making stuffed artichokes

stuffed artichokes |“Look Up.”

Have you seen it?

I recently stumbled upon it myself. It’s a YouTube video that’s gone viral- almost 50 million views!

Why so popular?

It’s obvious there’s a number of us who feel the same way.

stuffed artichokes |

It’s about being present.

Over the past couple of months, things have unravelled. Not in the literal sense but domestically, yes. I could build a small retaining wall out of laundry. I’ve recently discovered a stash of half-eaten cashews in my bed (gross). And my office is so cluttered there’s only a teeny, tiny trail to my computer.

On top of it all, my kids have been out of control.

We’re all feeling it.

Even the cat’s got an attitude.

stuffed artichokes |

Life: I’m off balance.

If you have approximately 4 minutes and 59 seconds you should watch this video. It’s a bit didactic and borderline corny, but I liked it. A lot. I felt inspired to get back on track.

“So look up from your phone, put down the display. Take in your surroundings, make the most of today”- Gary Turk

Jake was off from school recently, and I wanted to do something special. No phones. No social media. No computer. Just the two of us. The plan was to go to the bookstore, but oddly enough he found a bag of artichokes rolling around in the back of the car (oops- forgot about those) and wanted to play with them instead.

So, that’s what we did.

I’m pretty sure stuffing artichokes was not his preferred activity of choice, but it didn’t matter. He peeled the leaves, smacked his trains around with the artichokes, and squirted lemon juice all over the place. Our stint lasted all of 15 minutes before he bolted on to the next thing.

He was perfectly content playing nearby while I finished up.

stuffed artichokes | theclevercarrot.comstuffed artichokes |

About the artichokes…

Growing up, we ate steamed artichokes with vinaigrette for dunking.

Sometimes, usually at family gatherings, we would feast on the glorious stuffed version. In fact, the last time I had a stuffed artichoke was at Easter. What a treat! Every Italian family seems to have their own version of this classic dish. The most common ingredients include breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and lots of garlic!

Begin by grabbing a large bowl and fill it with a splash of water and some lemon slices.  The fancy term for this lovely spa bath is called ‘acidulated water.’ Anytime you cut an artichoke, it begins to oxidize or turn brown very quickly. The acidity in the lemon juice helps to prevent this. Toss the artichokes into the bowl as you work.

stuffed artichokes |

To prep the artichokes, remove the stem at the base of each one.

You can either save the stems for another recipe or discard. Then, have a look at your artichokes. Strip away any dry, small (or) ratty looking leaves. Most recipes will call for snipping the pointy tips but I wasn’t in the mood (it makes no difference to the flavor- just don’t poke yourself!).

stuffed artichokes |

The next step is to make the filling.

Get yourself another bowl and add the breadcrumbs and cheese. I like to use seasoned breadcrumbs for flavor. To that, add some fresh parsley and garlic. I use my zester to grate the garlic directly into the bowl. Coat the breadcrumbs with olive oil, mix it up, and you’re good to go.

To assemble, splay out the artichoke leaves and stuff each one with your breadcrumb mixture. Place them into a deep casserole dish or Dutch oven and add water and/or a splash of white wine to come halfway up the sides. As the artichokes cook, some of the stuffing will fall into the liquid creating the most delicious sauce. I throw in a knob of butter to thicken it up.

stuffed artichokes |

Simmer the artichokes on the stove and then pop into the oven to finish cooking. They’re ready when the leaves are tender, about 1 hour.

(In the meantime, pour yourself a glass of wine and clean up those pesky breadcrumbs you’ve managed to get all over the floor).

You are going to love these…

stuffed artichokes |

I don’t think I’ll ever stop checking my phone, quit the iPad or cease my social media activities altogether.

My kids watch TV and I’m 100% OK with that.

We live in the digital age, and to be honest, I like the friendships I’ve established online. They’re important to me. It’s about finding balance. Teaching my kids about balance. And taking the time to be present.

Because once in a while, it is nice to look up.

stuffed artichokes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 4 artichokes
  • 3 c seasoned breadcrumbs, regular or whole wheat
  • 1 c ground parmesan cheese (the good stuff!)
  • ½ chopped parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • olive oil
  • coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • splash of wine (optional)
  • small knob of butter
  • 2 lemons
  • parsley leaves, to garnish
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grab a deep casserole dish with lid or a Dutch oven.
  2. Into a large bowl, add a little water and some lemon slices. Anytime you cut an artichoke, it begins to oxidize or turn brown very quickly. The acidity in the lemon juice helps to prevent this.
  3. To prep the artichokes, slice off and discard the stem. Strip away any dry, small and ratty looking outer leaves. Toss the artichokes into the lemon water as you work.
  4. The next step is to make the filling. Get yourself another bowl and add the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley and garlic. I use my zester to grate the garlic directly into the bowl. Coat the breadcrumbs with olive oil until it looks like wet sand. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble, splay out the artichoke leaves and stuff each one with your breadcrumb mixture. Once you get close to the center heart you can stop stuffing. Place them into your baking dish and add water and/or a splash of white wine to come halfway up the sides of the artichokes. Don't forget the butter!
  6. Simmer the artichokes (lid on) and then pop into the oven to finish cooking. They're ready when the leaves are tender, about 1 hour.
  7. To serve, spoon that gorgeous sauce right over the top and garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs, if you'd like.

