Tomato confit with garlic is a simple condiment that’s packed with flavor and so easy to make. It’s excellent served warm with lots of crusty bread for dipping, but can also be used to top bruschetta, grilled chicken, fish, salads, potato frittatas, sandwiches, and more!

Overhead shot of large pan with tomato garlic confit.

Cherry tomato confit is proof that the simplest of foods can yield maximum flavor.

Cherry tomatoes, garlic, and thyme are simmered in olive oil over low heat until the tomatoes wilt and burst, and the garlic takes on a buttery-soft consistency.

We love to serve tomato confit while still warm with burrata and lots of crusty bread and because the garlic becomes so soft, it’s easily spreadable.

This tomato confit is a hit at gatherings alongside zucchini bruschetta, taralli, and mozzarella en carrozza.

Looking for more cherry tomato recipes? Try our recipes for fettuccine with cherry tomato butter sauce or braised chicken with fennel and cherry tomatoes.

Recipe ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

  • Tomatoes. We recommend using cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe since they have they are thin-skinned and have less moisture. Other tomatoes, such as beefsteak, heirloom, etc. have too much water and may not yield the best results. Use any color cherry tomatoes you’d like!
  • Olive oil. Since our tomato confit recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups of oil, we’ve opted to use regular olive oil since it’s more economical than using extra virgin olive oil.
  • Chili peppers. Cherry tomato confit is great with a little heat and we love adding hot red pepper flakes, or dried whole Calabrian peppers. If you’re not a fan of spice, feel free to omit the chili peppers.
  • Thyme. Fresh thyme beautifully complements the flavors of the tomatoes and garlic. If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can use a 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. Oregano would be great as well!
Ingredients shown: thyme, garlic, cherry and grape tomatoes, dried hot chili peppers, and extra virgin olive oil.

How to make it

  1. Heat a saucepan or pot over low heat and add 1 cup of garlic cloves (about 3-4 heads of garlic), 24 ounces of cherry or grape tomatoes, 10 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes, and 1 3/4 cups of olive oil (Photo #1).
Tomato garlic confit recipe process shot collage.
  1. Cook over low heat for about 35-40 minutes or until the garlic turns golden and soft but not burnt and most of the tomatoes have burst. Turn off the heat and allow the tomato confit to cool down for 1 hour. Serve with crusty bread, or use it as a topping for grilled chicken, fish, sandwiches, etc. (Photo #2).

Note: If storing, allow to cool completely and transfer the contents to an airtight mason jar. Take care to ensure the garlic is completely covered by oil. Store in the refrigerator and eat within 3 days.

Hand holding piece of bread with tomato confit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is confit?

The word confit refers to the process by which an ingredient is cooked at a low temperature, usually in some type of fat or grease, over a long period of time in an effort to preserve the food. The word itself is derived from the French verb, confire, which means “to preserve”.

How should I store tomato confit?

It’s important to note that garlic tomato confit should never be stored outside of the refrigerator. Garlic is a low acid ingredient and when combined with oil and stored in a warm environment, it can produce the toxins that cause botulism. To properly store tomato garlic confit, allow the mixture to cool, then store in an airtight jar taking care to ensure the garlic is completely covered with oil. Consume within 3 days.

What’s the difference between tomato confit and sundried tomatoes?

Tomato confit is cooked in oil at a low temperature over a long period of time whereas sundried tomatoes are dried (in the sun, or via dehydrating equipment) and then packed dry, or in oil.

Overhead shot of spoon holding tomato garlic confit over pan.

More easy spreads and condiments

Here are some of our other favorite spreads and condiments. These are great with bread for dipping or on sandwiches and wraps. We hope you enjoy them!

If you’ve enjoyed this tomato confit recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

We strive to satisfy a number of learning styles.  If you are someone who prefers to learn by watching, you can find most of our recipes on YouTube and our Facebook Page.

Tomato Confit

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 12
Tomato confit with garlic and thyme is a tasty condiment that makes the perfect topping to crusty bread, grilled meat and fish, omelets, and more!


  • 1 cup garlic cloves about 3-4 heads worth
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes or a couple of dried whole chili peppers
  • 1 3/4 cups olive oil
  • 24 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes


  • Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan or pot and cook over low heat until the garlic turns golden and soft but not burnt.
  • After about 35-40 minutes the garlic should be golden and very soft and most of the tomatoes will have burst. Turn off the heat and let the contents cool down for 1 hour.
  • Serve with crusty bread or use it as a topping for chicken or fish. For storage, pour all of the ingredients into a pint-sized mason jar and refrigerate. See notes below for storage.


  • Eat right away while it’s warm and spread onto crusty bread.  It’s also delicious topped on fish or chicken.  
  • Never store garlic or tomato confit outside of the fridge.  Garlic is a low acid ingredient and when stored with oil in a warm environment, can produce the toxins that cause botulism.  Once the confit cools, store it in an airtight jar, taking care that the garlic is completely covered by oil.  We recommend eating within 3 days.
  • If you would like to store for longer, we recommend freezing in portions, and using a portion when you get a craving for it.


Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.9g | Protein: 0.7g | Fat: 29.6g | Saturated Fat: 4.2g | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous. The garlic is very mild I’m glad I followed the recipe exactly.

    1. James says:

      I’m so happy you enjoyed this one, Sarah!

  2. Bev Sherwin says:

    Can I make this using less garlic? It sounds like more garlic than my family (including grandkids would like)?

    1. Tara says:

      Yes, of course! Use however much or however little you’d like.

  3. Robert Crowe says:

    Hi James,

    I am wanting to make this for an upcoming lunch with friends. Two questions for you about this recipe.

    1. If cooking in the oven, do you think cooking it at 250 for an hour would work the same? My stovetop cooks a bit too high.

    2. What would you recommend as a good dish to serve this with if I use this as an appetizer?


    1. Tara says:

      Hi Robert, thanks for the comment. We haven’t tested this in the oven so can’t say for sure if it would work the same, but it likely would. Just cook until the garlic turns soft and the tomatoes have burst. As far as main course to serve following this, beef bourguignon would be a great one as it can be made ahead of time. Hope you enjoy!

  4. Carol says:

    If making this ahead would I reheat it or serve it at room temperature?

    1. James says:

      Hi Carol, you can either reheat it if you’d like it warm, or serve at room temperature. Either way is good.

  5. Licia McClary-Trifoglio says:

    5 stars
    Literally making today as a side to top a huge batch of broccoli rabe, yum!

    1. James says:

      Hi Licia, thanks for the comment and hope you enjoyed!