Forget the Potatoes: Indulge in the Bounty of Summer with the Best Scalloped Tomatoes

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.

Vertical image of roasted tomatoes and gooey melted cheese on a spatula held up to the camera, with the rest of the casserole in a square glass baking dish in the background, with whole red fruits in soft focus on a brown wood surface.

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.

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?

Vertical top-down shot of a square glass baking dish of a casserole with melted cheese, fresh herbs, and golden brown breadcrumbs on top, on a brown wood surface with two red tomatoes and a sprig of green basil.

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.

Scalloped tomatoes with chicken parmesan topped with minced parsley on a white and blue plate, with whole, fresh vegetables and herbs in the background.

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.

Trust me.

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.

Sliced tomatoes topped with melted cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs, on a white patterned plate with a fork, with whole basil leaves and a red whole fruit in the background, on a brown wood table.

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.

Not to mention, it makes a fantastic light lunch alongside a salad and a slice or two of bread.

Believe me when I say, you may not be able to eat baked tomatoes made any other way again once you’ve tried this.

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
Four tomato slices, topped with melted cheese, breadcrumbs, and chopped herbs, on a white patterned plate with two piece of cooked chicken topped with minced parsley in the background.

The Best Scalloped Tomatoes


  • Author: Meghan Bassett
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Make the most of ripe summer tomatoes with the best scalloped side dish, baked with cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, and herbs.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter.
  2. Arrange sliced tomatoes in even rows in the prepared pan, sprinkling 1 tablespoon shredded mozzarella in between each slice.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, sugar, basil, thyme, and oregano. Drizzle over the top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper.
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir together the parmesan cheese and toasted breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the tomatoes.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
  6. Garnish with additional fresh herbs and serve warm.

Notes

Adapted from a recipe by Shanna Mallon.

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.

A small glass bowl of shredded cheese, five red tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a small bowl of breadcrumbs, on a brown wood surface.

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.

Oblique view of layered tomato slices and shredded Italian cheese in a square glass baking dish, on a brown tabletop with sprigs of fresh thyme.

After you add each slice, sprinkle with about a tablespoon of shredded mozzarella.

Step 3 – Make Herb Topping

Place the olive oil, garlic, sugar, basil, thyme, and oregano in a small bowl. Whisk together to combine well.

Vertical oblique view of a glass baking dish filled with layered tomato slices and shredded cheese, with a small glass dish of olive oil and another small bowl of chopped herbs and spices in the foreground, on a brown wood surface.

Drizzle the herb topping over the top of the dish.

A glass baking dish filled with sliced red tomatoes, chopped herbs, and shredded cheese.

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.

Oblique shot of a square glass baking dish of tomato casserole, topped with shredded cheese and breadcrumbs.

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top.

Step 5 – Bake

Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top should be bubbling and golden brown.

A baked tomato dish topped with chopped green herbs and golden brown melted cheese.

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.

Four tomato slices, topped with melted cheese, breadcrumbs, and chopped herbs, on a white patterned plate with two piece of cooked chicken topped with minced parsley in the background.

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:

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!


Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing different views of a scalloped tomato recipe.

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 28, 2018 at 15:31 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.

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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.

13 thoughts on “Forget the Potatoes: Indulge in the Bounty of Summer with the Best Scalloped Tomatoes

  1. You know, I’m so glad that you posted about tomatoes today. I came home from work this evening to stare longingly at the large fruit bowl of lonely heirloom and roma tomatoes from my garden… which I can’t eat right now (the acid is the worst). They are begging to be roasted over a spinach and feta pizza, tossed with spaghetti squash or scalloped as in this mouthwatering display. Surprisingly, it was comforting (instead of taunting) to read about them. Hehe… thank you 🙂

  2. oh yes! If I might add, tomatoes were the perfect, warm and comforting (albeit dangerous) food to divulge the story of your Crohn’s. I truly hope that your situation does not exacerbate. However, if it becomes harder to eat everything you want to, I have a feeling that you will enjoy the creativity of trying to modify dangerous foods to become benign and remain exciting.

  3. Finding joy in the little things instead of waiting for the big ones is something too few people do. Although I must say, tomatoes are a very. big. thing. 🙂

  4. thank you for sharing this with us! this dish looks lovely, and with the coming Fall (i’ve woken up three days in a row slightly cold) season, it’s the perfect thing to just whip up and pop in the oven for a warm dinner.

  5. That tomato dish looks fabulous! Oddly enough, in Northern FL here, their tomato season is quite early, so we missed the loads of juicy (local) tomatoes by about a month. I’ll have to get some from Publix to try this.

  6. Lan, Thank you, friend, and I hope you try this soon! I couldn’t believe how the tomatoes had changed in the oven, and I ate almost the whole pan in two days.

    Amanda, I didn’t realize that about Florida! I bet you’ll have your fill of other, tropical (?) stuff all winter though, and that will be wonderful!

    JessieV, You really need to try these tomatoes—ah-ma-zing.

    Alicia, I have GOT to bring you some tomatoes next time we see each other—making a serious mental note. Stay tuned and thank you!

    TJ, Thank you so much, and I hope you’ll try this recipe, it’s amazing!

  7. redmenace, I still can’t get over how good these tomatoes were. You and Edna Lewis were so right because I LOVE THEM. So really, thank you!

    Gemma, Thank you so much for your sweet words. I wish you liked tomatoes more, too, but I was a slow-comer to them so I understand!

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