How to Seed Tomatoes

Love tomatoes, but not the seeds? There’s more than one way to seed a tomato, and I’ll show you how to do it. Before you know it, you’ll be adding fresh tomato flavor to your recipes without watering them down.

Use your new skills to chop up a batch of homemade Pico de Gallo, Gazpacho, or Easy Bulgur Tabbouleh, three of my most-requested summertime stand-bys. Diced seeded tomatoes are fantastic in everything, from simple green salads, to elegant Cornbread Cakes with Balsamic Tomato Salad, or even scattered over the top of this super easy party appetizer, Veggie Pizza.

Seeded tomatoes on a cutting board.
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Few things are better than a ripe, juicy, homegrown tomato. Better Boys, Early Girls, Romas, heirlooms—every single variety in the garden is delicious. I can’t get enough of them!

If you’re with me on this, then why seed a tomato? Well, when your recipe tells you to seed, deseed, or core a tomato, it’s usually about the texture of the finished product.

  • Tomato seeds are surrounded by a protective gel that adds a whole lot of moisture to what you’re making. That extra liquid can make the recipe soggy or watered down. And no one wants wet bruschetta at their garden party.
  • Not only that, but the seeds themselves can add an unwanted texture to an otherwise silky marinara sauce or puréed tomato soup.
  • Finally, tomato seeds can taste bitter, and there are some people who can’t eat them, for various health reasons. They have more vitamins and nutrients, though, so eat them if you can!

Of course, you don’t always need to deseed a tomato. But when you do, here’s how to get it done neatly and efficiently, so you can get on with your recipe. Both ways work well; it just depends on you and your recipe.

Tips for preparing tomatoes:

Before you begin, double check the recipe you’re using. Do you also need to peel the tomatoes? If so, head over to my how-to for peeling a tomato. It’s easier if you peel first, before seeding.

Someone peeling three tomatoes on a white plate.

If all you need to do is dice or chop tomatoes without peeling them first, then you’re ready to start taking out the seeds.

Also, gently rinse and pat dry the tomatoes you’ll be working with.

And finally, make sure your knife or knifes are in tip-top shape and very sharp. Because they’re so fragile, the best knife for tomatoes is often a narrow serrated knife. A paring knife comes in handy, too, if you need to cut out the core of the tomato.

Seeding a tomato by cutting it in half:

This method is good for making stuffed tomatoes, as it leaves the tomato halves in tact.

  1. To start, cut the tomato in half along the equator (not through the stem) to expose the chambers in the fruit.
  2. Next, gently squeeze each half of the tomato to release the seeds. Don’t squeeze too hard, or you’ll bruise the delicate flesh. You can also use a small spoon or butter knife to help you do this. Discard the seeds.
  3. Now you’re ready to slice, chop, dice, or purée the tomato in any way your recipe requires.

If you need whole, hollowed-out tomatoes, start the horizontal cut higher towards the stem, and use a narrow tool to help empty out the seed cavities. Then you can carefully cut out the core of the seeded tomato with a paring knife and a spoon.

Cutting a tomato into wedges to remove the seeds:

Another straightforward method for removing the seeds in a tomato is by cutting the tomato in wedges. It takes a little more knife work, but it’s a good method, especially if you’re slicing or dicing tomatoes into smaller pieces.

This is also useful for out-of-season tomatoes that may have a white pithy core inside them that doesn’t look as nice—it all gets removed.

  1. To begin, cut the tomato into several wedge-shaped slices from the stem to the bottom of the fruit.
  2. Next, using a sharp paring knife, run the blade under each pocket of seeds, along the inner flesh of the tomato itself. The seeds and gel should release as you cut.
  3. Discard the seeds (or see my ideas below of other ways to use them) and proceed with the recipe.

Various stages of coring and slicing a tomato.

How to dice tomatoes:

You’ve cored, seeded, and are ready for dicing. Here’s how.

  1. First, cut the seeded tomato into wedges or four even quarters. Then take your fingers and gently push down each wedge to flatten it onto the work surface.
  2. Using a knife, slice each piece into strips about 1/2-inch wide.
  3. Once you have several strips, bundle them together in manageable batches and cut them cross-wise to dice them. Move the diced tomatoes into a bowl as you work.

What to do with seeded tomatoes:

  • Tacos. Throw some diced seeded tomatoes into bowl fo your next taco party, as an alternative to Pico de Gallo. They taste great on chicken or turkey tacos.
  • Bruschetta. Toast some baguette slices and drizzle them with olive oil. Then top with tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Instant appetizer.
  • Garnish. A little culinary school trick: diced seeded tomatoes jazz up a monochromatic plate.

Gazpacho in glasses.

What to do with leftover tomato seeds:

Maybe your recipe requires seeded tomatoes, but you can certainly save the insides and put them to use in something else.

  • Red sauce. Italian-style Sunday supper is off to a delicious start! Try a homemade meat sauce or a super quick tomato sauce I’ve perfected after hundreds of dinners.
  • Mexican rice. Add the extra tomato pieces and seeds to the blender with your next batch of Mexican rice.
  • Chicken tinga. Those little extra pieces and seeds work great in here.
  • Salsa. Any blended salsa is perfect for using these pieces up.
  • Sausage and Bean Stew. Toss those leftovers into this stew (or anything with diced tomatoes, really).
  • Roasted tomato soup. I wouldn't even worry about roasting the extra bits. They'll be fine, just add them to the blender!
Seeded tomatoes on a cutting board.

How to Seed Tomatoes

Love tomatoes, but not the seeds? There’s more than one way to seed a tomato, and I’ll show you how to do it. Before you know it, you’ll be adding fresh tomato flavor to your recipes without watering them down.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Pantry
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 20kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatoes

Instructions

To seed a tomato by cutting it in half:

  • Cut the tomato in half along the equator (not through the stem) to expose the chambers in the fruit.
  • Gently squeeze each half of the tomato to release the seeds. You can also use a small spoon or butter knife to help you do this.
  • Discard the seeds (or reserve for another use) and proceed with the recipe.

To seed a tomato by cutting it in wedges:

  • Cut the tomato into several wedge-shaped slices from the stem to the bottom of the fruit.
  • Using a sharp paring knife, run the blade under each pocket of seeds, along the inner flesh of the tomato itself. The seeds and gel should release as you cut.
  • Discard the seeds (or reserve for another use) and proceed with the recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 20kcal
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  1. Sue

    Thanks for teaching me this. I quartered the tomatoes and it worked great. I used to always just cram my finger in the tomato but half the time seeds would just shoot all over. This is much cleaner for sure. I love all your recipes so much.5 stars

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