A simple and easy side dish never looked this good! Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes are baked to perfection with just the right amount of parmesan, panko, and fresh herbs.
I can’t help but think of my good friend, Nadia, whenever I have an abundance of tomatoes in my kitchen. Every time I look at the bowl of tomatoes on the counter top, I think of her. It’s because I miss hearing her stories about her family’s annual tomato canning adventures.
I love that about the Italian culture. The annual canning of tomatoes in late summer or early fall, always makes me wish I was Italian and had a large Italian family. If anyone wants to adopt me into their family, I’m free! (But, only if you can tomatoes every year!)
I’ve tried it in the past, but in smaller quantities. We live in an apartment, so purchasing and preparing several bushels of tomatoes for canning would be a kitchen nightmare. There’s just not enough room. That’s why I’m totally jealous of Nadia and her big backyard. They all get together and skin the tomatoes, puree them, and pack them into jars. Then, they light a fire under a pot large enough to hold over 100 jars of tomato sauce. Can you imagine? That’s a lot of good eating throughout the winter months.
She gave me a jar of her sauce a few years back and it was one of the best tomato sauces I’ve ever eaten. It was so fresh and so delicious. It encouraged me to try some of my own tomato canning recipes, but again, due to space, I was limited to a smaller quantity. I did put together this lovely Sweet and Sticky Tomato Jam. You’ll have to forgive the photographs. That particular recipe was posted long before we purchased a camera suitable for food photography.
Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes are extremely easy to make. And the ingredients are very inexpensive too. I love it when a recipe is easy and cheap, but has phenomenal results in terms of taste and presentation. Look at how gorgeous those tomatoes look on that plate. And even if you’re planning to serve these up family style, they would look fantastic on a big white platter with some fresh parsley or basil sprinkled over the top and a little drizzle of good olive oil.
Even though these are stuffed with a basic bread filling, you could be really adventurous and change up the stuffing. It’s really not that hard to do and it’s just another really great thing about this particular recipe. It’s completely adaptable!
You could cut the amount of filling in half for each tomato and place a cube of fresh mozzarella cheese right in the center. That will leave you with a roasted tomato with a very gooey and cheesy center – yum! I’ve only made them like that once before, but they were so good.
I’ve also made them a few years ago with the same basic panko-parmesan cheese filling, but added sliced pepperoni on top. They were like little mini pizzas without the crust. Don’t worry, Dear Reader, I didn’t totally get rid of the carbs for that meal. I served those pepperoni roasted stuffed tomatoes with garlic bread. Ha!
Be sure to make just as many as you’re going to need. Once these come out of the oven, serve them immediately. Once these have cooled down and are considered leftovers, they don’t taste as good and do not hold up well to being reheated. It’s usually not a problem though, because there’s really not much risk of there being leftovers. Enjoy!
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Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes
- 10 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise, pulp and seeds removed
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush a baking pan with olive oil. Place the tomatoes on the baking pan, cut side up. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt evenly over the tomatoes. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper evenly over the tomatoes as well. Set aside.
- In a bowl, toss together the panko, parmesan, the remaining salt and pepper, the garlic, onion powder, basil and parsley, until well combined.
- Add the olive oil and lightly toss until the panko and parmesan mixture is coated with the oil.
- Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each tomato cavity. Do not press the mixture into the tomatoes. Just evenly distribute the panko mixture into the 20 tomato halves.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with more parsley (optional) and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. You can also add more grated parmesan. Serve immediately.
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