Transform tomatoes into a flavourful dish
Risotto-stuffed tomatoes are field tomatoes that are filled with a rice mixture, sprinkled with cheese and baked in the oven. A tasty vegetarian side dish or main meal.
Tasteless and firm tomatoes can be transformed in this recipe. Once you have filled and baked the tomatoes with risotto and cheese, they taste juicier and have much more flavour.
The key steps in this recipe are:
- Make a simple risotto
- Add green beans
- Cut fresh tomatoes in half and scoop out their flesh
- Stuff tomatoes with risotto mixture
- Sprinkle stuffed tomatoes with bocconcini
- Bake tomatoes in oven
- Garnish with fresh green herbs
Italian or Greek?
I would say that these risotto-stuffed tomatoes are an Italian-inspired recipe because of the use of arborio rice and bocconcini cheese.
Many cultures are famous for their stuffed vegetable dishes. As well as Italy, Greece and the Middle East are also well known for their stuffed vegetable recipes. Capsicums, zucchini, onions and squash are just some of the vegetables that are used in traditional recipes. They can be vegetarian or sometimes the stuffing contains minced meat. Rice is often used as the base of the filling so that various flavourings can be added to it.
In my version, arborio rice and sliced green beans are the key ingredients of the veggie stuffing mixture. I slice the tomatoes in half horizontally instead of cutting ‘lids’ off the tops of the tomatoes. I think this gives more surface area for the bocconcini to melt when the tomatoes are baked.
You should make risotto-stuffed tomatoes because they are:
- A delicious vegetarian main meal or side dish.
- Budget-friendly – inexpensive fresh tomatoes and store-cupboard ingredients.
- A healthier side dish – fresh tomatoes stuffed with rice and baked in the oven.
- Easy to make in advance for a tasty dinner.
Risotto-stuffed tomatoes’ main ingredients:
- Fresh tomatoes
- Arborio rice
- Green beans
- Vegetable stock
- Fresh green herbs
Tips for busy cooks
You can use whichever type of fresh tomato that you prefer in this recipe. I use field tomatoes that are roughly 5 – 6cm in diameter. Truss or Beefsteak tomatoes would also work well.
Swap bocconcini for vegetarian cheddar cheese or classic mozzarella if you like.
I use sliced green beans in the stuffing, but you can use whichever vegetables you have left in your fridge. Mushrooms, capsicums, zucchini or sweetcorn can be used instead of the beans.
Make this recipe vegan-friendly by using a vegan cheese instead of the bocconcini.
Depending on the size of the tomatoes that you use in this recipe, you may have some of the risotto filling leftover. Use any leftover risotto to stuff other vegetables such as zucchini or capsicums. Alternatively, serve the risotto-stuffed tomatoes on a bed of (heated-up) leftover risotto to make the dish into a main meal.
- Main meal (dinner or lunch) – this recipe serves two people as a main meal. Eat the stuffed tomatoes with crusty bread and a large salad.
- Side dish (dinner or lunch) – serves four as a side dish. A tasty accompaniment to a vegetable quiche or tart.
Bring out the sweetness of tomatoes
Risotto-stuffed tomatoes are a juicy and vibrant side dish or main meal for vegetarians and non-veggies.
This recipe is perfect when you want to use up fresh tomatoes that seem flavourless and appear to be too firm to eat in a salad. Once you bake the tomatoes with a moist risotto filling and cheese, their natural sweetness and succulence will be enhanced.
Did you eat these stuffed tomatoes as a main meal or as a side dish?
Let me know by leaving a comment and a recipe rating below – I’d love to hear from you.
Do you love rice-stuffed vegetables? Try this recipe next: vegetarian stuffed capsicums
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for greasing
- 70 g red onion (approx. 1 small), peeled & finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves peeled & crushed
- 70 g arborio rice
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 50 g green beans topped & tailed, finely sliced
- 1 tsp mixed herbs dried
- Salt and pepper
- 8 firm tomatoes approx. 500g
- 70 g bocconcini vegetarian, chopped
- Fresh green herbs chopped
Preheat the oven to 190°C fan. Grease a baking dish with oil.
Heat the oil in large frying pan over a medium heat, add onion, garlic and fry for 3 minutes. Add the rice, stir and fry for 2 minutes. Gradually add the vegetable stock (ladle by ladle) while stirring until the rice is cooked - this takes about 20 minutes.
Add the green beans, mixed herbs, salt and pepper to the risotto. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Take the risotto off the heat while you prepare the tomatoes.
Cut each tomato in half horizontally. Using a metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and flesh of each tomato half into a bowl. Squeeze the seeds/flesh over a bowl so that there are no large pieces. Transfer the seeds/flesh to the risotto and stir to combine.
Stuff each tomato half with approximately one heaped teaspoon of risotto and place the stuffed tomatoes (risotto-side up) in the greased baking dish. Sprinkle chopped bocconcini over the tomatoes and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with chopped green herbs. Can be eaten hot or cold.
I use field tomatoes that are roughly 5 - 6cm in diameter. Truss or Beefsteak tomatoes would also work well.