How do you turn something as humble yet marvelous as tomatoes into a satiating, filling meal? You turn them into spicy millet stuffed tomatoes. Tender and lip-smackingly hot, the flavors detonate from the very first mouthful.
The best part? You can take the recipe in just about any direction your taste buds desire, from mildly spicy to volcanically fiery.
How to make spicy millet stuffed tomatoes?
The dish graced our lunch table with some salad, making a lovely light meal for midday. But the millet stuffed tomatoes are a wonderful side dish for any time – from an intimate gathering to full meal on a weekday. You can serve them with anything, grilled vegetables, stir-fried tofu, or even baked chicken.
Prep the tomatoes
- Slice a thin layer from the bottom of all the tomatoes so that they have a stable base.
- The idea is to make them stand without toppling over, not to pierce the bottom completely.
- Then cut the tops off, and scoop out the tomato juices, and flesh (save it for the filling).
- Turn them upside down on a plate, to drain them completely.
Make the spicy millet filling
- Rinse the millet and cook it in water, as you do with rice. In about 20 minutes, the millet will be fluffed up and ready for use.
- While the millet cooks, chop the tomato flesh and sauté it with onions and garlic in olive oil.
- When the mixture is a touch softened, stir in the millet along with some olives and sambal oelek.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper as per your taste, cook for five more minutes and then turn off the heat.
- For the last touch, mix red wine vinegar and chopped basil.
Bake the spicy millet stuffed tomatoes
- Spoon the spicy millet stuffing into each hollowed tomato. Make sure you pack the tomatoes right to the brim.
- Top each tomato with a blend of panko breadcrumbs, pine nuts, and olive oil.
- Drizzle over the tomato juice you saved and some olive oil, cover the baking tray with foil and then bake for about 20-25 minutes.
- For the last 10 minutes of baking, remove the foil to get that gorgeous crusty, crunchy top.
Stuffed tomato recipe FAQs
What type of millet can you use for the recipe?
I had a pack of mixed millets, so my stuffed tomatoes had a bit of everything - Kodo, Foxtail, Barnyard, and Little millets. You can use any type of millet you have at hand. They soak in the flavors so well that even if there some spare millet mixture, I’m happy as a lark. It’s delicious as a salad, warm or cold!
What to do if the millets get mushy?
I recommend using a 1:2 millet to water ratio. It’s enough to cook them and ensure their shape holds, keeping them light and fluffy. But if they do feel mushy to you, don’t fret. They’re meant for stuffing, and that little change in texture doesn’t make it any less tasty.
What is Sambal Oelek?
Sambal Oelek is a popular Indonesian chili sauce or paste. It’s thick and packs a powerful, fiery punch of heat. If you love a fresh, bright, and hot zing to your dishes, Sambal Oelek is a must-try. It’s a quick recipe, which you can find here.
How to make gluten-free millet stuffed tomatoes?
Use almond meal to top the stuffed tomatoes instead of the panko mixture. Or try gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Are the spicy millet stuffed tomatoes vegan?
Yes, they are. But for those adding cheese or pesto as a topping, make the switch to dairy-free options.
What else can you use in spicy millet stuffed tomatoes?
Millet: Cooked quinoa or rice are excellent substitutes if you don’t have millets or don’t particularly like their taste.
Toppings: Parmesan would be lovely in these spicy stuffed tomatoes, bringing in that addictive cheesy flavor and heft. In fact, you can stir in any cheese of your choice into the filling. Pesto is another topping or filling option. For more textural dimensions, sunflower seeds would be nice.
Herbs: I have pots of basil growing in my kitchen garden, so that’s what I stuck to. But any fresh herb would do here – parsley, mint, cilantro. It’s a fuss-free recipe in that regard.
Veggies: Pander to your palate when it comes to vegetables in the filling. Finely dice carrots, zucchini, or mushrooms and then sauté in olive oil.
Spice: You can make the millet stuffed tomatoes as spicy as you want. Or not. It’s up to you. Don’t have Sambal Oelek? Red or green chilies are a piquant substitute. Sriracha sauce would make the flavors pop just as much. But if you love a hot, peppery kick, stick to Sambal Oelek.
Try the spicy millet stuffed tomatoes. They are:
Quick, healthy recipe
A huge crowd pleaser
Super easy to whip up
Easy make-ahead meal
Packed with bold, amazing flavors
Winning, colorful dish for any occasion
More millet recipes you might enjoy:
I’ve been substituting millet for rice, pasta in plenty of my everyday meals. From salads to sweets, I’ve realized the grain is very versatile:
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Spicy Millet Stuffed Tomatoes
- 6 medium-sized Tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Millet I used mixed millets - Kodo, Foxtail, Barnyard and Little millets
- 1 Onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves Garlic, finely diced
- 10 Olives, finely diced
- 1 tbsp Sambal Olek adjust to your taste
- 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil plus extra for drizzling on top
- Basil, chopped finely handful
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
- 1-2 tsp Pinenuts
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Prepare tomatoes: Thinly slice the bottom of each tomato so they can stand without toppling over. Then cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out tomato juices, and flesh. Be careful not to pierce the bottom of the tomatoes. Turn them upside down on a plate to drain.
- Chop the tomato flesh and save the tomato juice for use later in the recipe.
- Rinse and cook the millet in water, 1:2 ratio. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Fluff it up with a fork, once it is ready. Keep aside.
- Saute the onions, chopped tomato flesh, and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes, till slightly softened. Add the cooked millet, stir in the olives, sambal olek and salt & pepper to taste. Let it all cook for another 5 minutes. Take it off the heat. Mix in the red wine vinegar and chopped basil. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Spoon the millet mixture into the hollowed tomatoes, filling them to the brim. Top with the panko mixture.
- Drizzle over a little olive oil and the reserved tomato juice. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, at 180C. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes to get that crunchy, crispy topping. Serve warm. Enjoy!
- Combine panko breadcrumbs, pinenuts, and olive oil in a small bowl. Use for topping the tomatoes.