These stuffed tomatoes are full of sausage, rice and plenty of cheese, then topped with parmesan and breadcrumbs and baked to perfection. A unique main course that’s sure to get rave reviews!
Whether it’s stuffed cabbage, stuffed zucchini or these stuffed tomatoes, food just tastes better when it comes in an edible package!
I’m always looking for new ways to switch up our dinner routine, and on a whim I decided to try making stuffed tomatoes. I filled my tomatoes with hearty mixture of sausage and rice, then topped them with crispy breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. A new favorite dinner recipe was born!
How do you make stuffed tomatoes?
I went looking for the biggest tomatoes I could find and ended up with half a dozen beefsteak tomatoes. You want the tomatoes to be firm so that they won’t fall apart when you hollow them out. I used a grapefruit spoon to easily scoop all the tomato flesh out. The tomatoes are stuffed with a mixture of rice, sausage, onions, garlic and of course, plenty of cheese. The tomatoes take a quick trip through the oven, then dinner is served!
Tips for stuffed tomatoes
- The sausage and rice mixture can be prepared up to one day before you plan to make your tomatoes. You can use leftover rice or frozen pre-cooked rice to make the prep time even shorter.
- I use panko breadcrumbs in the topping, which is a coarse Asian breadcrumb. If you can’t find panko breadcrumbs, feel free to use Italian style breadcrumbs.
- I recommend using freshly grated cheese in this recipe. Pre-shredded cheese is often coated with stabilizers and doesn’t melt as smoothly as the freshly grated type.
- I use mild Italian sausage, but if you prefer spicy food, go for hot Italian sausage instead.
Stuffed Tomato Variations
There are so many different ways to change up the tomato filling to suit your tastes!
- Protein: Try ground beef, bacon or diced cooked chicken instead of sausage.
- Grains: Use orzo pasta, quinoa or farro instead of rice.
- Cheese: Substitute fontina, gouda or white cheddar instead of mozzarella.
- Vegetables: You can add vegetables to the filling such as minced celery, bell peppers or even mushrooms.
These tomatoes are easy enough for a busy weeknight, but elegant enough for company. It’s a fun and unexpected dish that will have everyone asking for seconds!
More recipes you’ll love
- Cheeseburger Pasta
- Philly Cheesesteak Pasta
- Sausage and Pepper Pasta
- Taco Pasta
- Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- 6 very large firm tomatoes (I recommend beefsteak)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage casings removed
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese divided use
- 1/4 cup parsley chopped, divided use
- kosher salt and pepper
- cooking spray
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Hollow out the insides of the tomatoes with a knife or grapefruit spoon. Discard the tomato seeds and pulp.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the sausage, breaking up the sausage with a spatula. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until sausage is browned.
- Drain off any excess grease, then add the onion to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
- Stir the rice, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of parsley, salt and pepper into the sausage mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Put the tomato shells onto a pan greased with cooking spray. Mound the rice mixture evenly into the tomato shells.
- Place the panko breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add the butter and stir to combine.
- Bake the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes or until breadcrumb topping has browned. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve.
This post was originally published on April 5, 2015 and was updated on April 23, 2019 with new content.
I just noticed a typo. In the notes section it says “ Little Helpers: The kids can help hollow out the tomatoes and stuff them with the spaghetti.”. What spaghetti? Other than that great recipe!
Thanks for catching that it was a hold over from an older version of the recipe!
These came out really good and they look so great on the plate! Leftovers were also good!
These look delicious! Can’t wait to give them a try!
I love this idea so much more than stuffed peppers! That filling is delicious!
These look fully loaded and I love it! Such a great twist to our usual stuffed pepper dinner.
I’m excited to try this recipe, I”ve never had a stuffed tomato!
What a fantastic idea! I love tomato season!
I like That these are tomatoes and gives you a nice change up from stuffed peppers :$
Oh, I’m going to dream about these tomatoes tonight! So delicious!
I love stuffed veggies! These tomatoes look like they’re packed with flavor!
I love tomatoes I am Cuban and I am positively sure that I’m going to love this recipe thank you for sharing
These stuffed tomatoes look extra good to me tonight–the photos scream devour me. Can you tell I am a bit hungry? I could totally see having two of these and being a very happy lady. Bookmarking
Such beautiful photos, totally drooling. I’ve always made stuffed peppers, but never stuffed tomatoes. I’ll definitely be giving this a try.
Great idea! The pictures are beautiful!
I can’t wait to try this 🙂