These Stuffed Tomatoes are juicy, cheesy, loaded with flavour and so simple to make!
Because stuffing peppers was so last year 😝. But seriously, if you’ve never stuffed a tomato before you’re in for a treat. Plus I’ll show you a nifty way to use up the centre of the tomato so there’s no waste! Follow me…
Preparing Stuffed Tomatoes
What kind of Tomato to use?
If there was one tomato that’s made for stuffing, it’s the mighty Beef Tomato (or Beefsteak depending on where you are in the world). Beef tomatoes are not only great because they’re so big, but also because they’ve got a fairly firm ‘wall’ which prevents the filling from spilling out. They also sit up right pretty well without rolling over.
Can I use other types of Tomatoes?
You can, just make sure they’re as big as you can find and preferably able to sit up right without rolling over. Also you’ll most likely have to use a few more than the recipes states if they’re not as big as beef tomatoes.
Using the Tomato Flesh
Once you’ve scooped out the tomato, you’ll want to blitz it up into a puree. We can then use this when making the sausage filling!
Process shots: slice the top off of the tomato (photos 1&2), scoop out filling (photo 3), add to mixing bowl (photo 4), blitz with hand blender (photo 5), blitz until smooth then leave to one side (photo 6).
Sausage and Rice Stuffed Tomatoes
Alrighty, tomatoes prepped, let’s talk filling. More specifically, sausage filling!
What kind of Sausage to use?
If you can get Italian ground sausage that’s awesome, if not just squeeze the meat from some Italian style sausages, or just some herby sausages. Failing that just use regular sausage meat or the meat from some ‘neutral’ flavoured sausages.
Cooking the rice
Technically you could cook the rice separate, but today we’re cooking it all in the same pan. That way the rice can soak up the flavour. It also means less washing up! The rice will mostly cook with just the tomato juice, but to top it up to the point where it’s al dente you’ll want to gradually add in some stock. The rice will cook ever so slightly more in the oven.
Process shots: fry onion and garlic (photo 1), add in sausage (photo 2), crumble with wooden spoon and brown (photo 3), stir in tomato paste (photo 4), pour in tomatoes (photo 5), stir in rice, parsley, salt, pepper & chilli flakes and simmer until rice is cooked (photo 6).
How to Stuff Tomatoes
When it comes to stuffing the tomatoes, I firstly recommend you pat the centre dry with a paper towel, just to remove as much moisture as possible. From there I work in layers of sausage, then mozzarella, followed by sausage and finished with the top of the tomato.
When it comes to baking the tomatoes, you bake them at a fairly low temp to reduce the chance of them cracking. However if you do notice them cracking at all just reduce the heat slightly, or if they’re tender enough just remove them from the oven. You want them tender, but still firm enough to stay intact.
Process shots: add sausage (photo 1), add mozzarella (photo 2), add more sausage (photo 3), add tomato (photo 4), add to baking dish (photo 5), bake (photo 6).
Extra Cheesy Stuffed Tomatoes!
Now, strictly speaking you could serve up the tomatoes once they’re baked. But me being me and this blog being this blog, we’re adding more cheese. Once they’re baked, just remove the lid, sprinkle over mozzarella and parmesan then whack under the grill until golden. THEN we can serve up 😛
Process shots: remove lid (photo 1), add mozzarella (photo 2), add parmesan then grill (photo 3).
Serving Stuffed Tomatoes
Once they’re golden and juicy, I like to finish these with a dollop of pesto. This really takes them to the next level, so do add it if you’ve got it on hand! I typically serve these for lunch either as they are or with a small side salad.
Love stuffing your food? Check out these beauties:
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipes for these stuffed tomatoes shall we?!
How to make Stuffed Tomatoes (Full Recipe & Video)
Italian Sausage Stuffed Tomatoes
- 8" x 12" Baking Dish (or similar size)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Medium Sized Mixing Bowl and Hand Blender (or food processor/blender)
- Large Pan & Wooden Spoon
- Fine Cheese Grater
- Paper Towels
Ingredients (check list):
- 6 large Beef Tomatoes (Beefsteak in US)
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups / 100 - 150g Mozzarella, shredded
- 1/3 cup / 30g freshly grated Parmesan
- 6 heaped tsp Pesto
Sausage & Rice
- 14oz / 400g Sausage Meat (see notes)
- 1 cup / 240ml Chicken Stock, or as needed
- 1/2 cup / 100g uncooked Long Grain Rice
- 1/4 cup finely diced Fresh Parsley
- 1 small White Onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree in UK)
- 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes, or to taste (optional)
- Olive Oil, as needed
- Prep Tomatoes: Slice the tops off the tomatoes and keep to one side. Carefully slice out the centre of the tomato, making sure to keep the outside intact. Scoop tomato into a mixing bowl and pat the insides of the tomatoes dry. Blitz the tomato filling with a hand blender until smooth. Place to one side.
- Sausage: In a large pan over medium heat add a drizzle of olive oil with the diced onion. Fry until it begins to soften & pick up colour, then add garlic and fry for a couple of minutes longer. Add in sausage meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Continue frying/breaking up until browned and cooked right through. Stir in tomato paste and fry for 1-2mins.
- Rice: Pour in the blended tomato, then add in rice, parsley, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Give everything a stir, then reduce to a simmer and gently stir every now and then until the rice is just about cooked (still a teeny bit hard). Gradually add in stock as needed until the rice reaches this point. I typically end up using around 1/2cup/120ml, but just use as much as you need to get the rice al dente (use water if you run out of stock).
- Stuff Tomatoes: Add in a dollop of the sausage & rice, then a pinch of mozzarella, then finish with another dollop of sausage & rice. Gently push down and level off, then add the top of the tomato back on.
- Bake: Add to a baking dish and pop in the oven at 180C/350F for 20-30mins, or until the tomato is tender, but still firm enough to stay intact. Keep an eye on them, if they start to crack then reduce the heat slightly, or if they're tender enough just remove them from the oven.
- Cheese: Take the tops off the tomatoes then sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan. Pop under the grill and broil until the cheese is golden.
- Serve: Add a dollop of pesto and a sprinkling of any leftover parsley you might have, then carefully remove from the dish and serve up!
Quick 1 min demo!
If you loved this Stuffed Tomatoes recipe then be sure to Pin it for later! Already made them or got a question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook on the way!