Balsamic Stewed Tomatoes

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  • Today I am sharing one of my favorite go-to side dishes: Balsamic Stewed Tomatoes. It is so simple, you are going to scream.

    close up of stewed tomatoes with salt, pepper and fresh thyme

    When I’m making a super involved dish, I balance it with a few easy recipes so I don’t go completely nuts (or have too much wine to cope).

    These simple Balsamic Tomatoes combine stewed tomatoes with an easy balsamic sauce and are ready in about 10 minutes.

    The best part? ZERO chopping. ZERO.

    tomatoes cooking in a skillet

    Stewed Tomato Recipe

    There is literally 1 minute of prep work. The amount of time it takes you to get these simple ingredients out of the pantry and fridge:

    • grape tomatoes
    • olive oil
    • balsamic vinegar
    • sugar
    • thyme sprigs
    • kosher salt
    ingredients for balsamic stewed tomatoes - grape tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, fresh thyme

    Stewed tomatoes are literally just tomatoes that stew in their own juices. They are generally coarsely chopped and then break down further during the cooking process.

    The liquid that gathers is just juice from the tomato. After some of the water evaporates, the sauce thickens and reduces.

    Balsamic Stewed Tomato Recipe

    I like using a variety of tomatoes for color and flavor and I keep them whole. Since I am using grape tomatoes instead of beefsteak, vine ripened or plum tomatoes, they are naturally smaller.

    roasted tomatoes in balsamic vinegar

    These are basic red grape tomatoes, sun sugar tomatoes (small and yellow) and black cherry tomatoes (burgundy ones). All have distinctly different flavors and sizes which naturally adds to the flavor without you needing to do any additional work to make it happen.

    Balsamic Reduction Sauce

    The trick with these easy balsamic tomatoes is to cook the tomatoes while the balsamic vinegar reduces. At first, it will be like an oil slick and you’ll see droplets of vinegar just sitting on tomato skin.

    stewed tomatoes with balsamic vinegar

    But as the vinegar reduces and the tomatoes start to heat, plump, pucker and burst, it will all meld together.

    PRO TIP: Use a cheap balsamic vinegar and leave the 15-year aged stuff for a salad.

    In fact some tomatoes might pop into an unidentifiable oblivion, while others will stay perfectly round, but that is what contributes to the beauty of this easy side dish.

    overhead of balsamic stewed tomatoes in a white serving bowl with seasoning

    Sugar and salt help to make it more syrupy since you aren’t going to allow it to reduce for a long period of time. It just speeds up the process. You can omit both, if you choose.

    The balsamic sauce will start to thicken as it cools too, so take it off the heat right before you think it is getting to the syrupy point.

    Serve Stewed Tomatoes

    Serve these roasted balsamic tomatoes with a slotted spoon, as you don’t want too much balsamic reduction. Or maybe you do…

    I like serving them with grilled chicken, steak and even seafood.

    stewed tomatoes served with potatoes and steak
    Pictured with Hasselback Potatoes & Grilled Filet Mignon

    Store Bought Balsamic Reduction

    I don’t recommend this only because it is already reduced to a syrup and if you cook it with the tomatoes, you’ll probably just get burned sugar.

    You can, however, go ahead and stew your tomatoes and then toss it with a balsamic reduction.

    How to make a balsamic reduction sauce just like the restaurants! Tastes like 15 year aged balsamic, but cheap and made in 15 minutes with only 3 ingredients.

    But honestly, it costs so much (sometimes $12 for a bottle!) and cheap bottle of balsamic vinegar is only $4, making your own is the way to go. If you want to make your own balsamic sauce, this Balsamic Reduction Sauce is my favorite easy recipe.

    spoon of 3 balsamic stewed tomatoes

    If you’re a big fan of balsamic like I am, check out these recipes:

    Can I use large tomatoes cut into pieces?

    You sure can! It might be a little more soupy just depending on the tomato you used, but it is totally possible.

    You can start by letting the tomatoes cook on their own to reduce the liquid and then add the vinegar half way through cooking.

    white bowl of stewed tomatoes with thyme garnish

    Do I have to use thyme in these balsamic tomatoes?

    Nope! Omit it or use a pinch of dried thyme leaves. You can even use rosemary, tarragon or mint.

    If you use dried herbs, one teaspoon for every 1 tablespoon is the way to go. Rub the dried herbs between the palms of your hands before adding to bring out natural oils. Remember, dried herbs do expire and are at their best 6 months after opening.

    balsamic stewed tomatoes for pinterest

    Recipes that use tomatoes:

    Tomato Shallot Mozzarella Cheese
    Warm Tomato and Shallot Mozzarella Cheese Recipe- Grape tomatoes and shallots simmered in a sweet balsamic sauce over soft mozzarella cheese. It only takes 6 ingredients and 20 minutes!
    Grape tomatoes and shallots simmered in a sweet balsamic sauce over soft mozzarella cheese. It only takes 6 ingredients and 20 minutes!
    Gouda and Corn Salad
    bowl of smoked gouda and corn salad
    Easy salad recipes don't get much better than this simple Gouda and Corn Salad! It's perfect for a quick lunch, or even to bring to a potluck! #goudaandcornsalad #cornsalad #easysaladrecipes
    Tomato Bruschetta
    This Tomato Bruschetta recipe is a classic no cook appetizer that can be ready in as little as 20 minutes using fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic. #easybruschetta #tomatobruschetta
    This Tomato Bruschetta recipe is a classic no cook appetizer that can be ready in as little as 20 minutes using fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic.
    stewed tomatoes for pinterest

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    white bowl of stewed tomatoes with thyme garnish
    Print Recipe
    5 from 6 votes

    Balsamic Stewed Tomatoes

    A salad of sorts, this EASY roasted Balsamic Tomatoes recipe makes the perfect side dish! With only 6 ingredients, this recipe is simple yet delicious!
    Prep Time2 mins
    Cook Time10 mins
    Total Time12 mins
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: balsamic tomatoes, stewed toamtoes
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 73kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola



    • Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, thyme and Kosher salt.
    • Cook for 5-7 minutes or until tomatoes starts to pucker and pop.
    • Remove from heat and allow to cool for several minutes so the balsamic vinegar can thicken.
    • Serve hot.
    • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!


    Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 732IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
    close up of balsamic tomatoes for pinterest
    image of jessica formicola

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