Tacos are great because you can choose a variety of toppings to use to suit your tastes, but one topping that really brings a fresh pop of flavor to tacos is tomato!
There are a few different types of tomatoes you can choose from when making tacos — some generally work better in tacos than others, while some go better with certain topping flavors.
What are the best tomatoes for tacos? The best tomatoes to use for tacos will depend on the flavors you are wanting, but the best options include Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and more. These all have different textures and water contents, so you do need to choose carefully!
If you are planning on making some tacos at home, take a read through the below recommendations on which the best tomatoes would be to use!
Do Tacos Usually Have Tomatoes?
Authentic Mexican tacos do not always contain tomatoes, but they can be added to various taco fillings to bring some acidity and freshness to the dish.
Traditional tacos mostly contain a protein of choice, lettuce, cheese, and Mexican crema or sour cream.
However, the beauty of making tacos at home is that you can add in just about anything you want to make it more suited to your tastes!
So while traditional tacos might not always contain tomatoes, most street vendors or restaurants do offer tacos with tomatoes, so there is no reason you can’t add tomatoes to the tacos you are making at home if you so desire!
The Best Tomatoes For Tacos
There are a few different tomato options that work well in tacos.
The tomato type you want to choose will depend on the type of tomato you prefer, its size and flavor, and the other taco ingredients you are using.
Without further ado, here are the best tomatoes to use for tacos!
1. Roma Tomatoes
Roma tomatoes are definitely the most popular type of tomato to use for tacos, as they add a deliciously fresh taste and a pop of vibrant color.
These are meaty tomatoes that hold their shape well, so they do not get lost in the other fillings.
When using Roma tomatoes for tacos, try to remove as many seeds as possible, so that the tomatoes do not become too soggy and ruin the other fillings inside the taco.
Roma tomatoes, also known as plum tomatoes, are quite oblong in shape and are a bit larger than the smaller variety of tomatoes, making them easy to chop and work with.
These tomatoes are naturally juicy and sweet with a small pop of acidity that allows them to pair well with various fillings such as seafood, beef, pork, and chicken.
2. Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are another great option for making tacos, as they are beautifully juicy with an intense flavor that is great to use with beef and pork tacos.
Being small in size, cherry tomatoes can sometimes be tricky to work with, but you only need to chop them in quarters to use them as a filling for tacos.
Cherry tomatoes do contain some moisture and seeds, but they don’t have a very high water content.
This means you don’t have to worry too much about removing the seeds before adding them to tacos, as the seeds will add a good acidity to the meal!
3. Grape Tomatoes
Grape tomatoes are even smaller than cherry tomatoes, being around half the size of cherry tomatoes.
What is great about using grape tomatoes is that they contain less water than other types of tomatoes, so they can be chopped up and added to tacos as is.
As they are so small in size, they can be sliced in half or in quarters and tossed in with the rest of the fillings.
Grape tomatoes have a sweet, mild flavor, so they pair well with all types of taco fillings, whether it is veggies, chicken, beef, or seafood.
Due to their small size, they can be difficult to work with, but you simply need to slice a few in half to make a great acidic yet sweet topping for tacos!
4. Beefsteak Tomatoes
Beefsteak tomatoes are the complete opposite of cherry and grape tomatoes when it comes to their size.
These are large, sturdy tomatoes that are very firm and they work really well when sliced up.
While beefsteak tomatoes are thick and firm, they do have a good juice content, so they do have a mild, pleasant flavor.
Due to their firm texture, they are easy to chop up and use as a filling for tacos, but you should try removing some of the seeds first.
With some of the seeds removed, the beefsteak tomato will add some good texture and sweetness to the tacos, and they hold up well with stronger-tasting fillings such as beef and pork.
5. Vine Tomatoes
Vine tomatoes not only look great, but they work well when making tacos.
As they are still attached to the vine, they have a longer shelf-life, so you can keep them fresher in the fridge for longer.
Vine tomatoes are usually quite large and quite firm, so they are easy to slice and chop up to prepare for tacos.
They have a delightfully fresh, sweet, and acidic flavor that will pair well with many different taco seasonings, especially when served with Mexican crema or sour cream.
They can be quite juicy, and while the seeds are delicious, you might want to remove them before chopping them and adding them to the taco filling, just to stop there being too much moisture.
6. Heirloom Tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes come in different shades and colors, being either bright green, slightly purple or pale yellow.
This is different from the other red tomatoes we have on the list, and it can add a fun pop of color to your tacos.
Heirloom tomatoes are also known to have a richer, sweeter flavor compared to other types of tomatoes, so they do add a punch of flavor to tacos and bring a wonderfully fresh, acidic flavor to just about all taco fillings.
With some salt, heirloom tomatoes really shine in flavor, and they can be chopped up easily enough to be used as a topping.
If the heirloom tomatoes have quite a bit of seeds and moisture, you might want to remove some before adding them to the tacos.
7. Green Tomatoes
Green tomatoes might not be the first thing you think of when making tacos, but if you want to be a little bit adventurous, then they are definitely worth a try!
Unlike red tomatoes, green tomatoes are slightly sour and have quite a tangy flavor to them.
These are obviously green in color, so they do add a bit of a different appearance to the tacos, which is never a bad thing.
Their unique flavor makes green tomatoes a good topping to use for tacos that are filled with chicken or seafood. With a little bit of salt, they do add quite an interesting flavor and might soon be your favorite taco topping!
If you wanted to be even more adventurous and non-traditional with your tacos, you could attempt to make a green tomato salsa, or even a green tomato relish, which will add a whole new dimension to your tacos!
Can I Use Canned Tomatoes For Tacos?
Tacos are all about fresh flavor! This comes from the lettuce, the onions, the Mexican crema, and the tomatoes.
When choosing tomatoes for your tacos, the easiest option might seem to be canned tomatoes, but this will not give you the best results.
Canned tomatoes do not taste very fresh, and often lack that sweetness and acidity balance that fresh tomatoes have. They are also more watery than fresh tomatoes, so they might cause a soggy mess.
It is best to use fresh tomatoes as a topping for tacos, but you can use canned tomatoes if you are going to be cooking them down with the mince or other filling.
There are quite a few different tomato types you can use for tacos, and each has different textures, flavors, and a balance of acidity and sweetness.
We have listed the best tomato options above that are all great to use as a topping for tacos, so take a read-through to find the one that you think would work best for you!
Keep in mind the other fillings you are using to make your tacos so that you can find the type of tomato that would compliment these flavors best.
Now that we know all about how to choose the best tomato for your tacos, here are some additional questions that we thought you might have.
What toppings are used for authentic tacos?
These all bring fresh flavors to your taco filling, which all balance out to make the perfect meal.
Which cheese is best to use for tacos?
These are neither mild nor overpowering, and will add a great flavor to your taco fillings.