Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Preserved in Olive Oil

By Amanda Paa – Updated September 4, 2023
4.51 from 122 votes
Savor summer with slow roasted cherry tomatoes preserved in olive oil! This easy recipe is a great way to use up a lot of cherry tomatoes. Their flavor is rich and savory, a wonderful addition to soups, pasta, bread. They can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
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Preserving cherry tomatoes doesn’t get much easier than this!

All it takes is a slow roast at low heat, with the tomatoes smattered with fresh herbs and garlic. The sweet, fresh tomatoes transform into little nuggets of deep, concentrated flavor without having to lift a thumb.

I recommend going all out to finish them, covering them with the best olive oil you can afford.

More recipes to preserve your cherry tomatoes are my Easy Pickled Cherry Tomatoes. They’re bright and zingy, the perfect addition to salads, rice bowls, or toast. Or my No-Peel Tomato Jam, which is sweet and savory with loads of flavor from spices like ginger, black pepper, and smoked paprika!

Ways to Eat Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes:

I love to eat these tomatoes preserved in olive oil with creamy burrata cheese and this Summer Polenta.

You could also add them to savory oatmeal for a delicious breakfast, a topping for white bean hummus, or sourdough toast with cottage cheese.

They bring pops of flavor to soups, pastas, and risotto too.

slow roasted tomatoes preserved in olive oil in a jar
cherry tomatoes in a ball canning jar
slow roasted cherry tomatoes, olive oil being poured on top

I’ve been pushing off fall since I flipped the calendar to September, hanging on to summer as long as I possibly be can, but there’s a point where there’s no denying that it’s here. In Minnesota, September is perfection. This week I pulled out a light sweater and wore leggings every day, much to my heart’s content. I felt like snuggling, baking and braising. Our internal clocks just know.

I usually take one whole weekend to embark on a canning fest that always includes this spicy roasted salsa and this milder, punchy Salsa Verde (made from tomatillos). This year I wanted to add heirloom cherry tomatoes to the extravaganza, their colors and flavors so vibrant, which I wanted to savor for a little while longer.

I can’t even express the sweetness of the older woman who sold these to me at the market. I knew she was a gem from the moment I saw her standing in front of her station wagon, wide brimmed hat, collared shirt and bright red lipstick.

She had a very select offering; pints of these rainbow-esque cherry tomatoes, a few larger heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs (some dried and made into beautiful bouquets) and unique decorative gourds. I jumped at the chance to buy from her, $2 a pint for these beauties. I almost felt like I was stealing.

cherry tomatoes roasted in white pan
pouring olive oil onto cherry tomatoes

As one tumbled out of the teal blue container, she muttered, “oh, that darn Mighty Mato, trying to escape again.” And you see this one? This here’s my favorite, the Thai Pink Egg. That baby girl pink gets me every time, and it doesn’t get too soft even when very ripe. Plus you never have to worry about it splintering. She went on to name 7 more varieties in the two little baskets. They were like her children, and she was sending them off to flourish.

When I got home I tasted through the different colors and shapes, each different and intriguing – some sweet, some tart. Some fruiter than others, and some as juicy as a Colorado peach. It was an easy choice to decide to preserve them. It was not only to savor their deliciousness a little longer, but also the memorable interaction with “tomato lady”.

cherry tomatoes preserved in olive oil in a ball jar

More Cherry Tomato Recipes:

{filming of the video was done by my talented friend Annie D’Souza and new photos by Nyssa Tanner!}

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Preserved in Olive Oil

A way to preserve cherry tomatoes with olive oil and roasting. Their flavor is concentrated and absolutely delicious.
4.51 from 122 votes
Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time :2 hours 35 minutes
Yield: 2 pints
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, I use heirlooms of all colors
  • 3/4 cup of the best olive oil you can afford or enough to cover, divided
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 6-8 basil leaves torn
  • 3 cloves of garlic smashed with the side of a knife
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A few cracks of black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Rinse and dry the tomatoes, then spread onto a large baking sheet. Add the thyme, basil and garlic to the pan, then drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss with your hands, making sure everything is coated, especially the garlic and herbs to keep them from getting crispy.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then give a good stir to coat everything. Roast for 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours, stirring a few times throughout, or until tomatoes are blistered and shrunken as shown above. The time can vary depending on how much moisture is in your tomatoes.
  • Taste one and sprinkle with a little more salt if needed. Remove garlic and herbs, as they can spoil and are not safe for preserving, then add the tomatoes to a sterilized jar (thoroughly washed with soapy hot water).
  • Cover completely with olive oil and store in the refrigerator for 4ish weeks, just make sure they stay completely submerged in the oil. The olive oil will harden in the refrigerator, which is fine, just let sit out before serving and it will return to liquid. You can also freeze these tomatoes in the oil, and they will last 4 to 6 months!


