Okay, I’m taking a stand. Tomatoes are the best vegetable*. With their sharp flavor and amazing versatility, you can use them for any meal in a seemingly infinite number of non-dessert dishes. Fresh tomatoes from the garden or farmer’s market are one of the penultimate joys of summer, and I spend much of the year eagerly anticipating that season. The only downside to that time of year? Sometimes you end up with more tomatoes than you know what to do with.Jump to Recipe
Enter this recipe. Whether you’re using perfect, sun-kissed, garden-grown beauties or the lackluster winter tomatoes in the grocery store, this recipe still allows them to shine. The mushroom and quinoa filling helps to turn the simple vegetable into a complete meal, and since it’s gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, keto- and Whole30-friendly, it’s a great option for almost anybody you might have coming over for dinner.
*Yes, tomatoes are technically a fruit. But as I learned from an anonymous internet quote, “Intelligence is knowing that tomatoes are a fruit. Wisdom is not putting a tomato in your fruit salad.” Since nobody in their right mind would put a tomato in their fruit salad, we’re keeping them in the vegetable category on this blog.
Before you do anything, cook the quinoa. You’ll need a cup of the cooked ancient grain at the end of this recipe; regardless of what method you are using to cook the stuff, it can take a long time. My favorite no-fuss way to cook quinoa is using my Instant Pot. With a ratio of 1 cup quinoa to 1.5 cups of water (or broth, if you want to add some extra flavor), cook on high pressure for 1 minute, then natural release for 10 minutes before quick releasing. I’ve tried other methods of cooking quinoa, and this one has always resulted in a perfectly cooked grain – and it requires minimal supervision. I’ll often cook up a big batch on a Sunday and use it for recipes throughout the week.
Anyway, back to these tomatoes. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the stem portion of the tomatoes and discard. Cut out the core, leaving a wide hole at the top and an expansive basin within. I’ve found these tomatoes work best when you leave about 1.5 centimeters of flesh inside; it removes enough interior that they will cook quickly, but not so much that they lose their structure. Don’t throw away all of the delicious interior of the tomatoes! Save the parts that look good and chop them up. They will go into our mushroom-quinoa filling.
While you have your cutting board out, dice an onion and 8 ounces of mushrooms. My favorite variety are baby bella or crimini mushrooms, as they add a pleasant-but-not-overwhelming amount of flavor to this dish.
Next, sauté your onion in avocado oil over medium heat. Once the onion is starting to become soft and translucent, stir in your minced garlic, the diced insides of your tomatoes, and chopped mushrooms. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened and started to release their liquid. Mix in the remining spices and cook briefly (1-2 minutes), until they become aromatic.
Remove the sautéed vegetables from the heat and stir in one cup of cooked quinoa. Spoon mixture into cored tomatoes, filling to your desired level. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the tomato skins start to pucker and appear roasted.
Remove from oven and allow to cool briefly before serving.
Voila! Your fresh, zesty, mushroom-filled tomatoes are ready to eat. If you happen to make this recipe at home, please tag @WhiskAverseBaking on social media, or leave a message in the comments below.
Mushroom Stuffed Tomatoes
- 6-8 medium-to-large tomatoes
- 1 cup quinoa cooked
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms diced
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Core tomatoes and set aside. Dice the now-removed interiors. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Pour avocado oil into a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent, or about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, diced tomato interiors, and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms have softened and begun to release their juices.
- Mix in remaining spices, briefly sauteeing until aromatic.
- Remove from heat and mix in quinoa.
- Fill cored tomatoes with mushroom quinoa mixture and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, until tomatoes appear roasted. Serve hot.