Creamed Corn–Stuffed Tomatoes

Creamed corn is one of summer’s most precious gifts. I spend a lot of time in New England, where I was told all about the sweet summer corn: “Our corn is the best in the world.” In my mind, I silently dismissed it. “Oh, OK,” I responded, the half acknowledgment that conveys the unspoken sentiment “You really don’t know what the hell you are talking about.” Best in the world? Yankee corn? Seriously? Well, let me tell you. It is the best corn I have ever tasted. You’ll notice I’m calling for gluten-free breadcrumbs here; they are available in gourmet grocery stores and larger stores like Whole Foods Market, but you can also use wheat breadcrumbs, if you like. While I don’t have any issues with wheat, a member of my family does, as well a handful of other dietary issues. I try very hard to be inclusive with my cooking and if she’s eating with us, then I make those changes for all of the dishes. It’s not that hard to make adjustments if you have the information, and it’s far more hospitable for everyone to enjoy the same meal.
By / Photography By Angie Mosier | July 01, 2015


Preheat oven to 350°F. To form tomato shells, with a serrated knife slice off the tops of the tomatoes and remove their cores. Using a melon baller or a spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp of the tomatoes to create a shell, transferring the juices and pulp to a small bowl. Using your hands, squish the pulp and seeds until smooth but slightly chunky. Set aside.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn and poblano and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the reserved tomato mixture and cook until it’s absorbed into the corn and the skillet is dry, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the grated cheese and chopped thyme. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

Arrange the tomato shells, cut-side up, in a small casserole dish. For each tomato shell, spoon in some filling (about ⅓ cup each, depending on the size of the tomato). Sprinkle over the gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Bake the tomatoes until the filling is heated through, the tomato shells are tender and the topping is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Lighten Up, Y’all by Virginia Willis © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Photography © 2015 by Angie Mosier. For more information, please visit

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Lighten Up, Y'All by Virginia Willis

Virginia Willis is a French-trained chef with roots down south in her home state of Georgia. She has authored two acclaimed cookbooks—Bon Appétit, Y’all: Recipes and Stories from three Generations of ...


  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons pure olive oil
  • Scraped kernels from 4 ears fresh sweet corn (about 2 cups kernels)
  • 1 poblano chili, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus optional sprigs for garnish
  • ¼ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
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