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Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes

Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes, an easy Italian appetizer or side dish. Serve with a side of crusty Italian bread, a few slices of Parmesan cheese and your side dish may become your main dish!

fried tomatoes in a pan

If someone asked me at the beginning of summer what I would be most looking forward to eating, it would be this amazing, delicious, fabulous dish! Pan Fried Tomatoes.

What are the best tomatoes to use for frying?

  • Unfortunately we always have to wait until the end of July for Pan Fried Tomatoes because you need ripe plum (San Marzano) tomatoes.
  • To tell the truth I actually use any ripe tomato I can get my hands on, but small ripe San Marzano are the Italian’s favourite.
raw fried tomatoes ready to be cookied


The recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law and I can tell you that most of my Italian friends have never eaten it and when they do they feel the same way about it that I do.

Pan Fried Tomatoes are similar in taste to sun-dried or Oven Dried Tomatoes, but quicker to make and I think tastier too.

More Delicious Tomato Side Dishes

fried tomatoes in a pan

Just the aroma alone is enough to make you grab a piece of Italian crusty bread and go running for the frying pan before anyone else arrives. Needless to say I have many times.

I am not embarrassed to say I make this dish at least 3-4 times a week! Whenever I have Canadian family or friends visiting it is the first dish to go on the table.

How to store them

Any leftover should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated. They will keep for up to 3-5 days in the fridge.

Sometimes it is amazing how such a fast, simple, dish can be one the best. Buon Appetito!

a pan fried tomato on a fork
pan fried tomatoes in a frying pan.

Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes

Rosemary Molloy
Italian Pan Fried Tomatoes, the perfect appetizer or side dish , a quick, easy, healthy recipe. Vegan, vegetarian, low carb and gluten free.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course antipasto, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 144 kcal


  • 6 plum/San Marzano ripe but firm tomatoes (sliced lengthwise and seeded)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (leaves removed and chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
  • 5-6 leaves fresh basil chopped


  • In a medium to large non stick frying pan add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, place tomatoes in pan cut side up, sprinkle with oregano, basil, salt, chopped garlic and rosemary leaves, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Cover and cook on medium low heat for approximately 10 minutes, remove cover and squish tomatoes with a fork, continue to cook uncovered until all moisture has evaporated and until tomatoes are browned underneath (I love to cook them until they are almost black underneath). Top with freshly chopped basil and serve immediately. Enjoy!


Any leftover should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated. They will keep for up to 3-5 days in the fridge.


Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 810IU | Vitamin C: 13.2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

Updated from August 10, 2015.


  1. 5 stars
    Super delicious!!
    Question: video does not include the de-seeding stepโ€”is it necessary? Aldo, fresh basil ๐ŸŒฟ isnโ€™t chopped. My leaves were large so I did chop, but the small leaves in the video looked better/ more flavour pop?

    1. Hi Kathleen, thanks so much, so glad you liked it, it’s one of my favourite summer dishes. No it isn’t necessary, I just prefer it without. The small leaves was basically for the photos, they looked better than the larger ones. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

  2. 5 stars
    A delicious and easy recipe, perfect for trying something a little different in the day to day life. I will definitely make this again and it might just become a regular staple in our household.
    Thank you, Rosemary!

  3. 5 stars
    Just made these.
    Aroma is mouthwatering!
    Going out to buy crusty Italian bread!
    This bakery has excellent buns, potato and corn bread!
    Pizza dough is good but I find it a bit salty!
    My dough much better!
    Thanks for all the authentic scrumptious recipes!
    An Italo-Canadese from Woodbridge Ontario

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I was actually looking for a cherry tomato recipe after eating an amazing dish in Sicily. But then came across this one and I cannot believe how good it is!
    I have even made it with quite ‘tasteless’ tomatoes that they sell around here and this recipe just does magic and turns it into the most delicious tomato you ever ate! So much flavor! Happiness on a plate ๐Ÿ™‚ Also great with some toasted breadcrumbs on top.

    1. Hi Mieke, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed it. I make it a lot during the summer and yes good also with some toasted bread crumbs. Have a great Sunday.

  5. 5 stars
    So delicious and simple! My mom used to make something similar with a breadcrumb topping. I added that to this recipe by removing the tomatoes from the pan and roasting fresh breadcrumbs in the remaining cooking oil, then topping the tomatoes with the toasty breadcrumbs. Amazing!

  6. This sounds absolutely wonderful. Can’t wait for fresh tomatoes this summer. Are the oregano and basil dried?

    1. Hi Marilyn, thanks and it really is (if I do say so myself ๐Ÿ™‚ ) it’s one of our favourite summer recipes. Yes I used dried oregano and basil.

  7. 5 stars
    I love this easy side dish. It’s bursting with flavor and the sauce is perfect for sopping up with some good crusty bread!

  8. 5 stars
    Great recipe. When I have lots of tomatoes on hand I usually end up roasting them in the oven. This is so much easier!

  9. You definitely are on a roll with this, my grandmother was from Flatbush but she showed her grandchildren how to cook. She was Hungarian but she did Italian food better than Italians! San Marzano or San Marzio tomatoes are great to use in the recipe and are authentic! But Hungarians brought to the states a tomato that they use in Hungarian guloshes called the Opaloca tomato. When used to make Italian paste it reigns supreme and for this recipe it rocks! My version you cut the tomatoes thick and fry them the same way and top with meat sauce and a little ziti pasta, not too much pasta because here in this dish the tomato is the deserving star attraction! Thank you New York and all my Grandmother’s Italian friends there for teaching her your food and tradition and thank all Italians there!

    1. Hi Stephen, thanks and very interesting, I will have to look for those tomatoes and give it a try. And your recipe sounds absolutely delicious. Looking forward to trying it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. 5 stars
    Oh I love this!! I have a ton of ripe San Marzanos in my garden now and I’ve been fantasizing what to do with them- adding this to my list!

    I’m so happy to have found your blog through facebook- I just love love love your story and how you started your life in Italy. Brava! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. 5 stars
    We’ve been enjoying tomatoes on French bread with various cheses, ham, spinach and fresh basil and oregano toasted lightly in the oven. This dish looks delicious and quick. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to give it a try.

  12. 5 stars
    It sounds wonderful and a greatt way not to heat up the house by turning on the oven. I’ll have to try your recipe. It’s great learning new tips and trying new methods. Thank you for sharing.

  13. 5 stars
    I’m a big fan of roasting my tomatoes in the oven until they’re looking somewhat like yours. Your way looks easier. Definitely will be trying.

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