Gemista (or yemista – γεμιστα) – stuffed vegetables – is a traditional Greek recipe that is the perfect summer dish, using in-season vegetables. The tomatoes are from my garden – can’t get any fresher than that!

My mom shared her recipe with me, and now I’m sharing with you! Some Greek cooks add ground beef, or feta, but I prefer this simple vegetarian version.


3 zucchini, cut in half

4-5 tomatoes

3 eggplants

2-3 peppers

For the filling:

1 large onion, finely chopped

4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 red pepper, finely chopped

3 tablespoons tomato puree (or sauce)

2 tbsp sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cups rice – I use parbroiled rice

4-5 potatoes


Cut the tops of the tomato and peppers and set aside. Scoop out inside of tomatoes and set aside in a bowl. Strain the tomato juice in a separate bowl, and chop the tomato chunks.

Greek Stuffed Vegetables Gemista

Scoop the insides of the eggplant and zucchini, and chop into small chunks, or add to a food processor and set aside. Tip – use knife at first to loosen, then use a spoon to scoop.

Greek Stuffed Vegetables Gemista

In a pan over medium heat, add ½ cup olive oil. Add chopped onion for a few minutes until soft, and add garlic to soften for a minute.

Greek Stuffed Vegetables Gemista

Then, add all chopped vegetables, parsley to cook for a few minutes. Add chopped tomatoes with tomato juice, and tomato puree. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-7 minutes until soft. Let cool.

Greek Stuffed Vegetables Gemista

Rinse 1 ½ cups parbroiled rice. Stir rice into veggie mixture until well blended. Fill the vegetables with the rice mixture until full, using a spoon.

Greek Stuffed Vegetables Gemista

Greek Stuffed Vegetables Gemista

Cut 4-5 small potatoes into fours. Add to a large roasting pan in between the stuffed vegetables.

Once vegetables are filled and tops placed back, sprinkle olive oil over the stuffed vegetables, and season with salt and pepper.

Bake at 350 degrees with lid on for the first hour. Then take off lid for remaining time – about another ½ hour to 1 hour.

Greek Stuffed Vegetables Gemista

Greek Stuffed Vegetables Gemista

Greek Stuffed Vegetables Gemista


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) Reply

    YES PLEASE! I have never head of this before, but it sounds like a really nice compliment to any meal. I need to try these.

  2. This dish looks wonderful! I really have to try my hand at making it. Pinning so I can come back when I’m ready to make it.

  3. This recipe looks absolutely amazing. I make a stuffed pepper filled with a zucchini/tomato/cheese/orzo mixture and it is just to die for. Love the flavors of the Mediterranean.

  4. The dish and recipe seem simple to make…I mess up stuff peppers most of the time. Love the way the you incorporate the greek flares into eggplant sauce mixture of tomatoes, rice and pepper..I am hungry. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Elizabeth O. Reply

    They look so good. This is perfect for lunch! Thanks for the recipe, I will definitely try this.

  6. This dish looks fantastic!! I wanna grab this from my screen lol, I love eating lot vegetables.

  7. Yum. This looks amazing. I’ve never had anything like this before but I know for a fact this would be a huge hit in my house! It looks delicious.

  8. Well those just LOOK amazing. I bet they taste even better. I’d make these here. A great way to up the ante on the veggies.

  9. These stuffed vegetables would be a great us of all the veggies from my garden!! I love greek flavors and fresh seasonal vegetables 🙂

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