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Greek-Style Beef & Rice Skillet: Pilafi me Keema

This beef and rice skillet is loaded with Greek flavor and ready in under an hour. It’s the perfect weeknight meal and so easy to put together.


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This dish tastes like a deconstructed stuffed pepper. Gemista, the classic Greek stuffed Vegetable dish, can be a labor of love. It is delicious and great for meal prep. Especially because it tastes even better the next day. However, sometimes you just need a meal on the table, super-fast! This is one of those meals.

All of the ingredients in this dish are staples in my kitchen:

  • ground beef
  • rice
  • onions
  • olive oil
  • bell peppers
  • canned tomatoes
  • herbs


Life’s about options and this is one of those recipes that can be turned into so many new variations. Here are a few ideas:

  • Swap out the ground beef for ground poultry (chicken or turkey) or lamb
  • Use your favorite veggies: carrots, frozen green peas, zucchini, corn,  or broccoli would all be delicious.
  • Use brown rice instead of white. Make sure to adjust the cooking time and liquid accordingly. Brown rice takes much longer to cook.
  • Add some cheese: feta, parmesan, or even mozzarella. I lean towards the feta but, it’s your kitchen and your dinner table.
  • Use any small pasta instead of the rice.
  • Add some spice by throwing in some sliced jalapenos.


Serve this dish with a side of feta, tzatziki, and a salad.




If you followed my Freezer Prep post and have some meat sauce in your freezer, it will work perfectly in this dish and cut the cooking time in half! Just warm it through in the pan then, add the veggies and rice and enjoy! Read it HERE.



I hope that you give this easy and delicious recipe a try. If you do, let me know what you think in the comments section and I would love to see pics of your recreations!! They bring joy to my life. Share your pics with me on Instagram or Facebook.


Print Recipe

Greek-Style Beef & Rice Skillet: Pilafi me Keema

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
dinner greek, mediterranean
By Dimitra Khan Serves: 5

This beef and rice skillet is loaded with Greek flavor and ready in under an hour. It's the perfect weeknight meal and so easy to put together.


  • 1-pound lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 7 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 and ½ cups Basmati rice



Rinse the rice in a large bowl 4-5 times or until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in cool water for 15 minutes or until the meat is ready.


Combine olive oil and onion in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until soft and golden. About 8 minutes.


Add garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes or until soft.


Add ground beef and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.


Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add tomatoes and cook (covered) for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.


Add the diced bell peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add the parsley and mix it together.


Drain the rice and add it to the pot along with 1 and ½ teaspoons of salt and 1 and ½ cups of water.


Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the skillet with the lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.


Fluff the rice and serve with feta, tzatziki, and a salad. Enjoy!



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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Adam Lafka
    June 5, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Thank you Dimitra! I just cooked this amazing pilaf with ground beef exactly as per your YouTube recipe. I simply added cinnamon & allspice just to make sure the meat is fragrant. I know these 2 spices are from within the Greek kitchen. What I loved The most about your recipe is the water to rice ratio (1:1!) … you see, I always thought it was 1:1.5 , which explains why I’ve been getting slightly sticky rice. Your ratio makes each rice separated. This was a great lesson for me. I will now try to apply what I learned from you to other rice pilafs, including Biryani. I know Biryani has a more elaborate process, but this will be an express version with very similar results.

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