French cooking France

Easy stuffed tomatoes recipe

It's a tasty dish: stuffed tomatoes. Easy to make, ideal for adding a little vegetable to children's plates, full of vitamins and useful for reusing leftovers, discover this dish and its recipe with advice from Monsieur de France.


A 19th-century idea


Tomatoes are not originally French at all. They come from South America and were discovered by Europeans through the conquistadors. Brought to France during the Renaissance, they weren 't very popular at first, but were known for a long time under the poetic name of "pomme d'amour ", and were used more for decoration. Already well known in Provence and the South, they didn't arrive in Paris until the French Revolution around 1789. The word "tomato" didn't appear in the dictionary until 1835, so they're not widely known. And yet, it was in the 19th century that Parisian chefs began to cook them in earnest, in the form of stuffed tomatoes, as recorded in cookery books. Alexandre GRIMOD de la REYNIERE gives the oldest recipe for stuffed tomatoes in his almanach des gourmands in 1803.


Fresh tomatoes. Photo chosen by genious2000de via dépositphotos.

Fresh tomatoes. Photo chosen by genious2000de via dépositphotos.


Today,the French love tomatoes, consuming around 14 kg per capita per year. French gardeners have worked tomatoes, and some typically French species grow in gardens, such as the "abondance", the "beaumarchais", the "belle angevine", the "belle arlésienne" and the "belle de chanterac". France produces almost 800,000 tonnes each year. Mainly planted in the south, they are harvested by professionals from May to September. They are at their best in June and July. Above the Loire, in the east of France for example, they are harvested later, around August and September. But let's get back to our stuffed tomatoes, ideal for the whole family:



How do you make stuffed tomatoes?




Serves 4:


  • 4 large tomatoes (obviously the "coeur de boeuf" variety) or 8 medium-sized tomatoes.
  • 3 white onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 250 grams rice
  • 500 grams sausage meat (or pot-au-feu leftovers, for example).
  • Coarse salt.
  • A little butter.


and we're not forgetting


  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Flat-leaf parsley



The family dish par excellence: stuffed tomatoes. Photo chosen by monsieurdefrance.Com: depositphotos.

The family dish par excellence: stuffed tomatoes. Photo chosen by monsieurdefrance.Com: depositphotos.



The process



Getting ready

Preheat the oven to 210°C (gas mark 7). Rinse the vegetables and prepare an ovenproof dish, well greased with butter. Chop the thyme and parsley finely.



Preparing the tomatoes

Take your tomatoes and cut off a cap. Scoop out the largest part (everything should disappear, including the seeds) and place in a bowl. Mash what's in the bowl with a fork (or blend), season with salt and pepper. Arrange your tomatoes side by side in an ovenproof casserole dish (sticking them together will prevent them from bursting during cooking). Put a few grains of rice in the bottom of your hollowed-out tomatoes.



Preparing the stuffing

Take your stuffing and place it in a bowl. Sprinkle with your chopped thyme and parsley and break the egg over it. Add a little salt and pepper (not too much). Mix everything together and place in the tomatoes. Top with the mixture from the bowl (you know, the inside of the tomatoes). Cover with the caps you cut off earlier.



Put in the oven

Cook for 25 minutes (minimum) at 210°C. 10 minutes before the end of cooking time, place your 250 grams of rice in a large volume of water with a handful of coarse salt.



We serve

Arrange the dish of stuffed tomatoes and a salad bowl with the hot rice. You can also place the rice in the dish around the tomatoes.





Put a little rice in the bottom of your tomatoes. It will absorb the water as it cooks. You can also add a little breadcrumbs to the filling.

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.