Stuffed tomatoes

Stuffed tomatoes are one of my favorite summer meals! They are flavorful, colorful, light and super delicious.

You can serve stuffed tomatoes as a side dish, but they totally stand on their own as a main dish.
Preparation may look like a lot of work but trust me, stuffed tomatoes are not complicated to make and you can prepare them a little bit ahead of time.

Stuffing ingredients and other variations of the recipe.

This simple stuffing is made of a mixture of long grain white rice, onion, garlic and zucchini, seasoned with cumin, oregano, chili, lemon zest and lots of fresh dill.
The stuffing is very easy to prepare and can be used in other recipes too! You can use it to prepare zucchini or eggplant boats, stuffed cabbage leaves or wrap it in the filo pastry.

How to make this dish higher in protein?

If you wish to make your stuffed tomatoes a high protein meal, simply add crumbled tofu, tempeh, soy granulate or cooked lentils into the stuffing. You can also swap white rice for brown which contains a slightly higher level of protein.

rice and zucchini stuffed tomatoes

Which tomatoes are best for stuffing?

You will need evenly round, firm tomatoes for this recipe.
I used tomatoes on the vine for their uniform size and roundness. They are sold still attached to the vine [ as the name implies ]. Don’t have that type of tomato? Don’t worry! Any medium-sized variety of tomato will work in this recipe.

Can you prepare these ahead of time?

Yes! There are a multiple options for preparing this recipe ahead of time:
1. You can fully prepare and cook the stuffed tomatoes one evening in advance. Take them out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for a bit, then cover and warm through in a medium-heated oven.
2. You can prepare the tomatoes and stuff them up to 2 days before baking.
Simply cover and keep refrigerated. Take the tomatoes out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking and let come to room temperature. Assemble in the baking dish and bake as instructed.
3. Stuffing can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and kept refrigerated. Take the stuffing out of the fridge 20 minutes before stuffing the tomatoes, assemble and bake as instructed.

stuffed tomatoes recipe

Stuffed tomatoes

Servings 5 servings
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins


  • oven
  • baking tray or oven safe dish


  • 10 tomatoes
  • ½ cup long grain rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 zucchini cut into small cubes
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ - 1 tsp chili flakes optional or to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 handful dill chopped

Extra vegetables for baking

  • 1 zucchini cut into rings
  • 2 onions cut in 4 quarters
  • 5 cloves garlic with a skin on
  • 1 lemon cut in 4 quarters
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano


  • Bring 1½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in rice and salt and return to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, chopped onion and cook briefly, just to soften brown a little.
    Follow with minced garlic, chili, oregano, cumin and lemon zest and cook for another 30 seconds stirring.
  • Add diced zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  • Add cooked rice to the pan and stir to combine all the ingredients. Set aside.
  • Prepare tomatoes for stuffing : cut the tomato tops [ do not discard ]. To loosen the flesh, go around the tomato edges with a paring knife, then using a spoon or your fingers carefully scoop out the tomato flesh and seeds - do not discard the flesh. You can use it in soup, pasta sauce, gazpacho, spread it on the toast [ just add some olive oil and minced garlic to it ] or add it to a green smoothie.
  • Stuff the tomato shells with rice and zucchini, pressing it down with a spoon.
  • Prepare a baking pan: line it with baking papier. Add onion, zucchini rings, a few garlic cloves [ with the skin on ] and lemon. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and oregano.
    Toss until all the veggies are coated in oil and seasonings, then arrange in a single layer.
    Roasted vegetables are not only delicious but will also help to keep the stuffed tomatoes in place.
  • Arrange the tomatoes on the bed of the vegetables and cover with their tomato tops.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 180C for 40 minutes.


Nutritional value - 1 stuffed tomato, without roasted vegetables
94 kcal | Carbohydrates 15.2 g | Protein 3.2 g | Fat 2.5 g | Fiber 2.5 g
Course: Appetizer, Main Course


Leftover stuffed tomatoes will keep well in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days, if properly stored in tight-lid containers.
How to reheat stuffed tomatoes?
Stuffed tomatoes are best both – served right out of the oven and at room temperature.
To reheat, place them for about five minutes under the broiler or in the oven. Microwaving works too, but they will lose some of the texture.

vegan roasted tomatoes

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @vitobites on Instagram and hashtag it #vitobites.
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Cooked with by Magdalena Wrona.
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