rice-stuffed tomatoes

Guys, we should definitely, definitely talk about these. Here, I’ll go first: I think it’s essential that you not let another tomato season pass without making them. I realize that you might imagine rice-stuffed tomatoes to be something unappealing. Maybe you had a cold, stomach-turning one at a buffet wedding too many years ago that its squidgy horror should still be fresh in your mind, and yet. Maybe you cannot imagine why anyone would consider rice stuffed inside a tomato to be something noteworthy, being just rice and tomatoes, possibly two of the most generic foods out there. Maybe you’re waiting to hear what I dolled these up with to make them interesting — was there bacon or cheese or caramelized onions? Did I amp it up with whole grains or kale? Maybe I cooked an egg inside, like that one time? And maybe you’re going to be disappointed when I tell you that I added nothing, just about nothing at all, and that’s the best thing about them.

red and yellow medium-large tomatoes
take just a little off the top

I started obsessing over rice-stuffed tomatoes a year ago. At the time, I loved them because they felt to me like the essence of simple Italian and Mediterranean cooking, this idea that you don’t need to lay 16 outside flavors onto things as simple as seasonal tomatoes and plain rice to make them taste amazing. You could coax the maximum flavor out of them with seasoning, by toasting the rice, by cooking them with a tiny amount of onion and garlic in olive oil then slowly in the oven. But, at the time, I never told you about them because they made me a little sad. At the time, I was moping that the family vacation to Rome — a place I imagined did a fine job with these throughout tomato season — we’d been trying to take for as long as we’d been a family had gotten postponed again due to all of those real-life things that have the nerve to get in the way of a good time. I mean, I know that sometimes as a grown-up you don’t get to do everything that you want, but I was starting to question the point of working all of the time and spending scrupulously if it didn’t, at least every few years, lead to things we really wanted?

grapefruit knives make pretty, clean cuts

scooping the tomato centers
hollowed, then salted and drained
tomato bellies, in the food mill
tomato guts

Who knew what a year could bring? Certainly not me. A few weeks later, my son turned three, a few weeks after that, this cookbook I wrote came out, and I spent most of the fall in and out of cities* and TV and radio stations being consumed by it. January brought a month-long nap and then in February and March I was back at it again and decided that if I could make time for 29 awesome towns in five months, maybe the 30th one could be that vacation we’d always wanted, and we made it so.

small onion-garlic saute
risotto rice, tomato sauce
then some basil

That’s not all that’s changed. A year ago, I made these for dinner, thinking that my tomato-loving, rice-loving son would go to town on them and dinner harmony would at last be achieved. I can hear all the parents reading along, laughing. Of course, he wouldn’t touch them (tomatoes and rice must be separate or they’re terrifying, obviously). This year? He ate two, then two more for lunch the next day and yet another thing that seemed daunting/impossible/frustrating a year ago became distant history. Here’s to so much more of this, eh?

rice-stuffed tomatoes with breadcrumbs
rice-stuffed tomatoes, with breadcrumbs
daylight dinner, thank you, summer
my method: halve, then smash

* Psst: Another mini-book tour announcement is coming late this week/early next!

Stuffed vegetables, previously: Couscous and Feta-Stuffed Peppers, Romaine Pesto and Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes, Stuffed Rond de Nice Squash, Roasted Stuffed Onions, Lebanese-Style Stuffed Eggplant, Sausage Stuffed Potatoes, and two stuffed cabbages, Alex’s Mom’s and Italian-Style. The first four on this list are vegetarian.

One year ago: Vanilla Custards with Roasted Blueberries
Two years ago: Roasted Tomatoes with Eggplant and Mint
Three years ago: Raspberry Limeade Slushies
Four years ago: Lighter, Airy Pancake
Five years ago: Blueberry Crumb Bars
Six years ago: Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes [Pomodori Ripieni di Riso]
Adapted from a blend of Rachel Eats, Wednesday Chef, Silver Spoon and trial and error

As I mentioned above, you could deck these out with any number of compatible ingredients — crisped bits of proscuitto, mozzarella or pecorino cheese, olives or artichokes and more! Even I couldn’t resist straying from the pure tomato-rice-and-seasonings course with a clove of garlic and few tablespoons of minced onion, as well as a starchier risotto variety of rice. But I’m telling you, it needs none of these things to be late summer dinner bliss. The rice cooks inside the most clear-noted, pure tomato sauce you’ve ever scooped onto a fork and I want August to always taste like this.

Serves 6 as a side and 3 as a main. We had these with sausages, but they’d be equally good with last week’s kale salad and/or some salumi. Or, you can do this, which is the way it is done in Rome: Peel and cube a few Yukon gold potatoes, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange them in the baking dish around the tomatoes and bake them simultaneously. This not only keeps the tomatoes upright, it provides a delicious accompaniment.

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse or Kosher salt
6 medium-to-large (mine were 3 inches across, averaged 8 1/4 ounces in weight) tomatoes
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 medium or 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
9 tablespoons arborio or another short-grained starchy rice
Few tablespoons chopped parsley, oregano or slivered basil (or mix thereof)
Handful breadcrumbs, if using (unless using gluten-free breadcrumbs, this will of course negate the dish’s gluten-free status)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an ovenproof baking dish with olive oil.

Prepare tomatoes: Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out tomato juices, seeds and flesh into a non-reactive (i.e. just about anything but aluminum) bowl. I like to use a grapefruit knife to make the first cuts, then a spoon to remove the rest, but you can use anything you have around, being careful not to pierce the bottom of the tomatoes. Salt the cavities of the tomatoes and turn them upside down on a plate to drain.

Prepare reserve: Run scooped-out tomato flesh and juices through a food mill or pulse in a blender until coarsely pureed. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add 2 tablespoons olive oil, heating it too. Once hot, add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking them together for 2 minutes, or until onion begins to soften. Add rice and cook them together for about 3 minutes, or until rice toasts a little. Add tomato puree and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, then cover skillet with a lid, and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is par-cooked. Adjust seasoning if needed.

[If using the potatoes, as mentioned in the Notes up top, prepare them while the rice simmers.]

Reassemble tomatoes: Stir fresh herbs into tomato-rice mixture. Arrange tomatoes right-side-up in baking pan then spoon mixture into tomatoes, filling them just 7/8 of the way to leave room for the rice to finish expanding. Coat with breadcrumbs that you can drizzle lightly with olive oil, if using, or you can replace the tomato lid on each (though, do not spend 10 minutes trying to match them back up, as I did last summer. It’s pointless.)

Bake: Uncovered for 30 minutes, until tomato walls are soft and the rice inside has finished cooking. Serve hot. Repeat again tomorrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

274 comments on rice-stuffed tomatoes

  1. Kaitlin

    I made something eerily similar to these for my mother when she was recovering from surgery two weeks back. She asked for the recipe. I may well just forward her this.

  2. I am a big fan of purely tomato base risottos, however they seem to have fallen out of fashion. The use of these tomato bowl just makes it that much sweeter when you serve them. Maybe serving them with some fried gnocchi is need this weekend, thanks for the idea!

  3. Maria

    Currently suffering from a terrible cold (in AUGUST – how does this happen?) and these stuffed tomatoes sound like the most perfect comfort food. I think I might actually pull myself off of the couch to make this!

  4. Wow! You have an amazing ability to make something seemingly simple into something delicious and hearty. I love that. I imagine these tomatoes to be somewhat of a blank canvas to which one can add sausage, shredded chicken, mushrooms, or any type of vegetable. You’ve given me endless ideas :)

  5. Kimberly

    Hell yes. I live in the country and the tomatoes are amazing right now. I’ve been eating them cooked in garlic butter (by the bushel loads), but this is happening tomorrow night.