 **PS- Don’t forget to vote! I’ve been nominated by Saveur Magazine for Best Photography! Click the image below for more details.**


  1. connie a raffa says


    Grandma Raffa made stuffed artichokes all the time. How great to have this recipe. She added anchoives and pignoli nuts as a Sicilian would. Yummy Yummy Hugs Auntie

    • Emilie says

      Aren’t they good? There are so many different ways to prepare them too. I tend to lean towards the recipes with easy prep ;) Stuffed artichokes are simple and delicious. I’m sure you can get creative with different fillings as well.

      Thanks for your sweet comments about the photos, Krisite! I’ve been photographic in different parts of the house these days as the light is changing- Spring is finally here1 xo

  2. says

    I always look forward to your posts, Emilie; you always make me laugh (Jake smacking his trains with the artichokes, hahhhaaaa!) and inspire me with something new. The video… I took much away from it. The reason for my hesitancy to join facebook, IG and others for so long. I just got a smartphone a few years ago, after my dumb phone crapped out… but yes, I’ve joined the digital age and for so many reasons, I love it. But, like you, I have to be intentional with putting it all away. It’s easy, so easy to get sucked in.

    I saw some gorgeous purple artichokes yesterday but didn’t pick them up. You’ve given me a reason to go back. Thank you! Have a lovely, beautiful and restful weekend my dear!

    • Emilie says

      Aw, thank you Traci! Right back at ya!

      I’m so glad you watched the video- I’m always hesitant to put stuff like that up on the blog because I feel like no one will really watch it (and I get it). But it truly captures the essence of this post- so thank you for taking the time to do so! And with regards to Gary’s message, I don’t think anyone will ever be able to break away from digital and social media in general. I can’t even keep up myself! But if we’re aware of what’s going on around us perhaps we can adapt better to an ever changing society :) xoxo

  3. says

    I’m always happy to find a good, new recipe for artichokes which are one of my favorite veggies! These look delicious and pretty to serve to guests!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Pam! these would be perfect for guests! You can prep the artichokes in advance and pop them in the oven before they arrive. Then everyone can share :)

    • Emilie says

      Hi Erika! Great question! I would bring them to a quick boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or so. Then go ahead an pop them in the oven. They’re ready when the leaves are super tender. Enjoy!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Jennifer! I do hope you experiment with the recipe- they’re so much fun! Personally, I love the simple garlicky breadcrumb filling the way it is, but I’ve seen all sorts of additions. Diced tomatoes and basil over the top would add a pop of color and delicious flavor too. Enjoy! xo

    • Emilie says

      Hi Christine!

      I totally agree- the prep can be really intimidating. Here, there’s virtually no prep involved especially since I don’t snip the leaves!

      I’ll never forget, in culinary school, they would make us peel the artichoke stems, peel the base, strip the leaves, scoop out that hairy choke just so that we could roast up the hearts. The amount of time that took was incredible. The roasted artichoke hearts were good, don’t get me wrong. We just had to do so many! Ah, well… you pick and choose your battles ;)

      And THANK YOU! So excited about the nomination! xoxo

  4. says

    Going to the bookstore is the typical thing you’d do to educate your babe. But getting him hands on in the kitchen, that’s where the real life-long learning happens. Stuffed artichokes are a favorite of mine, ever since a friend made them for me 20 years ago and refused to share the recipe. Gah! We’re no longer friends. :) Off to check out that video.

    • Emilie says

      I totally agree. Sometimes (with kids) it can be really frustrating because there’s usually more mess than ever imaginable. But they’re so happy. And watching their little content faces getting stuck into the mess melts my heart every time :) xo

      PS- you can be my friend now…LOL

  5. monica A says

    What a waste of the stems. We peel them to the white parts and steam them with the body of the artichokes. They taste like the hearts of the artichoke. Just a tip. I make mine like this, also. I eat them at least 6 times a year. So Yummy.

  6. Emilie says

    Hi Monica! Oh, I’d never waste the stems! I agree with you- they’re absolutely delicious . Instead of cooking them with the artichokes, I like to steam them separately, dice into coins, and add them to my salads. They do taste just like the heart ;)

  7. says

    I make these often and LOVE them! I find cooking really encourages mindfulness, as does running and hiking in the woods. And making pots. I worried that my kids would be too screen addicted, but, at 22 and 24, they both spend lots of time looking up!

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