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Best Sausage, Cheese, and Basil Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe-How to Make Sausage, Basil, and Cheese Stuffed

Tomatoes have arrived, and we’re stuffing them Italian-style. Tomatoes are undoubtedly best in the summer, but the time spent in the oven should be just enough to coax tomato-y flavor out of even the most off-season tomatoes.

What kind of tomatoes should I use?

Beefsteak tomatoes are the way to go here. They’re super flavorful, won’t wobble, and they’re big enough to stuff. Avoid narrow tomatoes like plum tomatoes.

How do I keep the filling from getting soggy?

The key is giving the tomatoes time to drain. After coring them, flip the tomatoes upside down to let the excess water drain. To speed up the process, sprinkle the insides with a pinch of salt before flipping them and dab the insides with a paper towel before filling.

What else can I stuff these with?

We’re not shy when it comes to stuffing and baking our favorite veggies, and tomatoes are no different! As long as you keep the essential elements (protein, cheese, aromatics, binder), you can mix and match to your heart’s desire. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

―Pizza-Stuffed Tomatoes – pepperoni, mozzarella, chopped black olives, Italian breadcrumbs

―Pesto Chicken Stuffed Tomatoes – diced chicken, parmesan, pesto, and quinoa

―Mediterranean stuffed tomatoes – zucchini, feta, mint, and couscous

For more stuffed veggie goodness, check out these pizza zucchini boats or cheesesteak stuffed peppers!

Have you made this yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: The introduction to this recipe was updated on July 8, 2022, to include more information about the dish.

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Preparation Time:





Total Time:





1 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil


shallot, minced (1/4 cup)

1/2 lb.

sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

1/4 c.

freshly chopped basil, plus more for garnish


panko breadcrumbs

3 oz.

fontina cheese, cut into 1/4″ cubes

1/4 c.

freshly grated Parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper

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  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Core tomatoes with a paring knife and cut a larger 2″-wide circle on top of each. Using a small spoon, scoop out insides, then place tomatoes upside-down on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and let drain while you prep the filling.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add sausage, break it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until browned and cooked through, 8 minutes.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage mixture to a large paper towel-lined bowl to soak up grease, then discard paper towel and stir in basil, panko, fontina, and Parmesan.
  5. Place tomatoes in a small baking dish and season insides with salt and pepper. Stuff tomatoes with sausage mixture (filling will shrink as you cook, so be sure to mound tops until they look like they’re overflowing), and bake until cheese is melting and tops are golden,15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes and serve with a simple green salad.

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Chelsea Lupkins

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