Greek-Style Stuffed Capsicums (Yemista) | Recipe

I have to be honest here, I am probably going to get into trouble from my Greek grandmother for sharing this recipe to her famous Greek stuffed vegetables, but it is so good, I just had to share it with you all!

The Greek word for this dish is “yemista” meaning “filled with” and there are two main versions. A meat version containing mince, rice and herbs and a vegetarian version containing rice, herbs, pine nuts and sometimes legumes.

You can stuff literally any vegetable you please, my favourite is red capsicum and tomatoes, but you can also stuff zucchini and eggplant.

This is a Sunday night favourite at my place, and I hope you give it a try and enjoy it too!


Preparation Time: 10 min | Cooking Time: 80 min | Serves: 4


4 large red capsicums
500 g lean beef or lamb mince
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly roasted
Handful of mint, finely chopped
6 stalks flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3/4 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup tomato passata
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper


1. Pre-heat oven to 160oC (fan-forced).
2. Slice the tops off the capsicums and keep the lid, place a few slits using the knife near the base of the capsicum to allow for airflow. Ensure you remove the seeds of the capsicum and keep the white flesh behind and finely chop, this is going to be added to the mince and rice mixture.
3. In a saucepan, heat the extra virgin olive oil on medium heat and sauté the garlic and onion until softened.
4. Add your extra lean mince to the pot (or omit if you’re going for a vegetarian version) and simmer until almost cooked through.
5. Add the chopped red capsicum white flesh to the pan, along with the rice and mix well.
6. Add enough water to just cover the rice and cook for 10 min, then add the tomato passata and mix through. Season with salt & pepper. The rice will not be fully cooked at this stage, it will finish off in the oven!
7. Finish off with the fresh chopped herbs to the rice mixture and stir through.
8. Place the red capsicums on a baking tray with a little olive oil on the base of the pan to prevent sticking and then pour the rice mixture into each capsicum until just full to the rim and replace the lid of the capsicum.
8. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Serve hot or cold with a side salad.

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