Easy, Cheesy Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe

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These stuffed tomatoes are an easy, beautiful, budget-friendly summertime dish made with melty cheese, whole-grain bread, and summer produce! Use this recipe for a frugal side dish or even more frugal main dish! Includes a dairy-free and vegan option.

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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, but our budget could barely afford Ramen noodles. So we got very creative. In the summer, fresh produce is everywhere.

I had to find 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 overripe produce. Since 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.

Later, 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 did), Hassad gave me all of the marred produce at the end of the day. We froze so many bruised tomatoes, 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.

herb-stuffed tomatoes

Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe

These easy, cheesy, 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 later my pallet garden), and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. They were perfect.

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

Easy Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed tomatoes does’t sound like an easy recipe. But a few things make this a simple, delicious, summertime recipe.

  1. Overripe tomatoes – If they need to be eaten yesterday, this is the perfect recipe.
  2. Food processor filling – A couple whirrs in the food processor, and the filling is done!
  3. Meatless – Keeps it simple and flavorful
Stuffed tomatoes without the cheese
If you don’t have cheese, no worries!
Get the dairy-free or vegan version in the recipe!

Cheesy Stuffed Tomatoes

We love parmesan cheese on these stuffed tomatoes, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use whatever else is lying around – cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey jack, or even queso fresco.

Budget-Friendly Stuffed Tomatoes

Here’s how we keep these stuffed tomatoes budget-friendly:

  • If you use larger tomatoes, use both the tops and bottoms.
  • If you only use the bottom half of the tomatoes, freeze it, add it to marinara sauce, or make 10-Min Tomato Soup.
  • Use stale bread for the filling (did you know you can whirr stale bread in the food processor then freeze it for later?).
  • Finish off the odds and ends of cheese in your fridge (parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey jack, feta, or even queso fresco).
  • If you don’t have fresh herbs, use dried (this Greek Seasoning would taste great!)

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions:

Here is how we make easy, cheesy stuffed tomatoes.

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

Serve warm alongside chicken, fish, or a salad. This also makes a fun, light, meatless meal during the summer!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #cheapskatecook and @cheapskatecook on Instagram.

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.

  6. Serve warm alongside chicken, fish, or a salad. This also makes a fun, light, meatless meal during the summer!

Recipe Notes

Dairy-free and Vegan Variation:

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

More Tomato Recipes:

What You Can Do Now:

What’s your favorite way to eat tomatoes in the summer?

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