Perfect for sharing (or not!), these Italian stuffed artichokes are a holiday meal show-shopper that are easier to make than you might think. The simple flavors of breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, and olive oil shine in this baked artichokes recipe.
Stuffed artichokes have long been a Christmas Day staple in my family, but with artichokes coming into season in the springtime, they make an excellent holiday appetizer for Easter and other get-togethers, too.
As a kid I could do serious work on them, somehow leaving enough room for the lasagna, struffoli, and more to come.
Now as an adult I can really appreciate the work that goes into making stuffed artichokes! Especially when they were far from the only thing on the menu. Thankfully the flavor pay-off is worth it.
While this recipe isn't exactly conducive to shortcuts, you can prep, trim, and stuff them the night before you'd like to serve them, simply popping them in the oven to cook on the day-of.
Why This Recipe Works
- These Italian stuffed artichokes do not skimp on the filling. Each leaf is packed.
- Baking the artichokes (instead of steaming) allows the artichoke filling to turn golden brown and extra flavorful, with a quick little broil at the end.
- Step-by-step preparation photos and detailed recipe card instructions will help even a novice confidently prepare and serve stuffed artichokes.
Below are the ingredients to prepare the artichokes and filling. You will also need more lemon wedges and liquid for braising, which can be water or a water/white wine combination.
- Artichokes: Choose large globe artichokes, roughly 12 ounces untrimmed each. Look for ones with minimally-curled or darkened leaves that feel heavy for their size and squeak a little when you squeeze them as these are indicators of freshness.
- Breadcrumbs: Use your favorite brand of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs to cut down on some steps, but you can also go with plain breadcrumbs and add dried Italian seasonings to taste.
- Parmesan: Freshly-grated or a higher-quality refrigerated tub of pre-grated works best. Pecorino Romano is also delicious here.
- Olive Oil: And lots of it! This adds flavor and helps the stuffed artichoke filling hold together and stay moist as it cooks.
- Garlic: Eight cloves are finely-minced or pressed. I recommend using whole cloves (versus the jarred stuff) for the best flavor.
- Lemon: Wedges are rubbed along the cut surfaces to prevent oxidation and are added to the braising liquid. You can also add lemon zest to the filling (optional).
I like to mix up the filling ingredients first so it's ready to go once the artichokes have been trimmed. Once cut, an artichoke start to oxidize (turn brown) right away. While rubbing with lemon helps delay this, I try and be as efficient as I can and have everything ready to use once the trimming begins.
The filling will have the consistency of slightly moist sand. Beyond adding delicious flavor, the nice amount of olive oil in it helps hold it together and become cohesive, which makes stuffing it into the artichoke leaves easier.
How to Prep Artichokes for Stuffing
What You'll Need - a cutting board, a serrated knife, kitchen shears, and lemon wedges
- Remove the Stem - Slice off most of the bottom stem so the artichoke can stand up on its end. Remove any small lower leaves.
- Trim the Top - Use the serrated knife to slice off the top three-quarters- to one-inch of the artichoke to reveal the inner layers.
- Rub with Lemon - Take a lemon wedge and rub it along all surfaces: the bottom stem piece, the flat top, and the sides after trimming the leaves in the next step.
- Snip the Leaves - Use kitchen scissors to remove the sharp ends of each leaf so you don't get any pokes while eating.
- Press - Place the cut-top of the artichoke down on the cutting board and press heavily into the bottom. I place my hands on top of one another and do a quasi-CPR movement. You can also bang the artichoke on the cutting board several times.
- Loosen the Leaves - Turn the artichoke right-side-up and grasp both sides of the center opening. Twist and maneuver it to loosen up the compacted center leaves even more. The artichoke is ready for stuffing.
Don't you have to remove the "choke"? It's up to you, but we don't remove the choke (the fuzzy hair-like stuff on top of the heart) before stuffing and baking. It's really hard to remove when the artichokes are raw, and almost leaves too much of an empty space for filling. That said, if you'd rather get it out of there, there are some tips below on doing so as efficiently as possible.
- Stuff - Hold the prepped artichoke over the bowl of filling and firmly pack it into the leaves.
- Prep the Dish - Repeat for all artichokes and arrange them in a tall baking dish where they can all stand up. Add water, white wine, and lemon wedges.
- Cook - Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid (or use foil) and bake at 375°F for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. The timing will vary depending upon the size of your artichokes. They're ready when you can insert a knife into the center of the base and a leaf can be removed without much hassle.
