Yemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)

"Maybe my favourite Greek dish. Yes, my favourite."
photo by pate g. photo by pate g.
photo by pate g.
photo by Anell B. photo by Anell B.
photo by hlkljgk photo by hlkljgk
photo by jpd9400 photo by jpd9400
photo by evelynathens photo by evelynathens
Ready In:
2hrs 45mins




  • Cut off tops of tomatoes (retain tops) and carefully scoop out flesh (retain this as well).
  • Cut off tops of peppers (retain tops) and remove seeds and membrane.
  • Place tomatoes and peppers in a pan large enough to hold them comfortably and give each veg a tiny dash of sugar with the tips of your fingertips (I really think this is important!).
  • Take tomato flesh and process it until pureed.
  • Add olive oil, rice, onion, garlic, mint, parsley, nuts, cheese, sultanas, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper (or season to taste).
  • Stuff the vegetables evenly with this mixture.
  • Replace tops of tomatoes and peppers.
  • Combine 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup olive oil with a scant tablespoonful of tomato paste and a little salt and pepper and pour this around the veg.
  • Bake in a preheated 375F oven (180C) for approx 1 3/4 hours (vegetables should pierce easily and be slightly blackened in parts).
  • Turn off oven and leave in for another hour to'mellow' before serving.
  • This is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.
  • It is wonderful eaten along with little bites of feta cheese and a cool glass of white or rose.
  • It will also have yummy juices begging to be mopped up with bits of crusty bread.
  • In my version, I also take 3-4 medium-sized potatoes, cut them into big wedges, toss in a little olive oil with salt and pepper to taste, and'plant' in the spaces amidst the vegetables.
  • That way you can have a couple of wedges of potato too.

Questions & Replies

  1. I feel silly asking but do I use cooked or uncooked rice?


  1. Very very nice, I halved the recipe but not the liquid that you add and that turned out good, used only 1 tablespoon of rice per vegetable. It was enough for the size of the tomatoes and the peppers I used. Could not get the cheese you mentioned in the recipe and used grated Halloumi cheese. The raw rice was perfectly cooked by the time we had the dish. The only thing I added was some dried oregano.
  2. FINALLY.. !! My grandmother used to make these and I have been searching the world for the recipe that would capture this uniquely "greek/turkish" taste.<br/>Well folks.. this is it !<br/>Evelyn shows deep understanding of greek cuisine in her quantity of olive oil (don't be alarmed..) and , especially her step 10. ( Leave an hour or two in the oven..) This is very important as it allows a kind of caramelization which is.. everything ! without this last step mine used to taste like a warm pepper salad mixed with rice !<br/>It has now become one of my family's favourites !<br/><br/>Just a tiny detail.. since the rice is not pre-boiled, it will expand.. so don't stuff them all the way to the top or they will overspill..<br/>I also dribbled 1/2 tsp of olive oil on the mixture in each pepper after stuffing ( but then..I'm an olive-oil addict )<br/> <br/>GEIA SOU EVELYN.. EISAI ETHNIKOS THISAUROS !!<br/>( Evelyn you are a national treasure !! )<br/><br/>Dimitri
  3. I would like to sincerely thank the writer of this recipe for sharing this WONDERFUL recipe. So many times on the internet I've been disappointed with poorly tested recipes. That is not the case with this one: this is PHENOMENAL! Authentic flavors and great cooking tips (such as sprinkling with sugar first and adding potatoes to the pan). I am very grateful and adding it into my "favorite recipe" file for lots of future use. I made it tonight and it was delectable!!!
  4. Veggie Dornette #1 was home for the weekend and I thought I would surprise her with something besides lasagne (which she asks for each time she comes home). Peppers are plentiful in the market now, although it's not really tomato season. I did try this with 2 tomatoes, but I have to say that the recipe was 90% peppers. To make up for the missing tomato flesh I used some canned tomatoes, chopped up. Left out the mint, because I knew the kids would never touch it with mint (not very adventurous, my kids). I also left out the raisins, again, because the kids won't eat anything with "bugs" in it. Doubled up on the pine nuts instead, you can never have too many pine nuts (budget permitting). The only other change -- I didn't have (or even look for) mizithra or kefalograviera cheese, so I used a nice Cypriot haloumi instead. Ev, major yummy dish here!
  5. Amazing as it is, beautiful flavour and texture. Can’t wait to eat leftovers.


  1. I did not tweak this recipe. In respect for the chef, I always follow a recipe's instructions, precisely. If there's something I want to change, I save it for the next time around.
  2. I like a good squeeze of lemon to cut the richness of the oil.
  3. This is a really good receipe and turns out great! just like i experienced when i was in Greece recently... I substitute dry white wine in place of water. Yum! I'm cooking it again today.


<style>body { background: url(""); background-repeat: repeat-y; }</style> OK, here goes. I live in Athens, Greece. I moved out here many, many years ago from Ottawa, Canada - so I am blessed in having two wonderful heritages! I suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviour with regard to food and my psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea to find a 'society' where many have the same problem and try to find a cure. So far, I've copied a couple of thousand recipes from this site and my psychiatrist has thrown the towel in and refuses to answer the phone when I call. What did I do wrong? Got 3 kids that keep me on the go - 10 and under at this point (2008) - I may not get round to updating this for a few years, so you'll have to do your own maths. I teach English full-time and Greek Cookery part-time. I would like to make the cooking part of it full-time and the English Grammar part of it part-time. That's all for now.
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