Baked Italian stuffed artichokes are an Italian staple. They make for the perfect appetizer as each leaf is individually removed and enjoyed. Artichokes are a bit of work, but the flavor and eating experience makes it so worth it. There’s not an Italian household that doesn’t make or love artichokes. Italians enjoy their artichokes a thousand different ways and it’s a very beloved vegetable all throughout Italy.
Truth is, the majority of people have no idea how to cut, clean, prep, or eat artichokes and I understand why it can be confusing. I am going to show you the absolute best and foolproof method. You won’t ever need another artichoke recipe after you try this one.
Here, artichokes are cleaned and then stuffed with a delicious breadcrumb and Parmesan mixture that will have you licking your fingers and asking for more. You can also dip each leaf into some melted butter and gently scrape the bottom of the leaf with the top of your teeth.
The only part of the artichoke that is not edible is the hairy “choke” inside, which we scoop out completely before baking, and the sharp, fibrous outer portion of the leaves. You will need to discard the ‘choke’, toughest outer leaves, and the stiff tips of the leaves prior to cooking. But the bases of the leaves are meaty and tender, and the innermost leaves can be edible in their entirety. The HEART of the artichoke is always the best part of this vegetable. The heart is also called artichoke bottom and it’s the central part of the plant from which all the leaves are attached.
Italian Stuffed Artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 3 large artichokes trimmed and cleaned (see notes below)
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs I use my homemade Italian Breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil for the breadcrumbs, plus more for baking
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup white wine I used Pinot Grigio
- salt to taste
- melted butter, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Prepare a bowl of lemon water to prevent the artichokes from oxidizing. Squeeze the lemon into a large bowl of water.
- Cut the stem off of the base of the artichoke so the choke sits flat. You can also remove the bottom outer leaves as they can be extremely tough. You can save the stems as we can peel them and bake them as well.
- Now cut 1/3 from the top of the artichoke and lay it flat. Take kitchen scissors and cut the tips off all around the artichoke as well. The tips can be very sharp so we cut them all around. Discard all these trimmed pieces.
- Carefully pull back or spread out the artichoke leaves with your hands. This process will give you more movement and room to add the stuffing between the leaves.
- Take a small spoon and scoop out the middle of the artichokes completely. This part is called the “choke”. As you scoop, you are going to see a lot of “fuzz” so make sure you remove that completely. You will see the heart of the artichoke under the fuzz which is all white.
- Place the cleaned artichoke upside down into the lemon water and proceed to clean the other artichokes the same way. While the artichokes sit in the lemon water we = mix our stuffing.
- In a separate bowl add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, olive oil, and parsley, and mix well.
- When the breadcrumb mixture is done, take the artichokes out of the lemon water and leave them to drain on a kitchen towel or paper towel for 1 to 2 minutes to drain out any excess water.
- Place the artichokes in a baking dish (stem side down) and, with a small spoon, nestle the breadcrumbs in between the leaves. You can pull the leaves back with your fingers to add in the filling.
- I like to add stuffing in the middle and all throughout the leaves. When you finish adding the stuffing, pour the water and white wine in the base of the baking dish (on the side, not on top of, the artichokes).
- Season the artichokes on top with salt and add a drizzle each one with olive oil. Cover the baking dish with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil, and bake uncovered for another 30, or until golden. You should be able to easily insert a knife into the leaves without any resistance.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and serve with melted butter. You can take each leaf and dip it into the butter and squeeze the bottom of the leaf out with the top of your teeth. Some leaves will be more tender than others but the best part will always be the artichoke heart, which is at at the bottom where all the leaves are attached.
- Served immediately or refrigerate for up to four days, as artichokes can be reheated in the oven. Enjoy!