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Middle Eastern Stuffed Vegetables 4-Ways

Every Middle Eastern country has their version of stuffed vegetables all with their own twists and different names like Gemista, Mahshi, Dolma, Mehshe Koosa, or Yaprach.   Here's how we make stuffed vegetables four ways, make it easier using a corer when scooping out the zucchini and eggplant.  

Make it vegetarian using mixed vegetables, mushrooms, lentils or quinoa instead of meat. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings


  • 4 small zucchinis
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 bell peppers, any color
  • 4 baby eggplants


  • ½ large onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup raw rice
  • ½ cup parsley
  • ¼ cup mint, optional (has a strong flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons Jamie Geller Baharat
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cut your veggies! You can use a knife and spoon or make it easier with a corer for the zucchini and eggplant.

  2. Mix the filling ingredients in a bowl.

  3. Stuff your veggies! Don't pack it in tightly, just make sure it's filled all the way. You can tap the bottom of the veggies against the counter to fill the gaps. Leave ¼ inch of space at the top because the rice expands while it cooks.

  4. Place the veggies into a large pot with the open parts facing upwards.

  5. In a separate bowl, mix the tomato paste, garlic, water, salt and pepper.

  6. Pour the sauce over the veggies. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.