Stuffed tomatoes are a juicy and satisfying meal with a mouthwatering rice filling and Mediterranean flavors.

Our recipe is wholesome, healthy, and delicious, and you can enjoy it as a starter, main course, or side dish. It’s excellent for meal prep too!

Stuffed tomatoes on a plate with lemons

You’ll love this recipe because it combines the familiar flavors of rice and tomatoes with a nourishing, satisfying, and aromatic filling made with chickpeas, spinach, and cumin.

This recipe is perfect for meal prep as the tomatoes get more flavorful as the ingredients meld in the fridge, and you can easily reheat them in the microwave for a healthy lunch or quick dinner.

This stuffed tomato recipe is heavily inspired by my nonna’s cooking, but I made some addition to turn them into a fulfilling meal.

For example, I added chickpeas, spinach, and cumin to the rice filling to make them a complete meal with fragrant Mediterranean aromas.

Thanks to the combination of spices, legumes, and veggies, our recipe doesn’t need meat or cheese. It’s suitable for gluten-free and vegetarian diets.

Stuffed tomatoes with tahini yogurt sauce

Ingredients & Substitutions

Stuffed tomatoes ingredients

Find the complete recipe with ingredients and instructions in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Tomatoes

Pick vine tomatoes that are ripe but not excessively so. They should feel firm to the touch and preferably without bruises.

Olive oil

To fry the onion and the garlic. Substitute vegetable oil.

Onion & Garlic

Onion and garlic are essential for a tasty flavor base. We gently fry them in oil for a couple of minutes.

Spices

You’ll love stuffed tomatoes with cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes.

Substitute dried oregano or Italian herbs for cumin and coriander.

Rice

We use long-grain rice, white. You can use most rice varieties, including short-grain rice.

I’d recommend sticking to white rice for this recipe as it cooks faster.

Substitute quinoa for rice.

Chickpeas

You can use canned chickpeas or dry chickpeas that you previously soaked in water overnight and then boiled until tender.

Chickpeas (or any other legume) are an excellent complement to rice and make the meal complete from a nutritional point of view.

Substitute green or brown lentils, black beans, or pinto beans for the chickpeas.

Spinach

Spinach, rice, and chickpeas are excellent together.

You can substitute chard or kale for spinach.

Vegetable broth

To help the rice cook.

Fresh herbs

We use fresh parsley. Substitute fresh basil, fresh mint, or fresh coriander.

Salt & Pepper

We recommend sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Stuffed tomatoes on a plate

How to make stuffed tomatoes

Find the complete recipe with ingredients and instructions in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Prepare the tomatoes

Cut the top of the tomatoes and set them aside. With a spoon, remove the tomato flesh, seeds, and water and add it to a blender.

Season the inside of the tomatoes with a pinch of salt and put them upside down on a plate.

Tip: This step helps remove excess water from the tomatoes.

hand removes seeds from fresh tomatoes

Blend the tomato pulp, juice, and seeds until smooth and set aside.

blended tomato juice in a blender

Make the filling

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C.

In a large skillet, fry the chopped onion in olive oil for 3 minutes.

Add pressed garlic, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and rice, and fry for one more minute while stirring.

fried onion and garlic in a skillet

Add the blended tomato juice, drained chickpeas, and spinach, then season with salt and black pepper.

spinach, chickpeas and rice

Simmer on medium heat, stirring often, for about 12 minutes or until the rice is al dente and has absorbed the liquid.

Stir in the chopped parsley, then taste and adjust for salt.

Stuffed tomato filling with spinach

Stuff the tomatoes

Stuff the tomatoes with the rice mixture to the edge and above, pressing the rice gently with the back of a spoon.

stuffing tomatoes with spoon and hands

Arrange the stuffed tomatoes on a baking pan, cover each tomato with their sliced top, and bake at 350°F or 180°C for 20 minutes.

Stuffed tomatoes with top after baking

Serving suggestions

Arrange the tomatoes on a serving platter and serve as a beautiful centerpiece. They are excellent as a starter, main dish, or side.

Stuffed tomatoes after baking

We like serving stuffed tomatoes on a bed of Greek-style yogurt, Labneh, or with our Yogurt Tahini Sauce.

Drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, parsley, and a pinch of paprika or sumac.

Stuffed tomatoes with tahini yogurt sauce

Other spreads that work well with stuffed tomatoes are:

  • Tahini sauce (tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, etc.)
  • Yogurt tahini sauce (Greek-style yogurt, tahini, water, garlic, salt, etc.)
  • Tzatziki (cucumber, Greek-style yogurt, mint, olive oil, lemon, garlic, etc.)
  • Hummus (chickpeas, cumin, tahini, lemon juice, etc.)
  • Muhammara (roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, walnuts, etc.)
  • Baba Ganoush or Mutabal (eggplant dips with tahini, etc.)

