Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes with macaroni and cheese and collard greens

Stewed tomatoes is a dish typical of the United States, prepared using fresh tomatoes, garlic and herbs, and consumed with bread or meat. Stew refers to the combination of vegetables and food ingredients that are cooked in a liquid medium. Moreover, Stewed Tomatoes is a stew made of tomatoes, it includes cooking the tomato at slow heat to keep its shape intact and only cook to such point that its flavors oozes out in order to create a tangy taste. Eaten both as main dish and a side dish, stewed tomatoes have made a special place for themselves in cuisine of the United States and is prepared on occasions such as Thanksgiving. Although the dish is old, it is still part of the diet of many in the United States. It also has high nutritional value.

As the final piece in my series of side dishes for soup beans, we have stewed tomatoes. There are of course variations of this dish in many different cuisines. This recipe is primarily based on the southern version, although the addition of green peppers probably snuck in from some other recipes.

I’ll be perfectly honest, this dish was a little on the sweet side for my taste. Well, I should say the left overs were on the sweet side for me; I didn’t notice the sweetness when it was fresh. That, however, seems to be the way it’s usualy made, although most recipes I looked at mentioned that you can reduce the amount of sugar if you don’t like it as sweet. I’ll have to try that next time.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from a southern stewed tomato recipe. Adding bread to it definitely wasn’t on my radar though. The bread soaks up the juice, which, given that most of the other dishes I made had pools of potlikker under them, was a nice feature.

Stewed Tomatoes

Serves: 5-6
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

3 ⅔ Tablespoons butter 
1 ½ small onion, diced
½ small green pepper, diced
1 28-oz. can tomatoes with juice
5 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
¾ teaspoon salt
⅜ teaspoon ground black pepper
6 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 slices bread, toasted and torn into 1” pieces

3 cloves garlic
¼ cup water
2 Tablespoons fresh basil

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and pepper and sauté until onion is translucent, 8-10 minutes. 

Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes begin to break down. 

Stir in toasted bread and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve.


Transfer your sautéed onion and pepper to a oven safe dish and stir in all remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

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