Southwestern Stuffed Tomatoes are a fiesta of flavors. These tasty baked stuffed tomatoes are filled to the brim with a delicious mixture of rice, black beans, pinto beans, bell peppers, and green chilies and then baked to perfection, and ultimately topped with spicy salsa, jalapenos, and avocados. This Tex-Mex casserole is sure to please everyone in the family making it an ultimate Whole Food Plant Based dish, no oil, no sugar, no highly processed ingredients, and gluten free.
Stuffed Tomato Base Ingredients:
- 1 large yellow onion, fine dice
- 1 celery stalk, fine dice
- 1 large carrot, fine dice
- 2 bell peppers – diced (we used the following: ½ red bell pepper, ½ yellow bell pepper, ½ orange bell pepper, ½ green bell pepper)
- 1 – 14.5 oz. can Petite Diced Tomatoes (no sodium) – pureed in a food processor
- 1 – 10 oz. can fire roasted whole green chilies (tame/mild), chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (+/- to taste) *
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (+/- to taste) *
- ½ to 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (+/- to taste) *
- ½ to 1 teaspoon cumin (+/- to taste) *
- 1/8 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon dried minced onions
- 1 – 2 teaspoons sea salt (+/- to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper (+/- to taste)
- 1 – 15.5 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 – 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 – 15.25 can corn (or 2 cups frozen – thawed)
- 3 cups cooked rice of choice
- 8 (large) to 12 (medium) Tomatoes, firm & ripe (to fill a 10”x13”x 2” baking dish) Our Baking dish only fit 7 but we would have prefer 8 large tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (a couple slices on each for extra heat)
- Salsa (We used Jardines Texas Salsa – WFPB compliant) *
- Avocadoes, chunks or slices
- Green onions – thinly sliced
- Cilantro – roughly chopped
- Hot sauce
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Select firm, ripe tomatoes. Take each tomato and slice the top off with a knife. Only take a tiny bit off the top. Then using a knife core the tomato. Then carefully remove all the insides (seeds, pulp, and juice), only leaving a tomato shell. We used a small lemon zester with the little hook claws. It worked great digging out the thicker tomato membranes (See notes). You want to create a tomato cup to hold to bake the stuffing inside. When all the tomatoes are cleaned, sprinkle a tiny amount of sea salt and pepper inside each tomato and invert them onto a paper towel lined baking sheet until you are ready to stuff them. This will draw out any excess moisture.
- In a large ceramic/enamel lined Dutch oven/pot or similarly large stockpot, add the prepared veggies: onion, bell peppers, carrot, and celery. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes to soften the veggies.
- Once the veggies are softened, add all the remaining Stuffed Tomato Base Ingredients. Lower to medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, taste the stuffing base. This is the time to adjust the spice flavors.
- After you have adjusted the spice flavors, simmer a few more minutes to allow the spices to marry and taste test again.
- Once the based flavor is where you want it, add the beans and corn. Stir to combine, simmer for one minute, then remove from the stove top.
- Add the cooked rice to the mixture.
- Take each tomato cup and fill it with stuffing mixture and temporarily place it on the baking sheet. Once all the tomatoes are filled, if you have any left-over stuffing (I had about 4 to 5 cups left over), then place the left-over stuffing on the bottom of your casserole dish. I used an oval 10x13x2 inch casserole dish. (see images)
- Next, take each stuffed tomato and lay it on top of the layered stuffing mixture that you placed on the bottom of your casserole dish. Continue until all the stuffed tomatoes are in the casserole dish. You may need to nestle them into the bottom layered stuffing to help them stand up properly. Note: If you do not have any left-over stuffing to add to the bottom of the dish, add a tiny bit of water to the bottom of the dish.
- Tightly cover the casserole dish full of stuffed tomatoes with foil.
- Place in a preheated oven and bake at 425 F for 35 minutes. Place a baking sheet on the rack below the casserole dish to catch any spill overs.
- After 35 minutes, carefully remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. Don’t worry if there is a lot of water on top of the casserole. The tomatoes release a lot of water. The water will be reabsorbed back into the casserole while in the oven, and will continue to reabsorb after you pull it out of the oven.
- Turn off the oven and allow the casserole to sit in the hot oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove the casserole from the oven. Place thinly sliced jalapeno pepper rings on top of each stuffed tomato. (Be careful, the tomatoes are piping hot). The jalapeno slices will cook while on top of the hot stuffed tomatoes. Allow to sit undisturbed for 5-8 minutes.
- To serve, place a stuff tomato on a plate and top with salsa. Add optional ingredients such as avocado chunks, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
*Tomatoes: You want to select firm tomatoes. Be careful not to hollow out too much of the tomato as the tomato should easily stand on its own once you hollow it out. You want to hollow it out as you want to stuff it. The sides of the tomato should not be so thin that it collapses after you hollow it out. AND you don’t want to leave too much of the tomato insides as then you won’t have enough room to stuff it. In other words, hollow it completely out, remove all the seeds and all the juice so you are only left with a “tomato shell”.
*Spices: You can control the spice level and heat level on this recipe. We have included the minimum amounts for a mildly spicy stuffed tomato. However, if you really want a kick, use the higher level of spice or adjust to your own spice preferences. We kept the recipe mild as we have members of our family who do not like spicy ingredients.
*Sea Salt: You may need to add some sea salt. We added about 2 teaspoons as we felt the added some additional flavor
*Salsa: We LOVE Jardines Texas Salsa. It is Whole Food Plant Based compliant and has amazing flavor. Serving this dish topped with salsa is a MUST. It takes this dish to flavor town! You can use your own favorite salsa. We love Jardines Texas Salsa because it really compliments this stuffed tomato recipe.
*Nutritional Information: Does not include toppings
- Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories: 338.2
- Sugar: 12.1 g
- Sodium: 944.6 mg
- Fat: 2.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 67.8 g
- Fiber: 15.4 g
- Protein: 14.4 g