and dried—and if you really can’t get enough—even eaten as a raw snack.
Check out these recipes for some cherry tomato cooking inspiration:
Cocktail tomatoes’ traditional tomato flavor has a sweet and fruity aftertaste, making them a versatile tomato that goes great with any meal or occasion. With soft walls and a meaty texture, cocktail tomatoes do well with heat, making them one of the best tomatoes for creating delicate sauces, throwing on the BBQ, or stuffing with your favorite meats and veggies.
Start cooking with cocktail tomatoes with these recipes:
The quintessential Italian plum tomato, Roma tomatoes are full of flavor with a tangy, garden-fresh tomato taste. This tomato is ideal for making a delicious stew, sauce, or tomato paste. For an even more intense flavor, try roasting your Roma in the oven and using it to create a tomato pesto or bruschetta topping that has a bit of a kick. With so many ways to use and a delicious flavor, it’s the perfect tomato to get adventurous with!
Enjoy Roma tomatoes in these recipes:
Get back to your culinary roots with heirloom tomatoes that have been passed down for generations. With a wide range of sizes and vibrant colors, heirlooms are also rich in flavor, making them one of the best tomatoes to liven up your dish. These tomatoes are a perfect addition to sandwiches and salads, make a delicious grilled or roasted side dish, and taste great raw with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of salt. Whether you like your tomatoes sweet or tangy, heirlooms have something for everyone.
Pick your favorite heirloom and give these recipes a try:
Tomatoes On The Vine
Like their name suggests, these tomatoes are left on the vine to soak in the plant’s nutrients until they are fully ripened. The sweet and juicy freshness of a ripe red vine tomato makes them a mainstay in any tomato lover’s kitchen. These tomatoes can do just about anything, from making the finest tomato soup you have ever tasted to adding a refreshing pop of flavor to sauces, jams, and salads. Slice them, dice them, roast them, eat them raw—the possibilities with a tomato on the vine are endless!
Try tomatoes on the vine with these delicious recipes:
The Tomato Lovers Guide To Every Type of Tomato: Infographic