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Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes is a hearty side dish that goes well with any meal. In fact, this also makes a light lunch with crusty bread. Naturally dairy-free, this recipe is easily made vegetarian.

It is a simple recipe that can be made in advance and baked at the last minute, making it ideal for entertaining!

eight baked tomatoes stuffed with rice in black baking pan with cubed roasted potatoes.

Why you’ll love this recipe

This Rice Stuffed Tomatoes recipe is easy to prepare and adaptable to your tastes. And if the rest of the meal is not quite ready, they will sit around happily and wait. Actually, this is a dish best served tepid and not directly out of the oven and pairs perfectly with my Italian Chicken Cutlet Recipe.

While the tomato is the hero of this dish, the potatoes aren’t far behind. Firstly, the potatoes are included to support the tomatoes so they don’t topple over. But while baking, the potatoes absorb the tomato juices and become flavorful and tender.

From salads like Cucumber Tomato Onion salad to ragu sauce for pasta, tomatoes appear in many Italian recipes and are loved by all. These rice stuffed tomatoes are so tasty they will become a family favorite you’ll make again and again!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Ingredient Notes

ingredients for stuffed baked tomatoes with rice as in the recipe card.

For this recipe, use the best possible produce. You will need a few potatoes, anchovies, good extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, and garlic. However, there are a few ingredients that need extra special attention.

  • Tomatoes – for this recipe, you need to choose the best tomatoes you can find; homegrown would be the best, but failing that, choose vine-ripened tomatoes.
  • Arborio rice – or any short grain, risotto rice.
  • Capers – I use capers in vinegar but if you use salted capers, be sure to rinse them well.

Variations

  • Use partly cooked brown rice for a nutty flavor, like in my Brown Rice Salad.
  • Omit the anchovies and add a 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese for a vegetarian version.
  • Swap out the basil for chopped fresh parsley.
  • Adding 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano.
  • If you like spicy food, add some red pepper flakes.

Instructions

Before you start: Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.

four-step photo collage showing how to make these stuffed tomatoes with rice.
  • place peeled and chopped potatoes into baking pan with a little oil and salt and bake while you prepare the tomatoes
  • hollow out tomatoes and chop the pulp
  • cook the rice and when cool, mix with tomato pulp, anchovies, capers, basil, oil and a little salt
  • fill hollowed out tomatoes with rice mixture and nestle into partially baked potatoes

Tips for Success

This is a very typical Italian recipe where quantities are merely suggestions. That means if you have small tomatoes – you’ll need more of them. Or if you love basil – you might like to add more than specified in the recipe. Remember that the rice is only partially cooked so it will expand, allow for that.

FAQ

What can I serve with these rice stuffed tomatoes?

These baked tomatoes are superb, served with meals like this Butterflied Roast Chicken.

How can this recipe be made in advance?

Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes as specified in the recipe. Allow to cool before nestling the tomatoes into the potatoes as in step 10. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Proceed with the recipe when ready to bake.

Can leftovers be reheated?

Sure! Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven at 350ºF/180ºC until just warmed through. Remember, these tomatoes are delicious served tepid.

one baked tomato stuffed with rice on a white plate with cubed potatoes.

More recipes you’ll love

Eggs in Purgatory – Italian style eggs in tomato sauce
Stuffed Cherry Peppers – southern Italian classic
Crispy Roasted Potatoes – with tips for the crispiest
Instant Pot Cauliflower – a quick and tasty side
Fried Red Tomatoes from Bite Size Kitchen

Made this recipe?
Please let me know if you liked it by leaving a ★★★★★ star rating and a review below. And remember to subscribe to my newsletter – it’s free!

eight baked tomatoes stuffed with rice in black baking pan with cubed potatoes.

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes is a hearty side dish that goes well with Sunday roast or any holiday meal. In fact, this also makes a light lunch when teamed with crusty bread. Naturally dairy free, this recipe is easily made vegetarian.
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Review
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
Servings:8 servings
Author: Marcellina

Ingredients

  • 3 potatoes
  • 8 tomatoes
  • ½ cup arborio rice
  • 2 anchovy fillets finely chopped (see below for vegetarian version)
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons basil leaves finely shredded
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • teaspoons salt divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
  • Peel potatoes and cut into large cubes.
  • Pour 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a small baking pan that will fit the 8 tomatoes plus a bit of room to spare.
  • Toss cubed potato in the oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, cut tops off tomatoes and reserve. Scoop out the tomato pulp and seeds. Discard excess seeds. Chop and reserve the pulp and any juices.
  • Fill a medium saucepan with water and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to boil. Add rice and cook for 7 minutes. Drain when ready. Allow to cool.
  • In a medium bowl mix cooked cooled rice, reserved tomato flesh, anchovy fillets, capers, basil, garlic and 2 tablespoons oil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt.
  • By this time the potatoes should have been in the oven for at least 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and give the potatoes a stir. Scrape up any that might be stuck.
  • Fill tomatoes with rice mixture. Nestle the filled tomatoes into a baking tray of potatoes and replace reserved tops.
  • Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until just beginning to split and wrinkle.
  • Serve barely warm or these are also good at room temperature.

Notes

Adapted from a recipe by the late Antonio Carluccio.

Vary this recipe by:

  • make it vegetarian by omitting the anchovies and add a 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese instead
  • swap out the basil for chopped fresh parsley
  • add 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • if you like spicy food add some dried hot chilli flakes
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 748mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1051IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

This updated and improved recipe was first published here on January 30, 2018.

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5 from 10 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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20 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Anxiously awaiting the first tomatoes of the season. Tomatoes baked over the top of potatoes sounds like a nice light dinner. Bookmarked!

  2. 5 stars
    This is such a nice and tasty recipe. Simple to make and I really loved the capers addition !

  3. Love these! They were a super-popular item back when I was living in Rome, practically a fixture in the tavole calde around town. Now I make them at home from time to time, although I have to say I’ve never tried them with anchovies and capers. I’m going to try that out next time ’cause I adore those flavors. By the way, when I blogged on this dish myself I got some guff from some Greek readers for stealing *their* dish… so watch out!

    1. Frank, these have been fabulous with our fresh garden tomatoes! You must try with the anchovies and capers – so tasty! Interesting what happened when you posted this recipe. I won’t argue who this dish this belongs to – maybe it’s just Mediterranean 😉

  4. This looks like a fantastic, light summer meal. Wonderful flavors in this dish especially with the anchovies! I’ve bookmarked this one for when our warm weather comes back!

  5. Yum, this recipe is oozing with Mediterranean flavours. I’ll be returning to South Australia in a few weeks- hope to still see some nice tomatoes there!

  6. 5 stars
    Oh how I wish we could get decent tomatoes right now, but we’ll have to wait for summer, alas. My Roman friend used to make something very similar to your rcipe, and every time I see it, I think of her.

    1. It’s strange here in Australia with tomatoes. Right now it’s summer so we have good tomatoes from the southern states but come autumn and winter my garden here in the tropics will be full of amazing tomatoes. Do you have your friend’s recipe, Linda?