How To Eat Stuffed Artichokes
- Grab a firm hold of one of the outer leaves and pull it out from the base.
- Place the leaf in your mouth and scrape off the filling and artichoke "meat" with your teeth. Discard the leaf.
The hairy choke contained within the deep purple center leaves is not edible and must be discarded.
Once the choke is scooped away and removed you'll find the tender artichoke heart below it. The heart is not only edible but is often considered a big delicacy! Slice it into pieces to share...or save it all for yourself.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Lemon Slows Oxidation - Have lemon wedges ready to go to rub along any cut surfaces of the artichokes as soon as possible to delay browning. But know that oxidation here doesn't impact the taste, rather just appearance.
- Removing the Choke Raw - Pull out the center purple leaves until you uncover the light colored fibers of the choke. Scoop them out (this will require some force) and discard. Using the serrated edge of a grapefruit spoon may help some, but take care not to gouge the heart during this process.
- Olive Oil Drizzle - Don't skimp! Drizzle it slowly all over the stuffed artichokes before cooking so they brown up perfectly.
- Braising Liquid - Make sure the liquid doesn't come up too high on the artichoke and cover stuffed leaves as this will lead to the covered filling becoming mushy.
- Cover the Dish - Be sure to cover the dish snugly while cooking to prevent the braising liquid from evaporation. We want a "steam" environment in there.
- Broiling is Optional - If your baking dish isn't broiler-safe, it's not a big deal. They just won't become quite as golden brown.
- Prep Ahead - Trim and stuff artichokes, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate overnight. Remove plastic wrap and continue with the recipe to cook them the day you'd like to serve.
More Italian Holiday Favorites
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Italian Stuffed Artichokes
- 2 ½ cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 cup finely-shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
- 10 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon lemon zest or to taste (optional)
- 4 large globe artichokes (around 3 pounds total)
- Lemon wedge for rubbing cut surfaces
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup dry white wine or more water
- Half of a lemon cut into wedges
Prepare the Filling
- Add breadcrumbs, Pecorino, ½ cup of the olive oil, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest (if using) to a mixing bowl and stir well until evenly combined. Set aside for now.
Prepare the Artichokes
- Rinse each artichoke under cool water and place upside down on drying rack. Pat dry. Slice a lemon wedge and keep it handy.
- Starting with one artichoke, use a serrated knife to slice off the bottom stem right at the base. This will create a flat surface so the artichoke can stand upright. Rub the cut stem with the lemon wedge. Tear off any small bottom outer leaves.
- Next use the serrated knife to slice off and discard the top ¾- to 1-inch of the artichoke to create a wide top cut surface. Rub the whole cut surface with the lemon.
- Use kitchen shears to now snip off and discard the top ¼-inch or so of each of the leaves that has a thorny bit. Rub the cut areas with lemon.
- Turn the artichoke over onto the cutting board so the bottom is facing up. Press heavily onto the overturned artichoke (I press with both hands, one on top of the other) several times to loosen and open up the leaves. Turn the artichoke right-side up and grasp either side to further loosen the leaves. This step makes the artichoke easier to stuff.
Stuff the Artichokes
- At this point preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Hold the prepped artichoke over the bowl of filling and, using a spoon or your hands (whichever you find easiest), stuff down the filling into each outer leaf. Continue around the artichoke until roughly one-quarter of the filling is used.
- Repeat the preparation and filling process for each artichoke.
- Add water and wine (if using) to a large baking dish or Dutch oven. Arrange lemon wedges in the liquid.
- Place each stuffed artichoke into the dish, facing up. Slowly drizzle remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil (more if needed) all over the artichokes, taking care to reach all of the leaves.
- If it has a tight-fitting, oven-safe lid, cover the dish and place it in the oven on the middle rack. If your dish does not have a lid, use a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil (or two layers of regular aluminum foil) to tightly cover it. This ensures a nice "steaming" environment for the artichokes to cook and prevents liquid evaporation.
- Cook at 375°F for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, depending upon the size of your artichokes. They are done when a knife can fairly easily be inserted into the base and a leaf can be removed without too much struggle.
- (Optional) If your dish is broiler-safe, remove the lid or foil and broil for a very brief time to help brown the surface. Keep a constant eye on the artichokes as things under the broiler move very quickly.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer