Giada De Laurentiis’ Mom’s Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe Is ‘Comfort Food From My Childhood’

There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal and for Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, no dish said “comfort food” more to her as a child than her mother’s stuffed tomatoes.

Packed with rice and herbs, and topped with gooey cheese, this dish is a family favorite for good reason.

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis, right, with her mother Veronica.
Giada De Laurentiis, right, with her mother Veronica De Laurentiis | Donato Sardella/WireImage for InStyle Magazine

De Laurentiis calls her mother’s dish ‘comforting’

On her lifestyle and food blog Giadzy, the Simply Giada star reminisced about the dish that her mother would make regularly, to her family’s delight. Not only was it comfort food at its best, but it was also good for them.

“When I think of comfort food from my childhood, these rice stuffed tomatoes come to mind straight away,” De Laurentiis wrote. “This is a signature dish from my mom, Veronica – it has a lot of simple, comforting flavors, and it has a great stick-to-your-ribs quality while being pretty healthy. This is a great way to get kids to eat tomatoes, too – stuffed with rice, surrounded by potatoes, and topped with cheese if you desire!”

The Food Network personality adds that these tomatoes make “a great main course or a hearty side.”

And if you’re wanting a vegan lunch option, leave out “the Parmesan cheese. … It’s a great recipe to have on hand if you have company coming over with dietary restrictions!”

This De Laurentiis family recipe is a cinch to make

The chef starts by cutting the top off of each tomato as though it were a lid and spooning into a bowl “the meat of the tomatoes,” as she says in the Food Network video, below. She recommends using beefsteak tomatoes for this dish: “You want a big tomato to do this.”

Into the bowl with the tomato pulp, she adds whole garlic cloves, dried oregano, and basil. She stirs in olive oil and salt, pouring the contents of the bowl “in the blender and we’re going to puree it all together.”

De Laurentiis returns the now-blended pulp mixture to the bowl, stirring in arborio rice. She places the hollowed-out tomatoes in a 13 x 9 dish that’s filled with chunks of potato, seasoning the tomatoes. “Just take the filling and fill the tomatoes, almost to the top,” she said. 

Once they’re filled, the dish is placed in a 375-degree F oven and baked for over an hour.

If you like, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on the tomatoes and potatoes before serving.

You can find the complete recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.

Reviewers praised De Laurentiis’ mom’s simple and delicious recipe

Easy to make and kind of fun for kids to eat, the chef’s recipe was a hit with many reviewers.

“This was fantastic! Oh and the house smelled wonderful while it baked! Definitely printing this out to add to my recipe book. Thanks, Giada!,” one home cook wrote.

Another said it was a delicious option for non-meat eaters: “this was a great recipe… super simple to prep… pop in the oven… I am always looking [for] great vegetarian recipes for my son!!!! this was a hit for the whole family…”

Lastly, a fan of the recipe gushed, “This was outstanding ! Very simple but soooo delicious also gluten free.” 

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