yellow tomato varieties
Organic Gardening

All You Need to Know about Yellow Tomato Varieties

Yellow tomatoes offer a burst of color and have a sweet, less acidic taste to them in comparison to red tomatoes. Their colors range from pale lemon to a deep gold. Like their widely known red counterparts, they come in a variety of sizes – from the small, sweet cherry types like ‘Gold Nugget’ to larger, beefsteak varieties such as ‘Yellow Brandywine’. Sometimes I even think I prefer yellow tomatoes over red tomatoes!

Key Takeaways

  • Yellow tomatoes taste less acidic and range in size from cherry to large beefsteak.
  • They can enhance both the flavor and visual appeal of culinary dishes.
  • They’re adaptable for growing in diverse conditions and add variety to home gardens.

History and Origin of Yellow Tomato Varieties

Tomatoes weren’t the hot item they are today. In fact, at one point in history they were deemed as poisonous. In the United States, 

“some testified to suffering a peculiar condition of the stomach, piles, and tender, bleeding gums, and loose teeth, all from eating tomatoes.” 

LeHoullier, Craig. Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time. Storey Publishing, LLC, 2014. Accessed 1 February 2022.

It is said that Mayans and other MesoAmerican people were the first to domesticate this once wild plant. Their seeds were later shared with Spain and from there the rest is history as it made its way to all parts of the world.

Now they adorn all sorts of dishes – pizza, pasta sauce, sandwiches, to name a few. They can be enjoyed all sorts of ways – canned, marinated, fresh, baked, sundried. The list goes on.

Yellow variations of tomatoes at one point began to show and this of course happened over time. Through natural mutations and selective breeding, yellow tomato varieties began to appear.

In your garden, you might see variations such as the ‘Amish Gold’, a crossbreed that yields deep-gold tomatoes with a sweet/tart flavor profile. This variety traces its lineage to both the Amish Paste and Sungold varieties. It’s suited for full sun conditions and well-draining soil.

Remember, the next time you slice into a juicy yellow tomato, you’re enjoying a little piece of agricultural history that began thousands of years ago with ancient civilizations cultivating the first tomatoes.

Tomato Colors

Did you know that tomatoes come in all sorts of colors – not just red and yellow? At local nurseries, you may not find any other colors besides red, yellow, and maybe pink. They come in different hues of red, pink, black (yes, black!), brown, purple, green, and white. 

Some tomatoes even have swirls and stripes! They can be swirled with yellow and pink or red, green and dark crimson, and purple and green – just to name a few. These colors appear on both the outside AND the inside of the tomato.

Characteristics of Yellow Tomatoes

Yellow tomatoes are a delightful variant of the classic red tomato that bring a splash of color and a unique taste to your garden harvest.

Color and Appearance

Yellow tomatoes range from a pale lemon to a deep gold hue, offering a visual feast for your garden and plate. Shapes vary from the tiny, round cherry tomatoes like Sun Gold, to the larger, meaty beefsteaks such as Yellow Brandywine. Their skin is typically smoother and doesn’t crack as easily as some red varieties.

Taste Profile

Yellow tomatoes will often include a sweeter and milder flavor compared to their red counterparts. Although they taste less acidic in comparison to red tomatoes, they’re surprisingly not. Both yellow and red tomatoes are similar in acidity levels. The main difference is their sugar content. Another difference in their taste is that yellow tomatoes lack lycopene. Lycopene is a natural pigment known as a carotenoid and it is related to beta-carotene. Beta-carotene gives vegetables and fruits their color, like the red of a tomato. 

Nutritional Benefits of Tomatoes

There are plenty of vitamins and minerals in tomatoes, so they’re more than just a colorful addition to your dishes.

Among the nutrients they provide, yellow tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is vital for your immune system, skin health, and even the repair of body tissues. To break it down, here’s a list of the key nutrients you’ll get from these sunny fruits:

  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant that supports your immune system.
  • Vitamins B1, B3, B6 and B9: These contribute to proper nerve function and energy production.
  • Magnesium and Potassium: Electrolytes that help maintain heart health and blood pressure.
  • Copper: Important for red blood cell formation and iron absorption.

We talked about lycopene previously. According to WedMD, lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has so many benefits. “It supports healthy skin, protecting it from sun damage; reduces the risk of developing certain types of cancer; plays a role in strengthening bones and bone tissue; supports the eyes, heart, and eyes,” (WebMD).

Notably, yellow tomatoes are low in vitamins E and K, and have negligible vitamin A and D. However, they do contain modest amounts of calcium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus, alongside trace quantities of selenium—each contributing its own set of advantages for your well-being.

Remember, enjoying these tomatoes in your salads, sandwiches, or salsas is not only a treat for your taste but also a boon for your body.

So you’re hyped about trying out yellow tomatoes, but don’t know where to start. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. There are lots of yellow tomato cultivars (types of yellow tomatoes) to choose from. Before we take a look at some popular types of yellow tomatoes, let’s review some terminology first that you’ll come across.

