Baked Grape Tomatoes with Basil and Gluten-Free Cornbread Crumbs

baked grape tomatoes with basil and gluten-free cornbread crumbs
Baked grape and cherry tomatoes with basil and cornbread crumbs.

I'm all for eating local (if it's organic- I can't see the point of chowing down on pesticides for the virtue of having traveled only sixty forty twenty miles to my plate). I'm also big on eating in tune with the seasons. I sashay right by strawberries in February- with nary a twinge of envy. I ignore tomatoes in January with a disdain worthy of a cane-wagging Dowager Countess.

With one glaring exception.

Those flirtatious little baskets of grape tomatoes- and those shameless, curvy cherry tomatoes. So plump and sweet and brazen. So... come hither. The rosy taste of summer itself.


And although my winter cravings tingle toward a melting, bubbling, butter soft gluten-free lasagna hot from the oven, I admit without shame I miss the bright, acidic burst of Venus' favorite fruit. And I succumb. I cave like a saddle-shoed Catholic school girl offered a menthol in the girl's room. Without a blink of embarrassment. Because I have a plan, thanks to food blogger Lydia at The Perfect Pantry.

A plan to coax these devilish beauties from their summer vacay glory into the guise of winter comfort food.

I gather them and cradle them in olive oil and toasted gluten-free cornbread crumbs.

I bake them.

baked tomatoes and cornbread crumbs
A taste of summer, hot from the oven.

As soon as I saw the recipe for Baked Cherry Tomatoes over at The Perfect Pantry I knew I would love it. Tiny tomatoes, fresh garlic, Italian herbs, olive oil, breadcrumbs. What's not to love? It's Mediterranean cooking at it's simplest and most sublime.

I've tweaked the recipe to make it gluten-free, of course. There's not a speck of gluten in my version. But you'd never guess. Which makes this easy-to-create side dish an instant top ten favorite for pot lucks and picnics and any number of anxiety inducing gatherings we gluten-free goddesses fret about.

Serve this heavenly dish without a whisker of apology. Don't even bother mentioning its gluten-free and vegan status. These Italian baked tomatoes are so tasty you'll be asked for the recipe. By gluten eaters. By carnivores. I promise.

In place of plain bread crumbs (a definite no-no for gluten-free folks) I used a wedge of my Yeasted Quinoa Cornbread to make tender golden crumbs that taste like polenta. For the tomatoes I used both yellow and red organic grape tomatoes (to me they're slightly sweeter than cherry tomatoes; but use what you can get in your part of the world; both are delicious baked). And for the oregano I used basil.

Just because.

baked grape tomatoes and gluten free conrnbread crumbs
Baked grape tomatoes with cornbread crumbs are a fab side dish.

Baked Grape Tomatoes Recipe with Basil and Cornbread Crumbs

Cherry and grape tomatoes are tasty year round. A big plus for those of us longing for the juicy robust tomatoes of summer. Consider this a sneak preview of some fabulous summer eating.


3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
30-40 yellow and red grape or cherry tomatoes (depending on size)
1 cup gluten-free cornbread (or GF corn muffin) crumbs
2 teaspoons dried organic basil
Fine sea salt
Fresh black pepper
Fresh basil chiffonade and leaves, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Slice a garlic clove in half and rub the cut sides on the bottom of a 9-inch glass pie plate. Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom.

Cut the tomatoes in half. I sliced the tomatoes both ways- lengthwise and widthwise- for variation.

In a food processor, process all the garlic till minced. Dump out onto a plate. Process the cornbread (or corn muffin) until you achieve an even crumb. Add in the dried basil, sea salt. Pulse to combine. Add in the minced garlic. Pulse. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into the crumbs and pulse briefly to distribute.

Place half of the grape tomato halves into the pie plate, split side up. Snuggle them in.

Sprinkle with the seasoned cornbread crumbs. Top with the remaining tomato halves, cut sides down, rounded side up. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the tomatoes.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tender.

These beauties can be served hot from the oven, warm, or at room temperature. Garnish with fresh basil chiffonade. (Chiffonade is a fancy word for rolling up several basil leaves like a cigar and slicing crosswise.)

Serves 4.

