How to Peel, Seed and Dice a Tomato

How-To, Learn

If there is ever a time to choose fresh tomatoes over canned, summer is it. From June through August, tomatoes are at their sweetest and most vibrant, requiring nothing but a sprinkle of sea salt for absolute perfection.


So many summer recipes include peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes in their lists of ingredients, which can turn into a big time commitment if you don’t have a foolproof system. Follow the steps below to achieve an expert dice every time.




Score the tomatoes.
Use a paring knife to cut a small, shallow X in the bottom of a plum (Roma) or globe tomato. This process, known as scoring, will help you remove the skin quickly later.




Blanch the tomatoes.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, plunge the tomatoes in the boiling water for 15 to 20 seconds, depending on ripeness, until the skins are just loosened.







Shock the tomatoes.
Use the slotted spoon to transfer the blanched tomatoes to a bowl of ice water. This process is known as shocking, and it will stop the tomatoes from cooking too much. 



Peel off the tomato skins.
As soon as the tomatoes are cool, remove them from the ice water. Use a paring knife to pull off the skin, starting at the X. The skin should now peel off quickly and easily. 







Halve the tomato.
To seed globe tomatoes, use a chef’s knife or serrated tomato knife to cut the tomatoes in half through their “equator.” Cut plum (Roma) tomatoes in half lengthwise. 







Squeeze or scoop out the seeds.
Holding a tomato half over a bowl, use a finger to scoop out the seed sacs and any excess liquid. Alternatively, squeeze the tomato half gently to push out the seeds. 




Cut vertical slices.
Use a chef’s knife to make a shallow circular cut to remove the tomato cores, if necessary. Place each half cut side down and make a series of slices, 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart. 








Cut the slices into strips.
Stack 2 or 3 of the tomato slices at a time on their sides. Make a second series of slices, 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart, perpendicular to the first. You will end up with strips.



Cut the strips into dice.
Line up the strips and cut crosswise into 1/8 to 1/4 inch dice. Repeat steps 1 through 3 with the remaining tomato halves.



22 comments about “How to Peel, Seed and Dice a Tomato

  1. Ian Dixon

    The method you suggest is pretty much what my mother used many years ago but why bother?
    Taking out the skin and the core is losing a lot of the best nutrients that tomatoes give us.
    I occasionally skin them but always use the core in what I am making.

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  9. Carol Carlile

    I recently learned a very simple way to peel tomatoes while watching an old (1950’s?) cooking show. All you do is place the tomato on a fork, skewer, etc. then hold it over the flame of the gas stove until blistered, allow to cool slightly then peel. So easy & fast.

  10. Ruth Reece

    Thank you so much for this info!! You have just about cut my tomatoe canning in half!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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  12. Angela

    Love your site but pictures of cutting your tomatoes after peeling shows you still have skins on?!?

  13. Rob

    LOL, thank you Sondra for cracking me up. No reason for Ruth to be so hateful.

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  15. K Barone

    One reason I will peel and remove tomato seeds is due to the inflammatory lectins found there. Autoimmune diseases run in my family, so removing the plants skins and seeds avoids the part of the plant that has it’s defense mechanism: lectins which has a toxic component to it.

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