how to dice tomatoes

How to Dice Tomatoes for Salads in 3 Easy Methods

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Some recipes require you to dice a tomato when preparing a salad or the main meal. However, the thoughts of a messy kitchen counter can make you look for an alternative. But what if we told you dicing a tomato is easy? It's actually a quick and simple process that you can master with some practice. You can dice both regular and Roma tomatoes, then add them to salads, casseroles, soups and other dishes. With that in mind, here is how to dice tomatoes perfectly in three methods.

What You Need to Dice a Tomato

Before starting, you should know what tools you will need for dicing tomatoes. So, to cut the tomato into cubes, use a knife, dicer, or food processor. For the most basic method, you need:

  • A knife
  • A cutting board
  • A spoon or table knife

Dicing With a Knife: Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Wash your tomatoes

Before cutting anything, ensure that your tomatoes are washed under a tap to remove debris and dirt. Remember to also check for stickers!

Step 2: Core the tomato

Remove the tomato stem and carefully wash it. Next, insert the tip of the serrated knife into the tomato while holding it upright. Make out a little circle at the top, then take out the core.

Step 3: Slice in half crosswise

Set your cutting board on a level surface. Place the tomato on the cutting board, then cut it half crosswise with a suitable knife to expose the pulp and seed in the middle.

Step 4: Remove the tomato seeds

If the recipe tells you to keep the seeds, you can skip this step. Otherwise, carefully remove the seeds with your fingers, a spoon, or a table knife. Take care not to rip through the tomato, particularly with softer, riper tomatoes.

Step 5: Cut the tomato into slices

After removing the seeds, place each half bottom down on your chopping board and cut lengthwise into slices. Try to make evenly spaced slices and ensure that you get diced tomatoes uniform in size. 

Step 6: Chop the slices into small cubes

Rotate the tomato slices 90 degrees and slice in the opposite way to make cubes. Cut the pieces into cubes as directed by the instructions. You may choose the thickness based on how small or large you want your cubes to be.

 Pro tips

  • If you find that seeding tomatoes with a spoon are too messy, you can chop off the edges and leave the core.
  • To make tomato cubes, do not use raw or overripe tomatoes. Overripe tomatoes tend to be too soft and mushy to dice, and raw tomatoes are unpalatable.

Dicing Tomatoes with a Dicer: Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Select a dicer

Select dicer with a properly sized blade frame and put it in place.

Step 2: Wash your tomatoes

Before cutting anything, ensure that your tomatoes are washed under a tap to remove debris and dirt. Remember to also check for stickers!

Step 3: Slice the tomato in half crosswise

Place the tomato on the cutting board, then cut it half crosswise with a suitable knife to expose the pulp and seed in the middle.

Step 4: De-seed the tomato

Gently squeeze the seeds with your fingers, a spoon, or a table knife. Take care not to rip through the tomato skin.

Step 5: Dice the tomato

Put the tomato on the blade frame, then press the lever down. Ensure you empty the preservation container when it's full before dicing another tomato.

Pro tips

  • We recommend using the bigger 13.6mm dicing blade for soft fruits or veggies like tomatoes.
  • Press the lever down quickly to keep tomato chunks clinging to the blade.
  • If the tomatoes are larger than the size of the blade frame, cut them into smaller pieces.

Dicing with a Food Processor: Step-by-Step Instructions 

The best food processor is a convenient method to dice tomatoes. This approach allows you to slice tomatoes into equal-sized cubes in seconds. Here is how to dice tomatoes using a food processor.

Step 1: Wash your tomatoes

Before cutting anything, ensure that your tomatoes are washed under a tap to remove debris and dirt. Remember to also check for stickers!

Step 2: Slice the tomatoes

Slice the tomatoes into pieces enough to fit into the food processor bowl. Before placing the tomatoes in the processor, place them on the cutting board, then cut them in half crosswise with the best knife to expose the pulp and seed in the middle.

Step 3: Dice the tomatoes

Use the standard blade with the food processor, and don't overfill the bowl with tomato chunks. Instead, press the pulse button to cycle the blade for two or three seconds. Then, once you've diced the tomatoes to the correct size, remove them from the bowl and repeat the procedure with a fresh batch.

Pro tips

  • When slicing tomatoes, only use firm ones.
  • Using the Pulse function of the processor for longer will give you finer tomato cubes. But, overdoing it can turn the tomatoes into puree.
  • Strain the chopped tomatoes in a sieve or strainer if you don't want the tomato juice.
  • Before adding a new batch of tomatoes for dicing, empty the bowl. This will help you maintain consistency in the size of the tomato cubes.

How Do You Dice Roma Tomatoes?

Roma tomatoes (also known as plum tomatoes) are much smaller than other types. When dicing the Roma tomatoes, place them on a plate, set another plate on top, and cut down the center to cut the tomatoes in half. This method will save you time and wow your family and friends at the next get-together.

Since they are smaller, there is no need to de-seed them or remove the core. So, put the tomatoes down and make vertical slices in each one depending on how large or small you want them diced. Then, in the opposite direction as the vertical slices, slice downward and done! You have now got perfectly diced Roma tomatoes.

What Are the Best Uses for Diced Fresh Tomatoes?

1. Fresh tomato pizza

This pizza is topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, tomatoes, and olive oil.

2. Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish soup prepared with puréed tomatoes, red wine vinegar, cucumbers, onions, herbs, garlic, bell peppers, celery, and olive oil.

3. Spaghetti Vongole

Spaghetti Vongole is prepared with fresh clams, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, parsley, and garlic.

4. Pico De Gallo

Also known as Mexican cuisine or salsa, Fresca is prepared from diced tomatoes, cilantro, onion, jalapeno and lime juice.

5. Greek tomato salad

Greek tomato salad combines diced tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, red wine vinegar, kalamata olives and extra-virgin olive oil.

6. Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Grilled Pineapple salsa is made with grilled chopped pineapple, ginger, tomatoes, and minced jalapeño.

7. Bruschetta

A traditional Italian antipasto made of ripe tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, and balsamic vinegar served on toasted slices of crusty Italian bread.

8. Tomato Relish

Small diced tomatoes are pickled in a red wine vinegar combination with chopped red onions, celery seeds, and minced jalapenos to form a condiment ideal for hot dogs and burgers.

9. Bacon-Endive tomato bites

Combine diced tomatoes, minced chives, and a champagne vinaigrette in a mixing bowl, scoop into endive leaves, and top with crumbled bacon bits.

10. Nachos Supreme

Tortilla chips piled high with ground beef, shredded cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, refried beans, avocados, pickled jalapenos, black beans, and sour cream.

11. Turkey chili

Turkey chili is a healthy version of chili with ground turkey, kidney beans, fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, bell peppers, garlic, and chicken broth.

12. Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp tacos are made with tomato salsa, avocado crema, and lime juice.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.