Slow-Roasted Tomatoes in the Oven

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slow roasted tomatoes in the oven with shallot and thyme by elizabeth rider

Do not let tomato season pass by without making a big batch of these effortlessly delicious slow-roasted tomatoes in the oven.

This roasted tomato recipe is out-of-this-world good. Best of all, this entire recipe can be made with just a few simple ingredients.

Why you’ll love it:

  • Simple: Just a handful of ingredients, some of which you likely have on hand.
  • Versatile: Slow-roasted tomatoes in the oven are perfect on toasted bread or blended into a luxurious sauce. Or eat them straight out of the pot, no judgement here.
  • Minimal hands-on time: 10 minutes to prepare, and the oven does the rest.
  • Flavor: Slow-roasted tomatoes in the oven have an incredible flavor that can’t be mimicked in any other way. Plus, your kitchen will smell amazing.

Preparing roasted tomatoes in the oven takes about 10 minutes of hands-on time. You simply put the ingredients in a Dutch oven, roast with the lid ON for about 2 hours, then roast for another hour with the lid off.

This particularly roasted tomato recipe is a big pot of chopped fresh tomatoes with a few onions or onion-y things (I prefer a few shallots), a few cloves of garlic, and some fresh herbs (I used thyme) that get covered in extra virgin olive oil, a big sprinkle of sea salt, fresh pepper, then set to cook low and slow in the oven.

What You’ll Need:

  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Whole cloves of garlic
  • Shallots or onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh thyme (or herb/spice of your choice)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

There are different ways to roast tomatoes. This method is more like a tomato confit (aka slow-cooked in oil) instead of being roasted on a sheet pan. Putting the ingredients in a large cooking vessel with oil retains the juiciness of the tomatoes and creates a luxurious melt-in-your-mouth dish.

If you make it once, it will be your new go-to!

Ideas to Serve Your Roasted Tomatoes:

slow roasted tomato bruschetta
  • Roasted tomato bruschetta: slice 1-inch pieces off of an all-natural sourdough loaf and toast ’em up. Spoon on top or dip the bread right in the pot.
  • Spoon a few tablespoons on top of roasted chicken or fish right out of the oven.
  • Serve it as a side dish for just about any hearty meal.
  • As a pasta sauce: In the last 30 minutes while your tomatoes cook, bring a big pot of water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, salt the water with a big tablespoon of salt. Cook 12-16 ounces (usually a package) of long-cut pasta (I use fettuccini) until al dente, about 1 minute shy of the cooking instructions. When your roasted tomatoes come out of the oven, add your al dente pasta right to the pot and use tongs to mix it all into a sauce. Add a few tablespoons of the starchy pasta cooking water if needed to loosen it up. You can also puree the tomatoes to make a smooth, velvety sauce before adding it to the pasta.
slow roasted tomatoes

How to Make Slow-Roasted Tomatoes:

Step 1: Prepare the tomatoes; you can find detailed instructions below in the recipe card.

slow roasted tomatoes ingredients

Step 2: Add your tomatoes, garlic, shallot or onions, thyme, salt, and pepper to a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot with a lid. Drizzle in enough extra virgin olive oil to come about 1/2 way to 3/4 way up the tomatoes.

Step 3: Roast at a low temperature (300°F/149°C) for 2 hours covered, then remove the lid and cook another 1-2 hours until everything is cooked down and a deep golden brown. It should look like this:

slow roasted tomatoes after cooking

How to Make Sure It Turns Out Great

  • This roasted tomato recipe is best with fresh tomatoes. Canned tomatoes have their place in other recipes, but will not caramelize or yield the same result. Use fresh, ripe, unpeeled tomatoes. The heirloom varieties are particularly good here, so grab them up in early fall when they go on sale big time, or when you have the last tomatoes from your garden starting to turn.
  • Be generous with the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)—the tomatoes need a lot to cook. Use enough to come about a quarter to a half an inch up the base of the bottom tomatoes in the pot – that will be about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup. Save any extra EVOO from the bottom of the pot in the fridge for a few weeks and add to sauces or soups. There probably won’t be any left, but if there is save it and use it. #nowaste
  • Let the tomatoes stand out. A few cloves of garlic, one large or two small shallots, and one type of herb are all you need to make tomato confit. Less is more here. And while I love basil, thyme holds up better in a long slow roast like this. Save your basil if you want to blend up your slow-roasted tomatoes into a sauce for a second use.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge for about a week, and freeze any leftovers after that for up to 3 months.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Don’t forget the salt! Salt not only flavors everything, but salt helps pull out the water which helps them caramelize and cook down.
  • Don’t use unripe or under-ripe tomatoes. They have no flavor.
  • Don’t use tomatoes that have gone bad—while this roasted tomatoes recipe is perfect for tomatoes that are slightly bruised, ugly, or about to go bad, if it’s moldy or has already gone bad don’t use it.
  • Don’t poach or peel your tomatoes first. Simply clean them off if you need to, core any big ones, and slice the small ones in half.
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slow roasted tomatoes in the oven with shallot and thyme by elizabeth rider

Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3-4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Snack, Side
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Description

Roasted tomatoes look and taste gourmet, but it’s incredibly easy to make—the oven does all of the work for you. Grab all of your ripe end-of-summer tomatoes and make a big pot of this delicious roasted tomato recipe. Serve it with crusty bread to impress your friends, or spoon it on top of chicken or fish. It freezes well, so don’t be shy with how much you make.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, remove the cores of thick ones and chop the large ones; leave small ones whole
  • 1 large or two small shallots (substitute any onion if needed)
  • 36 cloves of garlic, smashed open and skins discarded
  • 45 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt (more or less to taste)
  • a few spins of freshly ground black pepper (more or less to taste)
  • optional: a pinch of red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Clean the tomatoes if they need it and remove the stems. Core the large ones and chop into 1-to-2-inch pieces. Slice the smaller ones in half. Throw grape or cherry tomatoes in whole.
  2. Peel and slice the shallot(s) into 3-5 long pieces. Smash open the garlic cloves and discard the skins.
  3. Place the tomatoes, shallots, and garlic in a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven (I use a 6-quart Le Creuset Dutch oven). Avoid cast-iron that is not coated in enamel because the acid in the tomatoes will react to it.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil on top until it comes up about 1/4 to 1/2 inch up the side of the tomatoes on the bottom. This will be about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and a bit of black pepper. Add a pinch of pepper flakes if you want. Remove the thyme leaves from a few sprigs and sprinkle them around, then place a few whole sprigs on top.
    Tomato Confit Before and After
  5. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 2 hours. Remove the lid and cook another 1-2 hours until the tomatoes are broken down and caramelized. Your roasted tomaotes are done when the tomatoes are a deep golden color. The entire process will take 3-4 hours depending on how much liquid was in your tomatoes; this varies per batch! Check it at 3 hours and let it cook another hour or so until the tomatoes are a deep golden color and the garlic and shallots are falling apart. See the image above for reference.
  6. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes—they are hot! Serve immediately with toasty sourdough bread, on top of chicken or fish, or as a side dish. Let it come to room temperature if saving. Save any leftovers in an airtight glass container in the fridge up to a week, or in the freezer in a freezer-safe container up to 3 months.

Keywords: roasted tomatoes, cooked tomatoes, tomato recipe

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  1. Catherine Robb says:

    Awesome and easy and love it as it is freezer friendly. Looking forward to this in the cold of winter with some Fresh Parmesan and a little pasta.

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