Stewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons

Side DishQuick and EasyVegetarianTomato

Stewed tomatoes with basil and freshly made toasted buttered croutons.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons 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 tablespoon butter
  • Garlic salt


1 Cook the tomatoes with butter, sugar, and seasonings: 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.

2 Make the croutons on the stovetop: 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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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15 Comments / Reviews

No ImageStewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Susan

    It was delicious! Very similar to what my mother made. She used torn pieces of white bread instead of croutons.
    Haven’t been there in several years but Claudia Sanders Dinner House in Shelbyville, Ky. had it on the menu. I always ordered it!


  2. Catherine

    Hmm, stewed tomatoes on buttered toast are very English. Served by my English mother to us frequently, but she usually just opened a can. I sometimes broil fresh tomatoes instead, and also like to spread Marmite or brown sauce (like HP) on the toast after buttering. Especially good with granary toast…..

  3. Susan

    What a beautiful recipe,loved it


  4. Cassandra

    Used part cherry, part large ripe tomatoes. With 4 tsp sugar the result was cloyingly sweet and inedible. If I make this again I’d not use any cherry toms and cut the sugar.

  5. Christine

    First time making stewed tomatoes! Topped it off with some freshly grated pecorino, with a side of fresh bread.

    Thanks for the good !!


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Stewed Tomatoes with CroutonsStewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons