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Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes are filled with a flavorful mix of nutty quinoa, briny olives, salty feta, sweet balsamic vinegar, and crunchy pine nuts. They make a fantastic vegetarian main – just add a salad for a complete meal!
The Best Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe
Stuffed tomatoes are a simple yet utterly divine little recipe I like to keep in my recipe arsenal for special occasions or for a backyard BBQ. Deceptively easy, this recipe takes familiar ingredients and combines them to make a super flavorful vegetarian and gluten-free side dish that can also work perfectly well as a main dish. It’s a great recipe to keep on hand for when you need a vegetarian dish that will also make meat-eaters happy.
Fluffy quinoa, one of my gluten-free mainstays, is mixed with briny olives, salty feta, and crunchy pine nuts plus just a hint of sweet tang from a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. You’ll stuff this savory mix into ripe, fresh tomatoes and bake them in the oven until warmed through and fragrant. This dish can also be made ahead and frozen, and it’s perfect served hot or at room temperature, which makes it a nice option to bring to a potluck or to serve at a buffet.
I love eating a Mediterranean stuffed tomato for lunch, maybe placed atop a pile of baby spinach or salad greens with a little extra drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You can also have more than one for a more hearty dinner, or serve stuffed tomatoes along with some of the meaty main dish suggestions outlined below. Big on flavor and low on difficulty, I hope this stuffed tomato recipe becomes one of your favorites, too.
Why You’ll Love This Mediterranean Dish
I love a hearty vegetarian main dish, and this one is hard to beat! Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:
- A complete meal. I often serve stuffed tomatoes as part of a vegetarian meal, but they are satisfying enough to make a light meal. Quinoa is a complete protein and provides about 8 grams of protein per cup so you’ll be getting a decent amount of protein per stuffed tomato.
- Naturally gluten-free. All of the ingredients needed to make these quinoa stuffed tomatoes, from the vegetables to the quinoa to the pine nuts, are naturally gluten-free! My favorite recipes are those that don’t need to be adapted to being gluten-free because they don’t contain any gluten to begin with.
- Full of flavorful, healthy ingredients. A quick glance at the ingredients list below will show you that every ingredient in these baked stuffed tomatoes is healthy! Heart-healthy olive oil is always a good choice, and feta cheese is lower in fat compared with many other cheeses. The broth, quinoa, vinegar, and seasonings are also low in fat, meaning that this meal is good for you as well as tastes good.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make quinoa stuffed tomatoes. Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts.
- Quinoa: I like to use white quinoa in these stuffed tomatoes. Make sure to rinse it first to remove any bitterness.
- Broth: To keep this meal vegetarian, use vegetable broth. Or you can use chicken broth.
- Dried Oregano: For authentic Mediterranean flavor, dried oregano is a must.
- Tomatoes: Choose large tomatoes so that you can easily fill them with the quinoa mixture.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is preferred!
- Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic vinegar brings a rich, tangy flavor note.
- Kalamata Olives: The briny olives add so much salty goodness to the filling!
- Feta Cheese: Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean flavor and is wonderful in these stuffed tomatoes.
- Pine Nuts: For crunch.
- Salt and Pepper: I use kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in this recipe.
How to Make Stuffed Tomatoes with Quinoa
Follow along with my method below to make the best-ever stuffed tomatoes:
- Place the quinoa and oregano in the oregano in a saucepan. Combine the quinoa, broth, and oregano in a saucepan.
- Cover the quinoa with water and bring to a boil. Cover the quinoa with the water and bring to a boil.
- Simmer the quinoa until fully cooked. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and liquid is fully absorbed (or cook as per package instructions).
- Prepare the tomatoes. While the quinoa is cooking, slice about a half-inch off the tops of the tomatoes, and set the tops aside.
- Make a shell of the tomatoes by scooping out the inside. Scoop out the insides of the tomatoes so that you have just a shell remaining. Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish.
