Are you a fan of tomatoes? I’m really hoping you say yes – they are one of the healthiest foods on the planet!
A common/popular type of tomato is the cherry tomato. And for good reason too – cherry tomatoes are bright, sweet, juicy, and versatile.
They make for the perfect salad addition, pasta companion, or star ingredient in a cook or roasted dish. But what if your recipe calls for them and you can’t get your hands on some?
Or perhaps you are looking for something a little different, looking to get a little more explorative in the kitchen, need a tomato with lower acidity, or just simply are not a huge fan of cherry tomatoes?
Luckily for you, there are tons of cherry tomato substitutes out there that are bursting with flavor and possibilities!
The best overall substitute for cherry tomatoes is grape tomatoes. To substitute cherry tomatoes in salads use heirloom tomatoes, on-the-vine tomatoes, Campari tomatoes, red pear tomatoes, or currant tomatoes. Cherry tomato substitutes for pasta dishes are sun-dried tomatoes and canned tomatoes. The best cherry tomato substitutes for cooked/roasted dishes are plum tomatoes and roma tomatoes.
The Cherry tomato substitute for curry is the desi tomato. Low-acidity tomatoes that can substitute cherry tomatoes in recipes are yellow pear tomatoes, big rainbow tomatoes, ace 55 tomatoes, sweet 100 tomatoes, and persimmon tomatoes.
In this article, we will discuss 16 of the best cherry tomato substitutes.
- Substitutes for Cherry Tomatoes
- 1. Grape Tomatoes
- 2. Heirloom Tomatoes
- 3. On-The-Vine Tomatoes
- 4. Campari Tomatoes
- 5. Red Pear Tomatoes
- 6. Currant Tomatoes
- 7. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 8. Canned Tomatoes
- 9. Plum Tomatoes
- 10. Roma Tomatoes
- 11. Desi Tomatoes
- 12. Yellow Pear Tomatoes
- 13. Big Rainbow Tomatoes
- 14. Ace 55 Tomatoes
- 15. Sweet 100 Tomatoes
- 16. Persimmon Tomatoes
- We Thought You Would Like
- Tomato 101
- Fun Fact
- Final Considerations
Substitutes for Cherry Tomatoes
1. Grape Tomatoes
Grape tomatoes are extremely similar to cherry tomatoes. They share similar flavors and a special sweetness.
Grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are relatively close in small size (although grape tomatoes tend to be a bit smaller), but differ in shape.
Grape tomatoes are more oblong than cherry tomatoes. Their shape resembles a grape, which is how they got their name.
Grape tomatoes have less water content than cherry tomatoes, making them far less juicy.
The skin of the grape tomato is also thicker, which means that they can be slightly more work to chew, affecting the texture of the dish. This also means that grape tomatoes have a longer shelf life than cherry tomatoes.
Grape tomatoes can replace cherry tomatoes in just about any and every recipe – which makes them the best overall cherry tomato substitute!
I personally love slicing them crosswise and throwing them in my pasta dishes and salads.
A personal favorite recipe of mine is a simple tomato cucumber salad with fresh mozzarella, herbs, and a light olive oil vinaigrette. Yum!
2. Heirloom Tomatoes
Ah, heirloom tomatoes. Such a beautiful tomato – inside and out! Heirlooms come in a variety of colors (red, orange, yellow, green, and even purple) and many unusual shapes.
Heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated naturally from bees (compared to most store bought tomatoes which are pollinated manually by farmers), giving them greater genetic diversity.
They make for a great slicing tomato for sandwiches and a great cherry tomato substitute for salads.
3. On-The-Vine Tomatoes
My personal favorite! I have one every morning diced up and salted over my scrambled eggs.
The salt brings out the flavor and juices, FYI! Tomatoes on the vine are typically medium in size, round, and very juicy but not watery.
They continue to soak up the nutrients of the plant until fully ripe. Since on-the-vine tomatoes are still on the vine they are bursting with flavor, similar to the cherry tomato.
However, on-the-vine tomatoes may be more expensive since they take longer to grow.
For that reason, it is not recommended to use them for sauce making or any other large quantity recipes.