Tomato Growing Terminology

  • Determinate: Determinate tomato plants, which include bush varieties, are a smaller type of plant  in comparison to indeterminate tomato plants. They average about 4 to 5 feet tall. Once they reach a certain height, they’ll stop growing. Their fruit will also mature earlier and will ripen simultaneously. 
  • Indeterminate: Unlike determinate tomato plants that will reach a certain height and then stop growing, determinates continue to grow….and grow… and grow! In fact, they can reach at least 10 feet tall! In contrast to determinate tomato plants, indeterminates have a longer growing season but start to produce fruit later in the growing season. They can produce fruit up until the first frost.

    [RELATED POST: The Ultimate Guide to Determinate Versus Indeterminate Tomatoes]
  • Heirloom: These are old varieties of fruits and vegetables that have been passed down from generation to generation. They’re open-pollinated and are the result of natural selection. They aren’t purposely pollinated with other varieties like hybrids are.
  • Hybrids: No, these have nothing to do with being GMO. Hybrids are controlled selection of specific traits and crossed to produce certain types of fruit or vegetable. For example, two types of tomatoes could be selected to be pollinated for their disease resistant traits.

Now that we have some common terminology in mind and have an understanding, let’s move onto popular yellow tomatoes.

Lemon Boy

Lemon Boy tomatoes are a bright spot in any garden, known for their vibrant lemon-yellow color and large fruit size. You’ll enjoy their tangy yet sweet taste that’s perfect for salads and sandwiches. This type of tomato is an indeterminate and a hybrid. It’s known for its disease resistance to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt,  nematodes, alternaria stem canker, and gray leaf spot.

how to grow tomatoes
Lemon Boy

Golden Jubilee

This variety is not only hearty but offers a thick, meaty texture that’s excellent for slicing for sandwiches and salads, and even canning. It has a low acid flavor and great for other dishes like tomato sauce, salsa, and tomato juice. This is another type of indeterminate tomato that will require some sort of support. It was released to the world in 1943 after 6 generations of crossing ‘Tangerine’ and ‘Rutgers’ tomatoes.

[RELATED POST: 6 of the Best Tomato Trellis Ideas]

growing tomatoes for beginners
golden jubilee

Yellow Pear

For those who favor adorable, bite-sized tomatoes, Yellow Pear is a delightful pick. These small, pear-shaped tomatoes have a burst of sweetness, making them irresistible snacks and a charming addition to salads. Yellow Pears are an heirloom indeterminate variety that gets LOTS of small fruit.

yellow tomatoes
yellow pear

Carolina Gold Hybrid

This is a bigger fruit that weighs between 8 to 12 ounces and known as a slicer. This is a tomato that’s perfect for sandwiches with a mild, sweet flavor. It’s also crack resistant, which is helpful when the summer gets too hot or there’s a lot of rain. Carolina Golds are a determinate variety which is a great type for those looking for a more compact plant. It’ll still require support since the fruit is pretty heavy.

types of tomato plants
Carolina Gold Hybrid

Gold Nugget

Gold Nugget is a small cherry tomato that’s also a determinate. It has a very tender texture to it since it has a super thin skin. This type of tomato is great for snacking and has a mild, sweet flavor. It also has a really short window from planting to harvest time. Fruit can be harvested in as little as 55 days.

how to grow tomatoes for beginners
Gold nugget with yellow pear

Cultivation Tips

Growing yellow tomatoes is a rewarding endeavor, as their vibrant color and unique flavor add diversity to your garden. Success hinges on proper planting techniques and diligent care throughout the growing season.


To ensure a robust start, plant your yellow tomato seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost. Transplant them outdoors when they are about 6 inches tall and the danger of frost has passed. Choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily and prepare the soil to be well-draining and rich in organic matter for optimal growth.

Care and Maintenance

Watering: Yellow tomatoes require consistent moisture, so aim to provide about 1 inch of water per week. Using a drip irrigation system can help maintain moisture levels without overwatering.

Pruning: Regularly prune your plants to remove any diseased leaves and to help increase air circulation, which can reduce disease risk. Also, consider staking or caging to support the plants as they grow. Pruning helps to return energy back to the plant to focus on producing fruit. Remove any suckers.

Fertilizing: Feed your yellow tomatoes with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks. However, be cautious with nitrogen-heavy fertilizers, as they can promote more foliage growth over fruit production.

Pest and Disease Management: Keep an eye out for common pests such as aphids and tomato hornworms. Remove pests by hand or use organic insecticidal options. As for diseases, select disease-resistant varieties and practice crop rotation to minimize issues.

Remember, regular care is essential to cultivate a healthy and fruitful yellow tomato garden.

Pest and Disease Management

When growing yellow tomato varieties, it’s important to keep an eye out for common pests and diseases that can affect your plants. Early detection is key, so you want to regularly inspect your plants for any signs of trouble.


  • Aphids: These small, sap-sucking insects can cause yellowing and distorted leaves. You can often manage aphids by rinsing them off with water or using insecticidal soaps.
  • Tomato Hornworms: Large, green caterpillars that can quickly defoliate a plant. Hand-picking and biological controls, like introducing beneficial insects, can be effective.


