Spring Pesto Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted tomatoes with pesto and breadcrumbs.

This is less of a “recipe” and more an “I need a quick side dish to go with that rotisserie chicken.”  When I say quick — I mean 10 minutes of hands-on — if you drink a glass of wine simultaneously. Spring Pesto Roasted Tomatoes are a fast and easy side dish for the season.

Large beefsteak tomatoes on a cutting board with pesto sauce and breadcrumbs.

The key to these Spring Pesto Roasted Tomatoes (as with any type of cooking) is being prepared.  By prepared — I mean having things on hand that are ready to go…

Topping halved tomatoes with garlic and red pepper flakes.

Ingredients For Spring Pesto Roasted Tomatoes

  • Tomatoes
  • Pesto
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh Breadcrumbs

Let’s start with the pesto.  I make pesto in large batches and freeze them in individual silicone ice cube trays (so they are easier to pop out (I tried it with regular trays and had to let them partially thaw in order to dislodge them).  I keep the frozen pesto cubes in a freezer baggie until a need arises – like these tomatoes.

smearing pesto over the tomato halves.

The other thing I always have on hand is fresh breadcrumbs — and not because I’m constantly zhuzhing bread in the food processor…  whenever there’s a bit of french bread leftover from a meal – or I’m down to the heel of a loaf of white or sourdough  — even an errant bun that never got paired with a hot dog or hamburger — I blitz it and transfer it to a storage baggie in the freezer.  So fresh breadcrumbs are always at the ready and very convenient for these pesto tomatoes.

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topping with breadcrumbs.

With these little tips, this is literally a 10 minute side dish.  Or you could use store-bought pesto and dried breadcrumbs.  I won’t tell.

The pesto roasted tomatoes hot from the oven.

20 minutes in the oven is all it takes for these Spring Pesto Roasted Tomatoes.  It’s easy to make and is absolutely delicious.  I also think they have a kind of “fancy” quality that most folks don’t expect on a random Tuesday night.  If you don’t like spice, you can skip the red pepper flakes.

Serving pesto tomatoes on a platter.

Want to add more richness?  Toss the breadcrumbs with a little Parmigiano Reggiano.  You can easily make this your own recipe and take all the credit for yourself.  Just let me know how it turns out for you!

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Serving pesto roasted tomatoes on a platter.
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4.75 from 12 votes

Spring Pesto Roasted Tomatoes

A simple, delicious vegan side dish ready in 30 minutes.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword tomatoes
Dietary Restrictions Egg Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 tomatoes large, ripe
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (large cloves) minced
  • pinch red pepper flake
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup pesto sauce , store bought or see recipe on this site
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs fresh


  • Preheat the oven to 400°.  For faster cleanup, cover a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with vegetable spray.  Set aside.
  • Carefully core the stem out of the tomatoes and discard.  Slice the tomatoes in half, crosswise.  Remove the seeds from the tomatoes.  Drizzle each tomato with one teaspoon of olive oil.  Divide the garlic between the tomato halves and sprinkle a very small pinch of red pepper flakes onto each tomato.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of pesto to each tomato half and spread evenly over the tomato.  Divide the breadcrumbs between the tomatoes and bake for 18-22 minutes or until tomatoes soften and breadcrumbs are lightly toasted.  If breadcrumbs are browning too fast, gently rest a sheet of tin foil over the top to prevent further browning.
  • Transfer tomatoes to a serving dish.  Can be eaten hot or at room temperature.  (I prefer them warm).


These are best when they’re made, but leftovers can be kept refrigerated for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or a low oven (325° for 10 minutes).


Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 537mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 825IU | Vitamin C: 8.9mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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Looking for an easy vegetarian side dish? Spring Pesto Roasted Tomatoes is fast & delicious! About 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to bake! #sidedish #roastedtomatoes #bakedtomatoes #pesto

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  1. Michelle L Belton says:

    This is our new favorite easy but classy side dish on the grill! Like 6x in 3 weeks. Tried a slice of fresh mozzarella tonight, fabulous!

  2. 5 stars
    Homemade pesto makes everything fabulous! This is my kind of food.
    Thanks so much for sharing

    1. I agree. I’ve got so much in my freezer that I’d better start coming up with more ways to use it!

    1. Thanks, Patrick! It’s a great way to use up the basil/pesto from the garden!

  3. 5 stars
    Lisa you made simple tomato into gourmet dish. That pesto and crunchy bread crumbs will be delicious you saying simple one I would say this is gourmet one.

    1. LOL! Thank you Swathi — but it really is simple.

  4. 5 stars
    I love these classic flavors (I like to freeze pesto for moments like this too), and I love the simplicity of this dish! It’s so good to have these kinds of recipes in your back pocket for when you need them!

    1. I agree, Mary – we all need those fast and easy go-tos!

  5. 5 stars
    Love it!! Easy and delicious!! And love your kitchen hacks, or tricks to make life easier.

    1. Anything to make life easier — and wine. A lot of wine.

  6. 5 stars
    Great tip for storing homemade pesto, thank you! Many thanks also for this lovely side dish!! So happy spring is here and delicious tomatoes are just around the corner!!

    1. Glad you like the recipe and tip — I think kitchen tips are the BEST!

  7. These look amazing, and I’m going to have to start doing that with my leftover baguettes!!! I refuse to buy store-bought breadcrumbs because the ingredients list is RIDICULOUS, but keeping your own in the freezer is so clever!!! (And the tomatoes.. YUMMMMM)

    1. I know – crazy! My husband always wonders what those little baggies contain — but he never complains about his meals!

  8. Michelle | The Last Food Blog says:

    Love these, they are perfect as a tasty side or with a salad for a light vegetarian meal:)

  9. 5 stars
    My vegetarian daughter would love these!

    1. We love them as a side dish to chicken, pork, beef or fish — LOL!