To-May-To, To-Mah-To: A Guide to Types of Tomatoes

To-May-To, To-Mah-To: A Guide to Types of Tomatoes | thegoodstuff

Text by Cheri Liefeld
Graphics by Betty Gay

Tomatoes are one of the highlights of summer. Whether you grow them in your garden or pick them up at the supermarket, they’re sure to add a fresh, zesty zing to a wide variety of dishes. No matter how you pronounce it, you have to agree: Tomatoes are the cream of the crop!

Take a look at all the different varieties of tomatoes and it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. Which are best for making sauces? Which types of tomatoes should I layer in my BLT?

Not to worry, we’ve put together this colorful guide to types of tomatoes that will help you select the best and ripest tomatoes right off the vine or right off the shelf. We’ve also included a few delicious, tomato-based recipes below the tips for you and your family to enjoy.

While you’re planning which tomato recipes to treat yourself to, be sure to check out our grocery coupons to see where you can save!

Growing your own tomatoes? Take a peek at our tomato growing guide for some quick tips to keeping your plants healthy! Don’t forget to try some of our other delicious tomato recipes, including 10 healthy tomato side dishes, 13 easy no-bake tomato recipes, and 8 savory tart recipes where tomatoes can be the star!

Pin it or print it out and add it to your recipe book — these tomato tips are keepers!

Your Guide to Types of Tomatoes


Tasty Tomato Recipes

Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad with Yogurt Dressing


Salad Ingredients

  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 3-4 cups heirloom tomatoes
  • Basil
  • 2-3 cups arugula
  • 1-2 Tablespoons chopped basil

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, grilled
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients. Let sit for an hour up to overnight in the refrigerator to let the flavors develop.
  2. Toss the watermelon and tomatoes with the vinaigrette. Place arugula on the plate and top with the watermelon, tomato, and vinaigrette mixture. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

BLT Salad with Beefsteak Tomatoes


Source: The Splendid Table


  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slivers
  • 4 slices French bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons buttermilk, heavy whipping cream, or half-and-half
  • 1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place bacon in a cold, large skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook until it’s crisp, approximately 4 to 6 minutes, stirring often. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Leave bacon fat in the skillet.
  2. Add bread cubes to skillet and cook over medium heat until well browned, stirring often, for 5-8 minutes. Don’t let them burn. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bread cubes to the plate with the bacon.
  3. Place mayonnaise, buttermilk, and vinegar in a salad bowl and whisk to mix. Set aside.
  4. Place lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, and bacon in a large bowl.
  5. Just before serving, gently toss salad with the dressing. Season with salt and lots of pepper to taste

Grilled Chicken Bruschetta with Roma Tomatoes


Source: Skinny Taste


  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces mozzarella, diced
  • 1 1/4 pounds chicken cutlets


  1. Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, 1/4-teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Combine with garlic, basil, onion-balsamic combo, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let sit at least 10 minutes up to overnight. Toss in cheese when ready to serve.
  3. Season chicken with salt and fresh pepper. Grill chicken on medium-high heat, 2 minutes on each side. Top with bruschetta and serve.

Tomato & Basil Bake with Cherry Tomatoes


Source: Taste and Tell


  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped basil


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Combine tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil in an 8-inch baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Broil, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are softened, about 12 minutes.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs and butter, then sprinkle over tomatoes. Broil for 30 seconds, then sprinkle basil over the top. Serve.

Mix It Up: Savory Tomato Crisp


Source: The Giving Table


  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes (8-10 medium), cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, or crumbled feta or blue cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter


  1. Grease an 8- or 9-inch baking dish with oil; heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put tomato wedges in a large bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch and salt and pepper. Toss gently and let mixture sit.
  3. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, pecans, garlic, cheese, 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, and butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Toss tomato mixture again and transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumb topping. Bake until crisp is as dark as you like on top and bubbly underneath, 45-55 minutes. Let cool to warm or room temperature before serving.