2 raw puff pastry cherry tomato tarts on a baking tray

Steam Oven Cherry Tomato Tarts

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The holidays are fast approaching. You need Christmas steam oven recipes. I’m your girl, starting today with these Christmas steam oven cherry tomato tarts.

These tarts have a creamy ricotta cheese and rich basil pesto filling, topped with halved cherry tomatoes which soften and wrinkle in the oven, concentrating their sweetness. All this sits atop a bed of the flakiest pastry ingredient list is a mere four items long (if you’re using store bought puff pastry, that is).

Christmas food in a steam oven

For as long as I’ve been creating steam oven recipes, mid-November has brought with it a flurry of emails and phone calls from panicked appliance owners about how to convert their favourite holiday recipes for the steam oven.

Some recipes are a pretty easy conversion.

Christmas pudding in the steam oven? So much easier than in a pot. Others take some effort or just don’t work that well (erm, no, you probably shouldn’t bake your shortbread in the steam oven). But the constant refrain I hear from people is that they bought a steam oven and now all their friends and family expect to be impressed by their amazing new cooking skills – never more so than during the festive season.

Often the person with the steam oven has a whole new kitchen or even a new house, and at some point past excitedly offered up their house for a party, ready to show off the new place. No pressure then.

With the above in mind, I’ve pulled together some simple fixes for steam oven holiday entertaining recipes. I have pointers and recipes for the more traditional dishes too, but mostly I’d like to arm you with some easy things you can prepare and whip out for parties big and small. Sort of a low-effort-high-impact arsenal of Christmas steam oven recipes. You can find the full range of steam oven recipes for Christmas by taking a look through the Christmas category on this site.

Puff pastry tarts in your steam oven

First up in the Christmas line-up? These utterly delicious combi steam cherry tomato tarts.

I love making little puff pastry tarts in the steam oven – they’re easy to put together, can be done totally in advance and cooked when guests arrive, and they always get a positive reaction which far outweighs the time taken to make them. Regular store bought puff pastry is literally elevated to new heights using combi steam (sorry, couldn’t help myself) and comes out of the oven incredibly flaky with a deeply golden exterior and tender interior.

These tarts are especially festive with a red, white and green theme thanks to the cherry tomatoes, ricotta cheese and basil pesto. Plus they’re inexpensive to make and vegetarian, which makes them a bit of an all around winner.

These tarts only take 12 minutes to cook in the steam oven so if you’re cooking for a crowd you can run a few batches through fairly quickly while everyone chats over drinks. I have a house full of people big and small this weekend, including a dedicated vegetarian, so I’ll be making some to feed my guests even though it’s not actually Christmas yet!

Happy steam oven cooking, see you here again soon (next week, a sweet festive recipe for the steam oven which makes for excellent gifts – I can’t wait to share it).

Do you want to use and love your steam oven more?

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Baked puff pastry cherry tomato tarts on a pale board.
Baked puff pastry cherry tomato tarts on a pale board.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Christmas Cherry Tomato Tarts

Flaky puff pastry topped with creamy ricotta cheese, basil pesto and sweet roasted cherry tomatoes. These easy little tarts are perfect for Christmas entertaining (or, um, entertaining at any time of year!).
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time22 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Australian, Italian
Keyword: puff pastry tarts, steam oven pastry, tomato tarts
Servings: 8 tarts
Calories: 232kcal


  • 1 sheet store-bought puff pastry 30cm/12” square, thawed
  • 5 oz 150g firm ricotta cheese about 2/3-3/4 cup. If your ricotta is quite wet, drain in a fine sieve for a couple of hours before use
  • 2 oz 50g basil pesto store bought is just fine
  • 12 cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved


  • Preheat your oven to 400⁰F/200⁰C, combination steam setting. If your oven has variable steam settings, use 50%. If not, don't worry! Just set to combination steam at the correct temperature and the oven will work out the humidity for you. Lightly grease a dark coloured baking tray or line with silicone paper.
  • Cut the pastry in half crosswise, then cut each half across into 4 rectangles. Lay the rectangles on the tray with a little space between each one and lightly score a 1/4"/5mm border around the edges of each piece with a sharp knife. Take care not to cut all the way through the pastry.
  • Divide the ricotta between the rectangles of pastry, spreading it up to the borders you’ve cut. Top each piece with three small dots of pesto, then put a halved cherry tomato, cut side up, onto the pesto.
  • Cook the tarts for 12 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened and the pastry is golden brown. Serve hot or warm.


This recipe can be easily scaled up for serving a crowd.
If you’d like to prep ahead, these tarts can be fully assembled and frozen, uncooked. They’ll keep that way for up to a couple of weeks and can be baked straight from frozen (allow a couple of extra minutes if you’re doing this).
I like to use a dark colored pan when baking puff pastry in my steam oven. It makes the bases of the tarts brown more easily.


Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 346IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg

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7 thoughts on “Steam Oven Cherry Tomato Tarts”

  1. Emily Rhodes

    At a guess I’d say around 10 minutes should do it. Basically, pull them out as soon as the pastry is puffy and golden; with that little filling the tomato will certainly be done by the time the pastry is.

  2. Kerri Symes

    If I make these bite size (one half a cherry tomato each) how long would I cook them please?

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe gave me all the confidence I needed to bake with frozen filo dough, and in the end, I couldn’t believe how easy it was – a “beginner” recipe but no one would guess! It proved super easy to bake a little bit ahead and keep warm for when the guests arrived.

  4. Emily Rhodes

    Thanks Judy. It’s definitely still coming together, just a lot more slowly than I had anticipated! If you’re a blog subscriber you’ll be the first to know when it’s ready for release. 🙂

  5. I echo Catherine’s comments and look forward to your book of recipes for a combi-steam oven! Thank you !!

  6. Emily Rhodes

    Thanks Catherine, I’m glad you’re finding all the information helpful and hopefully you’ll feel confident using your new oven as soon as it’s installed!

  7. I really appreciate when you note the amount of steam for each recipe, as I am putting a fancy steam/electric oven into my new home and have no idea of how to judge the combo of steam & normal heat. I have been shocked at how hard it has been to find any recipes – which makes your newsletters /Facebook very special, Thankyou

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