Stuffed Peppers (Piperies Gemistes)

Recipe update:img_2696
Original post appeared back in October of 2007, within my first year of blogging. The photos back then weren’t as kind to the delicious dishes I’ve always served up for you, my readers. Tonight I finished off the last of the most recent batch of Stuffed Peppers.

This recipe comes from my mom, who was taught by my grandmother and my mom’s aunts…all excellent cooks. I am fortunate to be be born into a family of amazing cooks.

If there’s a dish I’ve enjoyed time and time again in my life, it’s mom’s Piperies Gemistes or….stuffed peppers.img_2695-1

For as long as I can remember putting food in my mouth, I’ve been eating stuffed peppers. This dish is another Greek standard and it can be made summer or winter. I don’t think I’ve met a Greek who doesn’t eat them, who doesn’t like them . In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard any complaints from my non-Greek friends.

This recipe is also versatile. You can use different coloured peppers, use tomatoes or any other vegetable you can think of stuffing. Today I’m using sweet red peppers bell peppers.img_2802

This is an easy dish. I was intimidated for years but when you think about it, all you do is hollow out your peppers, cook off your onions & herbs, add meat and rice, stuff then bake….Ta-DAAAAA!

My Piperies Gemistes use red peppers and 3 herbs but I’ll highlight mint for today. Mint is a perennial, has many varieties, thrives in the shade (but can also grow in the sun) and they even survive cold Canadian winters. If left unchecked, they can over-run your garden so keep an eye on your mint. When it comes to cooking and mint, again exercise caution as a little mint goes a long way in your dish.

Red peppers. What can be said about red peppers? They are super-tasty, they have more vitamin C than an orange, contain vitamin A and folic acid. Also, did I mention they are delicious?

Piperies Gemistes (Stuffed Peppers)img_2809

2 lbs. lean ground beef
12-14 red peppers, washed, tops cut and inside cored
2 medium onions, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup of fresh dill, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
1 cup of good tomato sauce (pomodoro)
1 cup arborio rice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash then cut the tops off your peppers. Hollow out the peppers to rid them of any ribs or seeds. Reserve
2. Place a large skillet on your stove and heat under medium high heat. Pour in your olive oil then add the onions and garlic and lower to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes to soften the onions.
3. Add your parsley, dill, mint and and tomato sauce and simmer until most of the liquid is gone and you have a thick mixture. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
4. Add your rice and ground beef to the onion/herb mixture and and mix all the ingredients using a wooden spoon. Add 2 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper and mix well. To taste for seasoning, take a spoonful of the mixture and fry it or cook it in the microwave to taste for seasoning. Afterwards, adjust the seasoning in the mixture to your liking.
5. Using a spoon, stuff your peppers and line the bottom of a roasting pot (pick a vessel that will snugly contain your peppers). Pour about 2 cups hot water (enough water to cover 1 inch of the peppers) in the baking vessel and place them in a preheated 375F oven for 75-90 minutes or until tops of peppers are golden brown, the rice is tender.. Serve with some good bread, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a side of Feta cheese.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

© 2009 – 2015,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

Print Friendly

88 Comments for “Stuffed Peppers (Piperies Gemistes)”

says:

Hi Peter, Catching up on all your beautiful food! I’ll take a stuffed pepper for my 1st course, 2nd, I’ll take the seafood pasta. Wash it all down with some good greek wine, and a hunk of that cheesecake for dessert! Whoa!!

says:

I’m jealous of your blog! Tell him to stop nagging me. :-)
Those stuffed peppers are exactly what i wanted for dinner tonight (but i didn’t have). Great job peter, looks delicious!

says:

These look delicious. I have some peppers in the fridge and I will be making some this week. Oh, and your seafood pasta makes me weak in the knees.

Val

says:

Great looking stuffed peppers.

I’m very lucky that you come from a family of great cooks. Me. Not so much. Let’s just say they would be shocked to learn that the smoke alarm does not double as a timer. Sigh..

As always, thanks for sharing your recipes & photos.
;o}

says:

I love these, although I use different spices (no dill, no mint – just parsley, oregano, bay leaf, basil sometimes marjoram) and I remember that sometimes my grandmother used to pour a little tomato sauce in the roasting pan. Feeling a little nostaglic now, better go call my grandmother ;)

says:

gosh, your peppers looks great! Beautiful roasted, yummy filling… and I love the slice of cheese on the side. You know, that’s a great all purpose filling that you could use for just about anything, too.

says:

you know we’ve been talking about doing this exact thing every once in awhile. i go back to our early posts and i’m actually embarrassed to see grammar mistakes and crap pictures. we thought about redoing it now that a few other people are actually reading. these stuffed peppers look great and i loved that there is no “firmness” left in the pepper. mmmm.

