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Gemista / Stuffed Tomatoes & Peppers


10 stuffable vegetables
1 lb ground beef/turkey
2 onions
1 12oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup rice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch fennel

* Make it Healthy

  • replace ground beef with ground turkey or chicken
  • remove the meat element all together for a vegetarian dish
  • replace regular rice with brown rice or quinoa (increase cooking time by 25 mins)

* Make it Different

  • Add unique items like sun-dried tomatoes
  • Spice it up with allspice, cinnamon, or cumin
  • Top it with Feta cheese or goat cheese when you serve it


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Before you begin, remove the insides of the tomatoes and set aside. Clean out the insides of the rest of the vegetables you are going to be stuffing.

In a medium saucepan, brown the ground beef.

Add the onions and 1/2 the olive oil along with the insides of the tomatoes, 1/2 the tomato sauce, the rice, parsley, fennel, salt, pepper, and a bit of water.

Let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes or until it has thickened a bit. When sauce has thickened, remove from heat, place your hollowed out vegetables into a baking dish and begin stuffing them, making sure not to overstuff.

When you are finished stuffing the vegetables, add the remaining tomato sauce and olive oil to the saucepan with whatever remaining stuffing there may be, mix it up, and pour over and between the vegetables.

Leave uncovered and bake for approximately an hour or until done.

George Christidis