How to Seed Tomatoes

Why seed a tomato? Tomato seeds and their surrounding gel contain a lot of liquid. In certain recipes, that extra liquid can mess with the texture– like in Israeli Salad, for example. Some people have trouble digesting the seeds, which is another good reason to seed your tomatoes. During the seeding process, you can also get rid of the tough, white, flavorless parts attached to the core. Most of a tomato’s flavor resides in the red fleshy part, not the seeds and their gel, so tossing the seeds won’t change the flavor of your dish much. However, the gel does contain vitamin C and some nutrients, so be sure to check your recipe… sometimes having the seeds and extra moisture in the mix can be a plus! If you are ready to seed your tomatoes, read on for three simple step-by-step methods.

In some dishes, both seeding and peeling the tomatoes is recommended. To learn how to peel a tomato, click here.

I’ve posted three different ways to seed a tomato below. Method 1 is my preferred method; it keeps the tomato largely intact while sacrificing a minimum of the tomato flesh, meaning you’ll have more intact flesh to work with for dicing, slicing, or whatever you need. I also recommend Method 1 if you plan to stuff the tomato; it helps to keep the walls of the tomato firm. Method 2 is fastest, and best used when seeding lots of tomatoes for something like a sauce– it can leave the skin a bit mushed and bruised, so I wouldn’t use this method for a salad. Method 3 is great for when you want to quickly seed 1 or 2 tomatoes for a salad, but slice carefully– you can cut away useable tomato flesh if you’re not careful. All three methods work, so choose whichever is best for your purposes.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be a tomato seeding pro! :)

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How to Seed Tomatoes

You will need

  • Tomatoes
  • Knife
  • Small measuring spoon or bowl
Servings: Varies
Kosher Key: Pareve

Method 1

  • Place your tomato on a cutting board, stem side facing up.
  • Roll the tomato sideways so the stem faces to the right, and cut the tomato down the center "equator" line into two halves.
  • Use a small spoon (I use a quarter teaspoon) to scoop the tomato seeds and any tough white core out of the four seed cavities. Discard the seeds.

Method 2

  • Place your tomato on a cutting board, stem side facing up.
  • Roll the tomato sideways so the stem faces to the right, and cut the tomato down the center "equator" line into two halves.
  • Gently squeeze the tomato halves over a bowl to dislodge the seeds from the seed cavities.
  • Try not to squeeze too hard; use gentle pressure to keep the flesh intact and prevent bruising or a mushy texture. Use a spoon or your fingers to scoop out any seeds or tough white core that clings to the tomato. Discard the seeds.

Method 3

  • Slice the tomato vertically (from stem top to bottom) into four quarters.
  • Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the seeds away from the tomato flesh.
  • Discard the seeds.

Comments (20)Post a Comment

  1. Why do you discard the seeds, etc. Are there any uses for them – maybe tomato juice or tomato soup or something?

    1. Harvey, you could feasibly push the pulp through a mesh strainer or food mill to strain the gel from the seeds, then use the gel as a base for a sauce or dressing. However, you would need to add other ingredients to it– the gel on its own is very thin. It does have some flavor and nutrients in it. You could also add the gel to existing juice or soup, but you can’t make tomato juice or soup from the seed pulp, since the majority of flavor (and red color) comes from the tomato flesh. Unstrained, the seed pulp is very “seedy”– you would definitely want to remove the seeds from it before using the gel for anything. Of course, if you own a Vitamix, you can throw tomatoes in whole without seeding to make juice or soup– the Vitamix will grind up the seeds and everything!

  2. No.1 seems the easiest to me. You are right, some salads (especially when grains involved) do not handle the extra juicy very well.

  3. You did good but I wanted to find out if I could make tomato seeds for my garden. You need to put this there it’s not the best help

    1. I’m sorry Mae, but this is a cooking site, not a gardening site. You should Google “tomato seeds for my garden,” I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for. Good luck!

  4. Your tips on peeling and seeding tomatoes have just saved me hours of time and lots of wasted tomatoes. Thank you!

  5. I wont tell you the crazy way I was doing this! Thanks so much. This will make my pico de gallo so much faster to make.

  6. Just wanted to say thanks for the info. As a beginner, I can use all the help I can get. Have any suggestions on making a simple Alfredo sauce the doesn’t separate?

  7. Oh Tori, thanks a lot, I have been advised to avoid tomato seeds.
    I was searching for some easy ways to remove them, I saw your steps.They are helpful.

  8. Thanks for the information. I was always doing method #3. Method #1 seems easier and will do that next time. Should have read this first.

  9. Thanks so much for this information. I can’t digest the seeds and have always wondered the easiest way to take them out.
    Number 1 was is the best for me, thanks so much.

  10. i am going to try method 1. i have been doing the method 3 after peeling for canning. this should speed up things. i have a LOT of tomatoes to can. thanks Janet

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