  6. I’ve tried an orzo version of this before, and rarely make it because the orzo is too mushy, and the tomato just didn’t infuse into the pasta.

    Rice, on the other hand, sounds way better.

    Definitely going to have to give this a shot very soon!

  7. I forgot about stuffed tomatoes! I have a recipe that uses orzo and olive oil and for which I was always stumped about what to do with the tomato innards.
    I love the potato cube tip, too.

    And I think it is essential to stop and ask myself sometimes WHY I am working so hard? I don’t mind the hard work if it leads to, you know, Italy.

  8. These look delicious! The rice looks gooey and unctuous – whereas in the past examples that I’ve had it’s like a hard, unpleasant, starchy ball. Will definitely be trying these over the long weekend.

    Would be great with a good bottle of Chianti too!

  9. marylu2

    This is similar to an Armenian recipe for stuffed vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, squash.) So delicious…just like your delightful blog.

  10. These look delicious, I’ll definitely try them soon to take advantage of the lovely tomatoes before summer’s over. Recently I’ve been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my diet, and this just shows they don’t have to be boring!

  11. I actually have on my to-do list: “figure out something to do with tomatoes.” I have so many given by neighbors right now. This is absolutely, without a doubt, one hundred percent happening to them. I think the simplicity of it is the best thing about it. Yum. Let’s see if my kids will eat them this year…

  12. These are gorgeous! My daughter has become a vegetarian, and this is not only the perfect dinner for us, but one I can task her with making! She is away for a week, so I may not wait for her to try them.
    I imagine they are quite as good cold as well as hot from the oven.

  13. Jess

    Yum. And so glad there was a new post. I dream of that November when there was a post per day…chaotic, I’m sure, but beloved by all your readers.

  14. I have generally been on the bad-experience-with-stuffed-tomatoes train, but I do have a windowsill full of fresh garden tomatoes…hmm hmm hmm. This may change my mind! :)

  15. Wow, we are seriously on the same page this week – I made rice stuffed tomatoes on a bed of potatoes on Saturday afternoon, following a years-old recipe I found over on Rachel Eats, and they were fine, but not great like I wanted them to be – the rice goes soaks in the tomato sauce first, but doesn’t actually get cooked, so some of it was a little too chewy for me. I just had another one for lunch and emailed my husband saying “you know, I think next time I’ll par-cook the rice and actually peel the potatoes.” and here you’ve gone and done it! Thanks for letting me know that this simple dish can be as delicious as I want them to be.

  16. These look divine! I found a great white bean & basil-stuffed tomato recipe (I think on The Guardian’s website) a while back that I love, so I know I’d love these, too. Like you said, ripe summer tomatoes and rice are two of the best, simplest things.

    1. deb

      More stuffed vegetables — Okay, I apparently stuff a lot of vegetables on this site. I got this post up in a hurry before (typical) and forgot to add a list at the end; I just did. Stuffed tomatoes and potatoes and eggplant and peppers and cabbage (twice) and even onions. Can’tstopwon’tstop.

      Also — I added a little heads-up that I’m announcing another mini-book tour soon. I was supposed to get that announcement up today. I’m SLOW. And you’re all on vacation anyway, right?

      Other grains — I have not tried this with brown rice or quinoa. You know I’m dying to with farro, because that’s my favorite with Italian food. In all cases, it’s really about the grain’s cooking time. Semi-pearled farro is comparable to arborio rice, so I wouldn’t adjust for it. Quinoa, I think, is less and may not need pre-cooking on the stove, though it makes it taster. It’s less likely to taste overcooked (right?) if it’s in the oven too long, though. Brown rice might take a few minutes longer than arborio. It’s up to you whether you’d add that on the stove or in the oven. Many, many stuffed tomato recipes are done entirely in the oven, baking the tomatoes for 1 to 1.5 hours, so it wouldn’t be weird. (I just prefer the risotto-y effect of doing it for a while on the stove.)

      Sade — In cups, it would be 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon, which I does makes more sense (I’lll add that). However, I meant to add but the headnotes were getting lengthy enough, that I estimate 1 tablespoon rice per small tomato (but not mini, like grape or cherry, of course, just 2- to 3-inch across), 1 1/2 for each medium, and 2 for each large. So, that’s why I ended up writing it in tablespoons.

      Stephk — No way! Great minds. I love Kristina’s cooking (and had no idea she was in Rome now!). And she includes the potatoes, yay, which is way more traditional. So, it looks like her version doesn’t include precooking the rice. You can totally do that here, too, but I love the risotto-y effect of parcooking the rice on the stovetop. It also reduces the baking time in the oven, which is nice if you’re on the fence about having your oven on in the summer. But, and this is one more thing I need to add to the already cluttered head notes, if you do the potato thing, you might find they need more than 30 minutes roasting time.

  17. Deb these are gorgeous and I love tomatoes in any way I can get them!

    And your hot pink nail polish is fab. I only WISH I could keep nail polish on for longer than a day. With all the dishes I do, doesn’t happen. lol

  18. I laughed at your son’s rejection one year and acceptance the next! Been there, done that.

    And passed it on to the grown up kids who didn’t believe it.

    Till it came true!

    I love the simplicity of the dish and it reminds me that we complicate things to much. I will cook it this weekend.

  19. I love the idea of tomatoes and rice together and these look beautiful!Especially with all that garlic. Trying to take FULL advantage of tomato season :)

  20. Lauren

    This looks great! I think I’m going to make it when we have people over for dinner on Wednesday. Would there be any reason I couldn’t do it all the night before, and then assemble and bake it before we eat? Thanks (for this and your wonderful site)!

  21. Jennifer Franich

    It may not make it into the next tour, but please come to San Luis Obispo! Its warm, beautiful, and has a very inspiring local food culture. Plus, I missed the California tour by going to Seattle, and the Seattle visit by a few days!

  22. Julia

    This looks mouth wateringly delicious and you know what else? I bet it would make perfect picnic fare served at room temperature. I happen to have a friend coming to visit who is a vegetarian so your timing was just right for me as I trawl the internet for creative veggie recipes. Thank you!

  23. This recipe is really interesting. After loathing the rice and tuna stuffed tomatoes served with a dollop of piped mayonnaise (makes you cringe I know) served at diners half my life, this idea of few, simple and seasonal ingredients is just what I needed to be able to begin to consider a stuffed tomato again! Nice.

  24. JP

    Worth serving just to see those colors…although this is a high Summer dish, the pan looks like Autumn. So poignant to think Autumn is just around the corner!

  25. Red Jenny

    I’ve been improvising variations on stuffed tomatoes for years (inc. versions stuffed with risotto/and equivalents), so let me say–you must try this (or one of its cousins) with GREEN TOMATOES. Superior, I would say, to stuffed red (ripe) tomatoes. (Green tomatoes, as in “unripe” or “less ripe,” not green as in “green zebra or other interesting heirloom.” Like peppers, tomatoes are members of the nightshade family; perhaps not surprisingly, both peppers and tomatoes are delicious at the “green” [less ripe] as well as “red” [riper] end of continuum–esp. but not only when cooked.) Really. Superior. Do a taste test…

  26. FrenchTeacherCooks

    I’ve got these baking in the oven right now–can’t wait til they’re done. The tomato-rice filling inspired me to try a riff on a BLT; next time, I’m making tomato risotto with pancetta and stirring in some arugula at the end. Thanks for the great ideas!

