Balsamic Stewed Tomatoes

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.

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:

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!

Tomato Shallot Mozzarella Cheese

Grape tomatoes and shallots simmered in a sweet balsamic sauce over soft mozzarella cheese. It only takes 6 ingredients and 20 minutes!
See The Recipe!
overhead shot of cold corn salad in bowl

Cold 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
See The Recipe!
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

Tomato Bruschetta Recipe

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.
See The Recipe!
stewed tomatoes for pinterest
white bowl of stewed tomatoes with thyme garnish

Balsamic Stewed Tomatoes

5 from 8 votes
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 Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 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: 73 kcal, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Protein: 1 g, Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Sodium: 591 mg, Potassium: 225 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 7 g, Vitamin A: 732 IU, Vitamin C: 12 mg, Calcium: 14 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 73
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: balsamic tomatoes, stewed toamtoes
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
close up of balsamic tomatoes for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

5 from 8 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. My grape tomatoes were starting to pucker……………This recipe – AWESOME!!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Balsamic stewed tomatoes sure look so tempting. I love these little jewels especially when slightly cooked. Can just imagine the burst of flavour as one goes in the mouth and all that juicy goodness tantalizes the tongue.

  3. 5 stars
    What a tasty sounding side dish! I love the sound of the flavours – definitely giving these a try as tomatoes are a favourite in our house.

  4. 5 stars
    This is such an easy side dish, and so pretty! I must grab even more cherry tomatoes to make this again and again.

  5. 5 stars
    This is our favorite summer side dish! We always have plenty of cherry tomato plants and this is our favorite way to use all of our tomatoes!