Yemista Greek stuffed Capsicums and tomatoes

try this delicious vegetarian version of yemista by

At a glance



  • 5 large capsicums peppers
  • 5 medium-large and firm tomatoes
  • 200g medium grain rice
  • ¼ cup (packed) fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup (packed) fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup capers (in salt not vinegar), roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup sultanas or raisins, roughly chopped
  • 6 tbsp almonds, chopped and toasted
  • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, very finely diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½-¾ tsp hot chilli flakes


  • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups peeled and finely diced tomatoes (2 large tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼-½ tsp hot chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • a generous grind of black pepper


    1. Set the oven to 180° C.
    2. Wash tomatoes and capsicums well. Cut about 1-2 cm off each pepper and tomato and set the tops aside. Make sure you don’t cut the capsicums too close to the base of the stalk as it may come loose and you want the tops left intact to keep the filling nice and moist.
    3. Using a sharp-edged spoon, scoop the inside of the tomatoes, leaving the outer walls intact. Save the scooped-out tomato flesh.
    4. Deseed the capsicums, breaking the white membranes with your fingers or a small knife.
    5. Arrange the hollowed-out tomatoes and peppers snugly on a baking tray (or trays, I had to use two to fit them all in).
    6. Season the inside of each vegetable with a pinch of salt, sugar and capsicums.
    7. Blend or finely dice the insides of the tomatoes to add them to the rice filling.
    8. Mix all of the filling ingredients together with the blended tomato flesh and olive oil.
    9. Spoon the filling into the vegetables, but be sure not to overfill – the mixture should be roughly level with the cut so that there is room for expansion under the tops. Give the mixture a good stir between filling each vegetable so that you distribute the liquid that drops to the bottom evenly between all vegetables. Put the tops back on.
    10. In a mixing jug, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce. Pour the sauce on the bottom of the tray, in amongst the stuffed vegetables.
    11. Put the baking tray (or trays) into an oven. After about 1 hour, protect the tops from burning by wrapping a piece of aluminium foil over them. Continue baking for another 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked through. If the rice is still a little hard at the end of the cooking time, leave the veggies in a warm (switched off) oven for another 30 minutes to finish off cooking.
    12. Traditionally, yemista is served at room temperature rather than warm, so allow it to cool down before eating. They’re best enjoyed with a simple Greek salad and some crusty bread.