  • Early Blight: Look for brown spots on leaves, which can lead to leaf drop. Prune affected areas and ensure good air circulation around plants.
  • Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus: Manifested by stunted growth and curled yellow leaves – it’s transmitted by whiteflies. To manage, use disease-free plants and control whitefly populations.

For both pests and diseases, choosing resistant varieties can be a major game-changer.

Cultural Practices:

  • Rotate your tomato crops to reduce disease carryover.
  • Keep the area weed-free to minimize habitat for pests.
  • Ensure adequate spacing to improve air circulation.

By staying vigilant and employing these strategies, you can help keep your yellow tomatoes healthy throughout the growing season. For more detailed guidance on pest management, you might find the info on HortiFresh useful. Remember, with tomatoes, prevention is often easier than cure!

Harvesting and Storage

When your yellow tomatoes have reached their full color—whether it’s a deep gold or a pale lemon hue—it means they’re ready for harvesting. Gently twist the tomato from the stem or use a pair of clippers to avoid damage.

Storing Fresh Tomatoes:
Keep your harvested tomatoes at room temperature for the best flavor and to avoid premature rotting, which can happen in colder conditions. If you have an abundant harvest, consider these methods to extend the shelf life:

  • Countertop: Just for a few days until they are fully ripe.
  • Refrigerator: Only for short-term storage to slow ripening.
  • Freezing: Ideal for long-term storage; freeze whole or peeled. For easy peeling, dip tomatoes in boiling water for about 45 seconds and then in ice water before peeling (Link to Harvest to Table).

Canning and Drying:
This not only preserves your yellow tomatoes but also makes for a versatile ingredient in cooking:

  • Canning: Process in boiling water or a pressure canner.
  • Drying: Use a dehydrator or sun-dry for a concentrated flavor.

Remember, your tomatoes are best used fresh, but these methods will help you enjoy your harvest throughout the year. Proper storage enhances their sweet, tangy flavor and maintains the nutrients. Happy gardening and savor your yellow tomatoes in every season!

Culinary Uses

Your bright, sunny kitchen deserves the vibrant touch of yellow tomatoes, and you’ll be delighted by their versatility. Here’s a quick guide to get you started!

  • Salads: Slice or chop them to add a pop of color and a sweet, fruity flavor to your greens.
    • Tip: Pair with a light vinaigrette to let their taste shine!
  • Cooking: Whether you’re sautéing or grilling, yellow tomatoes soften beautifully, enhancing dishes without overpowering them.
    • Favorite Dish? A simple pasta toss with olive oil and fresh herbs!
PreparationYellow Tomato VarietyDish Suggestion
FreshYellow PearCaprese salad
RoastedLemon BoyBlend into soup or sauce
PreservedGolden JubileeJams and chutneys

Don’t hesitate to integrate them into your favorite recipes. They’re particularly lovely in Yellow Tomato and Corn Gazpacho, where their mild sweetness perfectly compliments the corn’s summer freshness.

Remember, you don’t need to limit your use of yellow tomatoes to sophisticated dishes. A simple sandwich or burger with slices of this sunny delight can transform your meal. And yes, they make delectable salsas and bruschettas too!

Lastly, don’t overlook their decorative appeal. A bowl of mixed red and yellow cherry tomatoes can be as alluring as any table centerpiece. So go ahead, brighten up your plate and enjoy the subtle nuances of this cheerful variety in your cooking adventures!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yellow tomatoes offer a unique twist in culinary applications with their vibrant color and taste. Here’s what you need to know about them.

What dishes can I enhance with yellow tomatoes?

You can brighten up salads, sandwiches, and salsas with yellow tomatoes. Their sweet and mild flavor also makes them perfect for a colorful gazpacho or a fresh summer bruschetta.

How can I tell if a yellow tomato is ripe?

A ripe yellow tomato will have a uniform golden color and be slightly firm with a little give when gently pressed. It should also have a fragrant tomato aroma, which is a reliable indicator of good flavor.

What are the best conditions for growing large yellow tomatoes?

Large tomatoes thrive in well-draining, fertile soil with plenty of sunlight. Maintaining a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 and providing consistent watering will encourage better growth and fruit production.

Are there any acid-free yellow tomatoes?

Yes, there are some that have lower acid content, making them more gentle on the stomach. Cultivars such as Yellow Brandywine are known for their sweet, rich flavor without the acidity often found in red tomatoes.

What distinguishes yellow heirloom tomatoes from other tomato types?

Yellow heirloom tomatoes are often praised for their exceptional flavor and historical significance. They are open-pollinated, which means they’re not hybrid and have been passed down through generations, preserving their unique characteristics.

Can yellow Roma tomatoes be used the same way as red ones in cooking?

Absolutely, yellow Roma tomatoes can be used in the same culinary applications as red Roma tomatoes. They are excellent for sauces, pastes, and drying, offering a rich, sweet flavor that can transform your dishes.

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