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Greek Baked Stuffed Tomatoes with Rice (Yemista)

This baked stuffed tomatoes recipe with rice is one of my favorite Greek dishes. I made my version vegetarian and healthier with the addition of zucchini.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 5


  • 5 medium vine tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 small zucchini finely diced
  • 1/4 cup arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley optional
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato optional, cut into wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the flesh, bring careful not to pierce the bottoms. Season the insides with salt.
  3. Purée the tomato flesh and any of the additional juices with the garlic in a small food processor. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, sauté the onion over medium-high heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft, 4 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook a few minutes longer, until the zucchini is just beginning to brown, 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook until pearly white and toasty, 2 minutes. Carefully pour in the tomato mixture and add the tomato paste. Simmer until just thickened, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with 1 teaspoon salt and the parsley, if using.
  5. Arrange the tomatoes in a large casserole dish. Spoon the rice mixture into the tomatoes until just shy of full (you might have a little extra depending on the size of your tomatoes). Replace the tops and season generously with salt and pepper. If using, stick the potato wedges in between the tomatoes. Drizzle the veg with olive oil. Pour 1 cup water around the tomatoes. Bake in the oven for 1-2 hours, until the tomatoes are caramelized and the rice is al dente. Serve hot or at room temperature.