Stuffed Tomatoes Provençal is a classic French recipe where fresh tomatoes are stuffed with a delicious breadcrumb mixture and drizzled with olive oil. It is a quick and easy dish to prepare that can be made ahead of time. This recipe produces a perfect side dish for meals ranging from elegant to every day.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Absolutely Love This Recipe
The Stuffed Provençal Tomatoes is a perfect recipe inspired by Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. You’ll absolutely love this dish for a number of reasons.
- As I already indicated, it’s quick and easy to prepare.
- This recipe can be put together early in the day and roasted right before dinner allowing for a hassle free side dish.
- This dish goes perfectly with chicken, beef, pork, fish – in fact almost any meat. It’s also an excellent accompaniment for a vegetarian meal.
- Its beautiful presentation compliments any meal.
- The roasting significantly enhances the tomatoes whether they are in season or not.
What You’ll Need to Make This Dish
The ingredients for this dish are typical of the cuisine of Provence that focuses on fresh ingredients that are simply prepared and elegantly presented.
- The Stuffing: For the stuffing I used fresh breadcrumbs, shallots, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, fresh garlic, Kosher salt, Herbes de Provence, black pepper and olive oil.
- What’s Left: Tomatoes were the final ingredient.
How I Made the Stuffing
Making the stuffing was super simple.
- Probably the most labor intensive part of making the stuffing was preparing the fresh breadcrumbs.
I started by removing the crust from several slices of white bread. Then, I cut the bread into 1 to 2-inch chunks. I pulse the bread in the food processor fitted with a steel blade about 10 times. The result? Perfect breadcrumbs!
- Once the breadcrumbs were made, I transferred them to bowl. Then, I added the shallots, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence.
I stirred everything together to ensure that the ingredients were well combined.
- Next, I added olive oil to the stuffing mixture. I stirred everything together and set it aside while I concentrated on the tomatoes.
How I Prepared the Tomatoes
- I started by cutting out the core of the two tomatoes with a small paring knife.
- Next, I cut the tomatoes in half. Then using a spoon, I scooped the pulp and seeds out of the halves.
Stuffing and Roasting the Tomatoes
Now that the stuffing and the tomatoes were prepared, it was time to put the dish together.
I placed the tomato halves on a rimmed baking sheet lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Then, I spooned the stuffing into each to the halves.
Next, I drizzled some additional olive oil on the tops of each of the stuffed tomatoes.
I roasted the stuffed tomatoes in a preheated 400° F oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes the breadcrumbs were a golden brown and the tomatoes were perfectly roasted.
I served the Stuffed Tomatoes Provençal with my Hasselback Chicken with Spinach Boursin Cheese Stuffing. The tomatoes were a delicious accompaniment to the chicken and rounded out the meal. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
If at all possible, I would stick to the fresh breadcrumbs. There isn’t enough liquid added to the stuffing to make the dried breadcrumbs work effectively.
In order to ensure that the tomatoes hold their shape during the cooking, it’s best not to peel them.
Herbes de Provence are a blend of dried Provençal herbs and spices. Often the Herbes de Provence includes rosemary, thyme, basil, savory, tarragon, marjoram and oregano.
If you don’t have Herbes de Provence, you can substitute Italian seasoning. Alternatively, you can make your own by blending together some rosemary, thyme and basil.
This recipe can be made in advance in two different ways. First, the stuffing and the tomatoes can be prepared in advance and then stuffed and roasted right before dinner. Second, the dish can be prepared up to the point of drizzling the olive oil on the stuffing, refrigerated and then roasted right before dinner. It’s a matter of choice.
Since it’s just the two of us, I like to limit the recipe to four servings. However, the recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, etc.
These stuffed tomatoes are best eaten after they come out of the oven. However, if there are any leftovers, then can be covered and refrigerated for several days. The texture of the tomatoes will not be quite as firm, but they will still be delicious. Actually, the Master Taste Tester likes to warm the leftovers in the microwave and have them with his breakfast!
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Easy Stuffed Tomatoes Provençal
- 2 large firm tomatoes, about 8-ounces each
- 2 to 3 pieces of white bread, crusts removed and cut into cubes
- 1 ½ Tablespoons minced shallots (1 medium shallot)
- 2 Tablespoons minced Italian parsley
- 2 Tablespoons (0.5 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Herbes de Provence (See Tip 1)
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons plus one teaspoon olive oil, divided
- Minced parsley or chives for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Core the tomatoes and cut in half horizontally. Scoop out pulp and seeds. Set aside.
- Make the fresh breadcrumbs by pulse processing bread in food processor fitted with a steel blade 10 times. (See Tip 2)
- Transfer breadcrumbs to bowl. Add shallots, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, Herbes de Provence, pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir to combine.
- Stuff each of the tomato halves with the bread stuffing. Drizzle with remaining one teaspoon of olive oil. (Can be made in advance up to this point.)
- Bake stuffed tomatoes in preheated 400°F oven for 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
- Yield: 4 stuffed tomatoes. (See Tip 3)
Chula’s Expert Tips
- If you don’t have Herbes de Provence, you can substitute Italian seasoning. The stuffing won’t be quite as good, but the Italian seasoning is a reasonable substitute.
- It’s best to use fresh breadcrumbs in this recipe. The stuffing will be quite dry if you try to substitute dried breadcrumbs.
- This recipe is easily doubled.