Kids ages 5 to 9 will love helping you make this delicious lunch dish as much as they will enjoy eating it. These stuffed tomatoes are a fun and interactive way to introduce children to the joy of cooking. By involving them in the preparation process, they not only learn basic kitchen skills but also develop a sense of pride in their culinary creations. The vibrant and juicy tomatoes are packed with a delicious blend of aromatic ingredients, making them a nutritious and appetizing meal. Get ready for laughing cooking sessions and happy kids at the dinner table!
- 6 really big tomatoes
- 2 balls of mozzarella
- 12 basil leaves
- 4 pieces of boiled red pepper from a jar
- 2 tbsp pesto or red pesto
- 6 slices of ciabatta or crusty bread, toasted and brushed with olive oil
- Ask an adult to set the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
- Cut the tops off the tomatoes (keep the tops) and place the insides in a colander over a bowl.
- Cut the mozzarella into pieces and cut or tear the basil leaves.
- Place the tomatoes in a baking dish.
- Place a few pieces of mozzarella in each tomato.
- Add a few torn basil leaves to each.
- Tear or cut the red pepper into pieces and then add a piece to each tomato.
- Add more mozzarella, basil, and pepper in layers until each tomato is full.
- Add a dollop of pesto to each tomato and replace the lid.
- Pour the juice from inside the tomatoes over it.
- Ask an adult to put them in the oven for 20 minutes.
Equipment and tools
- cutting board
- baking pan
This recipe contains the following allergens:
- Milk (from mozzarella cheese)
- Gluten (from ciabatta or crusty bread)
Storage and leftovers
If there are any leftovers from the stuffed tomatoes, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
If you want to use up the leftovers, you can enjoy them cold or reheat them in the oven at 175°C (350°F) for about 10 minutes or until heated through.
Health Benefits of Stuffed Tomatoes
Stuffed tomatoes are not only delicious but also offer several health benefits. This delicious dish combines the rich flavors of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, cooked red peppers and pesto. Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value and benefits of these ingredients:
Tomatoes are the main ingredient in this recipe. They are low in calories and full of essential nutrients. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium and folic acid. They are also rich in antioxidants like lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Including tomatoes in your diet can support a healthy immune system and promote good vision.
Mozzarella made from cow’s milk adds a creamy and cheesy touch to stuffed tomatoes. It is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin B12. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, while calcium contributes to strong bones and teeth. Vitamin B12 is necessary for maintaining proper nerve function and red blood cell production.
Basil leaves not only enhance the flavor of stuffed tomatoes, but they also provide nutritional benefits. Basil is rich in vitamins A, K and C. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin and vision, while vitamin K contributes to blood clotting and bone health. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and supports immune function.
The addition of cooked red peppers gives stuffed tomatoes a spicy and slightly sweet taste. Red peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber. They also contain antioxidant compounds that may help protect the body from oxidative damage and inflammation.
No matter whether you choose traditional pesto or red pesto, both variants give the dish a special flavor. Pesto consists mainly of fresh herbs such as basil, garlic and pine nuts as well as olive oil. Basil contains various nutrients, garlic may have immune-boosting properties, and olive oil is a healthy source of monounsaturated fats.
Ciabatta or crusty bread
Although not as nutrient-dense as the other ingredients, toasted ciabatta or crusty bread can be a satisfying addition to stuffed tomatoes. Whole grain bread options provide fiber, which aids digestion and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
By enjoying stuffed tomatoes, you can provide your body with a range of nutrients and experience the delicious combination of flavors. Remember to use fresh and quality ingredients for the ultimate taste and benefits.