Tomatoes stuffed with rice

Tomatoes stuffed with rice

Stuffed tomatoes with rice is a very classic dish from Rome, the go-to summer dish you can prepare ahead!

Every  farmers market in Rome sells “pomodori da riso” (literally tomatoes for rice). If you ever visit a market in Rome you probably have seen it already.  These are big and plump tomatoes, perfect to be stuffed with rice. However you don’t have to use this particular tomato, you can use every kind of round tomato you can find.  They just have to be at least 6 to 8cm in diameter.

This recipe is perfect to be prepared in advance,  romans will tell you that the next day it’ll definitely taste better. I think this is the only case potatoes cooked in the oven are really good even when cold!

Growing up this dish has always be present in summer. When families went out on day trips, stuffed tomatoes with rice was one of the go-to dishes mothers would cook to bring along. Families and friends in summer usually gathered on the beach or on meadows to feast on Sundays. Everyone would bring something and usually it would be stuffed tomatoes, cutlets, eggplant parmigiana. Recipes that could be prepared ahead of time and that would be delicious even cold. My generation grew up with this kind of meals outside and, even though I cannot say it was the lightest meal for a scorching summer lunch, it was something we children looked forward to. Unfortunately this is an habit that people abandoned, cooking is not a favorite in many household anymore. Anyway I still cherish these memories every time I make this dish.


Stuffed tomatoes hacks

Got a slow cooker? You can actually use it to cook this recipe. I recommend you quickly broil the tomatoes and potatoes as soon as they’re done to get a some crunch. Anyway it is not necessary, it would be as good even if it’s not that crunchy. Once you’ve prepared to potatoes and stuffed the tomatoes, put everything in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4/5 hours, then broil for 5 minutes and you’re good to go!

slow cooker stuffed tomatoes

You can use origano, rosemary, sage, thyme or basil to season it. The classic recipe uses origano but that is really up to you and your tastebuds.
You could use a mix of your favorite spices, and I would also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to add a kick that will also help boosting your metabolism.


Tomatoes Health facts

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that will help you boost your metabolism and also protect your DNA from UV damage. Check the many benefits of tomatoes here on Dr. William Li’s website. Lycopene is fat-soluble, meaning your body absorbs it better when you eat it with oil. This mean that you should eat your tomatoes with a good source of fat, such as a very good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Tomatoes stuffed with rice

Let’s stop the talking and go straight into the recipe!

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 6 big tomatoes
  • 250gr of rice
  • 800gr of potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt, pepper, origano
  • extra virgin olive oil


Step 1

First you have to peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Wash them well and soak them for 10 minutes. Cook the rice in a sauce pan for 5 minutes, with 600ml of water and a generous sprinkle of salt. The rice will finish cooking in the oven.

Step 2

Wash well the tomatoes and remove the upper parts, put them aside and with a teaspoon remove the pulp and put it into a bowl. Cover again the tomatoes with their caps and set them aside. Chop finely the bigger chunks of tomato pulp and put them back into the bowl, add salt pepper and origano to taste. Don’t add oil to the stuffing otherwise the tomatoes will break while cooking.

Step 3

Drain the potatoes and pour them into a baking tray, add salt and 2 tablespoon of oil and mix well with your hands until they’re coated evenly. Drain well the rice ( if it’s too moist the tomatoes will break) and pour it into the bowl. Mix well and then use it to stuff the tomatoes.

Step 4

Now crack the garlic cloves and put them in the tray, place the stuffed tomatoes in the tray and cook in the oven at 200°C for at least 45 minutes. Check the cooking point of the potatoes and mix them after 30 minutes. They will become crispy and golden brown. Let it cool down and serve lukewarm or cold.

You can choose to season the rice with other ingredients if you like.