Scalloped potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes to serve, particularly when the weather is cold. The tender potatoes, the rich creamy cheese sauce, and the bubbling golden brown deliciousness on top is everything you need in a side dish.
Of course, with the summer rolling in hot and fast, the scalloped potato side dish that I know and love is not exactly what I want to be serving up with heavy grilled meats and such.
So long for now, cheesy potato tian…
Instead of turning to new side dishes, I decided to do something radical and turn my favorite, traditionally potato-based, side dish into something perfect for summer.
May I present these lovely scalloped tomatoes?
Now, this is a bit different than the traditional scalloped potato recipe. It doesn’t have the traditional thick and rich cream sauce that you are used to because this particular vegetable (okay, I know, technically a fruit) contains a lot of liquid, and can’t quite stand up to that richness in the same way that potatoes can.
So instead, this is a lightened up version of the recipe that makes the flavor of the featured ingredient shine and your taste buds sing with joy. The cream sauce just isn’t the right pairing, so instead, we’ll go in a different direction.
Okay, I’m going to real with you all here for a moment:
Generally I don’t love talking about the recipes I try and fail, but I’m going to share this particular experience with you all.
I tried to make this recipe with the cream sauce… and it ended up being a soupy mess that I discovered upon removing it from the oven. It was basically tomatoes floating in sauce and their own juice. Definitely not the appealing scalloped look I was initially going for.
Therefore, as a pro tip from me to you, don’t go trying that method. It’s not the end result you want.
So, as a modification, this scalloped tomatoes recipe contains a bunch of freshly grated cheese so you get that melted goodness in every single bite. You still get the cheesy flavor that you know from traditional scalloped potatoes, but in a way that highlights the fresh fruits of summer instead!
Even better, I made sure to load up the baking dish with a bunch of fresh herbs to bring out the juicy fresh flavor of the ripened tomatoes. The oregano, basil, and thyme are all traditional flavor pairing favorites, and they simply explode with deliciousness in this casserole.
It’s a great summertime side dish that pairs delightfully with everything that you love to cook up this season each year. Personally, I love to pair it with grilled chicken thighs, but you can also pair it with steak or fish, or your favorite protein.
Believe me when I say, you may not be able to eat baked tomatoes made any other way again once you’ve tried this. Look away, tomato cobbler with buttermilk biscuits.
The acidic tomato, the creamy richness of mozzarella, the salty umami flavor of parmesan, and the crunch of the breadcrumbs on top provides a ton of tastes and textures to play across your taste buds.Print
Make the most of ripe summer tomatoes with the best scalloped side dish, baked with cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, and herbs.
- Butter, to grease the pan
- 6–7 large vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch slices
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped oregano leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter.
- Arrange sliced tomatoes in even rows in the prepared pan, sprinkling 1 tablespoon shredded mozzarella in between each slice.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, basil, thyme, and oregano. Drizzle over the top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper.
- In a separate small bowl, stir together the parmesan cheese and toasted breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the tomatoes.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
- Garnish with additional fresh herbs and serve warm.
Adapted from a recipe by Shanna Mallon.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: tomato, casserole, vegetable, side dish
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure the Ingredients
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wash all of the produce well, and dry the herbs using a salad spinner, or paper towels.
Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, slice tomatoes into ¼-inch-thick slices.
If you did not buy the cheese already prepared, shred the mozzarella and grate the parmesan.
Remove the stems from the herbs. Chop the basil, thyme, and oregano leaves in the required amounts.
To toast the breadcrumbs, place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with ½ teaspoon olive oil and use your hands to toss to coat. Spread in an even layer and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350°F until golden brown and toasted. Keep a close eye on them, so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
Measure the remaining ingredients as listed. Set out all of the ingredients in the order they are listed to make it easier to pull together the recipe.
Step 2 – Arrange Tomatoes and Cheese
Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter. Add the sliced tomatoes in rows.
After you add each slice, sprinkle with about a tablespoon of shredded mozzarella.
Step 3 – Make Herb Topping
Place the olive oil, garlic, basil, thyme, and oregano in a small bowl. Whisk together to combine well.
Drizzle the herb topping over the top of the dish.
Sprinkle evenly with the salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Step 4 – Make Breadcrumb Topping
In another small bowl, stir together the parmesan cheese and toasted breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top.
Step 5 – Bake
Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top should be bubbling and golden brown.
Garnish with fresh herbs as desired, and serve warm.
Ripe Summertime Produce Is Pure Heaven
Tomatoes enjoyed in the summertime are pure heaven.
Everyone I know freak out about them because this is the one time of year when tomatoes are really tomatoes. They are the flavorful fruits that you know and love, not the ones that are simply waterlogged in the winter, with zero flavor.
If you need some more ideas for how to make the most of your tomatoes this summer, check out a few of the recipes listed below:
- Learn how to store fresh tomatoes and make fresh concasse if you have a bumper crop. You don’t want them going bad too quickly.
- Do you love making bloody mary’s or drinking V8? Check out this homemade V8-style juice recipe, and our version of a spicy classic cocktail with home-infused vodka.
- Get your grill game on with these healthy and extremely tasty grilled balsamic lamb kabobs to use all those cherry or grape tomatoes you have growing in your garden (and on that note, become an expert at growing your own with these tips from our sister site, Gardener’s Path).
- Make your homegrown crop last all year long with this homemade oven-dried tomatoes recipe. They make a great addition to sauces, dips, salads, risotto, and so much more.
When you try this side dish, be sure to come back and rate the recipe. Tell us what you paired it with for your summer meal in the comments below!
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Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on August 31st, 2009. Last updated: August 1, 2022 at 16:25 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.