Traditional Gemista Recipe

Gemista is a traditional Greek recipe for stuffed vegetables that are baked, until soft and nicely browned. This juicy dish bursting with fresh colours and flavours is filled with rice and mince!

Almost every Greek household has its own version and our large sized dish includes zucchini and eggplants, however you can add more or less of each vegetable, depending on your preference. 

  • 15 medium size tomatoes
  • 3 medium zucchinis 
  • 4 red capsicums
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 eggplant (cut in half)
  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cut in wedges
  • 500 grams lean beef mince
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of medium grain rice per vegetable 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Using a spoon, scoop out the inside of the tomatoes, zucchinis, eggplant and capsicums. Puree all the fillings with a hand blender until you have a thick liquid. Set aside.

Prepare the stuffing:

-Add olive oil and onion in a large skillet and sauté for a minute. Add  mince and stir till brown. Include the garlic and parsley and mix thoroughly- for about a minute.

-Add the blended vegetable filling, tomato paste, rice, 1/2 cup of water, salt and pepper and stir for a minute. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce- the uncooked rice will begin to absorb the excess liquid as it cooks.

Stuffing the vegetables:

-Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

-Assemble the vegetables in a baking dish and use the potato wedges to keep the vegetables upright. 

-Stuff the tomatoes, eggplant, capsicums and zucchini about 3/4 full. Pour the remaining puree in the bottom of the dish and add 1/2 cup of water. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.

-Cover with baking paper and aluminium foil. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the vegetables have become tender and cooked through.

-Uncover and then pop back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes on low heat for the vegetables to brown nicely.

*Images and Recipe by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright) 

Top 10 Traditional Dishes You Must Try in Greece

Greek gastronomy focuses on authentic ingredients of high quality, and there is no denying the passion Greeks have for their cuisine. With so much tempting Greek food to choose from, we’ve rounded up the Top 10 traditional dishes we recommend you try when visiting! 


Healthy and bursting with fresh and vibrant flavours and colours, Gemista are stuffed tomatoes- and other vegetables- including capsicums, eggplant, and zucchinis, that are baked, until soft and nicely browned. The vegetarian version is filled with rice, chopped vegetables, and baked in a tomato-based sauce and the meat version is rice with minced beef or pork. 


Often referred to as the Greek version of lasagne, this dish consists of three layers: pasta; meat sauce; and a topping of creamy smooth béchamel. Pastitsio is the ultimate Greek comfort food and the trick is the pasta being mixed with egg white and cheese to bind it together before being topped with the rich meat sauce. 


Similar to Pastitsio as there is both mince and béchamel, Moussaka is one of Greece’s most popular and well-known dishes. Packed with layers and layers of eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, and mincemeat, it is topped with a creamy béchamel sauce. Many taverns will use lamb however some recipes include beef mince. 


Greek Fava is different from fava bean dip- it’s not even made from fava beans- it’s made using yellow split peas. This delicious traditional vegan dish originated from the island of Santorini. Creamy and super tasty, the split peas are cooked with garlic and onion, then blended into a smooth and creamy puree that is served with a drizzle of olive oil, diced onion, and cappers.


These fried and crispy Greek zucchini fritters are a perfect pairing of zucchinis, Feta, and an array of fresh herbs, including parsley, dill, and mint. Over the summer, this is a very popular vegetarian dish that’s served with a dollop of refreshing yoghurt. 

Gigantes Plaki

Greek cuisine has several bean dishes as sides and mains. One of them is Gigantes Plaki. Gigantes are a type of large white bean, ‘Plaki’ refers to the method of cooking, which means baking in the oven with a homemade sauce consisting of tomato, onion, garlic, and parsley. Packed with plenty of fresh flavours as well as protein and fibre, it’s a healthy and delicious vegan dish.


This is one of Greece’s most popular pies! The savory pastry is made of perfectly crispy layers of homemade phyllo dough and a comforting filling of spinach and Feta. This classic pie makes a perfect light lunch or dinner and has such a fabulous combination of flavours. You will find it in every Greek bakery you come across.

Prawn Saganaki

A simple dish of fresh prawns that are cooked in a beautiful tomato sauce, Feta, and a dash of Ouzo! You will find it on the menu at most Psarotavernas (fish taverns) and it’s likely to be served with chunks of freshly made bread so you can dip it into that irresistible sauce!


Stuffed grape leaves, is one of the most well-known Greek recipes. They are traditionally stuffed with rice as a vegetarian option or more commonly served ground meat, rice, and herbs. Some places include an egg and lemon sauce (avgolemono), while others prefer to pair them with a dollop of Greek yogurt. They can be eaten as a side dish, meze, or as a main. 

Psari Plaki 

This delicious recipe features fresh fish baked in the oven with vegetables, olive oil, and fresh tomatoes, as well as onions, garlic, leeks, and celery- to round out the flavours.