  27. SHelly

    Made these tonight, for some reason had to much filling so I was obligated to eat it out of the skillet (partially cooked rice isn’t so bad) and couldn’t wait to pull them out of the oven. Forgot the basil so used it fresh on top and loved it. Baked slices of german cream potatoes in the dish with it …… mmmmmmmmm. My first thought was that I must try this with faro.

  28. Yum! Thanks for reminding me of something so, so simple and so, so delicious. My Grandmother always made these for us growing up – pure & simple Italian cooking. Beautiful pics too! Great blog!


  29. Omar

    Thank you for a fabulous dinner inspiration! I had a cheesy Israeli couscous dish defrosting in my fridge and decided to use it in the filling. Added the couscous at the very end after the interior of the tomato had cooked down with water and a touch of white wine. Added fresh dill, cheeses and parsley to the couscous prior to stuffing. Satisfying and delicious.

    My yellow and red tomatoes tasted worlds apart. Both were wonderful.

  30. This is the first year I’ve grown tomatoes, and I’m blown away by how great they taste! I’ve got a ton of tomatoes ripening, so I’m looking for all kinds of ways to cook them.

    Tonight I tried a zucchini/tomato tart, and the flavors were good but the execution could use a little work. The juice from the tomatoes turned the bottom crust soggy (I knew it was going to happen but too lazy to troubleshoot lol) and I want to work on that.

    Anyway, I can’t wait to try these too, they look delicious!

  31. I have to admit I’ve never been a fan of stuffed tomatoes…I totally recognized myself at the beginning of the post (and the crazy thing is that I’m Italian!!!) but you made these look so fresh, appealing and summer-y, so much so that I think I should give them a go :) I’ll let you know if your recipe changes my mind!

    xo, Elisa

  32. These look gorgeous! They remind me of both my grandmothers–one Italian and one Egyptian. My Italian nonna would make the most incredible tomato risotto, while my Egyptian teta would stuff tomatoes (mahshi) with rice that had been seasoned with a delicate blend of herbs and spices. Both were favorite dishes from my childhood, and this one seems like the perfect marriage of the two. Thank you for sharing–you’ve brought the biggest smile to my face :)

  33. Calliope

    This is a typical greek summer dish. Every week is on the table and I have yet to meet one that doesn’t enjoy. But we stuff also in the same oven pan eggplants, bell peppers, zucchinis, vine leaves and zucchini flowers…mmmm…flavors all blend together deliciously.
    I finelly chop lots of red onions, the insides of the vegetables (but the peppers),rice, some tomato paste,parsley,spearmint,one lemon juice, oregano,olive oil, salt and pepper and then stuff the vegetables and tightly place them in the betweens add cut potatoes. Add only olive oil and some salt and bake in the oven until all vegetables are tender and rice is done.

  34. Era

    I’m making these tonight.
    Let me know when you finally make it to Rome. I have some great restaurant recommendations for you. Thank you for the great recipes (especially buttermilk chicken which is now a staple).

  35. Judy

    @maria. It’s called a ‘summer cold’ having one in the summer is normal. I’m not being condescending. I used to dtuff veggies . With meat and rice. Well. .I didn’t actually do the stuffing ss I didn’t know how so my next door neighbour would come in and do it for me. She’s moved now :'( . Ok. Question time. Can I use persian rice? I have grapefruit spoons. Can they be used? I can’t bear herbs of any kind! Do you all live in the country? Lucky yous. I live in an apartment in a suburb of a city. My big sister lol won’t eat them. She doesn’t like hot tomatoes. Spicey yes. Does anyone have cats?

  36. Sara

    Found these just in time to make a nice anniversary dinner for my husband and kids. Made them last night after a quick trip to the ER with my clumsy toddler (nothing like celebrating your anniversary in the ER!), and they were a hit all around! Two year old son devoured an entire tomato bigger than the size of the lump on his head and asked for more, even. And, I just ate a leftover cold one for breakfast–yum. These are incredible. Thanks for coming through, yet again, Deb!

  37. Emily

    Just made these last night with tomatoes and herbs from the garden!! Ohhh my it was so good!! As always, thank you for the great recipe! :)

  38. These look great. I love tomato and rice soup…so I’ll give these a try. I make stuffed tomatoes often in the summer, but I just bread and Italian Progresso bread crumbs instead. Yummy as well!

    1. deb

      TerryB — I didn’t measure it because it will vary by tomato. But, theoretically, your tomato-rice mixture should fit back inside your tomatoes after parcooking, or 95% of it should, as you’re only putting in what you’ve taken out.

      Vasun — I take photos for this site, or I do 99.95% of the time. However, there are two photos here with both my hands in them and they were taken by my husband.

  39. Nancy

    A word to the wise for anyone using Brown Rice…Make sure the rice is almost cooked through before stuffing and baking.
    Made these last night and cooked the rice on the stovetop for about 20-25 mins, and then in the oven for over 40 mins and the rice was still quite hard. It was still delicious and I know we’ll be making this again!

  40. Immediately made these. They were divine, though we had to adjust our cooking time to accommodate the huge farm stand tomatoes we used! So simple and so delicious– another smitten kitchen home run.

  41. Mary

    Funny that you made these. We just came back from Greece, where my relatives had these often for us. My husband asked for me to make them and it’s on the menu for tomorrow. Thanks for renewing my interest in making them! And definitely make them with the potatoes…they turn out wonderful together.

  42. Oh I love stuffed tomatoes! My mom used to make them often. I love how versatile they are when you can play around with different fillings. Great idea to put rice in this recipe. Bookmarked it so I’ll try soon. Thanks for the recipe. Hope your summer was spectacular!

  43. I love how you coax the most flavor out of the fewest ingredients-like making that light tomato sauce out of the puree and cooking the rice in it. This looks like a perfect late summer dinner.

  44. Madeline

    This looks delicious… do you think the stuffed tomatoes would freeze well? If so, would you recommend freezing before or after the final bake?

  45. I am going to the farmers market this instant. These babies will be on the table tonight. I have an abundance of rosemary, oregano, chive blossoms and basil in my backyard, so this sure looks like dinner to me. Maybe with a butter lettuce salad and a crisp white unoaked Chardonnay! Thanks for the inspiration for dinner!

  46. Sylvia

    Just wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying your blog since I discovered it. Your zeal for cooking and baking is infectious, and sometimes when I’m down I go to your blog just because it cheers me up somehow. So thank you for that.

  47. Amy

    these look delicious, and I would totally chop up some fresh mozzarella and toss it in with the rice–I’m kind of a cheese-aholic.

    can’t wait to see where you’re headed next. I hope (fingers and toes are crossed) that you’ll be coming to tampa or st. petersburg, FL

  48. Lourie

    Love Smitten Kitchen – especially the photographs. Thank you for the wonderful recipes. I love tomatoes and rice and will cook this recipe ASAP. Your blog is great and the photographs are a great addition to the recipes. Nice and simple and easy to understand!

  49. These look DIVINE. But I cannot stop thinking about your upcoming cookbook tour. Oh please let it involve London, oh please let it involve London, oh please let it involve London!!! (If one says that enough times it has to happen, right? That’s how things work…)

  50. Absolutely delicious and hearty! Loved it! I made risotto stuffed tomatoes and an eggplant that was due and discovered that tomatoes, just like zucchinis, eggplant and other perfect for stuffing goods can be easily emptied with a fork! (turning it with a corkscrew-like motion) This, of course, if like me, your kitchen is lacking most of the basic supplies. :)

  51. These look like the nourishing, healthy comfort food. I’ve had plenty of stuffed peppers before, but never stuffed tomatoes. My husband and I are up to our ears in tomatoes. I think it’s time for us to try these!

