Quick & Easy Tomato Basil Tarts
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Tomato basil tarts are perfect to serve for brunch or any meal of the day. Switch out the goat cheese with cheddar for a kid-friendly meal. Tomato basil tarts are ready in 45 minutes including a from-scratch crust that doesn’t require any par-baking!
To me, tarts are the epitome of bridal showers, baby showers, special occasions and of course, brunches! More specifically, delicious tarts made in under 45 minutes completely from scratch – including the crust. And trust me when I say this, i’ve made these tomato basil tarts for a bridal shower and numerous brunches, this one gets an applause every.single.time.
Even my husband loved these tarts and he like a 2 out of 10 when it comes to liking tomatoes in general. There is just so much to love about these tarts that goes beyond the tomatoes. I mean, think about it: you have this crust that takes 5 minutes to pull together, fresh chopped basil, cheese, more cheese, and if you’re me, even more cheese, a lil bit of salt and peppa, a hint of garlic, an egg, some cream, and milk – you bake it till the liquid is firm, golden-brown-crust, cheesy perfection.
The crust used in this recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen. I’ve made these tarts with and without this crust recipe. When i’m in a big hurry, I just purchase tart-shells that are sold in the freezer section. Depending on the brand, you may need to par-bake them a little before adding the the egg mixture. Check the back of the box to see how long they say to bake them, longer than 27 minutes would require you to par-bake.
To make the crust, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and cold, cubed butter. Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the butter resembles oat flakes or tiny peas. Add the egg and use a fork to combine the flour mixture with the egg. Dump the mixture out onto a floured surface. Work the dough until it starts to hold together. The dough is a little tougher than your average when working with it, don’t be alarmed. If you’re making individual tarts roll the dough out, place the individual tart pans on the dough and cut a circle 11/2 – 2 inches larger than your pan, rework leftover dough as necessary to form more tarts. This recipe makes 4 – 4inch tart-shells or 1 – 9 inch. If you’re using a 9-inch tart pan, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Place the dough at the base of the pan, work out any air bubbles, crimp edges. Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes while you prepare the egg mixture. For the egg mixture, combine the egg, heavy cream (half and half can be substituted), milk, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, basil, and salt and pepper. Whisk until the mixture is well combined. Add crumbled goat cheese and toss to coat. At the base of your tart crust add the halved grape tomatoes. If using individual pans, divide filling evenly among the tart-shells. Sprinkle additional parmesan on top. Bake at 400 degrees F for 24-27 minutes for individuals and 30 – 35 minutes for larger tarts. For a darker crust, bake an additional 1-2 minutes. Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.
Cheddar cheese or mozzarella can be substituted in place of goat cheese if you’ve got picky eaters. I’ve tried it with cheddar and goat cheese, I love them both ways! Once you make these tomato basil tarts, you’re going to make them again and again. And this crust is a definite keeper. I don’t think i’ll ever stop using this savory crust recipe. I highly encourage you to make these tarts for your next big gathering. Did I mention they make fabulous leftovers? Have them cold like I do or reheat them in a 300 degree oven for 5 – 7 minutes. You’ll thank me. You will! Disclosure: All opinions expressed are my own. Organic Creamery provided product for this post. I have not received any monetary compensation for this post.
For the crust:
- 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced
- 1 large egg
For the Filling:
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 3 oz crumbled goat cheese (such as Organic Creamery) (see note)
- 15 - 20 grape (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
- to make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and butter. Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the butter resembles oat flakes or tiny peas. Add the egg and use a fork to combine the flour mixture with the egg. Dump the mixture out onto a floured surface. Work the dough until it starts to hold together. The dough is a little tougher than your average when working with it, don't be alarmed. If you're making individual tarts roll the dough out, place the individual tart pans on the dough and cut a circle 11/2 - 2 inches larger than your pan, rework leftover dough as necessary to form more tarts. If you're using a 9-inch tart pan, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Place the dough at the base of the pan, work out any air bubbles, crimp edges. Refrigerate the tart-shell(s) for 10 minutes while you prepare the tart filling.
- For the tart filling: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg, heavy cream, milk, 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, basil, salt, and pepper and whisk until combined. Fold in the goat cheese. Divide filling into tartshell(s). Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Place the tart pan(s) on a baking tray and bake for 24 - 27 minutes for individual tarts and 30 - 35 minutes for large tart. For a darker crust, bake an additional 1-2 minutes. Let cool 10 - 15 minutes before serving.
- 4 oz of cheddar or mozzarella cheese can be used in place of the goat cheese
- Leftovers can be reheated in a 300ºF oven for 5 - 7 minutes.
- Tart-shell recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
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