  • Your tomatoes in olive oil may last longer than what’s noted. Use clean utensils to scoop them out when you’re serving to not invite anything else into the jar. This will extend the life. If you see mold, that is when they have gone bad.


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September 20, 2014


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  1. 5 stars
    I had a glut of tomatoes this year, the neighbours were fed up with me trying to offload them so I made this last night, I had a mix of cherry and normal sized tomatoes. As a bonus, I got half a jar of flavoured olive oil that I’m going to use as a dip with homemade Focacia this evening.

  2. I’m making this recipe now and want to know if I can put them in freezer bags instead of jars? And if so, should I allow the tomatoes to cool before sealing the bags and putting in the freezer? (And still freeze with the olive oil, correct?)

    • yes, you can freeze in bags, just allow them to cool fully. you could still do the olive oil, or when you take them out of the freezer to eat, put in jar and cover with olive oil and let marinate for a day. might be less mess that way than trying to fill freezer bags.

  3. 5 stars
    I made these last year, they were great. I put a jar in the freeze and it broke as soon as I took it out though. I’ll use a plastic container next time. I’m going to do this with Romas this year.

    • oh, that’s interesting! i haven’t had glass break on me that had been in the freezer. plastic always works though, like you said! great idea with the romas.

  4. I am making this right now! I used Thai Basil and put a little bit extra of the basil, thyme and garlic. I had a big sheet of tomatoes going into the oven so it’s taking a tad longer than the recipe recommends but the house smells wonderful! I can’t wait to taste them too :)

  5. Hi there – I am in the middle of making this recipe and most of my tomatoes have burst open. Is that normal? Should I remove the pulp of the burst tomatoes before submerging the others in oil? Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. A restaurant taught me this same recipe. They also sold pints of these when in season.

  7. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I spread it on toast and topped with to over easy eggs and mozzarella for breakfast. So very good! A great way to use the bounty of the summer garden!

  8. 5 stars
    So I made this today and put it on a pizza with some basil and Mozarella – just baked it in the oven and it was life changing! If you have cherry tomatoes, make this – can’t wait to try it with buratta. Thank you Amanda for another award winn8ng recipe.

  9. Delicious. I do have a question….since herbs roast with tomatoes they should be sterile, why do they need to be removed for jarring? Thanks!

    • Hi! I find that if the herbs are left in, the jars spoil faster. If you think you are going to eat them within 1 week, you could certainly leave them in.

  10. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I baked mine in 160 degrees for 1/2 an hour each side. I coated the m in garlic, Italian herbs, pink Himalayan salt And a sprinkling of dark brown castor sugar. YUM!!!!

  11. 5 stars
    Thanks so much, the way you write your recipe’s and the great pictures really help me out. This another great fall recipe

  12. 5 stars
    This was such a delicious solution to my over-abundance of cherry tomatoes! I made sure to smear those roasted garlic cloves over some crusty bread, along with a few tomatoes, before I canned them. SO GOOD!!!! XOXO!

  13. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Thanks, Tried this with yellow cherry tomatoes, added a lot of herbs & EVOO while roasting. I am just wondering while keeping in fridge why do you have to submerge them in so much olive oil? the olive oil doesn’t preserve but refrigerator preserves….since during roasting it had EVOO can I leave out the EVOO while it it is in fridge,

    • Hi Mary! Pouring the olive oil over them in the jar, is essential for preserving them in the fridge because it keeps oxygen from reaching the tomatoes. Oxygen exposure is one of the things that causes food to spoil faster.

      • 5 stars
        Thank you! I get it now. I poured EVOO over them and am going to try to freeze some, some are in Ball glass canning jars with a plastic lid, some in Ball plastic containers. Hope I can freeze either without cracking. Will try.

  14. Just wanted to say thanks about these delicious summer treats. I made some the other day and was going to put them oil to store in fridge but me and hubby ate half of them right off cookie sheet so I took the rest and added to a shrimp and eggplant casserole I was making. It was absolutely delicious.

  15. 5 stars
    Wow! My hubby’s garden went wild with Chocolate cherry tomatoes this year.So I tried this recipe with those tomatoes, as I had no heirlooms. The play of the very sweet tomatoes with the herbs, salt and garlic was sooo delicious! I did cover some with oil for later but we ate our share out of the oven. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  16. Hi, I make something similar every year, I roast mine with garlic and basil and put them into the freezer but I will try this way this year.

  17. Why can’t you just add acid ie lemon juice, as you would for canning homemade passata or other tomatoes to make the water bath method safe?

  18. Thank you for the recipe. I made this last month with some cherry tomatoes that were starting to go south. I took them to my sisters to have as an appetizer with crackers and cheese. My husband loved it and keeps asking when I am going to make more.