  52. LilyWrenn

    These were absolutely delicious, beautiful and fun to make! However, the rice did not cook all the way through, even though I cooked them them plenty of liquid for a bit longer than this recipe says. I’d either make sure the rice is completely cooked before you stuff the tomatoes, or use a fast-cooking grain like couscous.

    1. deb

      Robyn — Thank you, hadn’t seen it!

      Madeline — I’ve never tried to freeze them. I hope that someone else who has tried it will pipe up and let you know. FWIW, my MIL freezes stuffed peppers and cabbage a lot. But I’m not positive that the tomato’s texture will hold up as well.

  53. Just made these… actually, still cooking in the oven. But there was some leftover tomato-rice mixture that I’ve been helping myself to. Granted, rice a little undercooked like it’s supposed to be but it tastes soo good. I made mine extra spicy too! I can definitely see the tomato-rice mixture being a dish in itself!

  54. Jean

    Made this tonight and it totally exceeded all expectation! Tripled the garlic because I can’t help it and added a sprinkle of pecorino between scoops of rice and topped with panko. Had this surprisingly lemony garlicky spicy flavor that I basically would marry!! Totally ignored my family and ran to thank you Deb!

  55. I’m currently watching TNG with my husband, so I got really excited at your Picardism about your trip to Rome.

    Uh, also, these look delicious. And I will try to stop being such a nerd in public :)

  56. Lily

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Perfect timing too! Your summer recipes (particularly so, this summer) seem to match exactly with what I have in my backyard! Especially since I went particularly crazy with the tomato planting this year. (And I do have a lot of tomatoes, in all the colors of the rainbow! Red, orange, yellow, purple, black, small, mini, large, heirloom. I have a lot of tomatoes!) I haven’t made your kale salad yet, but I am looking forward to it. =)

    I followed the recipe to the ‘tee’…all the way to “Repeat again tomorrow.” Which is what I have done exactly. It’s so simple, and delicious. I thought I should sprinkle some cheese on it as well, but it’s not necessary. It tastes like pure warm comfort food in a cool summer day. I may still sprinkle some cheese the next time I make it, and just to taste the difference. And there will be a next time again!

  57. Elle

    Hi Deb! I’m in the market for a food mill. What brand is yours? It seems to have legs that support it on a it or bowl. That and good mushing results are my requirements.

  58. DJMoore

    Did my level best to spoil these, which I made on impulse with what I had on hand.

    Supermarket tomatoes. Stale risotto rice. Generic Italian Seasoning because my out of date dried basil was flavorless. Too much cayenne. Over-pureed the sauce.

    Still scrumptious, although the rice didn’t soften completely.

    As the recipe says, “repeat again tomorrow”, only with good ingredients. I can’t wait.

  59. Hayley

    I just wanted to comment to let you know I made these last night and they were absolutely delicious! I was scouring the internet for a summery recipe and these popped into my inbox via bloglovin’ – it was meant to be! I was a bit worried that the rice would be terribly bland, especially with the supermarket tomatoes that were all I could get after work last night. However I needn’t have worried, the tomato flavour was incredible and shone through on its own like the summery star that it should be – thank you for convincing me that simple ingredients need no embellishment. I do have to confess to jazzing up the tops slightly, I smeared a lick of mustard across the top of the tomatoes and topped with a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan before drizzingly liberally with olive oil. Lovely – thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  60. Kate

    I made these last night and they took me right back to my time in Greece. I had a dish called Yemista while travelling through the country and it was the best thing I’ve ever eaten. This was a very close duplicate. Make sure you use good quality cold-pressed olive oil! Makes all the difference! I also sprinkled a pinch of sugar in the bottom of the tomatoes before stuffing them to combat the acidity. Loved the idea of using arborio rice, it came out beautifuly.

    1. deb

      Shaundi — The blender will leave the seeds in (so will a food mill, unless you’re using very small holes, which I never bother with). However, if you don’t like tomato seeds, you can then push it through a finer-mesh strainer. However, I usually don’t like seeds in tomato sauce but never notice them here.

      Elle — I have the OXO food mill. It’s very good. I almost never use it; the Internet told me I couldn’t make baby food without it several years ago so I bought it in a mama-panic and proceeded to just use the food processor most of the time, finding the hand-cranking tiresome. However, for tomatoes and the like, it’s unquestionably better and I’m very happy with how this has worn (i.e. not at all, and all the parts are dishwasher-safe).

  61. Molly

    I had to comment about the laws of toddler eating. My 4 year old, unlike your little one, will not touch rice (or rice-adjacent foods), onions, or tomatoes (except in the form of pasta sauce). Last night I made your one-pot farro and tomatoes, and despite her better instincts she deigned to try a bite. And loved it. She and my 15 month old actually both ate so much of it that I no longer have the leftovers that I was going to save for lunch today. Go figure.

  62. Sarah

    I made these last night and WOW! They really are a delicious and light side or even full meal. I did notice there wasn’t going to be quite enough liquid to cook the rice once I through it in the pan, so I just added a splash of dry white wine before adding the tomato and it was perfect. I can’t wait to play around with this recipe. You did not disappoint!

    Also, I was wary of the tomato seeds, but once I put the tomato filling through some pulses on my hand blender I didn’t even see the seeds anymore, and definitely didn’t notice them at all in the final dish.

  63. These look amazing, and since I have tons of tomatoes about to ripen the timing was perfect. I just picked up your cookbook recently and the recipes are amazing! It’s turned into a coffee table book as well, because we can’t stop looking at all the gorgeous photos.

  64. Lou

    Well that certainly settles the question of “What’s for dinner tonight?” I was just beginning to wonder how I should use my large, freshly picked garden tomatoes. Perfect. As always.


  65. emily

    Made these last night! Love dinners I can make entirely from stuff in the garden + random bag of arborio rice kicking around in the pantry. They were really excellent. The tablespoon of rice per 2-inch-across tomato was just right, and i loved how scaleable this was as a result. The rice was super flavourful and summery and exciting and you could really taste the fresh herbs. I have to admit i quintupled the garlic though — no regrets. A+. I really don’t think they need meat or cheese or other additions!

  66. Jane

    I just attempted these with short grain brown rice and potatoes and sausages in the pan. I would NOT recommend using short grain brown rice. The potatoes and sausages were done after about an hour of cooking (I got desperate after 30 min and cranked it up to 400 and turned my convection on), and the rice is still al dente after 2 hours in the oven. Ay. I think the flavors are great, but will try a different rice next time.

  67. Kailee

    Made these for dinner tonight, totally delicious! My husband said they were filling, yet light. And my toddler, heretofore never having touched rice OR tomatoes, ate several bites.

    Thanks, Deb! This is an August keeper for sure!

  68. allison

    Deb, is there an amount of liquid per 9T rice that we should be aiming for? I’m imagining that my tomatoes will vary from yours in terms of the amount of puree/juice I’m able to extract. Is there something like a 2:1 puree/rice ratio that I should try to attain, or is winging it perfectly safe?

    1. deb

      allison — I don’t look at the liquid as much as the tomato size. So, for tomatoes the size I suggested (medium-large, 3″ across or an average of 8 1/4 ounces), I use 1 1/2 tablespoons of rice per tomato. Smaller, I’d use 1 tablespoon (which is a common recommendation in Italian stuffed tomato recipes, but I think our “average” tomatoes here are bigger), for bigger ones, I’d use 2. It works almost every time.