4. Campari Tomatoes
Campari tomatoes are another great cherry tomato substitute for salads. Campari tomatoes are classified as cocktail tomatoes, slightly bigger than a cherry tomato but smaller and rounder than a plum tomato.
They are also noted for their juiciness, low acidity, and lack of mealiness. Campari tomatoes are deep red in color and commonly sold with the vine still attached.
5. Red Pear Tomatoes
Pear tomatoes are basically cherry tomatoes except pear-shaped. They come in reds or oranges, but they are most commonly yellow.
Red pear tomatoes have more acidity than yellow pear tomatoes. Pear tomatoes have delicate skin and a sweet, mild flavor.
Store-bought pear tomatoes tend to have a higher acidity level compared to cherry tomatoes since they are usually picked earlier. Pear tomatoes are less common than cherry tomatoes.
6. Currant Tomatoes
Lastly the cherry tomato substitutes in salads – the currant tomato. Currant tomatoes, like pear tomatoes, are less common than cherry tomatoes or the other mentioned cherry tomato substitutes.
Currant tomatoes are smaller than cherry tomatoes and pear tomatoes, but carry a similar flavor burst.
Their tiny size makes them ideal for tossing in a nice salad without having to cut them up.
7. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes just burst with flavor. You can buy them dry or packed in a jar with oil (most commonly olive oil) and other herbs.
Sun-dried tomatoes are ripe tomatoes that lose most of their water content after spending a majority of their drying time in the sun.
These tomatoes are usually pre-treated with sulfur dioxide or salt before being placed in the sun in order to improve quality.
Sun-dried tomatoes are red-brownish red and have a chewy texture. They are popular in pasta dishes because of their texture and intense and tart flavor.
Learn more about sun-dried tomatoes and find some great brand options here.
8. Canned Tomatoes
Don’t sleep on canned tomatoes! While they may not be ideal taste-wise, canned tomatoes still offer that lovely tomato nutrition profile.
You can buy them salted or with no salt added, and in just about any style of preparation (diced, whole, etc.).
Since they are canned, they have an excellent shelf life – longer than any fresh tomato.
They are also very cheap, easy to find, and easy to prepare. Just toss them in your pasta dish (drained of course, and preferably warmed/cooked) and voila! They can also work great in a cooked dish or salsa.
9. Plum Tomatoes
Plum tomatoes make for a great cherry tomato substitute for roasting and using in other cooked dishes, although they are primarily used for making sauces or pastes (something that cherry tomatoes are not ideal for).
Their flesh-to-juice ratio is greater than an ordinary tomato, which means the solid part is more fully represented.
Plum tomatoes are usually slightly cylindrical or oval in shape. Some plum tomatoes include San Marzano, Ropreco Paste, Amish Paste, and Big Mama tomatoes.
10. Roma Tomatoes
Last but certainly not least – is the Roma tomato. Roma tomatoes are a type of plum tomato but do carry their own individual distinctions. They are full of flavor with a tangy taste.
Roma tomatoes are larger than cherry tomatoes and have a long egg-like shape. They have bright red, smooth, and thick skin.
Roma tomatoes have a nice meaty flesh with few seeds, high sugar and acid levels, and low moisture content compared to other tomato varieties, ideal for cooking down into a tomato sauce or paste.
Here is a great roasted Roma tomato recipe.
11. Desi Tomatoes
Otherwise known as desi tamatar. This Indian tomato is plumper and more a sour taste compared to cherry tomatoes.
Desi tamatar are plump with beta carotene, which gives them their scarlet tinge.
They are an ideal cherry tomato substitute in curries because they can help make them tangier. Desi tamatar can also work great in salads.
12. Yellow Pear Tomatoes
The yellow pear tomato is lemon-yellow in color and, of course, pear-shaped. They are typically around 1 ½ inch long and taste very sweet.
Yellow pear tomatoes are considered heirloom tomatoes and date back to the 17th century. They can make for great additions to salads.
13. Big Rainbow Tomatoes
Big Rainbow tomatoes are another type of heirloom tomato. It is a tomato that lives up to its name and can grow up to 1-2 pounds!
