Today's recipe, for a roasted tomato skillet with Philly veggie cream cheese sauce, was developed by me as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. I'm a member of the #CollectiveBias community and I was compensated for this post, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Reasons you'll love this dish:
- It's is a one-pan dinner that'll be on your table in 20 minutes. In simpler words, there'll be none of those "When is dinner, I'm hungry?!" whiners standing in your kitchen.
- It's got bacon, veggies, AND Philly cream cheese in it! #NoBrainer. (If you're a vegetarian, you'll probably want to leave the bacon out of it. That's perfectly fine. The dish will still taste fantabulous without it. Just pass it over my way, m'kay?)
- Instead of chopping loads of vegetables, this recipe calls for the convenience of a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables. Time saver, for the win!
- You and your family will love this roasted tomato skillet so much, you'll likely devour the entire skillet full, saving you the time of having to wrap up leftovers. Heck, if you have a dog, allow the pup access to the the plates and pan, and you may not have to do dishes at all! #BrilliantIdea
OK, that was a slight exaggeration... you might want to give those dishes a wash. Germs and all, ya know.
How many of you shop during the weekend? If you do, you're a very brave soul! I never noticed just how popular my local Walmart is on the weekends, until recently, when I went over to shop for a couple of ingredients for this dish on a Saturday morning. I was expecting to see nicely stocked shelves, stocking everything I needed to become the next great meal preparation queen, but I was in for a bit of a surprise. Aisles and aisles of people, fully stocked carts, and empty shelves in the dairy section.
If you were one of those people in the aisle 9 traffic jam, my heart goes out to you. Next time, come prepared with treats to give that 3-year-old
and his mother, having a tantrum on the floor.
No worries for me, since there was plenty of the Vegetable Garden variety of Philly Cream Cheese on the shelf. The regular Chive and Onion variety wasn't there, so I picked up the low fat variety instead. I would not be hindered! A quick stop at the produce section for some fresh tomatoes and parsley and I was ready to head home and #SpreadTheFlavor!
Incidentally, you're pretty smart and may already know this, but it's super important to rinse tomatoes with cold water before you use them. Lots of potentially dirty hands touched those beauties during the picking and processing out in the field.
Next, turn your oven on to 450 F. While the oven preheats, slice the tomatoes in half and lay them cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt.
Let the tomatoes roast in the oven until they're fragrant and the flesh is starting to bubble a bit, about 10 minutes. One of the secrets to the awesomeness of this roasted tomato skillet is the amazing taste that you get from the roasted tomatoes. Get ready for the flavor explosion in your mouth...it's coming, and it's awesome!
While the tomatoes are roasting, you can get started sauteing your bacon and vegetables. Like I've mentioned many times on the pages of this blog, I'm always looking for the next great time saver and/or kitchen short cut. Enter stage right... frozen veggies! A bag of them can be the next best thing to buying them fresh, and truthfully, in the thick of a Wisconsin winter, using frozen peppers and onions is a more affordable solution than buying them fresh, so I do it quite a bit.
Start by cooking your bacon until it's crispy, but not burned, then toss in a half of a bag of frozen veggies. I should mention that I love peppers and onions, so that's what I used, but honestly, you can make this recipe with any veggies that you and your family love. Broccoli and carrots would be delicious, as would green beans, or even spinach. Yum! Then add your seasonings and give everything a quick toss in the pan.
After a few minutes, your veggie mix will be tender and it'll be time to pull your roasted tomatoes out of the oven. Before you add them to the pan, you may be tempted to pop one into your mouth. After all, they're gonna smell AMAZING! As long as you realize that you could end up with burn blisters on your taste buds because you didn't blow on them first, you just go right ahead... Umm, try not to scare your kids and pets when you shriek and writhe on the floor with pain, though.
OK, along with the roasted tomatoes, add your cream cheese, a little milk, and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese . Stir over medium heat until everything has melted and combined into a delicious sauce.
Taste your amazing sauce and sing a happy song while you dance around the kitchen
and get strange looks from family members. If you need to add a little more salt and pepper, now would be the time to do so. I served my sauce over polenta, but it would be super tasty ladled over your favorite variety of pasta, quinoa, or even served up in a bread bowl. No matter how you eat it, I hope that when you present this roasted tomato skillet to your family, they'll shout, "It's yummi!"
Until next time, my friend... keep your stomach and your spirit well fed!
Roasted Tomato Skillet with Philly Veggie Cream Cheese Sauce
Recipe created by: Chef Becca Heflin
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed and sliced in half
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 slices uncooked bacon, diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 bag (14 oz) frozen peppers & onion stir fry blend, thawed and drained
- 1 teaspoon Italian blend seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt, plus a pinch for sprinkling tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 container (8 oz) vegetable flavored cream cheese (I used Philadelphia brand)
- 1 container (8 oz) onion & chive flavored cream cheese (I used Philadelphia brand)
- 8 ounces (1 liquid cup) milk
- 1/4 cup Kraft grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- Heat oven to 455 degrees.
- Place tomatoes, cut side up, onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a nice sized pinch of salt. Place pan into oven and bake until tomatoes are fragrant and starting to bubble, about 10 minutes. Remove pan and turn off oven.
- Add bacon to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until bacon is somewhat crispy, but not burned. If necessary, drain off excess grease, leaving 1 Tablespoon grease in the pan. Add minced garlic and saute until light brown and fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add roasted tomatoes and vegetables, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and warmed through. Add cream cheeses, milk, and Parmesan cheese. Stir gently until melted and sauce is creamy. If sauce is too thick, add more milk to thin to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Stir in chopped parsley just before plating, reserving some for garnish on the top.
- Serve over cooked polenta, rice, pasta, or with a bread bowl.