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Recipe Category: Main Courses

Yemista – Greek Stuffed Tomatoes

This is based on my Mum’s Greek family recipe for stuffed tomatoes but you can also use capsicums, zucchini and baby eggplant as well as the tomatoes. It’s the ultimate Greek comfort food.

Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 1 hour
  • 24 medium tomatoes*
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • sugar, for sprinkling
  • extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 250g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 1 kg premium beef mince
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1//2 cup chopped continental parsley
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs

Cut the tops of the tomatoes to make a flap. Scoop out the flesh and strain juice into a bowl. Place tomato shells in baking dish and sprinkle the insides with salt and a little sugar. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 50g butter in a large frypan and sauté onion and garlic until softened. Add rice and sauté until it turns white. Add mince and cook until just browned. Add 125g butter, wine, 1 cup chopped tomato flesh (avoiding seeds), ½ cup strained tomato juice, cinnamon and parsley, mixing until combined, then remove from heat. Season to taste. Fill tomato shells with meat mixture, replacing tops, and place in a large baking dish. Pour 1 cup strained tomato juice over tomatoes (add extra water if needed) and add pieces of remaining butter to the dish. Combine parmesan and breadcrumbs and press onto the tops of the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 200°C for 1 hour. When breadcrumbs are golden brown, cover dish with foil for the rest of the cooking time. Serve with roast sliced potatoes and tzatziki.

Note: Leftover meat mixture can be used to stuff other vegetables or bake in a small dish, sprinkled with parmesan breadcrumbs.


You can also use other vegetables like capsicum, zucchini, large open cap mushrooms and baby eggplant as well as the tomatoes.

Note: Leftover meat mixture can be baked in a small dish, sprinkled with parmesan breadcrumbs.

Author: Naomi Crisante
Date Created: 11/04/2019