Mozzarella and Basil Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe


There’s something comforting about melty cheese and aromatic herbs, and this dish has it all. The mozzarella, parmesan, basil, and olive oil will remind you of drool-worthy margarita pizza—sans crust. And the best part? It comes together in minutes.

In this recipe, the tomato pulp is scooped out and used in the filling (no waste!) along with just enough soft breadcrumbs to absorb the moisture and give body to the stuffing. You can use the recipe as a guide and swap in your favorite combination of cheeses and herbs.

If you have the grill going, throw these on! If not, bake them in the oven and enjoy these cheesy stuffed tomatoes all year long.

BEST TOMATOES FOR STUFFING?

You want to use an evenly round, medium-sized tomato with firm walls for this recipe.

I use a variety called “tomatoes on the vine” for their size, uniform roundness, and classic tomato flavor. They are commonly sold with 4-6 tomatoes still attached to the vine as the name implies. If you don’t have that type of tomato in your area, don’t worry! Any medium-sized variety tomato about the size of a tennis ball (2 1/2 inches) will work too.

Just keep in mind that if your tomato is narrow like a Roma tomato you’ll likely have to trim the bottom to give it a flat base to stand on.

Close up of caprese stuffed tomatoes with basil scattered on top.

HOW TO STUFF TOMATOES

  1. Remove the vines and stems. Wash the tomatoes, but do not core them.
  2. Next, slice the tomatoes in half horizontally and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Because of the uniformly round shape of the tomatoes on the vine, each half will easily sit up on its own. If you accidentally puncture a hole in the bottom, no worries! The filling will close it up.
  3. Lastly, prepare the filling. Instead of discarding the inside of the tomato, drain off the seeds and water, then chop what remains up to be used in the filling. If you notice the core or the flesh near the stem end is particularly tough, don’t include it.

SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS FOR STUFFED TOMATOES

This recipe can be customized to your liking. Mozzarella and basil are great but don’t stop there. Try these delicious combos as well:

  • Cheddar and cilantro
  • Feta and oregano
  • Chevre and chives

Just keep in mind the intensity of the herb you choose. For example, 1/4 cup of basil works but, for oregano, you’d need only half that much. If you’re using dry herbs, you’ll likely need 1/3 of the amount of fresh.

Want to make this dish more substantial? Try mixing in meat, rice, or seeds.

  • Cooked sausage
  • Cooked ground beef
  • Cooked rice or quinoa

How to Make Gluten-Free Stuffed Tomatoes

If you’re gluten-free, like me, using soft breadcrumbs made from a slice of gluten-free bread works just the same here. No fresh bread but you have dried breadcrumbs? That’ll work too.

I prefer to use bread in this recipe rather than quinoa or rice because the breadcrumbs help absorb the liquid from the tomatoes.

Overhead view of a cast iron skillet with vegetarian stuffed tomatoes with basil leaves scattered over top.

HOW TO MAKE AHEAD AND REHEAT STUFFED TOMATOES

These tomatoes can be prepared and stuffed up to a few hours in advance and kept in the refrigerator until it’s time to bake. If you make the tomatoes too far in advance the filling will get watery because we used the inside of the tomatoes in the stuffing.

They’re best served right out of the oven, but they do reheat well and quickly. You only need about five minutes under the broiler or in a toaster oven. Microwaving them works if you’re in a pinch, but you’ll lose some of the texture.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH STUFFED TOMATOES?

These stuffed tomatoes are great at any time of day! Try them in the morning with fried eggs or for dinner with a piece of grilled meat. They’re also perfect as a stand-alone appetizer.

Easy baked stuffed tomatoes on a plate with a knife and fork. A cast iron skillet with additional stuffed tomatoes are to the left.

MORE DELICIOUS SUMMER TOMATO RECIPES!



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