Stewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons

Stewed tomatoes with basil and freshly made toasted buttered croutons.

  • 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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  • 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…..

  • Susan

    What a beautiful recipe,loved it

  • 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.

  • Christine

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

    Thanks for the good !!

  • Penny

    This was amazing! I can’t believe I discovered it toward the end of the season. I’ll never have extra tomatoes again…simple, easy and delicious!

  • Mom of 3

    I like mine with some red onion and bell pepper, it tastes like my great-grandma’s house in the height of summer. Farm fresh, South Jersey tomatoes and crusty bread dripping with butter. Yummy!!!
    Thanks for the memory jog!

  • Dana


    If you ever make it to central Pennsylvania on a Friday during Lent, you may be interested to see that a number of restaurants (normally those off the beaten path) have baked haddock, mac and cheese, and, of course, a side of stewed tomatoes as their special. Having to replicate this meal for a friend who was coming to visit on a Friday, I came to your site to find inspiration–and wasn’t disappointed. Fantastic recipe! Thank you for posting all the wonderful dishes you come across.


  • donius

    I’ve been cooking this since I saw it when you first posted it. When I do, I usually make some wheat / cheddar / jalapeño grilled cheese sammiches (minus jalapeños for wimpy wife) for dipping.

    It makes me drool. Thanks for the recipe. :)

  • Jonathan

    This is for Jee, re: the cream cheese croutons. I found a recipe for Goat Cheese Croutons some time ago, and they turned out great. The two can be similar in texture, so maybe cream cheese could be swapped for the goat cheese? It’s worth trying, eh? You may need to up the ante on the seasoning (more salt?) and increase the flour by a little. Like any recipe, I believe it’s the quality of the ingredients that makes the difference. That said, I’d use the undisputed king of cream cheese, Philadelphia brand. I’d also make sure it’s at room temp for even blending. Experiment!

    From “The Goat Cheese Cookbook” by Laura Chenel and Linda Siegfried.
    2/3 cup flour
    3 tablespoons butter
    5 ounces chevre (goat cheese), crumbled
    1 egg white, lightly beaten
    Coarse sea salt

    In a medium bowl or food processor, combine flour, butter, and goat cheese into a smooth dough. Roll the mixture into logs (about as thick as a quarter coin). Refrigerate, wrapped in wax paper, for at least one hour or overnight.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the logs into coin shapes approximately 1/4-inch thick. Prick with a fork and brush with the egg white. Sprinkle lightly with the sea salt. Bake approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, cool, and serve.

  • Jee


    I had them at *Washington Square* when I went there for the Restaurant Week earlier this year. (February, I believe?) I’ve never been back and don’t know if it’s a regular menu or if it was a special for Restaurant Week. You should definitely try it out if they still have it – !! Hope this helps. :)

  • Kristi

    Elise – looks like a winner! Stewed tomatoes are a staple on diner menus here in the northeast, but they are typically canned and so I rarely order them.

    Jee – I live in Philadelphia. Cream cheese croutons??!! Where did you have these, if I might ask??????

  • Amy

    I almost lived on stewed tomatoes while in college. It had the “soft and warm” quality that I was often looking for in order to keep home-sickness and the bracing cold of Vermont winters at bay. My favorite accompaniment, however, was a nice boiled potato (it was New England, after all). Yummy! Can’t wait to try your version.

  • 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.

  • 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!