Guess what time of year it is? Tomato season! I’ve got a few tomato plants growing and have been trying to figure out a great recipe to make often, besides the usual sauce or salsa (not that I won’t make those too!). Tomato plants usually produce an abundance of fruit as long as they get enough water, and I’m left with a billion tomatoes that I have to give a bunch away just so they don’t go to waste.
Well, I think I’ve cracked it. I saw a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis for herb stuffed tomatoes that looked delicious, so I looked around online for a few different versions. Eventually I came up with one we like so much that I want to share! The best thing about this recipe is you can definitely adjust it to suit your own likes and dislikes without worrying about guessing and ruining it. A lot of times you’ll see tomatoes paired with onions but since Joe hates onions, I skip those. I went heavy on the garlic the first time I made them, but skipped it this time. Both were great. The following recipe makes a great base so feel free to add or remove things as you see fit or depending on what you have on hand. You only have ground turkey? I think any meat would work with this. Turkey, chicken, sausage. Try different herbs – like oregano instead of basil. Don’t have breadcrumbs? Use rice, or make your own by throwing flavored croutons in the food processor. I’ve found the best part about this recipe is the versatility.
Check out how I made them below and you’ll find a printable version of the recipe at the end of the post 🙂
Start with 3 beefsteak tomatoes. Slice them in half horizontally.
Scoop out the seeds but save the pulp. Chop the pulp (or be lazy like me and throw it in the food processor) and put it in a medium sized bowl.
Butter a glass baking dish and place the hollowed out tomato halves inside. Three tomatoes made six halves which filled the dish I was using perfectly.
Brown the ground beef by frying on medium heat, adding a little kosher salt as it cooks.
Add the breadcrumbs, provolone cheese, parsley, basil and beef to the bowl with the chopped tomato pulp.
Mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
Spoon the mixture into the tomato halves (I even had a little leftover that I baked in a tiny casserole dish) and drizzle the tops with extra virgin olive oil. Bake for 18 minutes or until the tops begin to brown. At this point, you could be done and start eating, because they’re delicious as is…
OR you could do what I do and add a little freshly shredded mozzarella to the tops, then bake another two minutes to melt it.
These are so good. As a side, as an appetizer, on their own, or leftover and reheated the next day. I’ll definitely keep making them as long as I can keep picking fresh tomatoes!
- 3 beefsteak tomatoes
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 3/4 cup shredded provolone cheese
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 3/4 cup Italian Panko breadcrumbs
- Shredded mozzarella, for topping
- Butter, for greasing the baking dish
- Kosher salt, to season the ground beef
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Slice tomatoes in half horizontally. Scoop out the seeds to discard but save the pulp. Scoop the pulp out and scoop around the edges inside with a spoon, being careful not to pierce through the skin. Add pulp to a medium size bowl.
- Butter a glass baking dish and place the hollowed tomato halves inside.
- Begin frying the ground beef in a small pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and seasoning lightly with kosher salt as it cooks.
- While the meat cooks, chop the pulp or use a food processor.
- Add the beef, provolone cheese, parsley, basil and breadcrumbs to the bowl with the pulp and mix until well combined.
- Use a spoon to scoop the mixture into the tomato halves, until they are full mounds.
- Bake 18 minutes until the tops begin to brown. Remove from the oven and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake another 2 minutes until the mozzarella melts.