Healthy vegan chickpea stuffed tomatoes make a delicious hearty summer dish, bursting with juicy tomatoes and packed with nutritious ingredients. A beautiful twist to the traditional French dish “tomates farcies”.
Summer is still going strong and it’s the perfect time to use up your summer vegetables in delicious plant-based recipes. Among them all, the traditional French tomates farcies is always a hit in France in this season. The classic version calls for tomatoes stuffed with meat and rice (or breadcrumbs), but in the idea of encouraging a plant-based diet, I added my own take on the recipe and prepared a meatless version that is also vegan and gluten-free.
How to prepare vegan tomates farcies?
Start with the tomatoes. To prepare tomates farcies, you will need to remove the upper part (the “cap”), and then to scoop out the seeds and the pulp from the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes upside-down, while you prepare the mixture.
Then prepare the vegan meatballs. You want them to hold their shape and have a meat-alike texture, with some chunks in it. To do so, I prepare a mixture of onions, mushrooms, walnuts, chickpeas and sun-dried tomatoes, that I pulse just a few times in a food processor. Mushrooms and walnuts helps with the meat-alike, chewy texture, while chickpeas bring some thickness to the mixture.
Don’t forget the seasoning. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, then add the other ingredients that will add some Mediterranean flavor to the recipe: sun-dried tomatoes, a little bit of mustard, and some herbes de Provence. Note that you can either use canned sun-dried tomatoes and pulse them in a food processor with the other ingredients, or you can buy a can of puréed sun-dried tomatoes and add it afterwards in the mixing bowl. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Finally, adjust the texture. You want your vegan meatballs to have the right meat-alike texture, not too moist, not too dry or crumbly. Flaxseed is used as a vegan binder to replace the egg, traditionally used in meatballs recipes. Quinoa balances it all, while the use of oats or chickpea flour re-adjust the texture. The quantity recommended in the recipe is just a suggestion; you might need to adapt depending on the consistency in order to shape the mixture into balls. If you are not gluten-free, you can also use breadcrumbs instead of oats or chickpea flour.
Place the meatballs in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow the mixture to set. Once ready, stuff your tomatoes with the mixture and bake in the oven until cooked through and tender.
Are these vegan stuffed-tomatoes healthy?
Yes they are. Note that the classic meat-based version of tomates farcies is healthy~ish too, as long as you choose good quality meat.
Vegan chickpea stuffed tomatoes are very nutritious, as they are a great source of plant-based protein contained in the quinoa and the chickpeas. They are also loaded with fiber, thanks to the vegetables and flaxseed. The combination of both makes them very satisfying and nourishing.
Other delicious plant-based recipes to use up your tomatoes:
- Heirloom Tomato Ricotta Galette
- Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup (Vegan)
- Shakshuka with Feta Cheese
- Roasted Tomato, Spinach and Goat Cheese Polenta (Gluten free)
- Vegan Eggplant Shakshuka
Even more recipes with summer vegetables:
- Vegan Zucchini and Red Onion Frittata (Gluten-Free)
- Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant with Mint Yogurt Sauce
- Vegetarian Eggplant Meatballs
- Easy Eggplant Chickpea Curry (Vegan, Gluten Free)
You can serve these healthy chickpea stuffed tomatoes with a side of rice or salad. They also freeze very well, so you can make plenty of them and keep them for the winter time. Bon appétit!Print
Healthy vegan chickpea stuffed tomatoes make a delicious hearty summer dish, bursting with juicy tomatoes and packed with nutritious ingredients. Also prepared gluten-free, it’s a beautiful twist to the traditional French dish “tomates farcies”.
- 8–10 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 8 oz (225g) mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup (65g) walnuts, chopped
- 1 can (439g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup (55g) sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon mustard
- 1 cup (180g) cooked quinoa*
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup (25-50g) oats or chickpea flour**
- 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 370°F (190°C) and grease a shallow dish with some olive oil. Set aside.
- Cut the top of each tomato to create a 1-inch (2.5 cm) cap. With a small spoon, carefully scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp, leaving the shell intact. Place the tomato shells upside down on the prepared dish with their caps on the side and refrigerate.
- Heat up one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- In a food processor, place the onions and mushrooms. Add the walnuts, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, ground flax seeds, garlic and mustard. Pulse a few times until everything is combined, but keeping some bigger chunks for texture.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked quinoa, oats or chickpea flour** (adjusting the quantity as needed). Season with herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop out a bit of mixture and roll into medium size balls onto a small baking tray lined with parchment paper, and place in the fridge to set for at least 15 minutes.
- Season the inside of each tomato with salt and pepper, then stuff each tomato with the chickpea filling to makes a slight mount above the rim of the tomato shell.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tender, adding some water at the bottom of the dish after half the baking time if too dry. When baked through, remove from the oven and top the tomatoes with their caps. Baste with some juice from the bottom of the dish, and serve with rice or summer beans.
* In order to get 1 cup cooked quinoa, you need to cook 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa.
** If you are not gluten-free, you can replace oats or chickpea flour with regular bread crumbs. Adjust the quantity as needed to shape the filling into a ball.
Keywords: Stuffed tomatoes