Rustic Tomato Bake.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 2-3 cups bread (Italian, French, or a baguette – the crustier the better), cut into 1″ cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2.5 lbs tomatoes (Ina recommends plum tomatoes, but I’ve never used them), cut into 1″ dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add bread cubes and stir, tossing to coat them with oil. Toast for about 5 minutes, until lightly and evenly browned.
  2. Add tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper to toasted bread. Cook and stir for 5 minutes more, then stir in basil leaves.
  3. Immediately transfer the tomato mixture to a baking dish (see note below) and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 35-40 minutes, until tomatoes are bubbly and the cheese is brown.
  4. Serve hot or warm as a dinner side dish, or with a crispy fried egg for brunch!


The original recipe calls for 2 cups of bread, but since I have always used tomatoes that are juicier than plum tomatoes, I use 3 cups to balance out the increased liquid.

That said – even though you toast the bread, it’s soggy after baking. But don’t let that scare you away! Kind of like when you eat French onion soup…you’re eating soggy bread, but it’s okay, it’s cool, just don’t overthink it. You could try draining the tomatoes if you would prefer the finished dish to be drier, or go with the plum tomatoes. I think a denser bread helps, too.

I typically make this in an 11×7 baking dish, but an 8×8 pan works as well. I’d like to try leaving it an ovenproof skillet, too, but haven’t yet.

Recipe is slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s Scalloped Tomatoes