HomeSpanish Salads and Vegetarian DishesStuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed Tomatoes

Origin: Spain

Stuffed tomatoes are a great way to bring a little bit of Spain to your picnic, barbecue or party. The great thing about them is that they are actually quite simple to make but they look extremely fancy, and taste delicious!

The tomato is a wonderful food and it is thanks to the Spanish that the humble food has become such a worldwide favourite. Tomatoes are actually native to South America where it was used by the native population for centuries. However when Columbus and the later conquistadors arrived to the continent, they decided to bring examples of the tomato plant back to Europe.

Cultivation of tomatoes in Europe began in the 1540s and they began to be consumed regularly during the 17th century. Tomatoes were first mentioned in European literature in a Herbal, a collection of notes about the various plants and their medicinal properties, written in 1544 by an Italian named Pietro Andrea Mattioli who called it 'the golden apple'.

Stuffed Tomatoes

The Spanish also took the tomato to their other colonies across the world, including the Caribbean and as far as the Philippines in South East Asia. From here the humble tomato spread across the rest of the Asian continent. Today, the tomato can be found in almost every country and is still a staple food in the Mediterranean and Spanish diet, something you will definitely see when you visit Spain.

Therefore what better way to have such a historical Spanish food in your life than making Tomates rellenos, or Stuffed tomatoes, which use the classic food as a container for a yummy filling. If you use the garlic mayonnaise called alioli, you will have truly completed a Spanish immersion in Spain and into the culture of Spanish food.

This recipe is extremely adaptable and you can stuff the tomatoes with whatever filling you like. However, we have suggested that use the typically Spanish garlic mayonnaise sauce, alioli. However, for those of you who don't like garlic, you can always replace the sauce with plain mayonnaise instead. This recipe is great for everyone too as it is suitable for vegetarians as well!

Tomates rellenos | Stuffed Tomatoes


    Stuffed Tomatoes
  • 3 large tomatoes or 8 small tomatoes
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, cold
  • 6 tbsps alioli or mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp white breadcrumbs (for large tomatoes)


  • Remove the skin of the tomatoes by first cutting out the core using a sharp knife and then making a cross incision on the other side of the tomato. Place the tomatoes into a pan of boiling water for about 10 seconds. Remove from the boiling water and then place into a bowl of ice-cold water. This will help stop the tomatoes from cooking and going soft.
  • Slice the tops off the tomatoes and then a bit off the bottom so that it doesn't cut through into the cavity of the tomato, but enough to give it a flat edge so it can stand up.
  • If you are using large tomatoes, throw the tops away. If you are using small tomatoes, keep the tops.
  • Using a spoon or a small but sharp knife, remove the seeds and veins from the inside of the tomatoes.
  • Mash up the eggs with the alioli sauce (or mayonnaise), salt, pepper and parsley.
  • Use this stuffing to fill the tomatoes, making sure to firmly press down the filling. If using smaller tomatoes, replace the tops of the tomatoes.
  • If you are using large tomatoes, the filling must be firm enough to slice. You can thicken the filling by adding white breadcrumbs until it reaches a similar consistency to that of mashed potatoes. Mayonnaise can be thickened by adding more egg yolks.
  • Season the stuffing. Fill the large tomatoes, remembering to press down firmly. Put the stuffed tomatoes in the fridge for 1 hour, then slice with a sharp carving knife into rings.
  • If you want to save the tomatoes until later, brush them with olive oil and black pepper to ensure that they do not dry out. If you cover them with cling film, they will keep longer.
  • When you serve the stuffed tomatoes, garnish them with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.