Tabbouleh-Style Stuffed Tomatoes

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  • Makes 8 stuffed tomatoes
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Hollowed-out beefsteak tomatoes make for delicious edible vessels and provide a fresh contrast to the punchy flavors of herbed tabbouleh in this Middle Eastern–inspired snack. Tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur, but our quick-and-easy version uses quinoa and whole wheat orzo pasta to create a satisfying mix of grains that soak up the tongue-tingling flavors of mint, parsley, and lemon. Cucumber, avocado, and the scooped-out tomato cores are added to the refreshing mixture and spooned back inside the edible tomato shells. Ideal for serving as a side dish, a party appetizer, or a light lunch, these eye-catching snacks are a tasty and beautiful way to use up the last of tomato season’s bounty.

For more tomato-forward recipes, check out these tasty ideas:

By Mary Margaret Chappell,


  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup dry whole wheat orzo
  • 8 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 cup finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup finely chopped avocado
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • In a medium saucepan combine onion, quinoa, garlic, and 1½ cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Stir in orzo. Cover and simmer 7 to 8 minutes more or until orzo is al dente, stirring occasionally (watch for foaming). If the mixture looks too soupy, uncover pan and cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until excess moisture is nearly gone, stirring constantly. Cover; let cool to room temperature.
  • Slice tops off tomatoes; core tomatoes. Scoop out the flesh from centers into a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, leaving ½-inch tomato shells. Place shells, upside down, on a paper towel-lined tray.
  • Chop the tomato flesh; discard liquid. In a medium bowl combine the cooled quinoa-orzo stuffing and chopped tomato flesh. Add cucumber, avocado, scallions, mint, parsley, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon stuffing mixture into tomato shells, mounding as necessary.

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About the Author

Headshot of Mary Margaret Chappell

About the Author

Mary Margaret Chappell

When Mary Margaret Chappell first started out in the plant-based food world as a writer, editor, and recipe developer, she was a bacon-loving former pastry chef who didn’t think she could ever cook without butter. Fourteen years, four cookbooks, dozens of cooking classes, and hundreds of recipes later, her favorite thing in the world is sharing the tips, techniques, and recipes that show just how easy and delicious whole-food, plant-based cooking can be. The former food editor of Vegetarian Times magazine has done away with her dependency on butter and is honing her skills at baking with natural sweeteners. Chappell lives in France, where plant-based eating can often be a challenge, but the fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes available are simply amazing. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.
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