These baked stuffed tomatoes with white beans and spinach are loaded with protein-packed beans and bright, fresh flavors. Italian-style stuffed tomatoes are easy to make and the perfect size as a side dish, appetizer or main course.
Why you'll love these baked stuffed tomatoes
- Healthy - the perfect compliment to a vegetarian meal. Tomatoes are filled with antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium, and the white bean salad in these stuffed tomatoes is loaded with protein and iron. You'll also get a substantial amount of fiber, leaving you feeling full and satisfied.
- Allergy friendly - these stuffed tomatoes are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and have no breadcrumbs, and no cheese.
- Easy to make - made with simple fridge and pantry ingredients, this baked tomato recipe comes together quickly. Just hollow your tomatoes, a quick sauté of the white bean salad, stuff and bake.
- Versatile - enjoy as a side dish, appetizer or part of your main meal. These stuffed tomatoes also make a great lunch option.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Tomatoes - use tomatoes that are fairly firm and hold their shape like vine-ripened tomatoes, or beefsteak tomatoes. Thin-skinned tomatoes may lose their shape and fall apart while baking.
- Honey - adds a little sweetness and balances well with the vinegar. You can substitute the honey for pure maple syrup if you prefer.
- Fresh ginger - adds a bright peppery flavor.
- Red wine vinegar - adds a balance of acid to the stuffed tomatoes. Many vinegars will work in this recipe so feel free to substitute with white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar. It's all about easy pantry staples.
- White beans - I like to use cannellini beans since I often have a can in my pantry, but you can also substitute with great northern, or white navy beans. You can also sub in chickpeas, black beans or kidney beans if that works better for you.
- Fresh spinach and basil - make a nice, light Italian-style flavor profile. Oregano works well too. If you don't have fresh herbs that you can substitute a teaspoon of dry Italian seasoning in the filling.
- Nutritional yeast - adds a nice cheesy tasting finish to the dish while remaining dairy-free. It's loaded with vitamin B12 so it also helps to bump up the nutrition profile. Nutritional yeast can also be used as a thickener in the white bean stuffing if you have too much water from the tomatoes. You could always sub in Parmesan cheese if you're not worried about the dairy.
See recipe card for all ingredients and quantities.
How to make stuffed tomatoes
- parchment lined baking sheet
- large heavy-bottom skillet
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place tomatoes, cut side up on prepared baking sheet, leaving about a 2-inch space between each to allow heat to circulate.
- Drizzle with honey, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 5 minutes, or until slightly tender.
- Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add green onions, vinegar, ginger, cumin, and the reserved insides of the tomatoes. Stir to combine.
- Add white beans and spinach to the pan. Cook until spinach is wilted. About 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped basil.
- Spoon a liberal amount of white bean mixture into each prepared tomato. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor.
Hint: using slightly underripe tomatoes will hold their shape better when roasting.
Tips tricks and variations
- Stuffed tomatoes with chickpeas - swap out the white beans and use chickpeas for another variation on this tasty dish. The chickpeas go well with cilantro if you don't have basil.
- Firm tomatoes - using a firm variety of tomatoes like vine-ripened or beefsteak tomatoes works really well. If you only have more delicate tomatoes available, make sure they're slightly underripe so they hold up better when baked.
- Food storage - place any extra stuffed tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days.
There is no need to boil the tomatoes before stuffing. This would cause the tomato skin to crack and peel, making it difficult to hold the stuffing before baking. It's better to bake for 5 minutes to allow the honey and olive oil to infuse into the tomato before stuffing.
This bean recipe is really versatile and most beans will work well. If using dried beans, they'll need to be cooked first. About 1.5 cups (14-ounces) of cooked beans will do. Let me know what varieties you choose.
Side dish suggestions
- Maple Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Herbs
- Crunchy Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
- Zesty Baked Italian Style Chicken Wings
- Sticky Baked Sesame Chicken Wings and Rice
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