  69. As good as advertised for sure! The toasted bread crumbs on top are a must, and for anyone lazy like me … I think it’s OK if you don’t puree the tomato flesh in the blender.

  70. Birgit

    I made these for dinner tonight! Fabulous! Served with grilled strip steak and simple steamed zucchini. Really yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  71. Steph

    Impossibly good, even with the leftover brown rice that I used instead of the risotto — I just let the tomato/rice simmer uncovered to get rid of extra moisture. Served them with a plain omelet and steamed runner beans for summer’s most colorful plate.

  72. Someone else may have mentioned this, but I couldn’t help being reminded of the Greek version of stuffed veges. Very similar… add a tonne of chopped flat leaf parsley, mint, dill, a chopped onion, lots of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a couple of tbsp of tomato paste to rinsed (but uncooked) short grain rice (you can also use basmati). Mix, stuff tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and vine leaves (if you have them) and bake in the oven for an hour or so (with a little water in the bottom of the baking tray, cover with vine leaves or tin foil). No need to par-cook the rice beforehand, and much tastier!

  73. I was very hungry and ate the lids of my tomatoes. This left them a little drier than I expected so next time I might compensate with a more liquid risotto going into the oven. I also had small tomatoes and now have some delicious leftover stuffing which I will have for lunch today.

    It reminds me of your tomato and sausage risotto! That might be a good way to use up those leftovers, though this isn’t a time-consuming recipe. Thanks for another great one!

  74. YSA

    just writing to say I made this with the potatoes last night – it was delicious but the potatoes did add abt 30 minutes or more of cooking time. Maybe parboiling them would help reduce the cooking time, but that adds an extra step.

  75. Erin

    Wonderful recipe, Deb! The tomatoes were like little bowls of summer. I modified your recipe slightly by using both tomatoes and zucchini (I have so many of both to use up!) as the “containers,” hollowing them both out and pureeing their “guts” together to get an equal amount of the liquid you denoted in the recipe. I then proceeded in the same way. It turned out just great and the two stuffed vegetables together made a beautiful presentation.

  76. Deb, I love your writing. Every single thing you say has me hooked, eyes wide and tummy rumbling. And all those compatible ingredients you mentioned? My favorites! Showing this recipe to the hubby ASAP- thank you for continuing to inspire all of us :)

  77. chicook

    Yum! Made this last night with couscous, since that’s what I had on hand. I pretty much let the couscous cook in the liquid, since it only takes a few minutes. Love how flexible this recipe is. Even my tomato-hating husband enjoyed it. I added potatoes, but they unfortunately were not completely cooked by the time the tomatoes were done. So I scooped out the finished tomatoes and left the potatoes in for another 30 minutes. But they were delicious when done! Next time, I’ll probably parboil the potatoes first.

  78. Emma

    Delicious! If it’s at all possible, it’s worth it to go out of the way for the best tomatoes you can find. I made four stuffed tomatoes and ate the left-over filling with a fried egg on top the next day. Sad to see August on its way out!

  79. Linda M.

    Thank you, thank you… I once read a blogger-Divina Cucina an American who lives in Tuscany and she did something similar but didn’t parboil the rice. It was ok, but the rice was still tough. I still love her site! I amdefinitely going to try this AND I have some new potatoes to use and will add them as well. Now that was something I wouldn’t have considered!

  80. Prefect. I made a version from your original recipe and added fresh corn taken off the cob, a minced Jalapeno instead of the red pepper flakes (we are in Texas after all) and topped with shaved Parmesan. They were AWESOME. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  81. I only had brown rice in the pantry and I just *needed* to make these tonight. They are in the oven now, so I will let you know how the brown rice turns out. I did cook it first just in case. They look divine!

  82. Julie

    Wow. Love the simplicity of this; so refreshing not to have to hunt out special ingredients.
    Will definitely try…and like Marc’s idea of parmesan on top, maybe will go parmesan/
    breadcrumb mix. Thanks.

  83. Mia

    Delicious! I stuffed peppers instead of tomatoes and only used the tomato flesh in the rice because only our small garden tomatoes are ripe now and I couldn’t bring myself to use store bought. Followed the rest of the recipe and my husband, a die-hard rice lover, inhaled it and said it was the best rice I’ve ever made him. Next time, per his request, I’ll crumble some raw (humane grass-fed OF COURSE!) chicken sausage into the rice mixture before baking, even if just for him. I thought about that this time but didn’t want to get too creative the first time I made it.

  84. LesliefromToronto

    Made these Tuesday and they were yummy… ripe Ontario field tomatoes, fresh herbs from my garden. I had to use basmati rice as I was fresh out of arborio…it was still tasty but arborio would have been better. Keep ’em coming Deb!

  85. Christine

    Maybe it’s because I’m a mile high in Denver, but the rice and potatoes were under-cooked – even though I added time. (Both stove-top and in the oven.) Maybe the temperature needs to be increased.

  86. Janet

    I actually made these last night with buckwheat groats instead of rice and they were terrific! I will be trying the rice too in the near future since we are knee deep in tomatoes around here.

  87. Michelle

    This was delicious! Maybe this is gilding the lily, but I had some evaporated milk around, and I added a splash of it to the filling to make it a sort of tomato-cream sauce. Yum! I also chopped up a leftover roasted pepper and added it to the filling. And I used basil as my herb.

    The rice didn’t get any softer in the oven, so I’m glad I let it cook fully before I stuffed the tomatoes.

    Scooping the tomatoes out was pretty tedious and imprecise with a spoon, but it was much easier when I started using an ice cream scoop. (Mine has a little bit of an edge.)

    1. Amelia

      Made these tonight using sushi rice instead of arborio, and added the kernels of an ear of corn and a little mozzarella when I added the fresh herbs and wow, you’re right. I do need to make them again tomorrow!

  88. I just finished reading about you almond encrusted peach recipe and then this one! Both sound like they’ll make the perfect Sunday dinner! To the farmer’s market I go!

  89. Row

    I’ve gotta admit that I’m not too keen on rice-stuffed tomatoes. However, after looking at the photos and scrolling through the post, I was sold. Now I have to find some really good tomatoes. :)

  90. Made these tonight, I tweaked them a bit. I knew my husband would never eat them if I cook in the oven. I used left over brown rice from last night and reheated a bit, served in the tomatoes raw. He loved it!!!! I held my breath while he tried it…I’m still in shock. THANK YOU!

  91. Laura

    I’ve been craving tomatoes like crazy and bought one of each color from the farmer’s market this week, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them. A salad was too boring. Sliced and salted/peppered was delicious, but also last week’s news. This recipe sounds perfect. Preserving the fresh, amazing taste of in-season tomatoes while adding substance with the rice. Can’t wait to eat this for lunch tomorrow. !

  92. Heather

    I was about to make a Bittman recipe for stuffed tomatoes when I remembered that you had one! I used your recipe with a tip from Bittman; cut the tomato on the smooth end and let the stem end be the stable base. It worked great but I had to inform my guests so they didn’t eat the stem. (I think my husband ate it and is okay!) Served with amazingly fresh corn for another awesome SK dinner!

  93. Katherine

    I made these pretty much the day after you posted the recipe – they looked soooooo good!

    I did substitute quinoa (a mix of red and black, cause it’s prettier), for the rice so that I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a protein source. And it was DELICIOUS! Plus, the filling mixture (I had a bunch of leftovers after stuffing the tomatoes) works really well as a chilled salad, with crumbled goat cheese.

    Oh, and I took your “cube potatoes and roast them along with the tomatoes” advice, but I used a mix of regular and sweet potatoes. And it was marvellous.

