Italian Baked Stuffed Tomatoes combine the sweet flavors of ripe tomatoes with a hearty rice filling. Tomatoes are hollowed out then filled with a mixture of rice, fresh herbs and seasonings and baked until tender and golden. Serve with roasted potatoes for a complete dinner dish that is easy, flavorful and delicious!
Move over zucchini season, it’s time for tomatoes to take over the kitchen! Well not really, but I sure do love fresh tomato recipes and the possibilities that tomato season presents from creating a simple tomato sauce to these Italian baked stuffed tomatoes with rice!
In Italy you may hear these called Pomodori di Riso or Pomodori con Riso, which is just to say they are tomatoes stuffed with rice. Rice is mixed with a mouthwatering blend of dried oregano and sweet basil and then cooked inside the tomato which allows it to absorb all its wonderful juices.
It’s most definitely not your ordinary stuffed vegetable recipe! It’s savory, sweet and flavorful and will be the best stuffed tomatoes you have ever tasted. Even the Italian who isn’t the biggest fan of rice had to admit these gorgeous tomatoes were one tasty dish. Serve it as vegetarian main, a side dish or even at a dinner party!
Ingredients for Stuffed Tomatoes
- Fresh tomatoes: Large, round firm yet ripe tomatoes work best.
- Uncooked rice: Any white rice works just to be sure to avoid Instant rice.
- Seasoning: Dried oregano, salt, fresh parsley, fresh basil and salt.
- Garlic: One garlic clove that is freshly chopped for best aromatic taste.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil will have the best rich taste.
- Roasted potatoes: Potatoes, fresh rosemary, oregano, salt and olive oil.
How to Make Italian Baked Stuffed Tomatoes (see video above for instructions)
To start, soak your rice in a bowl covered by water for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
Next, prepare your tomatoes. Using a small paring knife, carefully, cut off the top off then remove seeds and pulp. Preserve the tomato flesh for the filling.
In a medium bowl, combine chopped tomato pulp, oregano, salt, parsley, basil, garlic, olive oil and rice.
Place hollowed tomatoes in a large baking pan. Fill each tomato shell with rice mixture then place the top of each tomato back on the tomatoes.
Cut, rinse and dry potatoes with a towel. In a large bowl mix together, potatoes, rosemary leaves, oregano, salt and olive oil.
Place potatoes around tomatoes in the baking dish. Sprinkle the dish with salt and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake until the potatoes and rice are tender. Serve immediately.
What Are the Best Tomatoes to Use?
Any variety of round, firm tomatoes can be used for these easy baked stuffed tomatoes. Red beefsteak tomatoes are the most common grocery store tomatoes.
If you have vine-ripened tomatoes from your garden or the local farmers market they might vary in size but will have the best flavor.
Heirloom tomatoes can vary in size and color which can be a fun addition to the dish. If you like smaller tomatoes, Campari tomatoes are naturally sweet but they may be harder to stuff.
- Bread crumbs: Add some toasted breadcrumbs to the filling.
- Cheese: You can add mozzarella or Parmesan cheese into the filling or to the top like I do in these baked tomatoes.
- Meat: Add lean ground beef, ground Italian sausage or ground lamb to the filling for an extra protein boost.
- Pesto: For another layer of flavor in addition to the aromatic herbs, add some fresh basil pesto to the filling mixture.
- Different vegetable: No tomatoes? Try this stuffing with bell peppers, zucchini or patty pan squash.
- Other grains: Try farro or possible quinoa but the baking time may change.
- Extra garlic: If you love garlic, add an extra clove of garlic.
- Large tomatoes: Firm, ripe tomatoes are best in this easy recipe.
- Don’t forget the tomato tops: The tops of the tomatoes keep the steam inside the tomatoes and make the rice moist.
- Type of rice: Short grain rice or long grain rice both work, just avoid parboiled rice, also called Instant rice.
- Soak rice: This step will ensure that your rice gets done on time without turning your tomatoes mushy.
How to Serve Baked Tomatoes
Baked stuffed tomatoes can be a delicious side dish or you may want to double the recipe and serve it as a vegetarian main! I love to serve these juicy tomatoes with roasted potatoes but here are a few other favorite ways!
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes. Prepare the tomatoes recipe as directed up to the point of baking and store them covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed when you are ready to serve them.
How to store leftover stuffed tomatoes?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up 3-4 days. Re-heat in a preheated 350F/180C oven or in the microwave.
Can you freeze stuffed tomatoes?
Yes. Prepare whole tomatoes to the point of baking them. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Flash freeze and transfer to a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to three months. Do not thaw. Bake from frozen in a hot oven. As with most fresh vegetables, freezing them might change the texture slightly but they will still be delicious.
When to serve these baked tomatoes?
Anytime you would like! This stuffed tomato recipe is just as great for a weeknight dinner as it is served at a dinner party.
How do you core tomatoes for stuffing?
After cutting the top off the tomatoes, use a grapefruit spoon that has serrated edges to scoop out the pulp inside the tomato. It’s the easiest way to get the pulp from inside the tomatoes!
So if you are looking for something different to try, I would love if you gave this Italian baked stuffed tomatoes a go! Be sure to let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!
Tomatoes stuffed with rice
FOR STUFFED TOMATOES
- 4 large round firm ripe tomatoes
- 6-7 tablespoons uncooked rice (not par boiled)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 sprigs fresh chopped Italian parsley
- 6 leaves fresh basil chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic chopped
- 5 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
FOR ROASTED POTATOES
- 4-5 potatoes (peeled and chopped into medium cubes)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (leaves only)
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- In a small bowl add the rice, cover with 2 cups of water and let soak for 1 hour. Then drain.
- Rinse and dry tomatoes, carefully cut off top of tomato and set aside, remove seed and pulp from the tomatoes, set aside the pulp and discard the seeds.
- In a medium bowl mix together, the chopped tomato pulp, oregano, salt, parsley, basil, garlic, 2 tablespoons (26 grams) olive oil and rice. Fill the hollowed out tomatoes with the mixture (divide in 4 parts), replace top on tomatoes.
- Cut and rinse the potatoes. Dry the potatoes with a towel. In a large bowl mix together, the potatoes, rosemary leaves, oregano, salt and olive oil.
- Place tomatoes in lightly oiled medium to large baking pan place potatoes around the tomatoes. Sprinkle with a little salt and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Bake in a 350F (180C) oven for approximately 45-60 minutes until potatoes and rice are tender. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Updated from August 7, 2017.