How to Peel and Slice Tomatoes

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Ever wondered how to peel and slice tomatoes for seed-free soups, sauces, and stews? Here is a step-by-step tutorial on just that: everything you need to know to peel and remove the seeds from fresh tomatoes. 

small white bowl with diced, peeled and de-seeded fresh tomato

Whether it’s fresh tomato season and your garden or farmer’s market is spilling forth with beautiful red fruit or it’s the middle of winter and you’re craving homemade tomato soup, knowing how to peel and seed tomatoes is a handy (and easy) cooking technique to master. 

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pinterest button with a bowl of diced, seeded and peeled fresh tomatoes

After you’ve successfully prepped your fresh tomatoes, treat yourself to Instant Pot Garden Fresh Minestrone Soup from scratch!

peeling tomatoes

How to Peel and Seed Tomatoes

Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Here is the best way to de-seed and peel fresh tomatoes:

Materials

  • Fresh tomatoes

Tools

  • Medium pot
  • Large bowl
  • Paring knife

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a rapid boil on the stove. boiling fresh tomatoes and shocking in ice water to peel, dessed and dice them
  2. Score a small “X” on the bottom of each tomato with a paring knife. (You can also cut the “X” after putting the tomato in the boiling water if you prefer.)
  3. Submerge the tomatoes into the boiling water for 30 seconds. 
  4. When you remove the tomato, the skin around your “X” should be peeling away slightly. Grab hold of the peel and the tomato skin should come right off. peeling tomatoes
  5. Then slice the tomato in half and easily scoop out the seeds.scooping the seeds out of a peeled tomoato half
bowl of diced seeded and peeled fresh tomatoes

How to Dice a Tomato

Active Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Difficulty Easy

The key to slicing fresh tomatoes evenly and cleanly is to use a very sharp knife. 

Materials

  • Tomatoes

Tools

  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife

Instructions

  1. Lay the seeded tomato halves cut-side down on your cutting board. 
  2. Slice the fruit into 1/2 inch thick lengths. 
  3. Turn your knife and slice 1/2 inch pieces in the other direction, making 1/2 inch dice cuts. 

Notes

I prefer to remove the tomato seeds and peels before adding the tomatoes to the recipe. 

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Peeling, Seeding and Slicing Tomato FAQ’s

bowl of diced seeded and peeled fresh tomatoes

What kind of tomato is best for cooking?

While you can cook with any variety of fresh tomato, different kinds have varying water contents. For example, roma or plum tomatoes, tend to be denser and contain less liquid. For this reason, they are a better choice for sauces, quiches, and tarts. 

Why remove tomato seeds?

The reason to remove the peels and seeds from tomatoes is for a smooth, seed-free dish. Seeds and peels tend to clump up and unpleasant texture in smooth tomato soups and sauces.

If you keep the peels on and seeds intact, you can strain your sauce or soup through a fine-mesh strainer after cooking. However, it’s easier to remove the seeds and skins before cooking. 

How to slice a tomato very thin?

If you want super thin, delicate slices, choose a sharp serrated knife. The same knife you use for bread cutting is actually the best choice for slicing through thin tomato skins.

Hold the fruit in one hand anchored to your cutting board and use long, slow cutting motions to slice thin rounds from the fruit. 

You need to choose a tomato that is still firm to get thin slices. Tomatoes that are very soft are better for dicing as shown above.

More Cooking How-Tos

While you’re expanding your culinary skills by learning how to peel and slice tomatoes, check out these other helpful how-to guides for home cooks:

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