  94. Mary

    These jewels have been the highlight of my summer treats. So delicious. They were also great reheated the next day. AND… I used the leftover stuffing, with the leftover potatoes, the day after that with bits and pieces of other leftovers (BBQchicken and grilled zucchini) added before finishing that cooking time in a bowl in the microwave. Again delicious. So three meals from one prep, which is always nice in the summer. Thank you Deb for your consistently wonderful recipes and fun to read stories.

  95. Lisa

    Made these last night with tomatoes from my garden. The hardest thing was to find tomatoes small enough. I did basil and mozzarella cubes with the rice mix. They were better than I would think. Thanks again for a great recipe! It’s always great to find new tomato recipes this time of year. Last Saturday I canned 25 jars of tomatoes for the Winter months. It took most of the day but it will be worth it in the months to come! Safe and happy trip to England!

  96. Ruby

    Thanks Deb! Great recipe- I’m currently making this recipe for the second time but for a cookout tomorrow night. Do you have any recs for doing ahead? My plan is to just make them as above and then just take out of the fridge to acclimate them for 30 minutes or so and then pop into a 350 oven to warm. I just don’t want to turn them to mush.

    1. deb

      Ruby — That sounds about right. I tend to rewarm things in the oven on a lower temperature (250) but it takes longer; however, it’s less likely at a lower temperature to “re-cook.”

  97. Annie

    These were amazing! As I cook for one I scaled down the recipe a bit and only made two.I threw in some goat cheese at the end and that really put it over the top! I made a bit too much rice but enjoyed it the next day with tilapia. They were hearty but still summery and seem very adaptable. Scooping the tomatoes was much easier than I anticipated! Can’t wait to try again with some sliced mushrooms and spinach added to the mix!

  98. Kelly

    Made and DEVOURED these tonight. They were excellent. Added a little grated parmesan to the rice, along with basil and chives. Thought that small pieces of mozzarella would also be delicious next time. (Yes, already planning for the next time we make these.)

    Also, so very happy for another way to use our abundant CSA tomatoes. Thanks, Deb!

  99. Noemi

    I think I scooped out too much and left my tomatoes’ skin too thin, since they practically caved in when I removed them from the pan. Still, good, but next time I want to try this recipe with fewer substitutions– I didn’t have the correct rice on hand, and I tried to halve the recipe.The rice itself was quite good before I even put it into the tomatoes, so maybe I will try the rice alone next time? A very summery side dish, and I will try it again.

  100. Liz

    It’s almost tomato season! My plants have baby tomatoes on them and I cannot wait. I’ll be making these with quinoa and farro for sure – last year I made them with arborio and they were so, so good.

  101. Lauren

    Made this for dinner tonight; so yummy! Next time I’ll cook the rice a tad bit longer, as it was still quite al dente. I used both orange and red tomatoes, and loved how pretty they looked alternating in the baking dish. I highly recommend serving this with corn. It’s a match made in late-summer heaven. I cut the kernels off the cobs and sauteed em in browned butter, with a sprinmouth! salt. The best bites were when I mixed the corn with the rice/tomatoes — it’s like a flavor party in your mouth!

  102. Caterina

    These have become a yearly favourite of mine. I was anxiously awaiting tomato season just to make these! My only addition was grated parmesan to the risotto before stuffing the tomatoes.

  103. Ania

    Hi Deb, I substituted brown rice and of course did not parboil it enough. After 1 hour of baking, rice is still raw (by the way, delicious even raw which is a testament to how delicious they are, it is a great recipe!) Is there any way to save the dish? Google is of no help. i have tried adding boiling water to the tomatoes, increasing temperature, nothing helps. Not sure if you have any tips. Thank you so much!

  104. Ania

    Problem solved:) The key to finishing off the rice if still raw is covering it tightly with foil. Not ideal for getting a crisp top but solved the rawness issue. Hope someone will benefit in the future if using tough grains like brown rice. Thank you so much for all of your work, b’shaa tova!

  105. deb

    Hi Ania — I’m so glad it worked out. (I was positive that I’d responded that you should do exactly what you did — foil, letting it keep baking — but I apparently never saved the comment.)

  106. Elisheva

    Hi! I tried this with the potatoes and didn’t think ahead that 30 mins wouldn’t be enough time to cook them. Maybe next time I would cook them for 29-30 min before adding the tomatoes .

  107. Nettie

    These were so good! I could of eaten all the rice right out of the pan and had nothing left to stuff the tomatoes. I will defiantly add this to my summer recipes. Nothing better then a summer tomato!

  108. amysassortedadventures

    This was so good. We have an amazing crop of tomatoes this year and this is perfect

    I made it with the bed of roast potatoes and this is where I’d make a change. My potatoes never got golden brown or fully cooked (despite them being cut quite small) in the time it took to cook the tomatoes. Next time ( and there WILL be a next time) I will put the potatoes into a hotter oven while I prep the rice and then set the tomatoes inside and lower the temperature.

  109. lauraperlman

    spectacular. Always. I only used 4 tomatoes, but the weight was about the same so I didn’t change anything else. Used all basil for the herbs, stirred in some tiny cubes of mozzarella, topped with breadcrumbs. My apartment smells like heaven.

  110. Joanna

    I made these tonight – heaven! I didn’t follow the recipe exactly and they still came out great. I used orzo instead of rice because that’s what I had on hand. I also didn’t have any fresh garlic so I added just a bit of garlic powder to the onions instead, and I left out the red pepper flakes and the fresh herbs. I crumbled a little feta cheese over the top the last few minutes of cooking. Amazing! I am half greek and grew up eating stuffed peppers and tomatoes with ground meet and rice, but I liked these so much better. The orzo came out like the purest and best manestra (greek orzo with tomato sauce) I’ve ever had. Thanks so much!

  111. Deborah

    Just wanted to make an additional comment- I really really liked using every part of the tomato except the seeds- the tomato purée is spot on and gives these stuffed tomatoes a rich addictive quality- love this recipe- thanks

  112. Jerry Buescher

    Bought some use-these-right-away-dead-ripe tomatoes at a farm stand on the way home from the shore. Didn’t have any fresh herbs at home, used a little dried Mexican oregano instead. Zowie, were they good! And that red pepper flake addition is the show stopper! This is what a call a “keeper” recipe. Thank you.

  113. lizsterner

    Wow. Sorry I didn’t see this recipe until late in tomato season. These are delicious. My rice-averse husband devoured two. I did add a small amount of Parmesan to the rice mixture, but not sure it was a necessary addition. These will be in heavy rotation next summer.

  114. Linda M.

    There is a blogger, Divina Cucina – Judy Witts, who has a beautiful cookbook: Secrets from my Tuscan kitchen. She has this recipe, but I don’t remember her parboiling the rice. My stove temp is always iffy, so my rice never cooked fully. I am going to try your method this weekend, because the concept sounds wonderful. Check out her blog(beautiful Italian photos) and cookbook if you haven’t already. Thanks.

  115. Jenny

    This was SO GOOD. I used up the last of our CSA heirloom tomatoes. Their outer walls were a little thinner than the tomatoes shown in Deb’s pictures, so they fell apart more but were still delicious. I also deseeded and chopped some of the tomato innards and threw it in with the rice. Didn’t have basil, so skipped.

    Topped with a mixture of organic garlic powder (Costco), kosher salt, panko breadcrumbs, and grated romano. Drizzled with olive oil and came out a little before 30 min.

    The rice alone was delicious. This has inspired me to try making a tomato risotta using the tomato juice that’s leftover when canning crushed tomatoes.

