Stewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons

Stewed tomatoes is one dish I’ve never had any place but at home, cooked by my mother. I’ve never seen them on a menu anywhere, have you?

Too bad, too; as they are truly delicious, and so easy to make. Warning – do not skimp on the butter or sugar. The sugar is needed to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and the butter is absolutely necessary for the taste.

This batch was made with fresh heirloom tomatoes from the market; the better quality tomato you start with, the better the result will be. That said, during most of the year when farm fresh juicy tomatoes are not available we will make stewed tomatoes with canned tomatoes.

We also often mix in some cooked elbow macaroni instead of serving it with croutons. Oddly enough, stewed tomatoes of some sort is what we usually have to accompany tuna macaroni salad. Something about the over all mix of the flavors really works.

Stewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3



  • 3 cups cored, peeled, roughly chopped, fresh, ripe tomatoes (about 2 lbs)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped


  • 2 or 3 slices of crusty French or Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Garlic salt


1 Put peeled, chopped tomatoes, butter, sugar, salt and pepper into a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked, soft, and the flavors have blended. Add chopped basil and add more butter, sugar, salt and pepper if needed for balance.

stewed-tomatoes-method-600-1 stewed-tomatoes-method-600-2

2 Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a small frying pan on medium heat. Add the bread cubes, and arrange in a single layer on the pan. Let gently cook on medium heat so that the bread dries out and gets slightly toasted. Turn pieces over to toast other sides. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the croutons are crunchy dry, and slightly toasted. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Remove from heat.


Serve stewed tomatoes with a few croutons on top of each individual serving, and the rest of the croutons available in a small bowl to add as desired.

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Stewed Tomatoes with Croutons

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Showing 4 of 29 Comments

  • Lisa

    Yummy! Brings me back to my childhood. Dad and I loved stewed tomatoes with a batch of Mom’s mac and cheese. A little mac a chees on the fork & a little stewed tomato and WOW!
    Love all your recipes – thx!

  • MelBoe

    I grew up eating this, but my mom mixed untoasted bread into the tomatoes but no basil. We always made this with liver and onions (and mashed potatoes.) It is still one of my favorite meals. As for seeing it on menus, you have not traveled south enough. I find it down here quite often, usually on buffets.

  • jane

    I grew up eating stewed tomatoes with cheese souffle with my family. I would put that meal on my list of comfort food with Shepherd’s Pie and split pea soup. I have never made the tomatoes and souffle dinner as an adult, but now I am inspired to make it. Thank you.

  • Jee


    This made me think of a crouton I had a few months ago at a restaurant in Philadelphia. It was a ceasar salad with CREAM CHEESE CROUTONS and it was delicious!! However, I can’t find any recipes for cream cheese croutons – and was hoping you’d have some ideas about it. If you know anything, please let me know!! Thanks, :)

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