Grandma’s Italian stuffed artichokes are as authentic as it gets! Stuffed with breadcrumb, cheese & olives, they’re an old-fashioned favorite.
For as long as I can remember Grandma’s stuffed artichokes have been a family favorite at every special occasion.
Easter, Christmas, palm Sunday dinner…we all can’t get enough of her amazing Italian artichokes.
I mean, we really can’t get enough of anything she makes. She is the best cook I know (besides my mom!). Even at 87 years old she’s still got it.
My love for cooking was definitely inspired by both her and my mom, with grandma being the Queen B of all things Italian :).
Artichokes are definitely one of her specialties. Every time she makes them she says they’re a labor of love.
I decided I needed to learn how to make them myself so maybe when I’m a cute old grandma like her, I can make them for my family.
They’re stuffed with a simple breadcrumb stuffing that’s the star of the recipe.
Picking out the perfect artichoke:
I had no idea artichokes can sometimes be hard to find or that you had to take your time picking the right ones out!
If you pick out older artichokes, you’ll get tough leaves so you want to make sure the artichokes are a nice green color and the leaves are tight together.
If the leaves are opened and loose, that’s a sign of an old artichoke.
You also want to go for medium-smaller artichokes, as those will be more tender than the large ones.
How to prep & eat Italian stuffed artichokes:
- First,cut off the stems and set aside (we will use them later in the stuffing!)
- Then, remove the bottom layer of leaves and any brown or old looking leaves.
- Cut off the top third of the artichoke. Then, using a pair of kitchen scissors, trip the tops of each leaf off. You’ll notice they have prickers/thorns that we don’t want to eat!
- Once all the leaves are trimmed, gently open up the rest of the artichoke by peeling open the tightly closed leaves.
- Rinse very well under cold water to remove any hiding dirt or debris.
- Now you’re ready to stuff them!
To eat stuffed artichokes, simply remove a leaf and scrape off the soft flesh with your teeth. The closer you get to the inside of the artichoke, the more tender the leaves are!
Old-Fashioned Italian Artichoke Stuffing:
- peeled and finely chopped stems
- plain breadcrumbs
- fresh parsley
- chopped black olives
- grated Parmesan cheese
- black pepper
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- garlic powder
- lemon juice
- olive oil
Simply mix all the ingredients together.
Add a little water and olive oil, then add more if needed until the mixture is fully moist and holds its shape when you squeeze it in your hand.
Unfortunately, this year palm Sunday is going to be very different due to the pandemic.
I will miss getting together with my family at grandma’s house and eating her stuffed artichokes, eggplant casserole, homemade spinach pies and ricotta pie.
When this is all over, I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted spending time with my family again.
In honor of palm Sunday, I’m going to enjoy grandma’s Italian stuffed artichokes :).
For more Easter recipes try:
Grandma’s Italian Stuffed Artichokes
- 4 whole artichokes see recipe notes
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp garlic powder divided
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch oregano
- pinch crushed red pepper optional
- 2 tbsp grated cheese
- 1/2 cup black olives pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice divided, about 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp water plus more if needed
- 4 tbsp olive oil plus more if needed
Prepare the Artichokes
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel fibrous skin of artichoke stems. Cut the stem off and dice. Set aside.
- Remove the bottom row of leaves and any leaves that are browned (these are tough leaves).
- Trim off the top third of the artichoke, discard. Using kitchen scissors, cut the tip off of each leave until you get to the middle. You'll notice the tips of the leaves have thorns/pricks which is what we want to remove.
- Once leaves are trimmed, gently open up the artichoke, peeling back the leaves, until you get to the center flower.
- Rinsed very well under cold water to remove any hiding debris or dirt. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, add enough water to cover 1" of the pan. Stir in 2 tbsp olive oil, pinch of salt,1 tsp of garlic powder and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Bring to a simmer.
- In a medium bowl combine diced stems, breadcrumbs, remaining 1 tsp of garlic powder, black pepper, salt, oregano, crushed red pepper, grated cheese, black olives, parsley and remaining 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Stir to combine.
- Stir in 1 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of olive oil, mix to combine. Add another tablespoon of each and stir. The mixture should be moist and hold it's shape when squeezed in your hand. Add more liquid if needed.
- Place about 1/3 cup of the stuffing in each artichoke. Be sure to get the stuffing in the openings of the leaves. Pat very firmly with your hands to pack it in.
- Carefully place the stuffed artichokes in the pan of simmering water. Drizzle tops with olive oil. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the leaves are opened up and tender.