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Looking for a stunning side dish? This tomato sage Parmesan upside down cornbread is a savory cornbread that’s vibrant and healthy.

Tomato Sage Parmesan Cornbread | A Couple Cooks
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This post was created in partnership with Village Farms. All opinions are our own.

It’s that time of year again, to gather and hold our loved ones dear. This Thanksgiving is even more special for Alex and me since we’ve got a new loved one to introduce to the holiday traditions: Eating breakfast to the sound of the NYC parade. The smell of slicing fresh celery for stuffing. A long table with white linen and the glasses only used for company. Now that our son Larson is part of the family, we’re hoping to mix up some of those traditions and create our own. Instead of a heavy traditional meal, we’re focusing on Thanksgiving recipes that are colorful, creative, delicious, and nourishing.

Perhaps you’re wondering about this recipe with fresh tomatoes in mid-November? Tomatoes are long gone by this time in Indiana, and I’ve already started dreaming about flipflops and a fresh summer Caprese salad. Typically, I wouldn’t be caught dead eating a fresh tomato this time of year. However, some new growing practices can extend the season of tomatoes while treading gently on the Earth. Alex and I support local growers as much as possible. At the same time we realize that to feed our world, we need diversity in food growing practices. We need sustainable, green-conscious companies all over the globe.

Related: 15 Best Fresh Tomato Recipes

Tomato Sage Parmesan Cornbread | A Couple Cooks

What are hydroponic tomatoes?

The tomatoes we used here are grown by Village Farms, who uses hydroponics in a greenhouse (growing in water), allowing the season to be extended. To us, Village Farms’ sustainable growing practices make their tomatoes a viable option for opting for fresh tomatoes in November. These growing methods result in ripe, juicy flavorful tomatoes–not the tasteless and mealy variety that is typically available in the fall and winter months. Village Farms’ growing methods use:

  • 86% less water compared to the average tomato grown outdoors.
  • 97% less land to grow the same amount of tomatoes grown outdoors.
  • Beneficial insects to control pests and stimulate healthy plant growth, instead of harmful chemicals

Tomato Sage Parmesan Cornbread | A Couple Cooks

Tomato Sage Parmesan Cornbread | A Couple Cooks

How to make tomato cornbread

This cornbread recipe is a new one we’ve developed especially for Village Farms’ Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes. The Campari tomatoes are cocktail-sized, basically a large cherry tomato. Here we’ve used them in an upside down cornbread, where the cornbread is baked with sliced tomatoes on the bottom. It’s then inverted after baking to show a lovely tomato design.

For our concept, we’ve added fresh sage leaves as another detail and flavor component. And at the end, we decided to top the cornbread with grated Parmesan cheese and broil it until crispy. (It was Alex’s idea, really: genius!) The colors are stunning, and it’s received rave reviews from all friends we’ve served it to. We hope you enjoy it this Thanksgiving season or anytime–and make sure to look for Village Farms tomatoes at your local grocery, they’re an extra special treat!

More great breads? Mexican Cornbread or Artisan Dutch Oven Bread

Tomato Sage Parmesan Cornbread | A Couple Cooks
Tomato Sage Parmesan Cornbread | A Couple Cooks

Looking for cornmeal recipes? 

This tomato sage Parmesan cornbread recipe is the first of our traditional cornbread recipes. But we have lots of other recipes with cornmeal. Here are a few of our favorite cornmeal recipes:

Did you make this recipe?

If you make our tomato sage Parmesan cornbread, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks and @village_farms.

Tomato Sage Parmesan Cornbread | A Couple Cooks

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Tomato Sage Parmesan Cornbread | A Couple Cooks

Tomato Sage Parmesan Cornbread

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3 from 1 review

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 1x
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Looking for a stunning side dish? This tomato sage Parmesan upside down cornbread is a savory cornbread that’s vibrant and healthy.


  • 5 to 6 Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes (enough for 24 thin slices)
  • 12 small sage leaves
  • 1 ½ cups cornmeal
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Using a sharp serrated knife, thinly slice the tomatoes. Salt them and place them on a cutting board. After a few minutes, blot with a paper towel to remove excess liquid. Wash and dry the sage leaves.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, then stir in the milk and olive oil.
  4. When the oven is preheated, place the butter in a 9 x 13” pan and place the pan in the oven for a few minutes to melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, brush it over the entire pan. Arrange tomatoes and sage leaves on the bottom of the pan (ours fit 6 rows of 4 tomatoes; make sure to place the sage leaves upside down).
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. As carefully as possible, slowly pour the batter over the tomatoes and sage leaves. (Pouring or dumping too quickly can cause the rows of tomatoes to move, so take care during this process.) Smooth out the top with a spatula.
  6. Place the pan in the oven and bake about 30 minutes, until the sides are browned (if your oven is uneven, at 15 minutes, rotate the pan for even baking). Remove from the oven and run a sharp knife around the edges, then carefully invert it onto a baking sheet. Top with a thin layer of finely grated Parmesan cheese and broil on high for 3 to 4 minutes until crisp.
  7. Cut into pieces and serve warm (or at room temperature). To store, wrap the remaining pieces in aluminum foil and store refrigerated or frozen. Prior to serving, reheat in a 350F oven until warmed through and crisp (the bread becomes very dry when cold, so reheating for a few minutes in the oven is preferable.)
  • Category: Baked
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Lindsay F says:

    I made this for Friendsgiving on Saturday. Mine came out a bit dense, but I maybe should have pulled it out around 25 minutes instead of 30. It was very pretty, though. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Irini says:

    Hi! The recipe looks so delicious. Can I use polenta instead of cornmeal? Or semolina? Or something else? ? Thanks !

    1. Sonja says:

      Hi Irini! Is your polenta different than cornmeal? I did a quick Google search and it said polenta is made from cornmeal so it should be interchangeable?

      1. Irini says:

        It’s coarse corn flour. I think I’ll just give it a try! I’ll let you know!

  3. Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek says:

    I love the idea of creating new traditions with your little one! And this cornbread is beyond amazing. I’m seriously obsessed, and I will be trying this recipe! xoxo