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Savory Tomato Cobbler with Cornbread Topping

This savory Tomato Cobbler recipe, like my Heirloom Tomato Pie, was conceived by treating the tomato like the fruit that it is. Just a few modifications turned this cobbler from a dessert to a savory side dish.

tomato corn cobber

Much more forgiving than a pie or tart that requires a rolled dough, a cobbler is one of the simplest fruit desserts to bake.

What could be easier than piling fruit and sugar into a casserole dish, topping it with a simple batter or crumb topping and letting it bake.

Because it’s meant to be homey and rustic – you just scoop and serve without worrying about having a perfectly pretty slice on the plate.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make a savory Tomato Cobbler with cornbread topping:

a bowl of heirloom tomatoes

I used a mix of heirloom and plum tomatoes. Any vine ripened tomatoes will do.

fresh corn kernels cut from the cob

Slice the kernels from the corn. Scrape the cob to get all the milky juices.

onions frying in a pan

Add the juices from the tomatoes to the caramelized onion. Cook down until almost all the water is evaporated. This will concentrate the tomato flavor.


tomato cobbler filling in a casserole dish

Tomatoes and caramelized onions ready for the topping.

a tomato cobbler with cornbread topping ready for the oven

Spread the cornbread bater over the tomato filling and place the pan on a tray to catch any boil overs.

freshly baked tomato cobbler on a table

Tips for making a savory Tomato Cobbler with cornbread topping:

  • To avoid a soupy filling lightly salt the tomatoes to draw out some of the moisture.
  • Add the tomato juice to the caramelized onions, then cooked it all down to concentrate the flavors.
  • Of course, since this is a savory dish, there is no added sugar in the filling. The tomatoes and caramelized onions have plenty of natural sweetness.
  • You can add other ingredients according to your taste and what you’ve got available. Chopped olives, crumbled bacon or feta cheese would be tasty with the tomatoes and corn.
  • To adapt the cornbread for a savory dish there is just a hint of sugar , some chopped fresh basil and a little black pepper.
  • The fresh corn kernels add extra moisture. Frozen corn kernals would work fine as a substitute.

tomato and corn cobbler

Mmm, it is delish. We enjoy this cobbler as a side dish with grilled chicken. But it could also be served as a main course for a light dinner or lunch.

I think this would be fabulous with a couple of eggs on the side for breakfast or brunch.

This one’s a keeper.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Savory Tomato Cobbler with a cornbread topping

Savory Tomato Cobbler with a cornbread topping

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Savory Tomato Cobbler with a chunky cornbread topping full of fresh corn and basil. Super easy & the perfect summer dinner or sidedish.


For the Filling

  • 2.5 - 3 pounds (1.3 kg) vine ripened tomatoes, cut into chunky cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

For the Topping

  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 - 1 cup corn kernels (about 1 ear)
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, minced


  1. Toss 1/2 teaspoon salt with the chopped tomatoes and set aside for 30 minutes.
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the sliced onions and the other 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 20-30 minutes).
  2. Strain the tomatoes and reserve the juice. Add the juice to the pan with the browned onions. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring frequently, until the juice is reduced and thickened.
  3. Toss the onions with the chopped tomatoes, taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Sprinkle the bread crumbs into the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Pour the filling on top of the bread crumbs and set the pan aside while you make the cornbread.

Cornbread Topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. Use a hand whisk to mix the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter and the egg
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once and stir just until combined. Fold in the corn and the basil.
  4. Spread the topping over the tomato filling in an even layer. Place the casserole dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or foil for easy cleanup.
  5. Bake until the topping is browned and baked through and the tomato filling is hot and bubbly all the way to the center.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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