The rainbow tomato possesses an array of colors (hence its name) – orange-yellow with red streaks.
When sliced, the meat is streaked with neon-red color. It boasts a mixture of sweet flavors and is very juicy.
Big rainbow tomatoes can make for great slicing tomatoes for sandwiches or platters.
14. Ace 55 Tomatoes
The Ace 55 tomato is a midseason heirloom variety of tomatoes with large, deep red fruit and a rich flavor despite being lower in acid.
Tomato varieties with the word ‘Ace’ in their name can indicate a lower acidity level. The Ace 55 tomato was originally catalog-described as being “lower in acid than most other tomatoes and often recommended to people on a low-acid diet.”
15. Sweet 100 Tomatoes
All of the members of the ‘Sweet’ series of cherry tomatoes are felt to be low-acid. Sweet 100 tomato plants produce red cherry tomatoes on indeterminate vining plants that may grow 4-8 feet tall. These vines produce high yields of fruit from early summer right up to frost.
Just one cluster of fruit on the plant can produce up to 100 cherry tomatoes (hence their name!), and the plant can produce many of these tomato clusters. Sweet 100 tomatoes are ideal for snacking or tossing into salads.
16. Persimmon Tomatoes
Don’t confuse these tomatoes for the fruit persimmon! I can assure you that they taste very different and your recipe will be a disaster if you mix up the two!
Persimmon tomatoes are large globe-shaped tomatoes that are golden orange in color when mature. It is a beefsteak-style tomato that is great for slicing and eating with sandwiches.
We Thought You Would Like
Tomatoes are extremely nutrient-dense. There are TONS of different varieties (thousands upon thousands!) of tomatoes, some of which are a lot more familiar than others – and all of them are quite delicious in their own ways if you ask me!
While most people consider tomatoes a vegetable, they are actually botanically a fruit. As I mentioned before, tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
This is for so many reasons, but my personal favorite is that they are extremely rich in the powerful antioxidant lycopene.
Lycopene also gives tomatoes their rich red color. The richer/more vibrant the color, the healthier the fruit or vegetable!
You will often hear Registered Dietitians say “eat the rainbow” – that’s because different colors mean different nutrients. Fascinating stuff.
As previously mentioned, lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants protect your body from damage caused by compounds known as free radicals.
When free radical levels outnumber antioxidant levels, they can create oxidative stress in your body.
This stress is linked to certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Tomatoes Nutritional Info
They are loaded with plenty of other nutrients such as water (they are actually 95% water!), fiber, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Tomatoes are composed of simple sugars (which gives them that nice sweet flavor) such as glucose and fructose – which make up almost 70% of the carb content.
The total amount of sugar in grams in tomatoes is relatively insignificant. Tomatoes are also low in calories and virtually fat free.
All tomatoes contain roughly around the same calories and macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates, and protein).
100 grams of tomato (which is about a small tomato) will provide you with about 18 calories, 0.2 grams of fat, 3.9 grams of carbs, 0.9 grams of protein, 2.6 grams of sugar, and 1.2 grams of fiber.
Cherry Tomato Substitutes
Cherry tomatoes are small, round, and vary in size and shape. They are believed to be an intermediate genetic mixture between wild currant-type tomatoes and domesticated garden tomatoes.
Their size ranges from that of a thumb tip to the size of a golf ball. Their shape ranges from spherical to slightly oblong. For the most part, they resemble the cherry in size and shape (hence the name!).
Cherry tomatoes are generally much sweeter than larger tomatoes. They have smooth firm skin and are juicy, crisp, and bursting with flavor.
They are definitely cherished, but fear not! There are many cherry tomato substitutes that will work great in your recipe.
Tomatoes are just the best! With endless culinary possibilities, thousands of varieties and flavor profiles, and an extremely rich nutrition content – it should come as no surprise that tomatoes are a prized vegetable in the culinary and Dietetics worlds.
While cherry tomatoes are common and popular (not to mention delicious!), there are many cherry tomato substitutes you can use for your recipe.
I hope this article has provided you with some fun tomato education and lots of yummy options to try out in the kitchen. Happy cooking!
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.