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Delicious vegan recipe for Greek "gemista"! Stuffed tomatoes and bell peppers with rice, veggies, herbs & spices!

 

Stuffed vegetables are one of the most known and popular Greek dishes. In restaurants of tourist places, where people of different nationalities come to taste Greek cuisine, it is one of the dishes that is almost never missing.

Traditionally, it's a vegan dish. The main idea is that we usually fill tomatoes and peppers with rice, vegetables, and herbs, surround them with potatoes and bake them in the oven. Apart from tomatoes and peppers, we often use eggplants, zucchini or potatoes.

Here we will see one of the most classic, traditional versions of tomatoes and bell peppers that are naturally, as always, suitable for vegans.

Enjoy our recipe for vegan "gemista" today!

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Filled - Stuffed veggies - Vegan recipe

Vegan "gemista", stuffed veggies

Gemista! A traditional Greek food. Stuffed tomatoes and green bell peppers with rice, fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices, with delicious baked potatoes.
5 from 20 votes
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Course: Main dishes
Cuisine: Greek / Vegan
Keywords: vegan, vegetarian, stuffed, Greek, vegetables, herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, rice
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 549kcal

Ingredients

For the stuffed veggies

  • 1 cup rice (uncooked)
  • 4 green bell peppers
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 2 Tbsp red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 onion grated
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 cup fresh parsley chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • ½ cup fresh mint finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp curry
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper

For the potatoes

  • 4 potatoes sliced in long spears or cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • ½ Tbsp turmeric powder
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder (optional)
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 barley rusk crushed in a mortar (or 1½ Tbsp toasted breadcrumbs)

For the barley rusks (optional)

  • 2 barley rusks crushed in a mortar (or 3 Tbsp toasted breadcrumbs)
  • ½ tsp onion powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

Stuffed veggies

  • Cut the top of the tomatoes and peppers and keep those "lids" aside. Scoop out the insides of the tomatoes with a teaspoon and remove the seeds and veins from the bell peppers. Keep the insides of the tomatoes aside.
  • Wash the rice, drain, and place in a large bowl. Αdd half the inside you scooped out of the tomatoes (grated) and the rest of the filling ingredients and combine. Leave the filling aside for a few minutes to allow all the flavors to come together.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 °C)
  • Place the tomatoes and peppers (or any other vegetable you like) in a medium-sized baking pan. Fill them with the rice filling (but not to the top, because the rice rises and they might open up while baking). Finally, place the "lids" on top of them.

Potatoes

  • In a bowl put all the ingredients for the potatoes, mix well, add them in the pan and pour half a cup of water.

Crushed barley rusks

  • Crush the 2 rusks and mix them with the rest of the ingredients. Then sprinkle over the stuffed veggies and potatoes.

Baking

  • Cover the pan with some tin foil and put it in the oven, in the second lowest rack. After 1 hour, remove the tin foil and continue baking for 1 more hour.

Notes

  1. When you scoop out the insides of the tomatoes, try to make their peel as thin as possible, scooping the "inner wall" of the tomato with the spoon, trying not to poke a hole in it.
  2. The stuffed veggies "touching" the bottom and the sides of the pan get more caramelized, and they are a sought-after delicacy. Placing the pan in a relatively low rack in the oven, as well as a cast iron baking pan, helps to create this caramelization. You can use the potatoes to place the stuffed veggies the way you want. 
  3. Half the insides of the tomatoes that you scooped out can be grated and you can add some of it on top of the stuffed veggies (before covering with the lid), as well as a little bit of olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. It will be a very tasteful surprise for anyone who opens up the "lid". 🙂
  4. Right before you take them out of the oven, check whether the veggies are cooked properly underneath. If not, place the pan in a lower rack in the oven and bake for a little more. If they are cooked from above but not underneath, cover them with the tin foil and continue baking, turning on only the lower resistance of the oven.
  5. You can fill other vegetables as well, such as Florina peppers and zucchini, but also potatoes or eggplants, after you scoop them and shape them like a little boat. You bake those without a "lid", which creates a very crispy filling on top.
  6. Turmeric gives a nice golden color and it's particularly beneficial for our health and most of all... it goes with almost everything.
  7. If you have some filling left, you can simply add it over the baking pan (before the crushed rusks). It gets crispy and gives extra texture and taste. Almost always, I make sure I save some filling just to add in on top. 🙂

Nutrition Facts

Sodium: 61mg | Calcium: 137mg | Vitamin C: 265mg | Vitamin A: 6209IU | Sugar: 12g | Fiber: 13g | Potassium: 1799mg | Calories: 549kcal | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 2g | Protein: 16g | Carbohydrates: 119g | Iron: 9mg

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