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These healthy stuffed tomatoes are filled to the brim with a flavorful mixture of pesto quinoa and fresh spinach. Your whole family will love this simple recipe! Vegan and gluten-free.
*This recipe was originally posted on August 12, 2016, but I updated the recipe and republished it on February 16, 2019.
Tomatoes are one of my favorite summer produce picks. I swear they taste sweeter and juicier during the warmer summer months! My dad eats them like apples. I haven’t tried that yet but I do try to work them into many of our meals.
When I was at Sam’s Club last week shopping with my mom, I saw the most beautiful fresh beefsteak tomatoes and just had to buy them! They were so ripe, juicy, and the perfect shape for making healthy stuffed tomatoes!
Stuffed tomatoes are very similar to stuffed peppers (which we love), except I think stuffed tomatoes have a sweeter flavor and a more delicate consistency that we really enjoy. You might also enjoy this zesty taco stuffed tomato recipe too!
The tomatoes are the perfect vessel for this dish, and roasting makes them super sweet and tender. I like to cook them just until the skin just starts to blister. They taste delicious and it’s a beautiful presentation. Italian stuffed tomatoes are a very simple dish to prepare and they’re loaded with healthy ingredients that the whole family will love. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
How to Make Healthy Stuffed Tomatoes
These baked stuffed tomatoes with spinach are so easy to make!
Start by cooking the quinoa first and letting it cook while you make the pesto cream sauce and the stuffed tomato filling. To make the pesto cream sauce, add the fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper to a blender and blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Set this sauce aside until later.
Note – If you don’t care for quinoa, you can definitely make these stuffed tomatoes with rice! I’ve made it with brown rice and cauliflower rice and it’s just as delicious!
In a large pan, saute the onions in olive oil (or vegetable broth if you’re oil-free) until they’re translucent. Add the garlic and Italian seasonings and cook for 2 minutes. Add the fresh spinach, cooked quinoa, and pesto sauce and let it cook until the spinach has started to wilt.
While the filling is cooking, scoop out the seeds and membranes from each of the tomatoes. Season each tomato with salt and pepper and spoon the filling into the tomatoes. Put the tomato tops back on and then bake it at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the skin starts to blister. Garnish each tomato with fresh basil and enjoy!
Do You Have to Make Your Own Pesto?
You can make your own fresh pesto or use store-bought pesto (I like Sprout’s organic vegan pesto), either will work just fine and be absolutely delicious! I like to make my own because it’s so easy to do!
If you want to make your own vegan pesto sauce, you will need the following ingredients:
- Olive oil or water
- Cashews (optional)
- Nutritional yeast
- Sea salt
Tips for Making the Best Healthy Stuffed Tomatoes
- Don’t use Roma tomatoes for this recipe, they’re too small. I would recommend using beefsteak tomatoes, large vine-ripened tomatoes, or large heirloom tomatoes because you need to have a big enough tomato to stuff with the pesto filling.
- If you’re short on time you can use storebought vegan pesto sauce instead of making your own. It will turn out just as delicious. I sometimes use Sprout’s organic vegan pesto or this organic vegan pesto from Amazon instead of making my own.
- You can substitute brown rice for the quinoa, or cauliflower rice if you want a low-carb option.
- I recommend using fresh spinach to make these vegan stuffed tomatoes. If you use frozen spinach it will water down your pesto sauce and possibly make the quinoa filling wet.
Related Pesto Recipes You’ll Love
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Pesto Spinach Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes
Pesto Sauce -
Quinoa Filling -
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Pesto Sauce - Add all of the pesto ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy, set it aside until later.
- Quinoa FIlling - In a large pan, saute the diced onion in olive oil until it's translucent. Add the Italian seasonings and garlic cloves and let it cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and let it cook for 1-2 minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt. Add the cooked quinoa, pesto cream sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Tomatoes - Cut the top of the tomatoes. Use a grapefruit spoon (with a serrated edge) to slip into the tomatoes and scoop out all the seeds and membranes. Spoon the pesto quinoa filling into the tomatoes and put the tops back on.
- Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish and evenly spread it around. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish and season each tomato with salt & pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until the skin starts to blister. Garnish with fresh basil.
- If you want to use a store-bought pesto, I would recommend the organic vegan pesto from Sprouts. Start with 1/4 cup and add more to taste.
- You could substitute bell peppers for tomatoes.
- You could substitute riced cauliflower or brown rice for quinoa.