Kathryn

says:

Hi Peter – thank you for sharing your family’s version of such a classic recipe – you really bring the vibrant colours and tastes of mediterranean food to life with your posts. Just a quick question – when you refer to “tomato sauce” in the recipe above, is this what I would call passata/sugocassa…?

says:

I love gemista, one of my favorites any season. Love them both with just rice as well as with rice/ground meat. Your family’s recipe sounds utterly delicious. Geia sta heria sou Peter!

marcellina Chryssanthakopoulos

says:

Oh my god. This has to be one of my top 10 favorite meals! my yaya always makes stuffed tomatoes she uses orzo instead of rice. its so delicious!

says:

Yummmmmm!! One of my favorite meals!! Thank you for posting this, because just the other day I was thinking if you had ever shared a gemista recipe. You read my mind!

says:

Yes yes yes to stuffed peppers! They were a staple in my Italian home. And I love that you used red peppers, I love them much better than the green. We also used what we call Italian peppers which is a long tapering light green pepper with a little zing. Would stuff those with lots of garlic, fresh bread crumbs and herbs. Your photos are so beautiful and make me want to make this dish very soon. I will try it with mint which sounds heavenly to me.

says:

I was actually just thinking of gemista last night, Peter! What a nice surprise to see them on your blog. I had them weekly growing up (I always stayed away from the peppers and opted for tomatoes…now I love the peppers) and cooked them in the same pan as potatoes. Nothing like double the carbs. :)

says:

OOOO I love stuffed peppers & make them once in a while.. but after seeing yours mine look pretty Hmmm “not good”. LOL Loved ur use of mint.

says:

Mmmm this is one of my favourite dishes too!!!! My recipe, doesn’t use mint (but I love the idea) and instead of beef I use pork. YOur pictures look fantastic and that rice with all the absorbed juices must have been awesome :D

says:

oh my goodness once i saw the images, scents of my kitchen started coming out of the computer screen! my mom makes this all the time! My grandma makes this a lot too, I get the feeling this is the type of recipe that passes down through family members, as it seems to be the case for you too!

says:

ooh, I haven’t even had breakfast and now looking at these peppers I’m starving!!!

You know, I grew up eating stuffed peppers too! My dad always put them in tomato sauce, my mom didn’t.

I’m actually defrosting some ground beef (from Stephane)…maybe I should make these this weeekend.

says:

I am sorry that I am not visiting so often, but my life is hectic and the catering jobs are coming in fast. I love these peppers, Peter – I always stuff my peppers with cooked rice, but this makes a lot more sense to me!!!

says:

Love the combination of dill and mint you have in here. Have to try it. Had a great greek dinner last night in West Village at Snack Taverna and was thinking Peter should be here!

says:

Isn’t it fun to revisit some posts from the early days of your blog? I’ve been doing that, too — updating photos (nice to know we’ve all improved our photo skills!) and links. Thanks for sharing this post, for those of us who missed it the first time.

Luana

says:

Peter, this is one of my all-time favorite Greek dishes. My mom made it often. I’ll always stuff a few tomatoes, too, when I make the peppers. And they all make great leftovers.

says:

I just love the family history associated with your cooking. This dish is outstanding. Um, say, would your mom like to adopt a friendly female italian adult and teacher her some greek recipes?! :-)

says:

This is my kind of dish – I love stuffed vegetables. Stuffed sweet bell peppers is one of my favorites. Yours looks so delicious. I am getting hungry:)

says:

Man, I love those things. The red ones, especially — they’re three times the price, but about six times the taste, I believe.

We used to have these growing up all the time. Different spice blend, but still…memories!

says:

hi Peter-
I follow your blog and have been enjoying the recipes. I am sure you can appreciate the fact that many of us have yiayia’s/mom’s who can cook great greek food but don’t follow any type of recipe, thus making it very difficult for a newbie to try it! lol

I made your gemeista, my first ever attempt, and they turned out pretty good! I can’t wait to try it again- only hoping I don’t make my family too sick of peppers!! lol

BTW I shared a link to your recipe from my blog to yours. I hope that is ok.

Sophia

david

says:

I downloaded this recipe not thinking properly. 30 pages for one recipe? Maybe you should try and make your recipes printer friendly by one recipe at a time. What a waste of paper and ink when we are supposed to be eco friendly.

Ink cartridges and paper are expensive.

says:

David, at the bottom of each post is a “print this post” button and if you selected this option for Stuffed Peppers, you would have only printed the recipe + the comments (a total of 5 pgs.).

The program includes the comments with the recipe (some find the comments useful) and if you do not wish to include those, you can edit that out when you’re selecting the print options.

Another option is to save the recipe in a google doc. and then save and/or print when need be.

