12 Tempting Stewed Tomato Recipes to Spice Up Day

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Tomatoes are one of the most well-known vegetables, or should we say fruit, out there. They are the sigil of Italian cuisine, but are also used far and wide and in nearly every culture.

15 Best Stewed Tomato Recipes To Try Today

Modern shipping and cultivation methods has led to the fact that early everyone has access to fresh tomatoes in their local grocery store, and basically anyone can grow them. So long as you have some sun, you can grow tomatoes, although they grow better in a greenhouse when in colder climates.

Wherever you get your tomatoes they are arguably one of the most versatile vegetables out there, being part of many cuisines, but with a few tomatoes you could make a whole host of dishes.

Whether you simply want a recipe for some stewed tomatoes to do your thing with, or want to know wider contexts within which you can stewed tomatoes, we have you covered.

Keep reading to learn more about stewed tomatoes and how to use them in different cuisines.

What Are Stewed Tomatoes?

Without going on too much, when we talk about stewed tomatoes we are basically talking about tinned tomatoes, tomatoes which have been cooked somewhat until they lose most of their structure and become sweeter and more jam-like.

Simply by cooking tomatoes down in a pan you can create stewed tomatoes, exactly the same way they do with tinned tomatoes.

Effectively, all the recipes will include cooked tomatoes in some way, but importantly not fresh tomatoes, which has a different culinary use.

Best Stewed Tomato Recipes

Read below to find our favorite recipes that use stewed tomatoes!

Latin Inspired Stewed Tomatoes

This simple dish shows how with a few additions you can change simple stewed tomatoes into something more aligned with one cuisine, in this case the Latin American cuisines.

By adding bell peppers, and typically you would add chillies as well, you get something that is almost salsa like – simply add chiles and onions for a salsa (see also “Differences Between California And Guajillo Chiles“). You could use this in a chile recipe, for refried beans, any Latin dish that requires tomatoes.

Simple Stewed Tomatoes

This recipe shows how we can make our own stewed tomatoes basically as its own dish. In the summer if you have particularly fresh and good tomatoes, this dish on its own could be really good for a starter to serve with some fresh bread (see also “How To Make Cherry Beer Bread“).

This shows how humble ingredients when cultivated properly and with the right recipe, we can create something simple but actually really tasty and still blow away guests thanks to these humble ingredients.

Southern Style Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes have, unsurprisingly, also made their way into our own American cuisines. These stewed tomatoes are created in your classic Southern style.

The addition of bacon is your classic American ingredient but it does impart some really good flavor, thanks to beef fat (see also “Best Shredded Beef Recipes“), into the stewed tomatoes adding that lip smacking umami flavor, pleasurably soaked up into the added croutons.

Even though this already has bread in it, you could have this on toast for a super tasty and fresh breakfast.

Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes

Tomatoes grow like wildfire in Italy, their native environment, so many Italian dishes use stewed tomatoes, but this dish shows how you can make Italian inspired tomatoes to use wherever you see fit.

The addition of basil and oregano is the main ingredient here that separates these tomatoes from other cuisines into Italian, two ingredients that tomatoes love. You could eat these on toast, as a side, as a pizza sauce or even with pasta as a pasta sauce. 

Shakshuka (Eggs In Purgatory)

Shakshuka, what is commonly referred toas ‘eggs in purgatory’ in the west, is a stewed tomato and egg dish enjoyed in North Africa and the Middle East.

This dish is a super breakfast that is pretty  healthy and cooks eggs in an interesting way.

Without the eggs, this dish is basically stewed tomatoes, but, cleverly, someone figured out you can poach the eggs in the tomato sauce pretty easily creating a dish that is both fresh and tomatoey but also indulgent and sumptuous thanks to the eggs.

Serve with some bread for a great breakfast you can share with the whole family.

Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is very much a stewed tomato dish, which we may not realize, but is actually a super way to use a surplus of tomatoes or any base of stewed tomatoes you already have.

