Oven Roasted Cherry Tomato Paste

Course Pantry Staple
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Author Karen Gibson


  • 2 pounds medium-large cherry tomatoes Black Cherry tomatoes, Sweet 100s, grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  • Place the tomato halves cut side up in a single layer in the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle very lightly with salt.
  • Roast the tomatoes for about a half hour. The tomatoes will plump up for a bit, and then little by little begin drying out. Remove the pan from the oven when the tomatoes are slightly wrinkly with dry edges. Do not let them reach the point where they collapse.
  • Just before the tomatoes finish in the oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 4-5 quart pot over medium. (You'll need a lid for the pot.)
  • Transfer the tomatoes to the jar of a blender and puree for about 30 seconds. It will be pretty thick at this point, like a hearty tomato sauce.
  • Optional: push the tomato sauce through a fine sieve to catch any unblended seeds or pieces of skin. (I usually don't bother)
  • Add the tomato sauce to the hot pan. Be ready with the lid, the sauce will become splattery quickly. Partially cover the pot with the lid and turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook for about an hour, stirring frequently. (When the sauce stops sputtering, you can keep the lid off.) At some point, a dark layer of sauce will form on the bottom of the pan - not scorched, simply a darker color than the rest - as the sauce starts to thicken drastically. Keep stirring (preferably with a flat-edged spatula) and working the dark sauce layer into the paste. When the paste clings easily to the spoon without any sign of budging when held sideways, it's ready.
  • Use immediately, or freeze in 1 tablespoon quantities for quick additions to soups and stews.