What are Yellow Tomatoes?

Mary McMahon

Yellow tomatoes are tomatoes that have been bred to be yellow, rather than the traditional red. In addition to yellow, it is also possible to find green and purple tomatoes in some markets. Many of these varieties are actually quite ancient, but they were only widely introduced recently, as gardeners and consumers realized that this New World fruit comes in an assortment of colors, shapes, sizes, and even flavors.

Yellow tomatoes on a vine.
Yellow tomatoes on a vine.

The obvious distinguishing feature of a yellow tomato is the color, which may be anywhere from an almost creamy yellow to bright, electric, school bus yellow, depending on the cultivar, the time of year, and when the tomato is harvested. Like their red cousins, they also come in an assortment of sizes, shapes, and flavors, from tiny sweet ones that can be used in salads to big yellow beefsteak tomatoes that are ideal for sauces.

Red tomatoes contain higher levels of acid than yellow ones.
Red tomatoes contain higher levels of acid than yellow ones.

The difference in color is not just superficial. The nutritional profile of these tomatoes is slightly different from that of red ones. Yellow tomatoes have lots of niacin and folate, less vitamin C, and less lycopene than red tomatoes. Perhaps most importantly, they are lower in acid than red tomatoes, and some companies have even developed almost acid-free varieties.

Red tomatoes have higher levels of vitamin C and lycopene than their yellow counterparts.
Red tomatoes have higher levels of vitamin C and lycopene than their yellow counterparts.

For people who love tomatoes, but suffer when they eat acidic foods, yellow tomatoes can be a good middle ground for salads, pizzas, sauces, and any other dishes where tomatoes may appear. They can be used exactly like red tomatoes, in pretty much any dish, from tomato chutney to ketchup. The lower acid level also allows some of the more naturally sweet flavor of the tomato to come through, which can be an advantage in some dishes.

Some garden stores carry yellow tomato seedlings or seeds, for people who want to grow their own. Growing tomatoes requires a warm spot that gets lots of sun and minimal wind, with loose, well-drained soil. Some people prefer to work in a greenhouse to grow tomatoes, especially if they live in a changeable climate, although the plant can be grown outdoors in the summer in most temperate zones. The plants should be staked for support as they grow, to keep the developing fruit away from the ground where it could rot, and when watering, gardeners should be careful to avoid splashing the leaves and fruit.

Small yellow tomatoes may be included in a salad.
Small yellow tomatoes may be included in a salad.

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Discussion Comments


The yellow pear is indeed disappointing in taste. As one other person mentioned, they are quite bland. They are prolific, though. I grow them mainly for show and tell. My favorite yellow tomato is lemon boy. They are tasty and keep better than any tomato I have grown. They also seem fairly more resistant to fall cold that kills other varieties.


Last year I grew yellow pear tomatoes and they were amazing. The yield was huge, the tomatoes looked beautiful, and they were delicious. I am definitely going to plant at least one more of those plants next summer.


My wife makes a delicious tomato mozzarella salad with an assortment of different kinds and colors of cherry tomatoes. The different flavors and colors make the salad so much more vibrant than the traditional recipe. In the summer, when the tomatoes are in season, eating some of that salad with a piece of crusty bread and some good olive oil is the perfect meal.


Yellow tomatoes are so much better than red ones. The red kind are far too tart for me, and they burn my tongue.

I love eating yellow tomatoes in salads and on pizza. In the salad, the dressing brings out their flavor even more. It seems that cooking makes them even sweeter, which I also love.

I cannot tolerate a red tomato if I have any sort of irritation in my mouth, like a canker sore. However, I can eat a yellow tomato and not suffer the burn.


I saw some yellow pear tomatoes for sale, and they were so odd looking that I had to buy them. They were small, but they were shaped just like pears.

The flavor was disappointing, though. They were really bland. I don't know whether I just got a bad batch or whether they are always like this.


@OeKc05 – I've found that when growing yellow tomatoes, it's best to till the soil deeply. The plants really appreciate good drainage.

I use a tiller and go down about a foot. This really cuts down on sogginess in the soil.

Also, I never use mulch around tomato plants. It traps moisture, which is bad for the fruit.


My dad plants yellow tomatoes in his garden, along with regular red tomatoes. He spaces them out where they can't interact, though.

The yellow tomatoes that he plants are tiny, and they look like the red cherry tomatoes that I've seen in the grocery store. Even these little tomatoes have to be staked, though. Otherwise, the vine will just grow along the ground and the tomatoes will rot.


If a person is allergic to red tomatoes, will they also allergic to yellow tomatoes?


I grow all my herbs and vegetables in organic bins and I can't believe how great these bins are. everything is growing bigger and better.


How do you grow tomatoes?

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