How to Seed a Tomato, Without Making a Total Mess

published Jul 20, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
someone slicing a tomato in half
Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

My love for tomatoes is no secret (I even wrote a whole cookbook about them!). I enjoy cooking with them all year-round. When using fresh fruit I often opt to incorporate it (seeds and all) into whatever I’m making, but not every recipe lends itself to using it whole.

Tomato seeds are tasty, but sometimes have a bitter flavor that doesn’t pair well with everything. The seeds can also get in the way when making dishes like stuffed tomatoes where the fruit is filled with some sort of savory goodness. Seeding a tomato might sound complicated, but there’s really not much to it. All you’ll need is a cutting board, paring knife, and, depending on your method, a spoon. Here’s how to do it.

How to Seed Small Tomatoes

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Step 1: Cherry and grape tomatoes can just be squeezed inside a bowl to remove the seeds (no cutting necessary). I say inside, because this method is super efficient but slightly unwieldy. Make sure the fruit is surrounded before squeezing to avoid a big mess.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Step 1: For slightly larger (but still small) varieties like Camparis, first use a paring knife to trim the stem end of the fruit.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Step 2: After slicing off the end of the tomato, hold the tomato in between your thumb and other fingers and hold it over a large bowl. Squeeze the tomato with your fingers until the seeds and juice release into the bowl. This is an effective method for removing the core of smaller tomatoes too, if you so desire.

How to Seed Medium and Large Tomatoes (Method 1):

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

There are two methods you can use to seed medium or large tomatoes. If you’d want to maintain the shape of the whole fruit (for, say, a stuffed tomato recipe), use this first method.

Step 1: Use your knife to trim away the stem end of the fruit.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Step 2: Use a small measuring spoon or melon baller to scoop the seeds from the center.

How to Seed Medium and Large Tomatoes (Method 2):

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Step 1: If you plan to chop the tomato into pieces, start by first trimming the stem end of the fruit (as with the first method).

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Step 2: Halve the tomato, then cut each half into wedges.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Step 3: Run the knife underneath the seeds of each wedge and scrape them away. Chop, slice, or dice the remaining tomatoes as desired.

Try These Recipes with Seeded Tomatoes