Recipe Source:

All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you. 

 photo Print-Recipe.png


We served these fabulous tomatoes with spring salad greens in vinaigrette on top of split baked potatoes drizzled with extra virgin olive, and sprinkled with sea salt and ground pepper. An easy and fabulous vegan supper.

These would also be amazing on a bed of simple pasta tossed in good olive oil- or better yet, this yummy basil pesto.


  1. Wow, this looks mighty good !

  2. I think the fish pairing sounds divine! I will be trying this soon.

  3. I'll be trying this TONIGHT! YUMMM

  4. This looks great! And so pretty...who doesn't like pretty food??! I'd add sliced black olives too. Serving with fish or pasta sounds delicious.

  5. I don't like raw tomatoes, but cooked is fine, and this sounds and looks delicious. I agree. I think it would make a great summer picnic side dish. Thanks!

  6. That looks so good. Such a wonderful Spring meal with those beautiful tomatoes. Wondering if it might work with almond meal in place of the corn bread.

  7. Ooh la la. That's all I can say. Words escape me.


  8. I have big-time tomato envy! Your photos are beautiful, and the GF version of these tomatoes looks more scrumptious than the original.

  9. I cannot wait to be eating this! Must make it now!!!!

  10. I love the photos. It looks so vibrant and fresh. Will be giving this a go, sounds delicious

  11. Really gorgeous! I'm definitely going to make some version of this.

  12. I was just thinking how great this would be as a summer side dish when I read your addendum to the post! It seems we think alike. Such fresh flavors, and you are definitely right about it making for a great pasta dish. I might have to try that out ASAP.

  13. Anonymous10:17

    This is great! I have always roasted any tomatoes I was sure I would lose with olive oil sea salt and herbs and used them in everything from eggs to pasta. This is a great new twist! Thanks! Judee

  14. moongypsy14:39

    This is very similar to one of my favorite pasta sauce recipes--here's a variation someone might like (do I remember right that you don't like onions?) Omit the bread crumbs. Toss the cut tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Spread into your pan (I use a cookie sheet), leaving the excess oil in the bowl. Then toss some thinly sliced onions into the bowl and use up the flavored oil. Sprinkle on top of the tomatoes and roast. Yummy.

  15. That looks so festive and delicious!

  16. So beautiful, and so GOOD! The cornmeal crumbs sound like they add just the right amount of texture and interest - and the hint of polenta makes it all the better. Actually, I would probably serve this on top of some piping hot polenta.....yummers!

  17. scrumptious, and gorgeous. Wow!

  18. Beautiful picture and recipe!

    I think they'd be heavenly on pasta, but you're right they'd be amazing on a baked potato, too! You've certainly got my mouth watering!

  19. Jules in Colo Spgs20:32

    Your recipes and GORGEOUS photos have allowed me to really enjoy cooking again! I got the Celiac diagnosis in January 2009 and was so overwhelmed I did not know where to turn. I also have to lose another 35 lbs and your recipes have helped me tremendously! THANK YOU!!

  20. I'm neither on a gluten-free diet nor am I a vegetarian and this looks mouth-wateringly delicious!!! Basil and corn bread all the way! :D

  21. Thanks again to Lydia from The Perfect Pantry for a fabulous recipe- I know I'll make this again and again. I love the simplicity--- and the sweet tangy flavor of roasted tomatoes.

    Thanks for everyone's lovely comments. Much appreciated! You all rock.



  22. Karina,
    We picked up our share from the local organic co-op on monday and received a bag of beautiful grape tomatoes. Then voila, Tuesday morning I see this recipe. We just had it for dinner with groper and roasted yukon gold potatoes. It was delicious! This recipe is what I call a "do over"!!
    Thanks for your amazing recipes!

  23. Jack00:37

    This was amazing. It took me two tries to get it right, but I gave my wife a special treat to tell her how much she means to me. Thank you so much.

    Jack O'Sullivan

  24. I made this tonight, and it was very tasty. My husband doesn't care for tomatoes in general, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I used cornflake crumbs instead of cornbread crumbs. I think that next time I'll put the crumbs on top becaue I'd like them a bit more crunchy and crumbly, and it will cut down on prep time not to have to arrange the tomatoes cut side up, then cut side down. Thanks for a great, easy idea!

  25. MCC- Yay. Glad it's a do again recipe. We thought so, too. Thanks to Lydia for the idea. xox

    Jack- Thanks! Hope she enjoyed it.

