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Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

baked tomatoes in a white casserole dish

Updated June 20, 2024

Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes – an easy veggie dish that everyone will love! Roasted tomatoes stuffed with pesto chickpeas and topped with crispy Italian breadcrumbs and vegan Parmesan cheese!

They’re a great vegetable side dish or main course when served with a fresh green salad and some warm, crusty bread!

Pour yourself a glass of wine and take your plate outside to enjoy in the sunshine. You’ll feel like you’re in Italy in no time!

THIS POST IS ABOUT HOW TO MAKE PESTO STUFFED TOMATOES.

Stuffed Tomatoes

I love making stuffed tomatoes in the summer when tomatoes and basil are abundant, but it’s also a great dish to make when you find yourself with out of season tomatoes because the process of roasting them really boosts the flavor.

Stuffed tomato recipes sometimes include rice, beef, or even tuna, but I love this pesto chickpea version. It works well as an appetizer, side dish, or main meal and it’s nicely balanced thanks for the added protein and fiber from the chickpeas.

My favorite part of this vegan Italian recipe is how juicy and flavorful the tomatoes get when they’re roasted in the oven. And I love how the cheesy Italian breadcrumbs create the perfect crispy texture on top!

If you love tomato recipes, check out the No-Cook Tomato Sauce in my new cookbook Vegan Party Planning! Inside you’ll also find my favorite Tomato and Stone Fruit Salad recipe as well as a Sun-Dried Tomato Whipped Feta that is perfect to serve with appetizers!

Now let’s get started making these delicious Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes!

Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy stuffed tomato recipe:

  • Tomatoes – I usually opt for vine tomatoes but plum, beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes are great too! This if a very flexible recipe but it generally makes enough for 6 medium tomatoes or 4 large tomatoes so just keep that in mind!
  • Chickpeas – add some heartiness to this dish with lots of plant protein and fiber. It’s part of why this recipe works as both a satisfying veggie side dish or a light supper when served with a simple salad and some baguette on the side.
  • Pesto – store-bought is fine. I look for a plant-based version so it’s dairy-free.
  • Onions – any color will work. Just make sure they’re finely diced for best results!
  • Breadcrumbs – I like Italian seasoned panko breadcrumbs. They have a nice crunchy texture and they’re pre-seasoned so no need to do anything except sprinkle them on!
  • Vegan Parmesan – I love the grate-your-own style Parmesan wedge from VioLife. It has great flavor and offers the perfect amount of umami to this dish!
  • Lemon – where there is fat and salt there should be acid, and lemon is a perfect compliment to the Parmesan and herby pesto!
tomatoes, onions, herbs and vegan parmesan cheese on the counter

How to make Stuffed Tomatoes

You can use 6 vine or plum tomatoes or 4 large beefsteak tomatoes for this recipe. I’ve found that vine tomatoes and plum tomatoes are usually less expensive, so that’s what I typically use.

Step One

Start by slicing off the top of each tomato and use a scooping out the pulp with a spoon. Make sure to reserve both the tops and pulp for later!

Then add olive oil, salt and pepper to a 9×13 baking dish. Place the tomatoes in the pan and toss to coat in the olive oil and seasoning, making sure both the inside and outside of each tomato is thoroughly coated.

Next it’s time to make the stuffing.

Step Two

Mash the chickpeas with a fork, and add the mashed chickpeas to a mixing bowl along with the onions, pesto and lemon juice. Spoon in 3 tbsp of the tomato pulp from earlier and discard the rest.

Tip: If there’s not enough tomato juice, simply roughly chop the core of the tomato and add it all to the bowl. 

Then mix well and spoon the stuffing into the center of each tomato. Avoid pressing down or tightly packing the stuffing. It’s better to gently spoon it in, piling it high over the top of the tomato to create a slight dome shape.

Step Three

Sprinkle with generously breadcrumbs and bake for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, sprinkle on the vegan parmesan cheese and place the top of each tomato on top. 

Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. 

I like to serve these stuffed tomatoes as a side dish or as summery Italian dinner with fresh green salad, warm bread and glass of wine.

Enjoy! 

kind of wild vegan organic wine review and discount code
Vegan-Friendly Organic Wine from Kind of Wild Wines.

Vegan Wine Pairing

Looking for a great vegan wine to pair with these Italian Roasted Tomatoes?

This Montepulciano D’Abruzzo from Kind of Wild has some nice cherry and spice notes that pairs well with the herby garlic pesto! All of their wines are vegan-friendly and organic! Shop here and use code NIKKIVEGAN15 for 15% off. Cheers!

More Vegan Italian Recipes You Might Like

These are some of my favorite vegan Italian dishes to make for lunch, dinner and dessert:

If you like this recipe please leave a comment and rate this post below! And if you’re on Instagram, tag me in a pic so I can see your recreation! @nikkivegan  

For more free vegan recipes, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel here.

roasted tomatoes on a white plate

Chickpea Stuffed Tomatoes with Vegan Pesto and Crispy Breadcrumbs

Nicole Vranjican
Baked tomatoes stuffed with pesto chickpeas, onions and herbs, topped with Italian breadcrumbs and vegan parmesan cheese.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Vegan
Servings 6 tomatoes
Calories 179 kcal

Ingredients
  

Tomatoes

  • 6 vine tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Stuffing

  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp tomato pulp (reserved from the inside of the tomatoes)
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • ¼ cup vegan pesto
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Topping

  • 2-3 tbsp Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup vegan Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

Prep

  • Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. 
    Next, slice off the top of each tomato and use a spoon to remove the pulp. Reserve the the tops and pulp for later.
    Then add the olive oil, salt and pepper to a 9×13 baking dish. Place the tomatoes in the pan and toss to coat in the olive oil and seasoning, making sure both the inside and outside of each tomato is thoroughly coated. Set aside.

Make the Stuffing

  • Next make the stuffing by mashing the chickpeas with a fork.
    Then add the mashed chickpeas to a mixing bowl along with the onions, pesto and lemon juice. Spoon in 3 tbsp of the tomato pulp from earlier (if there’s not enough tomato juice, simply roughly chop the core of the tomato and add it all to the bowl)

Assemble

  • Mix well and spoon into the center of each tomato.
    Tip: Avoid pressing down or tightly packing the stuffing. It’s better to gently spoon it in, piling it high over the top of the tomato to create a slight dome shape.
    Then generously sprinkle the top of each tomato with breadcrumbs.

Bake

  • After 15 minutes, sprinkle on the vegan Parmesan cheese and place the top of each tomato on top.
    Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. 

Serve

  • I like to serve these stuffed tomatoes as a side dish or as summery Italian dinner with fresh green salad, warm bread and glass of wine.
    Enjoy! 
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Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

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