  116. Allison

    I made this towards the end of the summer using the rest of the tomatoes from my sparse city garden. I had a lot of extra rice so I used some green peppers from the garden and stuffed those with the rest of the rice as well. So happy I used all the rice because this meal was a huge hit!

  117. Meghan

    Do we think this could be prepped ahead of time? As in, tomatoes filled with rice, then popped in the fridge and baked maybe half a day later?

  118. Susan

    I was just dreaming of these but couldn’t remember where I got the recipe from. It must be some great Karma!
    Everyone make these NOW! I absolutely love tomatoes so am somewhat easy to please with anything “tomato” but when I served these to my meat loving family they devoured them and told me the recipe was a keeper. Seriously, they are delicious!

  119. We made this tonight… so amazing! We did not use meat, and honestly did not miss it. As suggested, we roasted potatoes (whole, baby/new) during the 30min bake time. We tried to follow the recipe closely and it worked out great, but I think a simpler way to list the ingredients is to simply say you will need as much tomato-gut puree as the amount of liquid called for to cook the arborio rice (or slightly less liquid would be okay.) For example, I think it would work if you have a dozen tomatoes, measure your liquid from the guts, and use half that amount of dry rice. Increase onion and garlic accordingly. We will be making this again!

  120. Alice K.

    I made this tonight, using tomatoes from my garden and a friend’s garden. It was great! I agree with other comments that the potatoes could have used more time in the oven; they were slightly harder than perfect. But hey, the assembled tomatoes were terrific! Thanks, Deb!

  121. ricknology

    Very good and fun to make! I used instant rice (I know) and it was still great. I ran out of tomatoes to fill and used a red-pepper for the last one. Thank you!


  122. Stacy

    Rice-tomato mixture was dry after the simmer before the final bake…scared of crunchy rice, I drizzled some water over top of filled tomatoes and covered the whole pan during the bake. I am excited to taste these, hope they turn out!

  123. Debra Schneider

    I’ve been making the Orangette version of these all summer, to deal with a dietary issue. This dish is amazing: creamy and satisfying while also vegan.

  124. Patt

    Made this last night and it was a big hit. I’ll definitely make it again when it is tomato season, because it is worthy of the best tomatoes possible. The only difference will be that I will measure out the liquid, since the juiciness of tomatoes is kind of variable. I had to add a bit of crushed tomatoes thinned with a bit of water and put about 2 T more liquid after 45 minutes baking. Very tasty, though.

    1. Mika

      Took 50 minutes in oven, but Delicious. I baked some tomatoes with their tops and some with breadcrumbs only. The latter was better: the crunchy breadcrumb topping was great contrast to risotto-texture.

  125. Marie

    I used 4 tomatoes and reduced the rice accordingly but i don’t think I had quite enough liquid, i ended up adding about 1/3 cup of water. It tasted great, clean and fresh. I will for sure keep making it throughout tomatoe season! Yum!

  126. Beth

    I learned from an Elizabeth Minchelli version of these to scoop the tomatoes out with a melon baller, which took way less time than a knife and spoon and also made it easy to decide how much wall to leave.
    Although the first time I made these they were marvelous, I tried some other Minchelli stepdad which I also adored. In her recipe instead of cooking the rice in the sauce you just soak it in the innards plus some olive oil for 1 1/2 hours.
    I did Brown the onions and rice before soaking, and I liked the result
    Equally , and it was easier .

  127. T

    Made this tonight. I had to adapt a little for two people and for what we had on hand.
    * Half farro and half white rice (not arborio, because we didn’t have any) to comprise 1/2 cup total.
    * Created “shells” from two tomatoes from our garden, each 8 ounces.
    * To the pulp from the two tomato shells, I added the the pulp of two smaller tomatoes (5-ish ounces each) to make more juice and pureed all of it with a stick blender.
    * Sauted onion, garlic, and pepper flakes as directed, then toasted the farro-rice blend as directed. Added a bit more than 1 cup pureed tomato pulp. Simmered as directed.
    * Used a combination of bread crumbs and finely grated Parm on top, because we already had that on hand from a different recipe. (Probably could have used less rice/farro and less juice, but the leftovers will make an excellent lunch with arugula.)
    * Coated a 13×9 with a touch of olive oil, then added a couple Italian sausages, and small patty pan squash tossed in herbs and olive oil, as well as a handful of long beans we had pulled from the garden. Tucked the stuffed tomatoes into that array to hold them up, put them in a 400-degree oven (to roast the sausages better) and sat on the patio with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

    My better half and I both loved it.

  128. I’m trying to make these, and am using a short grain brown rice. They’ve been in the oven for over an hour and the rice is still crunchy! How can I get the rice to cook?! The sauce I can taste is incredible and I’m dying to eat these ASAP.

    1. deb

      Yes, the rice should have been parcooked before it went in. But short grain brown rice is definitely going to take longer. Keep baking it; it will eventually cook (unless it was really old or stale, but it probably wasn’t).

      1. I added a bit of water, covered them, and continued baking. The rice did eventually cook (and silly me for not thinking through that the brown rice would take longer!) though the tomatoes disintegrated…they were still delicious, though :)

  129. Marry

    I made these and they were delicious! My boyfriend said they had a pizza vibe. A tip I learned for scooping out the tomato is to use a 1/4 tsp metal measuring spoon and it works great. I did roast a potato with the tomatoes which I boiled for 10 minutes before placing in the oven and they too came out perfect. Thank you Deb.

  130. A simple GF dish! Thank goodness for you, we love grabbing your recipes. We eye-balled the ingredient list and it turned out great. We made a bigger portion including a little red quinoa!

  131. jess

    i made these last night for my in-laws, and there was not a scrap left after dinner! i followed the recipe almost exactly, the only changes i made were to add more herbs (i love me some parsley), and it seemed a little dry going into the oven so i added a bit of broth to the toms – but that could have been the tomatoes’ fault. i opted for the tomato lid version, and they looked amazing!
    i served it with salad and crusty italian bread, but next time i’m going to try the potatoes.
    really delicious!

  132. briarrose1987

    I have made these many times but yesterday while making them, I had an epiphany. Instead of getting out the blender, I realized I could use the stick blender (which just rinses clean) in the bowl I had already scooped the tomato guts into and would need to wash anyway. Major reduction in dishes and it worked just fine!

  133. Carol

    I’m thinking of using riced cauliflower in place of the rice in this recipe. Has anyone tried it? I’m sure that riced cauliflower does not take as long to cook as rice. So I’m thinking to not sauté it in the pan first with the onions and maybe lower the baking time. Surely it’s the rice that needs the 30 minutes, right? And not the tomatoes?

    1. Patt Brower

      Without the longer cooking time, the tomatoes will not hit that melt-in-your-mouth wonderfulness that is the key to this recipe. It will probably also taste good, but will be different.

  134. Julie

    This was hands down the best tomato dish I have ever made. I used arborrio rice, and added some chicken stock to the blended tomatoes and then mixed in Parmesan before baking. My husband had three.

  135. Cindy Westby

    OMG – I have some fancy “carolina gold” rice from Anson Mills (no affiliation, just love) that I think would be INCREDIBLE in this dish. I love the simplicity of this recipe. Total comfort food. 100% making it this weekend!

  136. Christine

    Made these and they were delicious. I did 4 tomatoes, cut down the rice to 7 tbsp, and cooked them on the barbecue – so delicious! LOVE the hot pepper flakes in these. I used fresh basil and oregano, and will add more of the fresh herbs next time. These were even more delicious the next day, if you happen to have leftovers.

