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These stuffed tomatoes make a filling meal that’s warm and comforting, yet healthy and light enough for summer, all at the same time. It might not be your traditional stuffed tomato recipe, but it sure is my fave lately! It’s inspired by a Greek dish called Gemista, but with cauliflower rice instead of white rice (though you’re welcome to use any rice you like). I think it’s amazing, but in case you’re looking for something different, I have more stuffing options for you below (including hot or cold ones). Pair them with a Greek salad drizzled with Greek salad dressing for the best of all worlds!
Why You’ll Love These Stuffed Tomatoes
- Tender, juicy tomatoes
- Flavorful ground beef filling
- Simple everyday ingredients
- Easy to make
- Versatile stuffed tomato recipe (6 stuffing ideas, hot or cold!)
- Perfect weeknight dinner
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for stuffed tomatoes (Greek style), what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Tomatoes – Beefsteak tomatoes are the best tomatoes for stuffing, because they are large (to hold a good amount of filling) and stand upright easily. You can make this stuffed tomato recipe with other kinds of tomatoes, but you may need more of them to accommodate the filling.
- Olive Oil – Used for sauteing, and also for the sauce. Other heat-safe oils, such as avocado oil, will also work.
- Balsamic Vinegar – Adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor. You could use red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or rice vinegar instead, but I prefer balsamic for subtle sweetness.
- Italian Seasoning – I used homemade Italian seasoning, but store-bought works. Greek seasoning is great here, too. You can also opt for fresh herbs instead, such as thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, and/or marjoram.
- Aromatics – Garlic (fresh or jarred) and onions add so much flavor! I don’t recommend substituting the dried spices here.
- Ground Beef – Beef makes up the bulk of this stuffed tomatoes recipe, but ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork would all work as well. You could also use cooked lentils or quinoa for a meatless option.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Cauliflower Rice – I like to make my own fresh cauliflower rice, but frozen would work as well. You can also substitute cooked white rice or brown rice if you want it to be more filling.
How To Make Stuffed Tomatoes
This section shows how to cook stuffed tomatoes, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Hollow out the tomatoes. Preheat oven. Slice the tops off the tomatoes. Scoop out the tomato flesh and transfer to a blender. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, in a large baking dish. Set aside.
TIP: Be careful not to puncture the skin.
You don’t want your filling falling out. 😉
- Puree the sauce base. Add the balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, olive oil, and sea salt to the blender with the tomato flesh. Blend until smooth. (Alternatively, you can mash the ingredients in a bowl instead.) Set aside.
- Saute the aromatics. Heat more olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until browned. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Brown the beef. Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned.
- Simmer the filling. Stir in the cauliflower rice, as well as the tomato mixture from the blender. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces. Adjust sea salt and pepper to taste.
TIP: When you first add the pureed tomato pulp mixture, it will be very liquid, like soup.
This is normal! Just simmer it until it’s thick and saucy.
- Stuff tomatoes. Dry the insides of the tomatoes with a paper towel. Spoon the beef and rice mixture into tomatoes, and place the tomato “lids” on top.
- Bake. Cover stuffed tomatoes with foil and bake. Uncover and bake again, until the tomatoes are soft and pucked on the edges. Garnish with fresh parsley if you like. Sometimes I even add a dollop of tzatziki sauce!
VARIATION: Add cheese!
Add mozzarella or parmesan cheese on top in the last 15-20 minutes of baking.
- Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Meal prep: Prep the tomatoes and filling ahead and assemble them right before baking. The recipe can be done a day or two ahead, but it’s better not to wait too long, as the tomatoes may lose their shape.
- Reheat: Pop them in the oven at 350 degrees F, or in the microwave, until hot.
- Freeze: Raw tomatoes don’t freeze well, but you can store these baked stuffed tomatoes in the freezer for up to 3 months . Alternatively, you could freeze the prepared beef and cauliflower filling, and stuff it into fresh tomatoes before baking and serving.
More Stuffed Tomato Recipes
The version on the recipe card below makes Greek stuffed tomatoes, but don’t stop there — you can make stuffed tomato recipes in many other ways, both hot and cold. Try these variations:
- Tuna Salad – For a cold stuffing, simply stuff with your favorite tuna salad. You can also try tuna and egg salad, avocado tuna salad, or even crab salad instead. Tuna-based fillings also taste great hot with melted cheddar cheese instead, kind of like a tuna melt in stuffed tomato form!
- Chicken Salad – Use your favorite chicken salad for the filling. Try BBQ chicken salad for a cookout style filling, buffalo chicken salad for a spicy kick, creamy avocado chicken salad, or pack in those Greek flavors with a Mediterranean chicken salad.
- Caprese – This is like a Caprese salad stuffed inside a tomato. Alternate layers of fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. Drizzle with sweet balsamic glaze.
- Spinach Artichoke – Make spinach artichoke dip, but instead of baking it in a casserole dish, stuff it into the tomatoes and bake according to the times in this stuffed tomato recipe.
- Chicken & Pesto – Cook up some Instant Pot chicken breast and mix it with basil pesto. Stuff tomatoes with the mixture, top with cheese and bake according to instructions below.
- BLT – Make BLT stuffed tomatoes from my Easy Keto Cookbook!
More Stuffed Vegetable Recipes
Stuffed vegetables are a great way to pack in flavor and nutrients into your meals. Here are some more creative stuffed vegetable recipes that are sure to impress your family and friends!
Stuffed Tomatoes (Greek Style)
Make this stuffed tomatoes recipe with Greek-style beef filling for an easy, healthy dinner. Plus, get 6 more ideas for fillings, hot or cold!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (191 degrees C). Line or grease a baking dish.
Slice the tops off the tomatoes. Scoop out the flesh and transfer it into a large blender. Remove as much flesh as possible without puncturing the exterior skin.
Place the tomatoes, cut side up, onto the baking dish with the "lids" on top or next to them. Set aside.
Add balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to the blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and saute for about 10 minutes, until browned.
Add the minced garlic and saute for about a minute, until fragrant.
Add the ground beef. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook for about 10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned and cooked through.
Add the raw cauliflower rice (or cooked regular rice) and tomato pulp mixture, including liquid. It will be very liquid, almost like soup. Increase heat to high to bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the liquid reduces and you end up with beef and cauliflower rice in tomato sauce. The cauliflower rice should be soft. Adjust sea salt and pepper to taste.
Pat the insides of the tomatoes with paper towels to get rid of extra moisture. Stuff the beef/cauliflower mixture into the empty tomatoes in the baking dish. Place the tomato "lids" on top.
Cover the stuffed tomatoes with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15-20 more minutes, until tomatoes are soft and pucked on the edges.
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