Tomato Tulip Spring Appetizers

I love cute food art.  For the last few years, I’ve been trying some of my favorite pins of Food Art.  Remember a few years ago, I made a carrot patch for spring?

One of the spring appetizers I love is Tulip Tomatoes. It is shown in a bouquet of tulip tomatoes on chive greenery.  It is so cute.  Below is the photo found all around the internet.

Tomato Tulip Foodie Recipe

I like that tulip tomatoes are a healthy side dish perfect for any spring or summer occasion. Everyone says this food art can be created in less than 30 minutes. It took a little longer for me.  This post is a little different from most of my food posts.  Have you ever tried to replicate a pin and wondered what happened?

Here are more of the original photos on making tulip tomatoes.  They must have originally been on a blog or social media that no longer exists.  I’ve found over 12 blogs with the same photos and instructions on this food art.  My recommendation is to first decide if you just want a decoration for your table, or if you want appetizers to eat.  If you just want a decoration, go with the idea of a tied bouquet. If like me, you want pretty finger food, I’ll try to give you easy ideas.

The tulip tomatoes are made with mostly fresh ingredients like cucumber, cream cheese, tomatoes, and green onions or chives.

The original instructions say to make a cross on top of large cherry tomatoes going 3/4 way deep. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon; a grapefruit spoon is suggested.  First DO NOT GO 3/4 DEEP!   The little tomato becomes too flimsy and you will have cream cheese everywhere. I know as I did it.  I suggest 1/2 deep. Then you use a toothpick or skewer to make a hole where the stem was on the bottom. Push a green chive through the hole to make a stem.

The orginal recipe uses a filling of cream cheese, cucumber, and dried parsley.  It really sounds a little bland to me and I added lemon juice too. It was still too bland.  I think the dried parsley would add more flavor if it is added to the cream cream and put back in the refrigerator for a day.  The original recipe says to use a teaspoon full of cream cheese mix in each tomato.  I bought large cherry tomatoes and they are still small for 1 teaspoon.  I saw another blogger piped the filling in which probably makes it easier to fill the tomato.  It is a messy procedure filling the top with a spoon and keeping the chive in the bottom hole. I had lots of leaks from both ends. Use a paper towel to clean the ouside of the tomato.

I believe a better filling would perk up the taste of the  little appetizer.  I was tempted to just buy garlic and onion cream cheese when I went shopping for the ingredients.  I think that or the herb flavored cream cheese would be tasty and so easy to use.  I think that adding minced or processed cucumber makes the cream cheese too watery. Cucumbers are pretty much water in composition.  You could try your favorite dip as long as it is firm enough. Over on One Little Project, Debbie makes a whipped Feta/cream cheese filling. It sounds interesting.  Then I made my tomato flowers on a plate. Orginally the recipe said to tie the green stems with a chive like a bouquet.   If you want appetizers don’t tie the bouquet and make a single layer of flowers.

I know that trying to pick up the little flower tomato will make the eater’s hands messy.  I think serving them with toothpicks is a better idea. Below you’ll notice that the green stems do not go into the bottom of the tomato.  I tried both ways (above and below) and believe not all the guests would want to eat the green chive.  Placing the tomato on the top of the chive gives the same look but the tomato can be lifted from the plate with a toothpick without chives.

I started thinking about serving them at the dinner table.  I like roma tomatoes for a good size to make tulips.  I again cut a cross on the top and scooped out the seeds.  If the tomato does not have a flat bottom, cut the bottom to level it.  This time I used hummus as the filler; there are so many flavors I can try.  I served the tulip tomato on a saucer with romaine lettuce for leaves.  I think it’s a great first course or snack. I ate two of them with whole grain crackers for lunch. I cut the tomato into pieces with a knife and fork and ate it with my fork. It was yummy and my hands were clean.

Whether you want small tomato tulips on an appetizer plate or larger roma sized tulips, choose your filling of choice, make the tulips and arrange with chosen greenery.

Tomato Tulip Appetizers

Use organic when available. Makes 16 tomato tulips.


Tomato Tulip Appetizers

A cute spring appetizer made with stuffed tomatoes for tomato tulips.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, spring appetizer, tomato tulip appetizers, tulip tomato appetizers
Servings 16 tomato tulips


Cherry Tomato Tulips

  • 16 large cherry tomatoes
  • 16 stalks of chives
  • 8 oz flavored cream cheese or favorite dip

Roma Tulip Appetizers

  • 1 or 2 roma tomatoes per person
  • romaine leaves or other green vegetable for each roma
  • 8 ox flavored cream cheese or favorite dip


Cherry Tomato Tulips

  • With stem side down, cut a cross in the top of each cherry tomato (about 1/2 down the tomato).
  • Using a spoon (grapefruit spoon works very well) to gently scrape out the tomato seeds.
  • Option 1: Take a grilling skewer or toothpick and make a hole where the stem currently is. You may need to twist the skewer in a circle a few times to make room for the chive to fit through.
  • Option 2: Do not make hole in the bottom of tomato.
  • Starting with 1/2 tsp of filling, fill tomato top. Adjust amount according to according to size of tomato.
  • Option 1: Insert a chive into the hole at the bottom of each tomato.
  • Use a damp paper towel to clean any excess filling from outside of tomatoes.
  • Option 1: Make bouquet of chive flowers and wrap last chive aound the green chive stems and tie.
  • Option 2: Place green chives on plate or platter like stems of flovers.
  • Option 2: Place tomato flowers at top of green chives. Add tooth picks.
  • Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
  • Serve on plate or platter chilled.

Roma Tomato Tulips

  • With stem side down, cut a cross in the top of each tomato (about 1/2 down the tomato).
  • Using a spoon (grapefruit spoon works very well) to gently scrape out the tomato seeds.
  • Starting with 1 tsp of filling, fill tomato top. Adjust amount according to according to size of tomato.
  • Clean outside of tomatoes with damp paper towel.
  • Shape romaine leaves to look like flower leaves and place on saucer.
  • Add 1 or tulip flowers on green leaves.
  • Add whole grain crackers to saucers.
  • Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
  • Serve as first course of dinner.

I hope you enjoy the tulip spring appetizers.

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

20 thoughts to “Tomato Tulip Spring Appetizers”

  1. These are adorable but I don’t think I’d have the patience to make them myself!

    I just recently started a new Instagram account. I’m heading over to find you now. 🙂

  2. I’ve also seen these tomato tulip photos over the years and I’m sure I’ve pinned them to an Easter board on Pinterest along the way. I enjoyed reading how you made them, Carol, and adapted them with the basil leaf presentation which I like better. I always buy Boursin cheese spread when it is on sale in Costco and I’m sure that would also make a delicious filling. Speaking of Pinterest—I have been checking my boards one by one and finding so many broken links from blogs that have disappeared. It made me realize if I really like a recipe I should write it down and not rely on it being available online forever….sigh. Have a wonderful week!

  3. They look so pretty and would look great on the table. Far too fiddly for me to make though, and I’m the only family member who likes raw tomatoes. Maybe I could have one of yours? 🙂

  4. I love this! So cute and such a perfect spring appetizer. Thanks so much for sharing!

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