Tomato soup is ideal when you feel sick as a comforting food, maybe with grilled cheese. Yet, it is also, with a little effort, can be a crowd winning starter dish, ideal to serve alongside bread.

This particular dish goes the Italian route with their tomato soup recipe, making it particularly creamy as well as basil and parmesan cheese to balance the pleasant acidity of the soup. 

Gazpacho

If we’re going to mention tomato soup, we have to mention gazpacho, potentially a dish you may not have heard of. The dish is commonly made in the South of Italy, the Amalfi Coast, where it gets particularly hot in the summer.

This dish is effectively cold tomato soup, but if you consider that a tomato is a fruit, this is essentially a fruit smoothie, which makes tomato soup a hot fruit smoothie.

In any case, in the summer this cold and refreshing dish is super tasty and is really refreshing as well as full of health benefits and is just as easy to make as normal tomato soup.

Polpo Alla Pignata

Purely to demonstrate how stewed tomatoes can be used to create something sophisticated and nuanced, here isa tomato and octopus stew, popular in Puglia and other parts of Italy.

Pignata is a type of octopus that is commonly reared for culinary use but is particularly tasty and a renowned food of this region. The fresh tomatoes provide the perfect accompaniment to the salty sea fresh octopus, while fennel provides another layer of flavor that cuts through the whole dish well.

You could use any octopus for this dish, especially in coastal parts of the US, just go into your local fishmonger and let them do the work for you.

Nigerian Tomato Stew

When we meant nearly every cuisine uses tomato, we meant it, and it’s abundantly clear in this Nigerian stew. In West Africa tomato stew is eaten frequently, with variations based on region.

Yet, Nigerian red stew is super common in Nigerian households as it is really cheap, easy to prepare, but super tasty. In traditional Nigerian cooking they use goat or ram meat, but you could combine this with any protein you want, whether that is tofu or beef.

Put simply, the dish is just stewed tomatoes and stewed meat with whatever variation of herbs and spices you see fit, the outcome is really tasty.

Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh is a type of curry from India, it is a pretty common dish in Indian curry houses across the world, enjoyed by those who don’t necessarily want something too spicy.

Instead, this type of curry is still quite strong in its flavors, mainly thanks to the stewed tomatoes, but is a real joy to eat and enjoy.

The dish commonly combines ginger, garlic, yogurt, and then stewed tomatoes for a really tasty curry that isn’t hot but still has spicy undertones. Many people have lamb as the protein in their rogan josh, but you could use whatever meat you wanted (see also “15 Best Ground Lamb Recipes To Try Today“).

Spaghetti Napolitana

This spaghetti dish, from Naples, is effectively just stewed tomatoes and pasta. In Italy, as we mentioned, they have lots of tomatoes everywhere so have an abundance that needs to be used.

This dish is a classic pasta dish that can really demonstrate how good stewed tomatoes can be on their own. There really is nothing better than a simple dish done properly, and with the right stewed tomatoes and cooked pasta, there’s really nothing else that needs to be added to this dish.

When done well, you don’t even realize the lack of meat – if you love tomatoes then look no further than this dish.

Cherry Tomato Cobbler With Basil Ice Cream

To show you how versatile tomatoes  can be, this dessert shows that we can use tomatoes even in desserts. Tomatoes have a natural acidity and sweetness that you can really draw out if you want to, and in combination with sugary elements can make a really good dessert.

Basil ice cream is another recent invention that has become popular for also having that strangely sweet but savory flavor. In combination the two work amazingly well, just try it!

Final Thoughts

As you can see tomatoes are so versatile, whether you want to use them in a pasta dish, a curry, a soup, or even for dessert, the tomato can fulfill all these requirements and more.

Stewed tomatoes are a perfect base recipe you can build into a whole host of different dishes, they are cheap and abundant and the ideal cooking ingredient!

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