Stuffed baked tomatoes and capsicum – Γεμιστα.


Yemista or gemista pronounced “yeh-mee-stah” which means ‘stuffed’ are tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, capsicum or even potatoes filled with a perfect proportion of rice, herbs and minced beef. Paired with your favourite seasonal vegetable the options are endless. This recipe is traditional and authentic with ingredients readily available in Australia.

Greece is synonymous for dishes which feature fresh, ripe vegetables showcasing the summer bounty. The variety of vegetables used is long, and the list of dishes is equally endless and are a beautiful celebration of just how colourful and sweet vegetables are.

Traditional greek dishes are a perfect way to serve vegetables to your family consistently and in so many ways your dinner meals would never be boring. Whether, gluten free or vegan there is a dish waiting to be made.

To select your vegetables, use seasonal produce. I like to use tomatoes that are larger in size and have a wonderful red ripe colour. In Greece, large ripe flavourful tomatoes are prolific and are used for this dish.

tomatoes in cooking
Large ripe flavourful tomatoes are used for this dish.


The rice is not pre-boiled, so will expand when they are baked in the oven. This means, don’t overstuff your vegetables.

Grill your vegetables upside down – once hulled, with olive oil rubbed on before stuffing with rice. This step is crucial, for caramelization to occur, and prevents the vegetable tasting soggy and boiled.

Cover the prepared dish with foil for the first hour. This will help the rice cook and soften. If your using wholemeal rice which is not strictly traditional covering with foil is important as the cooking time of wholemeal rice is much longer. The last hour, the dish is uncovered.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Cooking Time: 2 hours

Pre-heat oven to 170 degree Celsius fan forced.


4 medium – capsicums

6 medium-large tomatoes

4 potatoes cut into wedges

1 bunch mint, finely chopped

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped

1 medium onion finely chopped

6 garlic cloves finely chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon oregano

salt, pepper

2 tablespoons parmesan ( optional for vegan version)

3/4 cup long grain rice – wholemeal low GI rice used in the picture

3 cups water

Extra tomato sauce for serving ( optional )

250ml tomato passata

1 garlic clove

1 cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons olive oil


Cut the tops of the capsicum and tomatoes. Set aside. They will form the lid of each stuffed vegetable and assist the filling to cook.

Hull the tomatoes, being careful not puncture the base and reserve the pulp of the tomatoes. Discard the capsicum seeds and inner membrane. Process tomato pulp.

Place the vegetables upside down, and spray with olive oil. Rub, the surface of each vegetable with the olive oil to ensure they are equally coated.

Place in the oven, under the grill setting not too close to the grill elements. Grill for five 2 minutes each side. Remove from the oven,

Place 1/4 cup of olive oil in a saucespan and brown the mince meat. Ensure the mince does not form clumps. Add the onion and garlic and stir through. When they are transparent add a tablespoon of tomato paste and tomato pulp. Add one cup of water and allow to cook for 10 minutes in low heat.

Add the herbs , seasoning and rice and perhaps if required 1/2 cup of extra water. Allow to simmer gently in low to medium heat for five minutes – with the lid mostly on. If your using wholemeal rice this stage is important.

Add remainder of liquid. Add a little of olive oil onto your baking dish. Stuff each vegetable three quarters of the way.

img_20180702_154818 picsart_07-08-11-53-08 The proportion of liquid, herbs, rice and mince should be just right
Arrange the tomatoes and capsicums in the baking dish so that they all fit comfortably standing up. Place the potatoes in between the arranged vegetables and cover with the lids. Any remainder olive oil, pour on top and over the potatoes. Pour 1/4 cup water around vegetables.

yemista - tomatoes and capsicum stuffed - γεμιστα
yemista – tomatoes and capsicum filled with mixed herbs, onions, rice and minced beef

Sprinkle liberally with cracked pepper, salt and parmesan cheese.

Cover the dish with foil and bake covered for one hour. Remove the foil and bake for another hour.

Add the ingredients listed for the tomato sauce and simmer gently on low heat for 20 minutes.

Poor a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce on the place, and then carefully place the stuffed tomato or capsicum over the sauce. Arrange the baked potatoes as preferred.


You may like to try the stuffed eggplant recipe called papoutsakia.

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow sounds so good it made my mouth water your pictures are gorgeous

    1. Hi Patty, thank you for letting me know. I wasn’t too sure how they looked..

  2. Megala says:

    These stiffed capsicum & tomatoes look so gorgeous ! Nice to use fresh flavorful herbs in here, I guess your kitchen might be filled with the beautiful aroma.

    1. It certainly is aromatic. Something therapeutic about going outside, grabbing a handful of herbs. The dill is quite strong so only use half the quantity of the others but important to use…. Btw I made a curry last night and thought if you. Wondered what you would think if it…

  3. mistimaan says:

    Lovely recipe

    1. Thank you @mustimaan yet again 🙂

  4. Yum! I love stuffed capsicums. Great recipe Marina!!

    1. Adrianne, thank you so much. 🙂🤗🤗

  5. Jyo says:

    Beautiful recipe…with flavourful herbs…i m sure it must be damn yummy ✌

    1. Hi jyo always appreciate you stopping by. Those herbs really make this dish!

  6. foodinbooks says:

    Those look so amazing. I would imagine the stuffing could be any number of things, yes?

    1. Yes of course. If your on Instagram Margaret from @createcookshare has a wonderful meatless recipe.

  7. chefkreso says:

    I was making stuffed tomatoes today when I stumbled upon your recipe and used it for a few of them, loved it!! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to make it for my whole family 😀

    1. Glad I could be of help! It’s easy to make a few . They keep well and reheat nicely.

  8. Alex says:

    Stuffed peppers are an item in Germany too. But your recipe has that typical greek feel- the mint. the dill. the cinnamon and the addition of potatoes to a dish with rice 🙂
    Very savory! I’ll try to replicate that soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Any other dish, it seems odd to have potaotes and rice together this one seems natural to add the potatoes … Interesting….

  9. Alex says:

    And of course they are stuffed tomatoes-sorry 🙂

    1. Hi Alex, you were right they we’re both stuffed capsicums and tomatoes. 🙂

  10. Ramyarecipes says:

    Wonderful recipe.. 👌

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