Croutons epitomize my every at-bat in middle school softball: high potential, terrible execution. While my athleticism has only declined, I am happy to report that croutons have been redeemed by Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons.

Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan CroutonsIn theory, croutons should be one of the best things in life: lightly crunchy bread that adds texture, soaks up flavor, and express delivers them both to my taste buds in carb form. In practice, most are dry little bread rocks that scrape the roof of my mouth and are too solid to spear with a fork. At best, I eat them with my fingers when no one is watching. At worst, a failed fork-to-crouton harpoon session sends one flying out of my Caesar salad and into my neighboring diner’s wine glass. This is no proper way for food to behave.

Croutons, I believe in your potential, and I have found it in Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons.

Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons. A gorgeous one-pan vegetarian meal! #vegetarian #tomato

Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons. An easy, healthy one-pan meal your whole family will loveForget the hockey-puck bread scraps too brittle to be stabbed with a fork. The croutons in Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons are lightly toasted little sponges, drenched in the fresh juices of vibrant summer tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic. When combined with creamy white beans, spinach, fresh basil, and a smother of Parmesan cheese, humble croutons are elevated from forgettable topping to one-skillet-dinner star.

Let’s ignore that tooth-cracking bag of store-bought croutons that has been aging on your shelf since last Thanksgiving. Grab a loaf of hearty bakery bread, and let’s make our own! Loaf becomes slice; slice becomes cubes. We are on our way to killer croutons.

Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons. One of our family's favorite dinners!The croutons are the vehicle, and fresh summer tomatoes are the flavor special. Any size, color, and shape of tomato will be absolutely lovely. Go on a spree for heirlooms at the farmers market; raid your (or your neighbor’s) garden; grab the brightest jewels you can find at the grocery store.  Bring them home and admire them. This is what late summer is all about.

Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons. Perfect recipe for summer tomatoesNow that we’ve appreciated the tomatoes, it’s onto chopping and toasting. Bread cubes are lightly sautéed in olive oil to become croutons. Tomatoes are chopped. White beans and basil stand ready. Parmesan is on hand for the ooey-gooey.

Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons. Easy, healthy, one-pan mealOnce the croutons are toasted, we add the tomatoes, white beans, spinach and basil to the same skillet. As the tomatoes cook, their juices break down and the croutons drink them up, creating a summer-soaked tomato bake that is a bit like a savory bread pudding. With the addition of the white beans and spinach, we have a satisfying and balanced main dish, all in one skillet. This is my favorite kind of meal.

Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons. Easy, healthy, and only needs one pan!Dear croutons, you have been redeemed, thanks to Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons.

Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons. A family favorite and you only need one pan!Now…anyone have tips to save my softball swing?

One Skillet Tomato, White Bean, and Parmesan Crouton Bake Recipe

Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons

4 from 2 votes
A tomato "casserole" of croutons baked with juicy tomatoes, spinach, white beans, and Parmesan cheese. Your entire family will love this healthy one-pan meal!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins

Servings: 4 – 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 3 cups 1/2-inch-diced bread (use a good, crusty whole-grain bakery loaf or sourdough)
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes cut into a 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can Great Northern beans rinsed and drained
  • 10 ounces  frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed dry
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned.
  • To the skillet, add the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes break down.
  • Off the heat, stir in the beans, spinach, and basil until well mixed. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Enjoy hot or warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 401kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 14gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 1118mgFiber: 8gSugar: 9g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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106 Comments

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    1. Hi Lauri! Any kind of white beans will work well here. White kidney and cannellini are two other great options. You could do chickpeas, though they will be much chewier and have a less neutral flavor. Personally, I prefer the softer texture of the northern, kidney or cannellini, but the choice is yours.

    1. Hi Lindsay! I honestly would recommend fresh tomatoes. Since there are not very many ingredients in the dish, the flavor and texture of each is really important, and fresh will give you the best results.

  1. What a wonderful recipe. My wife and I just got two and a half pounds of tomatoes from our CSA and I needed to do something with them (I didn’t want to make any more sauce. I converted eleven pounds into sauce last week!) So I searched and found your recipe. Yummy! I added twice as much Parmesan, used canelli beans instead of Northerns, cubed up a high quality white bread (heresy) which I sautéed in ample olive oil. This recipe is going into the regular rotation of meals on our table. 

    1. Bill, I am so happy to hear how much you and your wife enjoyed this recipe! I bet it tasted absolutely stellar with the CSA tomatoes. Thanks so much for sharing this kind review!

  2. This was quite good!  I think it may have been a bit too sweet, salty and acidic for my liking though.  I think next time I will cut down on the tomatoes and halve the salt/sugar amounts.  Also I would definitely add fresh spinach and maybe another can of beans!  But all in all pretty tasty!!!3 stars

    1. Thanks for giving this casserole a try and for taking the time to share the tweaks you may use for next time! I’m glad to hear you still enjoyed the recipe.

  3. This was so easy to make, and so good! Recipe is perfect as is, though I didn’t have every ingredient at home so here’s what I improvised:

    -I didn’t have frozen spinach, so I used fresh mixed greens.

    -I don’t own a big skillet, so I cooked the stovetop portion in a saucepan, then when it was time for the oven I just dumped everything from the saucepan into a casserole dish.

    -Lastly I wanted it vegan so instead of parmesan, I blended 1/2 cup cashews with 2 tbsp nutritional yeast and 1/2 tsp salt.

    ..So the recipe is very forgiving and tastes like a lighter, fresher lasagna. Thank you Erin!5 stars

    1. Hi Maia, I’m sorry to hear that this didn’t turn out as you hoped. I know it’s frustrating to try a new recipe and not have it turn out, so I truly wish you would’ve enjoyed it!

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