Five flavorful ways to stuff a ripe summer tomato

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Grab a few juicy, ripe tomatoes, scoop out the centers, and spoon in a savory filling. (For easy scooping, try a melon baller or grapefruit spoon.)

Here are five favorites from our Healthy Cook, Kate Sherwood.

Spicy Black Bean & Avocado Stuffed Tomato

black bean stuffed tomato

This simple combination of black beans and avocado looks smashing in a red or yellow tomato. Grill some chicken or white fish, and dinner is done.

Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

4 ripe but firm tomatoes
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 15 oz. can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced
2 Tbs. minced white onion
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced (optional)

  1. Slice off the stem end of each tomato. Scoop out and chop the centers.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, juice, and salt. Toss with the black beans, avocado, onion, cilantro, chili, and chopped tomato.
  3. Spoon the black bean salad into the tomato cups.

Makes 4 stuffed tomatoes.

Per serving (1 stuffed tomato):

  • Calories: 200
  • Total fat: 10 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 23 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Total sugar: 4 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Sodium: 260 mg

Bulgur & Herb Stuffed Tomato

Don’t be shy with the herbs. Try different combinations and—by all means—add more to suit your taste.

Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

4 ripe but firm tomatoes
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 scallion, minced
½ tsp. kosher salt
1½ cups cooked bulgur or other whole grain
¼ cup chopped soft fresh herbs (parsley, mint, cilantro, basil, and/or chervil), more to taste
¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped

  1. Slice off the stem end of each tomato. Scoop out and chop the centers.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, juice, scallion, and salt. Toss with the bulgur, herbs, walnuts, and chopped tomato.
  3. Spoon the herbed bulgur into the tomato cups.

Makes 4 stuffed tomatoes.

Per serving (1 stuffed tomato):

  • Calories: 190
  • Total fat: 12 g
  • Sat fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbs: 19 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugar: 4 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 250 mg

Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomato

For a cool lunch on a hot summer day, you can’t beat stuffing a tomato with chicken salad. Then again, there’s also tuna, shrimp, crab, and lobster salad.

Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

4 ripe but firm tomatoes
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dijon mustard
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
½ cup chopped celery
1½ cups chopped cooked chicken breast
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbs. minced fresh chives

  1. Slice off the stem end of each tomato. Scoop out and chop the centers.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the zest, juice, mustard, salt, mayonnaise, and dill. Toss with the celery, chicken, and chopped tomato. Season with the pepper.
  3. Spoon the chicken salad into the tomato cups. Top with the chives.

Makes 4 stuffed tomatoes.

Per serving (1 stuffed tomato):

  • Calories: 240
  • Total fat: 16 g
  • Sat fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbs: 6 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Total sugar: 4 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Sodium: 320 mg

Smoky Quinoa, Spinach, & Caramelized Onion Stuffed Tomato

I hope you love my shortcut for caramelizing onions: once the onions are soft, just add soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Caramelized color and flavor in only a few minutes. Yum!

Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

4 ripe but firm tomatoes
1 onion, halved and sliced
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 cups packed spinach, chopped
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup smoked almonds, chopped

  1. Slice off the stem end of each tomato. Scoop out and chop the centers.
  2. In a large non-stick pan, sauté the onion in the oil over medium heat until soft, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and soy sauce. Cook until the pan is dry, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach, a few handfuls at a time. Stir to wilt the spinach. Repeat until all of the spinach has been added. Remove from the heat and stir in the quinoa, chopped tomato, and salt. Allow to cool.
  4. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the tomato cups. Top with the almonds.

Makes 4 stuffed tomatoes.

Per serving (1 stuffed tomato):

  • Calories: 180
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 21 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 250 mg

Roasted Pepper & Eggplant, Cannellini Beans, & Basil Stuffed Tomato

For vinaigrettes, I prefer white balsamic to the traditional type. It has a beautiful sweet-tart balance and doesn’t make your food look muddy.

Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

½ red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼” dice
½ baby eggplant, cut into ¼” dice
1 Tbs. + 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 ripe but firm tomatoes
1 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. minced fresh basil
1 clove garlic, finely grated
½ tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup no-salt-added cannellini beans

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the bell pepper and the eggplant on a baking pan. Toss with 1 Tbs. of the oil. Roast until tender and browned in spots, 8-10 minutes.
  2. Slice off the stem end of each tomato. Scoop out and chop the centers.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil with the vinegar, basil, garlic, and salt. Season with the black pepper. Toss with the beans, bell pepper, eggplant, and chopped tomato.
  4. Spoon the bean salad into the tomato cups.

Makes 4 stuffed tomatoes.

Per serving (1 stuffed tomato):

  • Calories: 150
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 16 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 270 mg
Photos: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.

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