Variations

Lentil rice stuffing

stuffed peppers topped with yogurt and onions

The rice and lentil stuffing used in our stuffed bell pepper recipe is also delicious for stuffing tomatoes.

Check out our stuffed bell peppers with lentil and rice stuffing.

Storage

Make ahead: this stuffed tomato recipe is excellent to make in advance as the tomatoes get tastier as the flavors meld in the fridge.

Refrigerator: let the tomatoes cool down completely, transfer them to an airtight container, and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Freezer: let them cool down completely, then transfer them into a freezer-friendly container and freeze them for three months.

Reheat: reheat stuffed tomatoes in the microwave for about 2 minutes.

More fresh tomato recipes

If you love cooking with fresh tomatoes, take a peek at these healthy tomato recipes:

  • Tomato galette (pie crust, ricotta, basil, cherry tomatoes, oregano, etc.)
  • Easy tomato salad (heirloom tomatoes, red onion, balsamic vinegar, basil, etc.)
  • Pan con tomate (grated tomato, olive oil, salt, bread, etc.)
  • Bruschetta (diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, basil, garlic, bread, etc.)

More stuffed veggies

Get more wholesome and tasty meal inspiration from these stuffed vegetable dinners:

For many more dinner ideas, check out our mains category page.

Stuffed tomatoes with parsley

Stuffed Tomatoes

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 5 votes
Stuffed tomatoes are a juicy and satisfying meal with a mouthwatering rice filling and Mediterranean flavors.
Our recipe is wholesome, healthy, and delicious, and you can enjoy it as a starter, main course, or side dish. It's excellent for meal prep too!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Servings: 12 tomatoes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • 12 vine tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander ground
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15-ounce) chickpeas drained
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt + black pepper to taste
  • 1 handful parsley chopped

Instructions 

Prepare the tomatoes

  • Slice off the top of 12 vine tomatoes and set it aside.
    With a spoon, remove the flesh, seeds, and water of the tomatoes and add it to a bowl.
    Season the inside of the tomatoes with a pinch of salt and put them upside down on a plate.
    hand removes seeds from fresh tomatoes
  • Blend the pulp, seeds, and water of the tomatoes and set it aside.
    blended tomato juice in a blender

Make the stuffing

  • Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.
    In a large skillet, fry 1 onion (chopped) in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 3 cloves garlic (pressed), 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1 cup rice.
    Fry one minute while stirring.
    fried onion and garlic in a skillet
  • Add the blended tomato juice, 2 cups vegetable broth, 1 can (15-ounce) chickpeas, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 teaspoon salt and some black pepper.
    spinach, chickpeas and rice
  • Simmer for 12 minutes or until the rice is al dente and it has absorbed the liquid. Stir occasionally.
    Stir in 1 handful parsley (chopped), then taste and adjust for salt.
    Stuffed tomato filling with spinach

Stuff the tomatoes

  • Stuff tomatoes with rice mixture.
    stuffing tomatoes with spoon and hands
  • Arrange on baking dish, cover with tops, and bake at 350°F or 180°C for 20 minutes.
    Stuffed tomatoes with top after baking
  • Serve as a starter, main, or side dish.
    Stuffed tomatoes after baking
  • Nico's serving tip: serve stuffed tomatoes on a bed of Greek-Style yogurt (or Yogurt Tahini Sauce). Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts, parsley, and sumac.
    Stuffed tomatoes with tahini yogurt sauce

Video

Stuffed Tomatoes (with Chickpeas and Spinach)

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 stuffed tomato out of 12.
STORAGE
Make ahead: this stuffed tomato recipe is excellent to make in advance as the tomatoes get tastier as the flavors meld in the fridge.
Refrigerator: let the tomatoes cool down completely, transfer them to an airtight container, and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezer: let them cool down completely, then transfer them into a freezer-friendly container and freeze them for three months.
Reheat: reheat stuffed tomatoes in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
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Nutrition

Calories: 145kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 435mg, Dietary Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1854IU, Vitamin B6: 0.2mg, Vitamin C: 21mg, Vitamin E: 1mg, Vitamin K: 58µg, Calcium: 40mg, Folate: 71µg, Iron: 1mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 35mg, Zinc: 1mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

    1. Hi Sandy, no problem!

      Substitute green or brown lentils, black beans, or pinto beans for the chickpeas 🙂

      Happy cooking. Kindest, Louise

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you! This is an interesting variation of the stuffed tomatoes we cook in Greece. Stuffed tomatoes as well as stuffed zucchini, aubergines, bell peppers and even potatoes (!) are cooked with rice and mince or just rice. Some people stuff the vegetables with a traditional kind of pasta called trachanas, or with bulgur. You can cook them in the oven or in a pot on the stove. It is a classic and much favoured summer dish when tomatoes are “fresh”. Thank you for this lovely recipe. I will try it with bell peppers too because stuffed peppers are my super favourites! ♥️

    1. Thanks for your message, Liana. I love Greek stuffed veggies, I still remember their flavor after my last trip to Greece 🙂