Classic Yemista: Greek Stuffed Vegetables With Mince And Rice

Posted on

Yemista, meaning “filled” in Greek, is a classic comfort food from the Mediterranean region. These vibrant stuffed peppers are a delightful combination of savory mince, fluffy rice, aromatic herbs, and fresh vegetables. Not only is yemista bursting with flavor, but it’s also a versatile dish perfect for a satisfying lunch, light dinner, or even a potluck side.

This recipe provides a detailed guide to creating the perfect yemista, from selecting the right peppers to achieving a perfectly cooked rice filling.

Gemista recipe (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers with rice) - My
Gemista recipe (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers with rice) – My


6 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g ground lamb or beef (or a combination)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Prepare the Peppers: Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Wash the bell peppers and carefully cut off the tops, creating a lid. Using a spoon or small paring knife, remove the seeds and white membranes from the inside of the peppers. Rinse the peppers again and pat them dry with paper towels.
    2. Sauté the Aromatics: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
    3. Brown the Mince: Add the ground meat to the skillet and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned on all sides. Drain any excess fat using a colander.
    4. Simmer the Rice: Return the browned meat to the skillet. Add the rinsed rice, diced tomatoes with their juices, vegetable broth, chopped parsley, mint, oregano, thyme, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover the skillet, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the rice is almost cooked through.
    5. Stuff the Peppers: Remove the skillet from heat and fluff the rice mixture with a fork. Carefully spoon the rice mixture into the prepared peppers, filling them to about 3/4 full.
    6. Bake: Place the stuffed peppers in a baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the rice is cooked through.
    7. Serve: Let the yemista cool slightly before serving. Enjoy warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of plain yogurt or a drizzle of your favorite Greek dressing.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    This recipe yields approximately 6 servings. Please note that these are approximate values and can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

    Calories: 450

  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 75mg
  • Sodium: 400mg
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 25g

  • Conclusion:

    Yemista is a delicious and satisfying dish that is sure to become a family favorite. With its combination of fresh vegetables, savory filling, and fluffy rice, it’s a well-rounded meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

    Now, let’s answer some of your burning questions about yemista:


    1. Can I use other types of meat besides ground lamb or beef?

    Absolutely! Yemista is a versatile dish, and you can use any type of ground meat you prefer, such as chicken, turkey, or even a vegetarian crumbles alternative.

    2. What if I don’t have fresh herbs?

    Don’t worry, you can substitute dried herbs for the fresh ones in this recipe. Use 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dried mint, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, and a pinch of dried thyme.

    3. How can I tell when the yemista is done?

    The peppers should be tender and easily pierced with a fork. The rice should be cooked through and fluffy with no remaining liquid.

    4. Can I make yemista ahead of time?