The Best Ways to Store a Cut Tomato

August 16, 2014

There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: We're weighing the best ways to store cut tomatoes -- apart from in your stomach. 

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Blended into gazpacho or cubed for bruschetta, ripe tomatoes regularly take center stage on our dinner tables in August. For lunch (even breakfast, we won't judge) we opt for avocado toast and BLTs with thick, juicy slices of the vibrant fruit. But most of the time, we only slice half of the tomato and wonder what to do with the rest. We automatically think to save it for our next meal, but storing it is a task easier said than done. 

Jacqueline Russo turned to the Hotline to tackle this kitchen conundrum. Though there isn't one surefire method, our community had some great tips on storing cut tomatoes (including our favorite option -- storing them in your stomach). 

  • Irina and ChefJune wrap their cut tomatoes in plastic wrap and keep them in the refrigerator, preferably for a short amount of time. They recommend using them as quickly as possible. 
  • But since tomatoes can develop a slimy texture after only a few hours in plastic wrap, trampledbygeese recommends placing the tomato cut side-down on a plate, covering it with a cotton cloth to deter fruit flies, and leaving it on the counter. 
  • Alternatively, rather than storing them as is, she also suggests turning leftover tomato halves into a small batch of salsa with the addition of shallots or onion, chili flakes, salt, and lime juice. A dollop of salsa can perk up any dish, and the leftovers can be stored in the fridge. 
  • Green thumb? Scoop out the seeds, dry them, and save them to plant next spring, as trampledbygeese does. 
  • Or simply eat it! As Editorial Intern Talia Ralph puts it: "No one ever said eating more tomato was a bad thing, right?" 

Do you have a favorite method for storing cut tomatoes? Tell us in the comments or join in the conversation over on the Hotline!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Lori
  • tota
  • Anne Marie
    Anne Marie
  • 1natalplum
  • janehelen
Student, aimless wanderer of grocery store aisles, almond butter's number one fan.


Lori September 15, 2015
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. With a baby spoon or your pinky finger, remove the seeds. Slice remaining tomatoes into thin slices and lay them out on a parchment lined jelly roll pan. Brush lightly with either olive oil or Coconut oil on both sides. Then put them in the oven for 4 to 8 hours to dehydrate them (depending on how dry you like them--I prefer mine real leathery). I like to add either cayenne pepper or crushed pepper flakes to the oil before I lightly brush them with it. Once they're dried out, just stack them in an empty olive jar or any cylindrical jar (actually any tightly sealed container works but the smallest size available because you want to eliminate as much air as possible) and store them in the fridge. They can last for a whole year but mine never make it much past mid February. They make terrific additions to melba toast, crackers, pita chips or just about any snack or hors d'oeuvres. My hubby likes to eat them without anything. He says they taste like miniature pizzas. I like to slice them into ribbons and add them to salads.
tota September 9, 2015
I drizzle a bit of olive oil in a small plate, thn stick the cut side down on it, pastiche wrap over and into frig for a day at most....
tota September 9, 2015
Sorry, for auto fill-- plastic over it not pastiche
Anne M. August 27, 2014
I take the unused portion of the nice big juicy tomato & put it in a shallow small bowl & set it in the refrigerator. When I am ready to use it, I take it out & let it get to room temperature or if I am in a hurry I set it in the micro on low for 2-3 minutes.
1natalplum August 17, 2014
If you want to save the seeds, only non-hybrids with sprout into plants. Heirlooms work well.
janehelen August 17, 2014
I keep it cut side down on plastic wrap on the counter.
Trudi B. August 17, 2014
Set gently in fridge unwrapped, cut side up or down on a plate and in a prominent place so that it will get finished ASAP.
kimikoftokyo August 17, 2014
i put it in a air tight container. ( just did it a few days ago) put it in the refrigerator, then cut it and put it in my caprese salad sadly, you have to eat that right then on that day things get hard and soggy.
krystine August 17, 2014
in a container on my counter. Storing them in the fridge gives them a mealy texture and causes them to lose flavor.
bgavin August 17, 2014
Cur side down on a plate. And, in our house, tomatoes never ever go in the fridge.
Andy August 16, 2014
We often wrap in plastic wrap and freeze to use in pasta sauce later.
seth10597 August 19, 2014
Do you need to do anything before freezing or can you just pick a whole tomato and go right to the freezer?
Pat E. September 10, 2015
I freeze many pounds of tomatoe every year. I usually just core them and toss them in a ziplock. The bonus youi run them under warm water and the skins slip right off the frozen tomato. Use them as you would canned tomatoes...but with a fresher taste.
Pat E. September 10, 2015
Why is it you never see the typos until you press "send"? Sorry.... :-(