- Dice the tops of the tomatoes. Dice the tops of the tomatoes so that you have about 1/4 c diced tomatoes, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Stir the olive oil, vinegar, olives, half of the feta, pine nuts, the diced tomatoes into the quinoa. Once the quinoa has finished cooking, stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped olives, half of the feta, pine nuts, and reserved diced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill the tomatoes with the quinoa mixture. Divide the quinoa mixture among the tomatoes and pack in slightly.
- Top with feta cheese. Divide the remaining feta cheese over the tops of the tomatoes.
- Bake the tomatoes. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through, and the cheese has browned slightly.
Recipe Tips & Variations
This is a straightforward recipe, but I have a few tips that will help it turn out well, plus some variation ideas. See below:
- Make it vegan. This is a great recipe to serve to vegan guests or those who need to eat dairy-free because it could hardly be easier to adapt to being vegan. All you need to do is skip the feta cheese. You could add more chopped olives or use a dairy-free cheese with similar results, but I think this quinoa is plenty flavorful enough even without the feta.
- Prepare the quinoa in advance. If you need to, you can make just the quinoa a few days in advance and store it in the fridge, or you could prepare the entire filling ahead of time. Store the filling in the fridge for up to 2 days in an airtight container. Then fill the tomatoes when you’re ready to cook them. It’s even delicious to enjoy on its own.
- Add and subtract ingredients. For more veggie oomph, you could add a handful of baby spinach to the filling for both color and nutrition. Or if you like almonds, swap the pine nuts for slivered almonds. If olives aren’t your thing, you can leave them out, or replace them with sliced cherry tomatoes or dried cranberries.
Make It A Meal
Quinoa stuffed tomatoes are a fantastic and satisfying vegetarian meal or a side dish to a meaty main dish. Here’s how to serve stuffed tomatoes:
- Add a salad. You can serve stuffed tomatoes with a light or hearty salad, depending on your preference. For heartier salads, I like my Easy Three Bean Salad recipe. On the lighter side, an Easy Greek Salad is a natural choice to serve with Mediterranean stuffed tomatoes! Or you can try my Caprese Zoodles Salad.
- With meat. Stuffed tomatoes are a great side to meat dishes. They’d taste great alongside Greek Burgers (skip the fries) or Grilled Flat Iron Steak. Get everything a drizzle of Tzatziki Sauce.
- Next to fish. Quinoa stuffed tomatoes are wonderful when paired with fish, like with my Five-Ingredient Strawberry Red Wine Glazed Salmon recipe. You could also serve these tomatoes with my Pesto Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner, with or without the potatoes.
- Serve atop salad greens. As mentioned earlier, I love popping a stuffed tomato on top of salad green for a light lunch. You could also serve tomatoes on top of wilted spinach drizzled with olive oil.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Store leftover stuffed tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the tomatoes in a casserole dish or on a baking sheet. Cover them with foil and reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Uncover the tomatoes and bake for another 15 minutes, or until heated through.
Can You Freeze Baked Stuffed Tomatoes?
Stuffed tomatoes are a wonderful make-ahead meal that does well in the freezer. Follow the recipe instructions up until the point of cooking the tomatoes. Then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid. Once they’re frozen, transfer the tomatoes to an airtight container or zip loc freezer-safe bag and place them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the stuffed tomatoes in the fridge before cooking them.
Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6-8 large tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 oz.), divided
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the quinoa, broth, and oregano in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and liquid is fully absorbed (or cook as per package instructions).
- While the quinoa is cooking, slice about ½-inch off the tops of the tomatoes, and set the tops aside. Scoop out the insides of the tomatoes so that you have just a shell remaining. Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish.
- Dice the tops of the tomatoes so that you have about 1/4 cup diced tomatoes, and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Once the quinoa has finished cooking, stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped olives, ½ cup of the feta, pine nuts, and reserved diced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the quinoa mixture among the tomatoes and pack in slightly.
- Divide the remaining ½ cup feta cheese over the tops of the tomatoes.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through, and cheese has browned slightly.