Stuffed Tomatoes

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
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Fresh, ripe tomatoes are the perfect match for basil, cheese, and buttery panko crumbs. This family recipe for stuffed tomatoes is a simple appetizer bursting with summery flavor!

Cheese stuffed tomatoes garnished with herbs.

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My Granny’s Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe

Sometimes the simplest things can be the best things. These cheese stuffed tomatoes? Definitely one of those things. They are made simply with just a few ingredients, but somehow when those ingredients come together, they’re pure heaven. These sort of taste like margherita pizza!

My Granny has been making these for many years, and thankfully she shared the recipe with me. It definitely comes in handy in the summer months, to help use the tomatoes from my garden!

Ingredients for Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes.

Ingredient Notes

So what’s in this recipe? Just fresh tomatoes and a few pantry staples! Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for a printable list.

  • Fresh Tomatoes: I like to use tomatoes on the vine. Look for tomatoes about the size of a tangerine.
  • Bread Crumbs: I like panko because of the extra texture they add, but you can also use regular breadcrumbs or homemade.
  • Basil: Chop up the basil, and have some extra for garnish if possible.
  • Cheese: I use shredded Monterey Jack cheese, but you could substitute other cheeses if you like.
  • Garlic: You’ll need a minced or pressed clove of garlic. In a pinch, you can substitute a little bit of garlic powder, but the flavor won’t be as fresh.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Butter: Melt the butter before using.
  • Oil: For drizzling.

How to Make Stuffed Tomatoes

  • Preheat the oven. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Prep the tomatoes. Slice the top off of each tomato. Use a spoon to gently hollow each one out. (Reserve the tomato flesh that you scoop out for the filling.) You want to leave a ½-inch-thick shell. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish, and set them aside.
  • Make the stuffing mixture. Drain any excess liquid from the reserved tomato flesh, and chop it up into small chunks. Place the tomato chunks in a bowl, and add the bread crumbs, basil, cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the melted butter over this mixture, and stir it will to combine.
  • Stuff the tomatoes. Fill each tomato shell with the stuffing mixture, until they slightly overflow.
  • Bake. Drizzle the tops with olive oil, and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes. When the tomatoes are soft, and the cheese is melted, take the dish out of the oven, and serve warm.
  • Enjoy!

Helpful Tips

  • Use similarly sized tomatoes: For even baking, make sure you choose tomatoes that are all about the same size. Round tomatoes will be easier to stand up and fill than flatter or more oval tomatoes.
  • Don’t scoop out too much of the tomato: Be sure not to scrape the tomato sides too thin, or the tomatoes won’t stand up and stay intact during baking.

What to Serve with Stuffed Tomatoes

You can use these as an appetizer, a side dish, or a light vegetarian main course. Here are some of my favorite recipes to serve alongside this easy tomato dish:

  • Grilled Chicken: Juicy grilled chicken goes with everything, especially these summery tomatoes. Try this easy recipe for Grilled Rosemary Honey Mustard Chicken – you’ll fall in love with the incredible flavor combination!
  • Salmon Patties: A platter of Crispy Salmon Patties can turn stuffed tomatoes into a savory, satisfying meal. Yum!
  • Steak: This Juicy Flank Steak would go great with these fresh stuffed tomatoes for a perfect light dinner.
A baked tomato appetizer on a small white plate with a fork.

How to Store and Reheat

These stuffed tomatoes really are best served fresh, but you can store the leftovers:

  • Store in the fridge: Place the tomatoes in an airtight container, and refrigerate for 3 – 4 days.
  • To reheat: Bake in a 350F oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until heated through.

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

Tomatoes become rather mushy after freezing and thawing, so I do not recommend freezing these.

Cheese stuffed tomatoes garnished with herbs.
4.8 from 6 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 6 Servings

Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

Fresh, ripe tomatoes are the perfect match for basil, cheese, and buttery panko crumbs. This family recipe for Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes is a simple appetizer bursting with summery flavor!
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 ripe tomatoes, on the vine
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 sweet basil leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Oil, for drizzling

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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  • Remove the tomatoes from the vine, and slice the tops off of each. With a spoon, gently hollow out the centers of each tomato (leaving a ½-inch thick shell) and place in an empty baking dish. Set aside.
  • Drain any extra liquid from the tomato pulp, and then lightly chop the remaining pulp into smaller chunks. Place the chopped pulp into a medium-sized bowl.
  • In that same bowl with the tomato pulp, add in the bread crumbs, chopped basil leaves, shredded cheese, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with the melted butter and stir until fully combined.
  • With a spoon, gently fill the empty cavity of each tomato with the filling, until it is slightly overflowed. Drizzle the tops with olive oil.
  • Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and the cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Video

Notes

Storage:
These stuffed tomatoes really are best served fresh, but you can store the leftovers.
  • To store, place the tomatoes in an airtight container, and refrigerate for 3 – 4 days.
  • To reheat, bake in a 350F oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 185kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 32mg, Sodium: 403mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g

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4 stars
Great. Two suggestions: mature cheddar cheese or blue stilton are much stronger than monterey jack. Also for two persons use beef tomatoes, with small ones it’s to fiddly to scoop out much. Enjoy!

5 stars
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I cooked this today and it was delicious. Thank you. I added just a little rice instead of breadcrumbs inspired by this blog – http://becooked.com/stuffed-tomato-with-rice-and-olives
My kids just love rice and I get to include it in every meal.

I made this recipe with cherry tomatoes for appetizers, and they are delicious! I doubled your ingredients and used 2 pints of tomatoes. Thank you!!!

Love this! I’m making some meat-stuffed bell peppers for company tomorrow night. I can make these as well for the perfect stuffed-veg party!

I did this today with some fresh off the vine early girls and it was delicous. I set the oven temperature to 450 degrees and baked them for 15 minutes. This recipe is going into my regular rotation.

I am making these right now. I will let everyone know how they turn out. They looked so good, had to try it out:-)

Oh my goodness my hubby will love these as will I. Perfect way to enjoy some of our garden veggies. Thanks for sharing.

I am making these right now. I will let everyone know how they turn out. They looked so good, had to try it out:-)

Hi these look fantastic & they’re exactly what I needed to add to my menu tomorrow. Just one question though, why wrap each tomato individually in foil?

Hi! I stumbled in here last night for the first time, I am definitely a novice, but you make everything so easy to understand. I am trying the tomatoes tonight, the look DELICIOUS! (PS, I am trying the chicken souvlaki and tzaiki sauce tomorrow night) Thanks so much!!

These look so good that I’m trying them tonight with my boyfriend!

What a great recipe! Thank you.

These look really wonderful – they’re going on the menu plan this week for sure 🙂

Beautiful! What a great summer treat!

Tomatoes are so lovely right now, and stuffing them sounds delicious. Great to know they’re low calorie too!

Wow!! Those pics just pop right off the page!! These look absolutely paw-the-screen good!

Simple, beautiful and delicious!

mmm. i often think of stuffed tomatoes as an okay dish, only worth the effort if i’m feeling particularly energized. your filling, however, changes all that–i LOVE me some jack cheese. gorgeous work, jessica!

Thank You For Being Here!

Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.