Greek cooking | Katerina’s vegan stuffed peppers and tomatoes recipe

‘Gemista’ is a dish that comes from the Greek fasting period and it’s totally vegan. Somewhat a staple of Greek cookery and worth noting that ‘gemista’ literally means stuffed.

Every family has their own ‘gemista’ recipe and every island and region has its own variation. This is the recipe from Katerina who is the cook on our fantastic Greek cookery holiday on the island of Poros.

It’s one the most classical and typical ‘gemista’ recipes in Greece, and she is pleased to share it with you.

It’s actually the favourite dish of the fasting period during the first 15 days of August. During this time, the tomatoes and peppers get perfectly ripened by the sun, the glorious summer weather makes them full of sweet aromas, vitamins, and give them a beautiful colour and taste.

Serves 6


6 tomatoes, medium size
6 green peppers, medium size
3 potatoes, medium size (optional)
1 ½ cup olive oil
1 kg / 35 oz onion, finely chopped 100 gr / 3.5 oz peppers, finely chopped
100 gr / 3.5 oz zucchini, finely chopped
100 gr. / 3.5 oz eggplant, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
200 gr / 7 oz tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon rice for each tomato or pepper
1 ½ cups water
¼ teaspoon of sugar
1 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped parsley
1 handful raisins
Salt & pepper to taste

You will need

A large frying pan and a large baking dish


  1. Wash 6 medium tomatoes and cut a thin slice from the top of each. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a shell about ¼ inch / ½ cm thick, and chop pulp coarsely, keep everything.
  2. Wash 6 green peppers, cut off the tops and remove and discard the ribs and seeds. Keep the tops and shells of both tomatoes and peppers whole.
  3. In a pan, sauté 1 cup olive oil, the onions and garlic. Then sauté the zucchini, eggplant, and chopped peppers. Stir in the rice, add parsley, mint, raisins and the half of the tomatoes mash. Add salt and pepper to taste. Do not overcook the stuffing. The rice should not be soft, it will soften later during the baking time.
  4. Sprinkle the tomatoes with some sugar. Fill the tomato and pepper shells with the rice mixture and replace the tops. Arrange the stuffed vegetables in an oven dish and drizzle them with a little olive oil, the rest of the tomato mash, and some water. Surround them with the chopped tomatoes.
  5. Bake in 180 C / 350 F oven for 50 minutes.
  6. Wait 20 minutes before you serve the ‘gemista’. The next day it will always taste even better after it sets!

Serving suggestions

This dish will utilize everything in your vegetable garden, and make a gorgeous main or the perfect fresh accompaniment for meats or fish on the grill in the summertime.

This Greek classic does not have to be complicated. The fresh flavours will speak for themselves and have you doing up your vegetables in a whole new way which showcases the best of the best of summer.

You can join Katerina on a Greek cooking holiday in Poros as you get to know your Ouzo and Greek classics.

Or, feel free to explore our full range of cookery holidays.