These Italian pan fried tomatoes are an easy gluten free and vegan side you can put together in just 5 minutes, and elevate just about any meal!
With the perfect flavors of garlic, basil and Italian seasoning, these cherry tomatoes get a little oomph, and get transformed into a mouthwatering delicious condiment that you’ll find yourself making again and again.
You’ll be surprised at so little ingredients and so little effort can transform such a basic ingredient into something so gourmet and fancy!
The end result is super versatile, you’ll love how you can put it to use in so many different ways and recipes.
The bright, juicy cherry tomatoes get a nice umami flavor from the char, and turn ultra rich and delicious thanks to the careful selection of Italian ingredients.
- What's So Great About the Recipe?
- Ingredients For the Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes Recipe
- How to Make the Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes
- Substitutions & Variations
- 💭Top Tip
- How to Store the Leftover Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes
- Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- How to Serve the Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes
- Related Recipes
- Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes
- Food Safety
What's So Great About the Recipe?
The simplicity of this recipe is what I love the most about it. It takes just a handful of simple pantry staples and under 10 minutes of kitchen time to put these delicious pan seared tomatoes together- it really is one recipe you can’t go wrong with. When I pick up more cherry tomatoes than I’d care to use, I usually end up using them for this recipe, or for my tomato garlic confit.
Ingredients For the Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes Recipe
Cherry tomatoes: You can use either cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe. Heirloom tomatoes are also a great option.
Garlic: Just 3- 4 cloves of garlic should be enough to bring out and enhance the flavors of the cherry tomatoes, but if you’re a garlic lover like me, you can always add more.
Olive oil: Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, lends the perfect Italian flavors to these pan fried tomatoes.
Basil: Chopped fresh basil ties everything together, and adds some brightness to the dish.
Italian seasoning: This one’s optional, but just a dash of some classic Italian seasoning can really work wonders and elevate the flavors of these pan fried tomatoes to the next level.
Salt and pepper: A simple seasoning mix of salt and crushed black pepper finishes it all up, and makes the dish ready to be served.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make the Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes
Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and let them sit in the pan, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes.
Once they start to blister, add the garlic, salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning and give the tomatoes a quick stir.
Cook for another 2 minutes until they start to blister a bit more.
Remove from heat, top with freshly chopped basil and serve or store for later.
Substitutions & Variations
- If you don’t have olive oil, you can make do with avocado oil or any other neutral flavored cooking oil.
- To lend some extra flavor to these pan fried tomatoes, you can drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar into the mix towards the end, right before you take the tomatoes off heat.
- To lend the tomatoes a bit of herby flavor, you can add some more dried or fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano into it.
- I have added minced garlic into the mix, but if you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use some garlic powder as a substitute.
Remember NOT to stir the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes when you first add them into the pan. This will ensure that they get blistered and charred on the side that hits the pan.
How to Store the Leftover Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes
Your leftover pan fried tomatoes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. You can store them in an airtight container and reheat them in the microwave or in a pan with just a touch of oil.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
Making these pan fried tomatoes isn’t rocket science- in fact, it is one of the easiest recipes you’ll have ever made. That said, having these little tips and tricks handy can really help.
- I would recommend using a heavy bottomed pan- ideally a stainless steel pan to cook these pan fried tomatoes. Doing this will ensure that the cherry tomatoes all have the perfect blistered browning on their surface.
- Keep the heat medium high while cooking the cherry tomatoes. This will ensure that the tomatoes are charred on the outside and slightly cooked through and juicy on the inside, without breaking apart.
- Make sure the oil is hot before you add the cherry tomatoes- the hot oil is crucial to get the tomatoes blistered.
- Remember not to overcrowd the pan with too many tomatoes at the same time, as it will cause the tomatoes to steam and get mushy instead of having that nice charred skin.
- To lend these cherry tomatoes a kick of heat, you can add a dash of chili flakes along with the other seasonings too.
- You can also add a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the mix to brighten up the flavors of the cherry tomatoes and to lend it some extra savoriness.
How to Serve the Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes
One of the best ways to enjoy these Italian pan fried tomatoes is to serve them with your morning eggs or avocado toast to lend some extra flavor and juiciness to them.
In fact, you can also turn them into a tomato garlic confit to take the flavors up a notch and preserve the juicy tomatoes for later.
In a Salad Bowl
You can also add some of these flavorful tomatoes to your basic salads to take their flavors up a notch- right from your simple and crunchy summer salads (like my all time favorite Mediterranean tomato cucumber salad) to a hearty grain salad bowl.
With Grilled Meat
These charred tomatoes can also be a wonderful teammate to your grilled meats and proteins, and are particularly great for the warmer months of the year, when everyone’s hosting BBQs and picnics.
These pan fried tomatoes can actually be a great base for your pasta sauce too. You can blend them together to make a tomato based pasta sauce or toss them in your basic creamy or buttered pasta to liven up the flavors.
As a Side
In its simplest form, these tomatoes make for a great appetizer or a side dish when served with some crusty bread or a light summer soup (like this broccoli cheddar soup).
You can! Since these tomatoes take under 10 minutes to be done from start to finish, they won’t ruin any good quality, well seasoned cast iron pan.
You sure can! I would recommend using San Marzano tomatoes for best results. Remember to chop them up in smaller, bite sized pieces before you decide to pan sear them.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
- 5-7 fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and let them sit in the pan, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes.
- Once they start to blister, add the garlic, salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning and give the tomatoes a quick stir.
- Cook for another 2-3 minutes until they start to blister a bit more.
- Remove from heat, top with freshly chopped basil and serve or store for later.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove