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Vegan Stuffed Tomatoes

I’m pretty proud of this recipe. My goal was to create Italian-style stuffed tomatoes using only plant-based ingredients, and I’m happy with the result-because I ended up with a hearty, flavorful stuffing mixture that really made the tomatoes taste incredible.

I’ll walk you through exactly how I made them! And yes, you can make stuffed tomatoes ahead of time. Serve them as a stunning side dish, but they can also stand on their own as a main course— but you might want to eat more than one!

Here’s the step by step video of the recipe:

📝 Ingredients you’ll need

stuffed tomatoes

For my vegan stuffed tomatoes recipe, you’ll need the following fresh and pantry ingredients:

Fresh produce:

  • 5 large, firm tomatoes: The base of the stuffed tomatoes, chosen for their size and firmness to hold the stuffing well.
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped: Provides a classic savory flavor to the dish.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced: Add a pungent, aromatic component.
  • 1/2 zucchini, finely chopped: Gives texture and a light, garden-fresh taste.
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped: Offers a sweet, crisp contrast.
  • 1 full hand of spinach: Brings in an earthy and nutritious element.
  • 6-7 fresh basil leaves, finely diced: Introduces a fragrant, herbal freshness.

Grains and nuts:

  • 1/3 cup of couscous: Acts as a filler and absorbs all the flavors beautifully.
  • Pine nuts: Provides crunch and a nutty taste.

Seasonings and oil:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil: For cooking the vegetables, adding richness and depth.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano: Imparts a slightly pungent note.
  • Salt and pepper to taste: Essential seasonings to enhance all the other flavors.


  • Grated vegan cheese: Adds a creamy and gooey texture, mimicking the melt of traditional cheese. Make sure you pick a cheese that actually melts.
  • Breadcrumbs: Create a crunchy golden top when baked.


  • 1/2 cup of boiling water: The liquid needed to cook and fluff up the couscous properly.

This combination of ingredients will ensure that each stuffed tomato is bursting with flavor and has a delightful variety of textures.

👨🏻‍🍳 How to make these Vegan Stuffed Tomatoes

To make this delicious recipe, I first took 5 large, firm tomatoes and sliced off the tops.

emptied tomatoes

Careful not to break the skins, I scooped out the inside, sprinkled it with salt, and placed the tomatoes upside down on a cloth to drain the excess moisture.

Continue with the stuffing. In a medium bowl, I added 1/3 cup of the couscous, covered it with 1/2 cup of boiling water, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

The couscous is done when it’s tender and has absorbed all the water.

Meanwhile, I heated a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Sauteed 1 finely chopped small onion and 3 minced garlic cloves until translucent.

I added half a zucchini chopped and 1 chopped red bell pepper and cooked for 5 minutes until they began to soften.

To finalize, I added a handful of spinach, seasoned the mixture with salt, black pepper, and a generous amount of dried oregano, and cooked until the spinach was wilted with no remaining liquid.

tomato stuffing/mixture

When the couscous was ready, I fluffed it up with a fork and let it cool a bit before tossing it with the sautéed vegetables and 6-7 freshly chopped basil leaves.

putting the mixture inside the tomatoes

Fill each tomato shell generously with the stuffing mixture. If there’s any stuffing left over, I save it for later as it makes a delicious side dish.

adding the topping to the stuffed tomatoes

For the finishing touch, I topped the stuffed tomatoes with lots of vegan cheese, a sprinkling of pine nuts, and breadcrumbs for crunch.

I personally pulverized my own bread using a food processor to create the crumbs but feel free to use store-bought crumbs.

drizzling the tomatoes with olive oil before putting them in the oven

Finally, I gave the tomatoes a final drizzle of olive oil before baking them for about 30 minutes at 375°F (180°C) until they were tender and the tops were nicely golden.

If you’re not sure if the tomatoes are done, pierce the skin with a sharp knife or fork. If they go through without much resistance, they’re probably done.

stuffed tomatoes right out of the oven

Once out of the oven, I let them cool slightly before serving to avoid scalding hot fillings.

💬 Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the best techniques for preparing vegan stuffed tomatoes?

Preparing vegan stuffed tomatoes starts with selecting ripe but firm tomatoes for an ideal balance of sweetness and structure that holds up in the oven.

I hollow out the tomatoes carefully and sprinkle the insides with salt before reversing them on a paper towel to draw out moisture, which prevents sogginess.

Can you suggest a method for incorporating rice into vegan stuffed tomato fillings?

To incorporate rice into the filling, I usually choose a short-grain variety for its stickiness, which helps it blend well with the other ingredients.

I cook the rice until it’s just tender, mix it with sautéed vegetables and herbs, then use this mixture to stuff the tomato cavities.

Is quinoa a suitable ingredient for stuffing vegan tomatoes, and how should it be cooked?

Yes, quinoa is another great ingredient you can use to create your stuffing.

I recommend cooking it in vegetable broth to add extra taste, making sure it’s fully absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients for the filling.

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vegan stuffed tomatoes

Vegan Stuffed Tomatoes

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  • Author: Alexandre Valente
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 tomatoes 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Try my Vegan Stuffed Tomatoes – juicy tomatoes loaded with a mix of couscous, sautéed veggies, and herbs. Topped with vegan cheese and breadcrumbs for a crispy bite. It’s a simple, wholesome dish perfect for any meal.


Units Scale
  • 5 large firm tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 12 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 zucchini, chopped finely
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 full hand of spinach
  • Salt, pepper, and oregano to taste
  • 67 fresh basil leaves, finely diced
  • Grated vegan cheese
  • Pine nuts
  • Breadcrumbs


  1. Cut the tops off 5 large tomatoes and remove the seeds and insides without breaking the shells. Sprinkle with salt and place upside down on paper towels to drain excess moisture.
  2. In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup of couscous with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Let it sit for 10 minutes until tender.
  3. In a skillet, sauté chopped onions and minced garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until it becomes translucent. Add the diced zucchini, and diced red bell pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and season with salt, black pepper, and dried oregano. Cook until the spinach is soft.
  4. Fluff couscous with a fork, let it cool, then mix in the sautéed veggies and chopped basil.
  5. Fill each tomato shell with the stuffing mixture.
  6. Top the stuffed tomatoes with vegan cheese, pine nuts, and breadcrumbs. Drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes at 375°F (180°C) until the tomatoes are tender and the tops golden.
  8. Let them cool slightly before serving. Enjoy your savory vegan stuffed tomatoes!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Baking Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course, Side
  • Cuisine: Italian

🙏🏻 Before you go, I’ve got a favor to ask!

I’d love to get your feedback on this recipe! Feel free to leave a comment below detailing your experience— and let others know how you feel about it!

Of course, you can also ask any questions you may have about the recipe— and we’ll try to respond ASAP.

stuffed tomatoes sliced in half

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