How to Slice a Tomato

Learn how to properly slice tomatoes for salads, sandwiches, and more.

When it comes to basic cooking skills, knowing how to slice a tomato is at the top of the list. After all, tomatoes are commonly used in a wide range of recipes, from vegan omelettes to salads and sandwiches to salsa.

And with the right technique, a tomato can be sliced in a way that keeps the fleshy insides intact. This is essential not only for improving its presentation, but for preventing soggy messes, too.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

First, wash your tomato. Pat dry with a clean towel. Gather your supplies: a clean cutting board and a very sharp knife. It’s recommended to use a paring knife—serrated, if possible—but an all-purpose knife will also get the job done.

In either case, make sure your knife is very sharp. (It might seem counterintuitive, but using a sharp knife is the safest move. A sharp knife will properly pierce through the vegetable, which reduces the chances of it slipping and cutting your fingers.)

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Shopping for a tomato knife? Check out our list of the best tomato knife options on Amazon.

How to Cut Tomato Slices

If you’re using tomatoes on a vine, carefully remove one tomato. Place the tomato on its side. The top of the tomato (where the stem is/was) should face the knife.

In other words, if you’re right-handed and holding the knife in your right hand, the top of the tomato should face right. If you’re left-handed, the top of the tomato should face left.

Firmly hold down the tomato and slice off the top of the tomato.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Contine slicing the tomato. Each slicing motion should be parallel to the last one. The thickness of each slice is up to you.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

By cutting the tomato in this manner, the flesh and seeds will stay together. This is useful if you need tomato slices for a sandwich or veggie burger.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

How to Dice Tomato

Need diced tomatoes? Once you’ve cut the tomato into slices, you’re already halfway there. Simply stack a few slices on the cutting board. Make multiple parallel cuts across the stack.

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Repeat in the opposite direction. These cuts should be perpendicular to the first cuts. Tip: Imagine a bar graph is placed on top of the tomatoes. Next, cut along the lines.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

The result is freshly diced tomatoes, which are perfect for tossing into pasta or salad.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

How to Slice Tomato Wedges

You can also cut a tomato into wedges for salads. First, place the tomato on the cutting board, top side facing up. The bottom should be on the cutting board. If you’d like, slice a small piece off the bottom to create a more flat and stable surface.

Place the knife across the top. Slice once to create two halves.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

The two halves will look something like this.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Place one half on the cutting board, cut side down. Note where the stem was.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Slice in half, cutting from top to bottom. The tip of your knife should be facing the same side as the stem.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

The result is two quarter tomato wedges.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

If you’d like, slice each quarter in half once more. This creates four wedges per half, or eight wedges per tomato.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

With this technique, the flesh will stay together in each wedge.

Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Did you enjoy this guide for slicing a tomato? Visit our step-by-step tutorial for cutting green onions.

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Photo: Kirsten Nunez
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