The Perfect Picnic

by | Mar 31, 2022 | Food & Drink, Recipes

Tomatoes stuffed with fresh-made chicken salad make a light and tasty outdoor lunch.

Last spring we celebrated my spouse’s birthday with friends in Surf City. We rented an Airbnb on the waterway and thoroughly enjoyed fishing, beachcombing and visiting the various shops on the island.

One particularly warm day we decided to have a lunch picnic on the beach and spend the day enjoying the sun, sand and surf. I decided to make chicken salad stuffed tomatoes and packed them in a cooler for a light lunch on the beach. They were delicious, filling, fresh and easy to make.

As an easy shortcut, I created this recipe using a store-bought rotisserie chicken, which is so easy because all you have to do is pull off the meat and shred it with a fork. I love the ease and flavor of using a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, but if you want to cook your own chicken breasts and shred them for this recipe, go for it — it will probably take two large breasts.

Feel free to make this recipe your own. I enjoy the crunch from the celery and sweetness from the apples in this dish, but you could swap in almond slivers and/or grapes if you don’t like celery or apples. And if you follow my What’s Cookin’ recipes, you know I only use Duke’s mayonnaise, but of course you could use your preferred brand. I chose to use beefsteak tomatoes because they are large and hold the most amount of chicken salad. They are also sturdy when hollowed out. You could certainly stuff cherry tomatoes for an appetizer option or Roma tomatoes for a small side dish.

Another option is to melt the parmesan cheese by baking your stuffed tomatoes at 350 degrees F for 4 to 5 minutes, but I personally do not like warm tomatoes. You can also make your own balsamic reduction (see recipe), but in this case I just bought a bottled balsamic reduction for ease and quickness.

For the picnic I packed each stuffed tomato in an individual travel bowl with a lid. I first placed a piece of lettuce in the bottom of each bowl to keep the stuffed tomato from rolling around inside the travel container. The fresh parsley, parmesan cheese and balsamic glaze were the perfect finishing touches to this beautiful and tasty recipe. My spouse and our friends were delightfully impressed with this lunch on the beach.
Spring into the season with light and tasty recipe!

Photography by James Stefiuk

Print Recipe
Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes
Tomatoes stuffed with fresh-made chicken salad make a light and tasty outdoor lunch.
Stuffed Tomato Chicken Salad
Course side dish
Cuisine lunch
Keyword chicken, salad, tomato
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course side dish
Cuisine lunch
Keyword chicken, salad, tomato
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Stuffed Tomato Chicken Salad
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix mayonnaise, yogurt, dill, salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice and paprika.
  2. Fold in the chicken, celery and apple until well combined.
  3. Stuff each tomato with the chicken salad mixture.
  4. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and parsley evenly over each stuffed tomato.
  5. Drizzle each with balsamic reduction.
  6. Note: If you wish to melt your cheese and serve the stuffed tomatoes warm, bake at 350 degrees F for 4 to 5 minutes then drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve.

About the author

Sandi Grigg

Sandi Grigg

Growing up in a small town in the foothills of North Carolina and attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, I always dreamed of working on the coast. I earned my degree in Marketing/Branding and started to build a life with my spouse and son. Together, we enjoy fishing, going to hear live music and spending time with family. At home I love to cook and write recipes, take on DIY home improvement endeavors and grill out with friends. Being a part of the Carolina Marketing Company team has showed me that you really can enjoy your job, and we feel like a family. I am truly grateful to have a career I love.
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