    Can you just clarify the cook time? The recipe says the cook time is 30 minutes but the instructions say 2 1/2 hours. I don’t know how long I let them cook last time. I just kept it on low and stirred them around from time to time. I decided they were done when they had popped or mashed easily with a fork.

    Bonus, the leftover oil and bits in the bottom of the jar made a great salad dressing!

  19. I’m eager to try these, but more than a bit confused as to how long they will keep in the refrigerator. In the comments, you seem to go back and forth between 18 days, 2-3 weeks, a month, and 1-2 months.

  20. I’m trying this recipe this week. Thank you for posting. I’m wondering if anyone has popped a few in with their canned tomato sauce prior to steam canning to add a boost of flavor?

  21. Great recipe, thanks for sharing! So what are your thoughts on using a cryvack system to prolong the shelf life? A mild setting so as not to crush the tomatoes ?

  22. Greetings from Australia, where it us late summer and my cherry tomatoes are too prolific to keep up with eating fresh, a lovely “problem” to have! This recipe sounds wonderfully simple and delicious, just wanted to double check the oven temperature, Celsius or Fahrenheit…..?

    • hi hege, and greetings! so neat to have an australian stop by. hope you enjoying your warm summer (cold here in Minnesota!) — this oven temperature is in Fahrenheit. xo

  23. Hello from Suffolk U.K. Just trying out your lovely recipe….toms roasting in the oven as we speak. Thanks for your info Amanda.

  24. Once you put them in the fridge and the EVO congeals, do you see any reason you couldn’t then move the jar to the freezer to extend the life past the initial few weeks? For those with too many tomatoes that might be a workaround since canning isn’t an option.

  25. I love love love this … and I have some small tomatoes that I need to preserve because I won’t eat them all in time! I have to respectfully disagree about the garlic and herbs, though … I have used both on my marinated cheese and it keeps in the fridge safely for a month or more–and gives both the oil and the cheese such a wonderful flavor! If you were storing this at room temp, yes it would be VERY risky, but since you’re putting them in the fridge, it’s fine to leave the garlic and herbs in.

    • 5 stars
      I’m curious why there isn’t enough acid? I packed my jars ne year with cherry tomatoes, crushing them until the juice covered, added salt, garlic and basil, roasted them in the oven for an hour at 225°, promptly put on the lids as I removed them from the oven and they were fine. They sealed and lasted. I did not use olive oil but their own juices. Is this the difference?

      • What a great idea! If you use olive oil it must be sealed in a pressure cooker, but the way you preserved them should be just fine!

  26. Love this – thanks for the recipe! I’m thinking of putting them in small jars and giving away as treats, to celebrate our first official veggie garden this year!

  27. Thank you for replying back :) The 1 to 2 months is the how long I’m suppose to let it sit in the fridge before eating it?

    • Hi Brigitte! Unfortunately this recipe be can’t be canned because there is not enough acid in it. The olive oil would become unstable as well. They will last in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks though. Enjoy!

  28. Just finished a batch. Delicious! I’m excited to try them after a few days in the fridge after the flavor has a bit more time to “set.” If they last that long, that is. :)

    • Dean, thanks for letting me know you made a batch! The oil and flavor really deepens after a few days like you mentioned. I just used the last of mine with roasted beets and sauteed spinach last night. Delicious!

    • Hi Julia! That’s the best part about this recipe, preserving without canning! Very simple. Although I have to say I love to can the “long” way. It’s really not as scary as one might think. xo

    • Hi Sheila! The preserved tomatoes will last 18-20 days in the refrigerator, just make sure they stay completely covered in olive oil and use a clean spoon every time you eat them. I updated the recipe too with this info, thanks for asking!

      • Can you freeze them? I freeze all my tomato sauces including roasted tomatoes, so Ia m guessing yes?

        • Hi Sarah! Yes, you could freeze them, but I would not cover in olive oil after roasting. I would instead freeze them as is off the pan, tightly wrapped.

      • Hello, in your recipe you say this lasts for 18 days, but here you say 1 to 2 months. If I eat things slowly, will they really last 18 days, or 2 months? I don’t want anything to go to waste. Also I saw that if you leave the spices in, they go bad faster, and should be taken out. Is this true? Basically I want to keep it preserved for as long as I can, since I don’t eat much quickly.

        • Hello! You should follow the 18 days as listed in the recipe. And yes, removing any herbs will increase their life. I know I tend to eat these within two weeks, so I keep them in.
          You can also freeze them if you want to preserve them the 1-2 months.

  29. I did this last year and loved the results, plus, the flavored oil when the tomatoes were all gone was gorgeous. These were so good on toasted bread and they did not last long at all. Now I think I need to do this again!