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Today we are making Gemista! If you’re wondering what that is, it’s essentially Greek stuffed tomatoes. It’s a stuffed tomato recipe that’s packed with ground beef, a tomato sauce, and cauliflower rice. The meat stuffed tomatoes are then baked until they are soft and tender and so tasty. It’s been on my “recipes to make” list for a while, and I’m sorry I waited so long, these baked stuffed tomatoes make a fantastic meal!
I love this easy stuffed tomato recipe because it makes a really filling meal that’s warm and comforting, but still light enough for summer. It’s the best of both world’s and I happen to think that this homemade filling makes the best stuffed tomatoes!
How To Make Gemista Greek Stuffed Tomatoes
The word gemista, might make you think this recipe is complex, but have no fear, I’ll show you how to make gemista. I promise these are super easy stuffed tomatoes!
- Prepare the tomatoes. We’ll slice the tops off of the tomatoes and then carefully scoop out all of the tomato flesh. You want to be careful not to puncture the exterior skin of the tomato.
- Blend the tomato sauce. Don’t toss that tomato flesh! We’re blending it with balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, olive oil, and some salt and pepper. It’s the sauce and flavor for the meat stuffed tomatoes.
- Saute the filling. In this step we’ll saute the onion, garlic, and ground beef. When the meat has browned, it’s time to add the cauliflower rice and tomato sauce. Bring this mixture to a boil and simmer until it’s thickened.
TIP: When you first add the pureed tomato pulp mixture, it will be very liquid, like soup. This is normal! Just simmer it until it’s thick and saucy, like this:
- Stuff the tomatoes. Carefully stuff the beef and cauliflower mixture into the tomatoes.
- Bake the stuffed tomatoes. You’ll bake them covered first, then uncover to brown the tops.
What Is Gemista?
Gemista, or Greek yemista as it is also known as, is a stuffed tomato. Yemista means “stuffed.”
Traditional Greek gemista typically includes a filling made from beef, rice, and tomatoes or other vegetables. Then, the mixture is stuffed into tomatoes and baked.
My gemista recipe is just like the authentic version, but uses healthier, low carb cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. That also makes them keto friendly, paleo friendly, and even whole30 approved.
Are Meat Stuffed Tomatoes Low Carb?
Many baked stuffed tomatoes recipes are not low carb as they are made with rice.
BUT, of course this one is low carb! I wanted to make a low carb greek stuffed tomatoes with meat recipe so that we can all join in on the gemista deliciousness too.
Can You Make Baked Stuffed Tomatoes Ahead?
If you want to make baked stuffed tomatoes with ground beef ahead, I would recommend prepping the tomatoes and making the filling and then assembling the tomatoes and baking right before serving.
You could do this a day or two ahead, but not much earlier as the tomatoes will start to lose their shape. These stuffed tomatoes Greek style are so easy that fresh is definitely best!
Can You Freeze Gemista?
Yes, you can freeze this keto stuffed tomato recipe! Raw tomatoes don’t freeze well, but freezing baked stuffed tomatoes is perfectly fine.
Alternatively, you could freeze the prepared beef and cauliflower filling, and stuff it into fresh tomatoes before baking and serving.
More Ideas For Stuffed Tomato Recipes
Tomatoes (along with zucchini!) make excellent containers for salads. If you like these Greek stuffed tomatoes, you might also like some of these salads. Stuff them into tomatoes – no need to bake these!
- Low Carb Keto Chicken Salad – This easy chicken salad recipe is packed with flavorful herbs. Simple, healthy, & naturally low carb chicken salad that’s ready in just a few minutes!
- Tuna Egg Salad – This easy tuna egg salad recipe is ready in just 10 minutes. Perfect to make ahead.
- Easy Avocado Tuna Salad – This quick and easy tuna and avocado salad needs just 7 ingredients! The perfect combination of flavors for healthy stuffed tomatoes.
Tools To Make Baked Greek Stuffed Tomatoes
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- High-Power Blender – This blender is my favorite! I use it daily, and it’s so so so worth the price. Makes blending the sauce for baked stuffed tomatoes easy!
- Ceramic Nonstick Chef Pans – These nonstick pans are great and even recipes with ground beef and tomatoes won’t stain these pans.
- Glass Baking Dishes – A must for stuffed tomato recipes!
Gemista: Baked Greek Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe:
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Gemista: Baked Greek Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe
This baked Greek stuffed tomatoes recipe (Gemista) makes an easy low carb dinner. Cauliflower rice and meat stuffed tomatoes are both flavorful, healthy and low carb.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to play the video. It's the easiest way to learn how to make this recipe!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (191 degrees C). Line or grease a baking dish.
Slice the tops off the tomatoes. Scoop out the flesh and transfer it into a large blender. Remove as much flesh as possible without puncturing the exterior skin.
Place the tomatoes, cut side up, onto the baking dish with the "lids" on top or next to them. Set aside.
Add balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to the blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and saute for about 10 minutes, until browned.
Add the minced garlic and saute for about a minute, until fragrant.
Add the ground beef. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook for about 10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned and cooked through.
Add the cauliflower rice and tomato pulp mixture, including liquid. It will be very liquid, almost like soup. Increase heat to high to bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the liquid reduces and you end up with beef and cauliflower rice in tomato sauce. The cauliflower rice should be soft. Adjust sea salt and pepper to taste.
Pat the insides of the tomatoes with paper towels to get rid of extra moisture. Stuff the beef/cauliflower mixture into the empty tomatoes in the baking dish. Place the tomato "lids" on top.
Cover the stuffed tomatoes with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15-20 more minutes, until tomatoes are soft and pucked on the edges.
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