The program for printing is fine, the recipe is for free and I run this blog on my own time and money.

david

says:

I tried your recipe. I know that you know this. The best. I’m not all that fond of dill but if it’s there i will eat it. Worth the effort and the taste. Thank you for sharing.

Xakousti

says:

Hey ,

I love making Yemista! It would have been dinner 2night! But Long Story! You think you could ship some over to me..? LOL Anyway, love your Mamma’s Recipe! Nothing Like Mamma’s/YiaYia’s cooking! It sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

magdalina

says:

Love this dish and like you, grew up with it! Try pouring a bit of white vinegar (1/4 cup depending on how big your tray is) into the tray before putting it in the oven!

deb

says:

Hi Peter. I’ve been following your blog for a little while now and just wanted to say I love your site. Last year, I traveled to 12 countries across Europe over a 2 month period and no other country was more inspiring to me than Greece- food, culture, people. Just amazing. I can’t wait to go back one day.

I love stuffed peppers and have always searched/tried different recipes. Some good, some not so good. OMG! My search is now over. Your stuffed peppers are amazing! I’ve made them about 4 times already and everyone that’s tried them loves them too. The only adjustments that I’ve made is to brown the meat first and add more rice. Then while it’s cooking I’ll add more pomodoro as needed till the rice is cooked through.

says:

Oh thank God I found this post. Superstore (Loblaws) had bags of four big red peppers on 2/$5, and I couldn’t pass that up! I automatically thought of gemista…but when I got home and searched the Greek blogs I have on Google Reader I noticed that although everyone says that people make gemista with meat some of the time, they prefer the vegetarian type, and then proceed to give that recipe. You’re the only one who’s bothered to do it! Even Maria V. hasn’t done one. So thank you for bothering to post gemista with kyma in it – the only way I’ve ever had it! Now I can take a recipe from a source I trust, do a bit of tweaking and cook something tasty Friday night ;) I’ll be making it with a mixture of moose and pork, should be interesting…

Any tips on how to hollow out the peppers?

says:

Stamatia, you’re gonna love these! As for hollowing the peppers….very carefully! lol

Choose peppers that are as straight as possible. Remove stem side with knife and use your finger to hollow out the rest.

says:

Ok, katalava, lol. The peppers I got are a little taller and thinner than the usual bell peppers they sell here, somewhere between the regular ones and those long “Ancient Sweets” ones that have popped up lately.

I was thinking maybe you used a spoon, but I think I’ll manage with my fingers.

I just re-read the instructions, and I’m a little unclear about what happens when you add the rice & ground beef to the mix – the rice and beef are raw, right? I’m just amalgamating it with the sauce? And as for the peppers, how much should I stuff them? Not all the way to the top (because they’ll swell, right)?

says:

Stamatia, you can use a knife, if you’re careful but fingers work just fine. Rice & ground pepper are raw, they are going to cook inside the peppers, in the oven. Stuff the peppers 3/4 way.

Enjoy!

says:

Well, I made them tonight…I think I would prefer more rice than beef (they were mostly meat), they had a lot of juice in them, the peppers were kind of the wrong shape, and even after halving the recipe I had way too much stuffing, I would still totally do it again.

Besides subbing a moose/pork mix for the beef, I used crushed tomatoes, and I didn’t have many fresh herbs except the last few sprigs of an old pack of parsley so I added them and some dried dill, dried mint, dried oregano and some cumin (and salt and pepper of course). I added a splash of red wine too. I put the extra stuffing in a square pan and baked it alongside the peppers and melted some mozzarella on top – this was actually my boyfriend’s favourite part: “it’s like eating lasagna but without the noodles!”.

The samali I made from Mary’s recipe went a little more smoothly…

Tricia Maria

says:

Peter – I LOVE this recipe. I’ve made several off of your site. Now, since it’s our Lent, I make it vegetarian, but love it both ways! Kalo Pascha!

Michelle

says:

could have been a great recipe, although would have helped to mention that the rice needed to be cooked. looked suspicious to me, but since there were so many comments, decided to follow the recipe. threw the whole thing away!

says:

Michelle, the rice in the recipe is NOT cooked, no omission in the recipe. With the rice being stirred in the skillet with oil and tomato sauce and the herbs being added (with raw mince), they (the rice) then get stuffed into the peppers. Two cups of water (or stock) are poured over the peppers and into the oven it goes. The water plus moisture from herbs, onions and peppers are offer moisture – which are absorbed by the rice. I don’t know where else you could have gone wrong with the recipe. Sorry it didn’t work for you but I stand by the recipe.

LovesFood

says:

These look so good, I’m going to try making them tonight. This may be a silly question, but when you bake the peppers do you stand them up on their bottoms or lay them on their side?

Leave a Comment