    Alison- To be honest- corn flakes are not the same as crumbs made from a homemade cornbread. To me, cornflakes taste like... breakfast cereal.

    I'd like to encourage you to try it with real cornbread crumbs- so tender, flavorful and tasty.


  26. Anonymous19:44

    Ah Karina, once again you're my hero! I had a huge container of grape tomatoes in my fridge and leftover g.f. cornbread in the freezer from making your Thanksgiving stuffing, and when I saw this recipe on your site, it was meant to be. My family wolfed down a double batch of tomatoes served over Tinkyada fettucini tossed with olive oil. Such an easy, refreshing meal. Thanks for making my new gluten-free-vegan lifestyle not only easier, but very enjoyable!



  27. I made this recipe a few days ago and just posted about it - its fantastic. So fresh and summery. I served mine crushed into bread so sadly not gluten free but oh so tasty :)

  28. Hi Karina! We love baked grape tomatoes but I've never thought about adding cornmeal crumbs. It sounds fabulous. I wrap and freeze my leftover cornbread and make croutons for soup and salads. I'll have to give this a try soon.

  29. Wow, that looks heavenly!

  30. Thank you, Karina darling. I've been bored with my gf cooking lately, but this little bit of heaven will light up my kitchen tomorrow!

  31. I love semi-cooked tomatoes like this, roasting them off concentrates the natural sugars and makes the juices a little bit syrupy. Another winner!

  32. Home-grown tomatoes and basil - summer bliss on a plate. Thank you for this delicious recipe that uses, for me, the best of my summer harvest. I agree - grape tomatoes always seem sweeter that cherry but either would be fine. Thank you for another superb recipe and well-written, interesting blog, Karin.

  33. Don't have quinoa flour -- can I use more of one of the other flours in the cornbread recipe?

  34. Thank you, all- you are wonderful. xox

    As for the quinoa flour sub in the cornbread- first, yes- sub any medium weight flour you like (buckwheat, brown rice, sorghum would all work). Second- I have more than one cornbread recipe here on the blog- and they're all a bit different. All tasty. Check out the bread recipe index. xox



  35. O.m.g. What an amazing dish.

  36. I just found your blog when i needed a pizza dough gluten free recipe i found yours from 2007! many thanks it was great

  37. Good luck with the unpacking. I used to live in West Hollywood and loved it! This dish looks delish.

  38. I just whipped this up to take to a potluck wedding this afternoon. It smells delicious! Thanks for all your great recipes.

  39. Mmm, I have to try this! I was actually just thinking that I would like to incorporate more meatless meals into my diet. This will be a perfect Valentine's Day Dinner with the pesto pasta you suggest, with gf chocolate soufflés to follow! :) Thanks Karina!

  40. Oh my this looks so good would be great as a stuffing substitute!

  41. I actually wanted to comment on your green chile stew, but the comments were closed...I almost fell off my sofa when you mentioned the Espanola Walmart! I spent my sophomore year in high school living in Espanola with my wonderful grandparents and there was NOTHING there at the time. It was a good weekend if you could find someone to drive you into town (Santa Fe) to do something. I went back a few years ago and didn't recognize the town. Espanola has definitely grown up.

    I just went gluten free this week, hoping to work out my tummy troubles and am glad to have stumbled upon your blog.

  42. Well here in Uganda tomatoes are ALWAYS in season (and always local), but typically only romas. SO I cut up the romas sitting in the basket on my counter. I didn't have time to make the cornbread and then crumbs by lunch, so I made the tomatoes sans the crumbs...and just made the cornbread separately. Perfect served with a simple green salad for this hot and dusty season!

  43. LOVED them! Didn't have fresh basil so I used a dried Italian herb mix (something Penzey's mailed me for free that I hadn't had a chance to use :-) ), used a slice of gluten-free cornbread that was heading towards stale (the recipe was from the Bob's Red Mill bag), and some cherry tomatoes that were just past prime. It was a great way to use up stuff that otherwise might have gone to waste. Perfect bright spot in on a foggy CA evening. Thanks, Margaret

  44. This was delicious!!!! I added a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top of the cornbread crumbs...had it with a simple salad with champagne vinaigrette.