Cheesy Herb-Stuffed Tomatoes

Reading Time: 5 min

 

An easy, beautiful summertime dish made with melty cheese, whole-grain bread, and stuffed summer produce. Makes a frugal side dish or even more frugal main dish! Includes a dairy-free and vegan option.

 

herb-stuffed tomatoes

 

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When we were very, very broke, summertime was my favorite. Why? Because free produce. Fresh, local produce is important to me, and when our budget could barely afford Ramen noodles, I got very creative. In the summer, fresh produce is everywhere. Surely there was a way to get it to my family without breaking the bank.

While working at a garden nursery, the owner let me take home all of the marred and overrripe produce. Because fresh, local produce goes bad quickly, we took home boxes and boxes of tomatoes, corn, green beans, and peppers. I also got to take home all of the trimmings from potted herbs that were beginning to go to seed.

When I had babies and toddlers, I found a produce truck down the street. Every week, I spent $10 at Hassad’s produce stand. Because I was such a consistent customer (and maybe he had a crush on me – Chris insists), he gave me all the marred produce. We froze so many peaches, I’ll never look at them the same again.

This wasn’t the easiest way to get fresh produce. I had to sift through a lot of moldy green beans. But it was free, and that’s what we needed.

Stuffed Tomatoes

These stuffed tomatoes are one of my favorite recipes from those days. We used stale, day-old bread for the filling, my herb trimmings from work, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. They were perfect.

You can serve these alongside chicken, or do what we did – call it the main dish and pat yourself on the back for going meatless.

Dairy-Free

Try these with nutritional yeast in the bread crumbs, oil or vegan butter, and add some extra salt and herbs.

Gluten-Free

Honestly, I haven’t tried these with gluten-free bread, and I’m not sure that it’s worth it. I highly recommend checking Pinterest and Yummly for quinoa and rice-stuffed tomatoes.

 

Cheesy Herb-Stuffed Tomatoes

An easy, beautiful summertime dish made with melty cheese, whole-grain bread, and summer produce. Makes a frugal side dish or even more frugal main dish! 

Recipe adapted from Nourishing Traditions (affiliate link) - one of my favorite cookbooks!

Author: Steph Jenkins
Ingredients
  • 3 whole tomatoes
  • pinch salt
  • 2 slices whole grain bread (but white also works)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp each dried basil and parsley (or 2 tsp fresh)
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella or Italian blend cheese, shredded (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the tomatoes in half around the equator and scoop out the seeds and guts (grapefruit spoons work really well here). Use the tomato guts in salad, soup, or freeze them for later.

  2. Grease a glass baking dish and place the tomato halves cut side up in the pan. Sprinkle tomatoes with a little salt. Set aside. 

  3. Place the filling ingredients in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds until filling is fine and even. If you don't have a food processor, chop everything up really fine and work the butter in until it resembles coarse crumbs. It only takes 1-2 minutes, and I did it this way for years before I found a food processor for $5 at a yard sale.

  4. Spoon the filling evenly into the tomato halves. This makes them "stuffed" tomatoes.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Afterward, if desired, top the stuffed tomatoes with mozzarella cheese and broil for 2 minutes - until cheese is melted and bubbly.

To Serve:
  1. Serve warm alongside chicken or a salad. This makes a fun, light, meatless meal during the summer!

Recipe Notes

Dairy-free and Vegan:

Try these with nutritional yeast in the bread crumbs, oil or vegan butter, and add some extra salt and herbs.

Step-By-Step

 

Gather all the ingredients: tomatoes, bread, herbs (you can use dried too!), butter, salt, and parmesan.

 

scooping guts out of the tomatoes

 

Slice the tomatoes in half around the equator and scoop out the seeds and guts. Grapefruit spoons work really well!

 

freeze the tomatoes innards!

 

Use the tomato guts in salad, soup, or freeze them for later.

 

breadcrumb herb filling ready to be blended

 

Place the filling ingredients in a food processor or blender (doesn’t work as well). I used my Nutribullet dry-blade here (affiilate link).

 

breadcrumb herb filling

 

Pulse for a few seconds until filling is fine and even. If you don’t have a food processor or blender, chop everything up really fine and work the butter in until it resembles coarse crumbs. I did it this way for years before I finally found a food processor for $5 at a yard sale.

 

Stuffed tomatoes ready to go in the oven

 

Place the tomato halves on a greased baking sheet. Spoon the filling into the halves – they’ll pile up pretty high.

 

herb-stuffed tomatoes

 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If desired, top with mozzarella cheese and broil for 2 minutes – until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

Stuffed tomatoes topped with cheese

 

 

Stuffed tomatoes without the cheese

 

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An easy, beautiful summertime dish made with melty cheese, whole-grain bread, and summer produce. Makes a frugal side dish or even more frugal main dish! Includes a dairy-free and vegan option. From CheapskateCook.com



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