These little smoked tomatoes makes for one of the best BBQ side dishes! With only a 5 minute prep, these cherry tomatoes have a show stopping taste. With these smoked tomatoes, you'll have some super-simple AND healthy smoked vegetables!
It's getting warm outside and that means it's time to break out the smoker so I can make some delicious smoker recipes! I have some of the best smoked meat recipes you'll ever find. We're talking things like smoked ribs and smoked brisket around Memorial Day and the 4th of July. But...have you ever smoked your SIDE DISHES? Smoked side dishes are where it's at which is why I'm sharing with you these smoked tomatoes.
If you like a good caprese salad recipe, you'll love these smoked cherry tomatoes with fresh goat cheese and basil. And if your smoker is already going, you should smoke up an amazing side dish to go with your smoked meat.
Why You Should Smoke Side Dishes
1. It's super convenient to make all your food in one spot,
2. Less clean up...why dirty up your kitchen when you don't have to,
3. The flavor of smoked side dishes is out of this world!
Out. Of. This. World.
Guys, I don't even LIKE tomatoes all that much and certainly not as a vegetable side dish. I typically only like them in certain sauces but definately not raw. Nope...not eating raw tomatoes. Like ever.
But recently, I started roasting cherry tomatoes in the oven and they were so good! So I thought...what if I smoked these red little beauties? And again, the results were just Out. Of. This. World.
Why This Recipe Works
1. Super simple and easy side dish to prep.
2. Fresh flavor combinations with the basil and creaminess of the goat cheese.
3. Only 6 basic and fresh ingredients.
Emphasis on the word FRESH. The fresh flavors and simple easy marinade makes this side dish what it is, incredibly delicious with no fuss.
Ingredients You'll Need
Similar to a caprese salad, this side dish includes tomatoes and fresh basil but instead of mozzarella cheese, I use goat cheese. The flavor is unbelievable and the cheese does a good job of softening and not melting.
If you have a flavored olive oil and balsamic vinegar, use it. It's makes the flavor "POP"! I enjoy a rosemary or garlic infused olive oil and a cranberry based balsamic vinegar. Non-flavored infused oil and balsamic vinegar also tastes amazing so if that is all you have on hand then use it.
Expert Tips For Preparing Your Smoker
- There's a couple of things you should do before you start smoking your food. Start by wrap your water bowl with aluminum foil before you add the water. By doing this you're saving yourself a lot of mess. Less cleanup is always better!
- With this recipe, I choose to use a bit of Liquid Smoke in my water when smoking because it provides an extra smokey flavor.
- Are you going to use wood chips or chunks? Personally, I like using chunks because it's been my experience that they produce more smoke for a longer period of time. But with this recipe for cherry tomatoes, it's a quick smoke (about an hour) so chips will work fine in this scenario.
- Use a light wood such as apple, cherry, or pecan when smoking cherry tomatoes. You want a subtle flavor with these delicate ingredients. Using mesquite or hickory tends to overpower smoked tomatoes.
- Do you need to soak your chips or chunks before smoking meat? There's a lot of debate out there on this one but here's my personal opinion from my own experience. When I used wood chips and didn't soak them, they burned. So I started soaking them the night before and while smoking my food, they didn't burn. I moved to chunks and continued soaking them the night before out of habit.
- Do you have to pre-soak chunks, no - you don't have to. But why mess up a good thing? I've have a good experience with soaking both chips and chunks so I continue to do it. Instead of listening to all the scientific proof or anyone else's thoughts around this practice, my recommendation is to try both methods for yourself and make up your own mind.
- Preheat the smoker before placing in the food.
Step By Step Recipe Instructions
Thoroughly wash those beautiful red cherry tomatoes and place them in a bowl.
Next, grab some fresh basil and slice into thin strips. Add fresh goat cheese crumbles.
In a gallon size plastic bag, add the tomatoes, fresh basil, goat cheese crumbles, olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar, salt, and pepper. Zip the bag close and shake well to combine all the ingredients. Place the baggie in refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours.
After the marination process, pour the cherry tomatoes and marinade onto a piece of aluminum foil.
Fold the aluminum foil around the cherry tomato mixture and form into a pocket. Before closing the pocket, add 1 Tablespoon of water. Seal the aluminum pocket loosely, leaving a slight opening so some of the smoke can enter in.
Expert Tip: The reason you want to seal the foil packet loosely and leave a small opening is so the tomatoes don't dry out and become shriveled during the smoking process. This method also allows just enough smoke to enter to provide that smokey flavor. You can also opt to poke holes in the foil packet with a fork to allow the smoke to penetrate the tomatoes.
You're now ready to place the foil packet into the smoker.
The smoke time for these tomatoes is about an hour. After they are done smoking, open the aluminum packet and pour the smoked tomatoes into a bowl. Top with more fresh sliced basil and goat cheese crumbles. Add a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper and you are ready to eat!
Looks amazing, right? Let me tell you, if you love roasted cherry tomatoes then you will fall in love with this side dish! Some of my best smoked meats are paired with these smoked tomatoes!
Other Smoker Recipes
I can’t wait to hear how this recipe turned out for you! If you’ve tried this or any other recipe of mine on the website, make sure you rate the recipe. You can also leave a comment below! I love hearing from you!
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Smoked Cherry Tomatoes with Basil and Goat Cheese
- 25-30 cherry tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, (use a flavored one if you have it)
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, (use a flavored one if you have it)
- ¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled and divided
- ⅛ cup fresh basil, sliced and divided
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 2 Tablspoons Liquid Smoke, optional
- Rinse the cherry tomatoes and place them in a bowl.
- Next, grab a handful of fresh basil and slice into thin strips and set aside.
- In a gallon size plastic bag, add the tomatoes, fresh basil, Balsamic vinegar, goat cheese crumbles, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Zip the plastic bag closed and shake well to combine all the ingredients. Place baggie in refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours.
- After the tomatoes have marinated, start preparing your smoker by getting the wood chips or chunks ready, filling your water pan (add the liquid smoke in this step if you wish to) and then light your smoker.
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
- While your smoker is preheating, pour the cherry tomatoes and remaining marinade onto a piece of long aluminum foil.
- Fold the aluminum foil around the cherry tomato mixture and form into a loose pocket. Before closing the pocket, add 1 Tablespoon of water. Slightly close the aluminum pocket, leaving a small opening.Expert Tip: The reason you want to seal the foil packet loosely and leave a small opening is so the tomatoes don't dry out and become shriveled during the smoking process. This method also allows just enough smoke to enter to provide that smokey flavor. You can also opt to poke holes in the foil packet with a fork to allow the smoke to penetrate the tomatoes.
- When the smoker reaches an internal temperature of 225°F, place the foil packet containing the tomatoes in the smoker and smoke for 1 hour.
- After the tomatoes are done smoking, open up the aluminum pocket and pour tomatoes into a bowl.
- Top these smoked tomatoes with more fresh sliced basil and goat cheese crumbles. Add a bit of fresh ground pepper and you are ready to eat!
- Use either apple, cherry, or pecan wood for this recipe.
- Using Liquid Smoke is optional. It will add a more smokey flavor to the recipe if you opt to use it.
- Adding 1 Tablespoon of water to the aluminum foil packet before slightly sealing helps provide additional moisture to cook the tomatoes.
- Using a flavored olive oil and balsamic vinegar really brings out the flavors in your food, but it's fine to use unflavored.
This post was originally published in April of 2018, but was republished with new photos, step-by-step recipe instructions and tips in April of 2021.