  137. Julie

    DELICIOUS!!! just the thing I want to make with all these ripe summer tomatoes, and not really so labor intensive. This dish just embodies summer, I love it! So simple but so flavorful!

  138. Shelley Lipp

    I’ve made this a few times now. I find I need much more liquid to get the rice sufficiently par cooked and looking like the pictures.
    using the lids to cover keeps the contents from drying in the oven.
    I make it with potatoes which definitely need more time before the tomatoes are added, I also give them a little more time after as they may get a little soggy.
    I like adding some asparagus for the last few minutes – makes for a great looking plate, and all cook on one over sheet.

  139. Sina

    This dish is awesome – summer perfection! I think thats the way I’ll eat tomatoes and rice in the foreseeable future (which is not very foreseeable right now, but alas… Hopefully, there will be tomatoes and rice).

    Take care everybody, and thank you so much, Deb, for recipes, distraction and focus! Also, for speaking up in the name of parents, kids, teachers <3

  140. I used to love stuffed tomatoes when I lived in Italy. They were a summer specialty. However they were served a room temperature, overflowing with rice, so that a serving usually included extra rice on the plate. The rice was never starchy, and there were no extra flavorings added to them. Somehow, as simple as they were, I’ve been unable to duplicate them in the US. I do know that the type of rice you use is all important. Long grain, and therefore starchy rice, doesn’t work. If you have to use long grain rice, rinse it well after par-boiling to avoid the grains all lumping together.

  141. Sara

    I was feeling overwhelmed by my garden and kept finding tomatoes that had split or cracked around the stem. This recipe was the perfect thing to use up a bunch of less than perfect–but still delicious–tomatoes!
    I took a few small potatoes, chopped them, put them in a small saucepan with salted water and simmered them while I prepped the tomatoes.
    I used sushi rice. My tomato guts made about 3 cups of sauce, which I used all of for less than one cup of rice. It led to the wonderful, almost risotto-like finished product. I was worried it would be soupy and messy, but it wasn’t.
    Stirred in a mix of basil and oregano, reserved a bit for garnish.
    Strained the par-cooked potatoes and dumped them into the oiled baking dish.
    Topped them with breadcrumbs made from homemade whole wheat sourdough experiments gone wrong, drizzled with olive oil.

    I was worried that I didn’t season the potatoes other than the salted water, but then I remembered, potatoes are amazing.

    I went back for seconds, and I’m so glad the late summer has a few days a week with rain storms and turning on the oven is bearable. I will be making this again! I wonder if you could make the tomato shells and freeze them to be used when there are only sad mealy grocery store tomatoes…. You might even get a bit of a head start on softening the tomato walls….

  142. Abby

    Made these tonight with garden tomatoes and OH MY GOD! 10/10 would recommend. If you have extra filling, leave it simmering as your tomatoes bake and you can eat it as a tasty tomato risotto. Go heavy on the breadcrumbs, you won’t regret it.

  143. Niamh Morris

    Oh these are so yum! Absolutely delicious and pretty fuss free they taste of Italy and summer. Here in Ireland the tomatoes don’t get as much sun as in Italy (or the US I guess) but nonetheless they were intensely tomato-y and disappeared fast. A new summer staple for sure. Thanks Deb.

  144. Ellen

    I made as written with no crumbs and the tomato lids, and it’s a great recipe. There was some extra rice that wouldn’t fit in the tomatoes and I baked it in a ramekin…it tasted even better and richer than the rice cooked in the tomatoes. Next time I will skip the tomato lids and hope to get the same rich, roasted flavor as the ramekin cooked rice.

  145. Caitlin

    OMG. I am cooking for a challenging crowd this weekend: vegetarian, gluten free and my mom, who is on a FOPMAP diet and can’t eat most vegetables or beans. I am so determined not to make a gluten free pasta and I think if I exclude the garlic and onion I can make this!! I’ve made it so many times and it’s a winner. Thank you!

  146. Dorothy Goldie

    So completely delicious and I could eat it every day. I used a melon baller to clean out the tomatoes, and a potato masher to smush up the insides. This is an August keeper!

  147. S Smith

    These taste pretty good, but there is a snag. The skin! After eating one, the next time you serve one, you can kind of peel off the skin in one piece before it hits your plate. Also, my Arborio rice took quite a bit longer to cook, so be sure to check it by tasting before removing from the oven.

  148. M-C

    I love these. But I would like to point out that no self-respecting French household would serve them without baking the little hat on top, the initial piece you slice off

  149. Salena

    Delicious. I particularly liked the addition of the potatoes. For two of us, with a rack of lamb as the protein, I used two good-sized tomatoes and about 3 TBSP of Bomba rice, with the garlic, onion, basil etc. I put panko on top and then replaced the tomato lids. In a relatively small pyrex dish, I mixed a few small-cubed potatoes with oil and then made room for the tomatoes. The potatoes browned slightly and the tomatoes were very tasty. Wonderful side dish.

  150. Sabine

    Mmm. I just made this with short grained brown rice. Filling took a bit longer to cook; baked a bit longer, but it was delicious. Soothing, delicious – brown rice was tender,, but a bit more toothsome than white would have been. I’m having a hard time not eating the whole batch as my husband wends his way home from a late commute. There was extra filling – I filled two peppers. They are delicious too, though they could have been cooked a bit longer.

  151. Juka


    I changed the filling a bit! First, I sautéed garlic, a leek that had to be used up, and some celery with red chilli flakes. In went a finely chopped bell pepper and some baby corn that had been languishing in the fridge for a while (i absent mindedly minced it husk and all and boy it was delicious!). I then put in arborio rice and pre-soaked red rice and cooked it with the blazed tomato insides. Cooked the whole thing till the rice was 80% done. Added some pecorino and then in went the whole mixture into the hollowed tomatoes.

    Also roasted potatoes tossed with rosemary, OO, s&P.

    Will be making this again!

    1. Juka

      It did take a LOT longer to cook though. I did 350 for 30 mins, then 375 for 20 mins and then 400 for an additional 20 mins. Didn’t get overcooked or charred. Looked pretty much like Deb’s photos. Could have been because my tomatoes were huge, about 9.5 oz each.

  152. Katherine Hill

    This is delicious. I served it as a side to steak instead of potato. I made a few changes. I drizzled in some white wine (never a bad idea) into the rice after it toasted. Then proceeded with the recipe as written.
    Thank you for this recipe! Can’t wait till tomato season rolls around again!

  153. Wendy

    I realize I’m about ten years late on this recipe, but I just tried it a couple days ago and I have some questions.

    Is there a rule of thumb to determine just how much liquid is used when making this? I had to use tomatoes from the grocery store, and there was not sufficient pulp to cook the rice to the soupy stage shown in the photos. I ended up having to add a couple more tomatoes to the blender just to get enough to work with, and even so, my rice soaked up all the liquid before I put it in the hollowed tomatoes.

    It was still delicious and perfectly edible, but the rice had a slightly too firm texture, and some of my tomatoes didn’t break down as well as others. (That’s on the tomato choice though, not the recipe!)

    Anyway, just wondering if there’s a way to be sure I’ve got sufficient liquid for my rice for my next attempt. Like, for every tablespoon of rice I need X ounces of tomato pulp/purée, to ensure proper ratios.

  154. GinaG

    I’ve made this a few times and made it again tonight with sushi rice. I put very thinly sliced fresh mozzarella under the panko and a mix of parsley, basil, chives, thyme and tarragon (all from the garden). It’s so very good! Thank you.