Slice And Stuff Tomatoes For An All-In-One Twist On The Caprese Salad

We love a good twist on a classic, and what recipe is easier to make your own than a caprese salad? A traditional version of this dish involves slices of tomatoes and mozzarella arranged on a plate with fresh basil, then sprinkled with olive oil, salt, and pepper. But as long as you have these basic ingredients in place, you can switch up how they're cut and presented to fit your taste buds — by using cherry tomatoes instead of heirloom, for example, or chopping your caprese salad. But to move this meal squarely from appetizer to entree territory, stuff your tomatoes with the remaining ingredients instead.

To do so, you'll first need to hollow out your fruits and scoop in your fillings. Then from there, you can either eat your dish raw or bake it. The latter will result in gooey melted mozzarella, while the former will preserve that bright, fresh quality that caprese salad is known for. Either way, transforming your dish this way will create an all-in-one meal that will let you taste every ingredient together in each bite. And as the juices seep out from the tomatoes, you can use some nice, crusty bread to mop them up.

How to make caprese stuffed tomatoes

The best part about stuffing your tomatoes instead of slicing them for a traditional salad? You can add in any ingredients you want to make this dish heartier or to tilt the flavor in a different direction. For instance, many baked stuffed tomato recipes include a sauce made from the fruits' insides, and this is the perfect way to incorporate your olive oil and basil. Once you scoop out the flesh, blend the three ingredients into a puree, but feel free to also add in parsley, oregano, garlic, Italian seasoning, or a little lemon juice. Then fill your hollow tomatoes with the sauce and top with mozzarella, or add in a little feta or parmesan here. If you want a nice, crispy topping, sprinkle some breadcrumbs on as well before your tomatoes go into the oven. They should only need about 15 minutes in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven, but make sure your cheese is fully melted before pulling them out.

If you're making a raw version, however, remove less of the tomato flesh and fill in the hole with a blend of mozzarella, heavy cream, and your flavoring ingredients. Then top the whole thing off with more fresh, chopped basil and balsamic drizzle, and dig in.