Cooked tomatoes are the basis of so many meals. Especially those with rich sauces like bolognese. They are even great in stews – not to mention soups! Most of the time we just open a tin of chopped tomatoes and use that.
But, have you ever wondered if there is an easy way to use fresh tomatoes? Maybe microwaving them is the answer?
To microwave tomatoes, cut slits in the skin then spread them out on a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for between 2 and 5 minutes until the skins peel away and the tomatoes are cooked.
How to Microwave Tomatoes
When you cook tomatoes in the microwave you do need to be careful because it can go wrong quickly. If you don’t put slits into the skin then the tomato will splatter over the microwave – it may even fully burst!
Don’t worry though, it is relatively easy to cook tomatoes in the microwave. Here is how:
- Prepare Tomatoes
This method should work for any type of tomato you want to cook. First, cut slits into the skin of each tomato and pop them onto a microwaveable dish. The slits help steam escape and avoid some of the mess it makes in your microwave.
Spread out the tomatoes, so they are apart on the plate and pop it into the microwave.
Heat on full power for between two and five minutes, testing about halfway through to see how quickly the tomatoes are cooking.
- Repeat If Needed
If the tomatoes need a little longer pop them back into the microwave for thirty seconds and test again. Keep repeating until they are cooking to your liking.
How to Microwave Tomatoes Successfully
If you’ve decided to microwave tomatoes, then make sure you follow these three tips:
- Peel and Chop Beforehand – If you want to make a smooth sauce with your tomatoes, then you can peel and chop them before microwaving. This takes a lot of the hassle of making a sauce in the long run.
- Always Slit – Always cut slits into the tomato before you cook them. If not, then you risk exploding tomatoes and a mess in the microwave! As the tomato cooks, the moisture inside them turns to steam, and this needs to escape, or it will burst out.
- Cover to Avoid Mess – Even with ensuring the skin of the tomato is pierced, you may still find that the tomatoes splatter a little as they cook. You can help to avoid this by covering the dish before microwaving.
Why You Should Microwave Tomatoes
As you can imagine, there are a couple of huge benefits to cooking tomatoes in the microwave to make a sauce:
The main advantage of microwaving tomatoes is how quickly you can turn tomatoes into a sauce! Your tomatoes will be perfectly cooked within a few minutes to provide a saucy base for any meal.
If you want to get a smooth, rich sauce that can be used for pasta then leave the tomatoes whole in the microwave with a small slit in it. Once cooked, peel the skin then slice in half and scoop the seeds out. You can then blitz the flesh up in a blender before tipping it into a pan with herbs.
Another advantage of cooking tomatoes in the microwave is the texture. Cooking them this way helps turn them into the perfect consistency for a tomato sauce. Perfect for adding to your bolognese or turning it into a soup.
Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Tomatoes
It’s not all good news, however! There are a couple of drawbacks you’ll want to be aware of too:
They Break Down
If you want your tomatoes to remain whole, such as roasted tomatoes, then you are likely to be disappointed by your results in the microwave. Cooking in this way turns the tomato into a sauce rather than keeping the tomatoes whole.
Cooking tomatoes in the microwave can make a lot of mess! Cutting slits into the skins before cooking will help, but you will likely always end up with some tomato splatter over the microwave by the time you are finished.
Microwaving Tomatoes FAQs
Do you still have questions about microwaving tomatoes? Then check these FAQs out:
If you have frozen tomatoes, we wouldn’t recommend that you thaw them out before using them. They don’t freeze well and will likely be inedible raw as part of your salad. The freezer turns them into mush which can be difficult if you need salad tomatoes.
You can skin tomatoes in the microwave by slicing them in half and popping them onto a microwave-safe plate face down. Microwave for 5 minutes and then carefully peel the skin off them.
Ross is a freelance writer with a passion for delicious food and drinks, having worked in the hospitality industry in the past. He began working with Let’s Foodie when it first launched to provide information on how to reheat, freeze and microwave different foods.