Romanian Mixed Vegetables – Ghiveci

Ghiveci, or ghiveciu, is a traditional Romanian dish made by stewing a variety of vegetables, and sometimes meat, together. This dish is flexible, using seasonal vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, onions, and zucchinis. Fresh herbs and spices are added to enhance the flavor, making it a popular and tasty choice in Romanian cuisine. Ghiveci is particularly favored in summer and early autumn when many vegetables are readily available.

While similar to other European vegetable dishes such as ratatouille in France or ciambotta in Italy, ghiveci is unique in its variety, sometimes containing more than 20 different vegetables. It’s traditionally cooked in large clay pots, which helps the ingredients cook slowly and blend their flavors effectively.

Ghiveci is often served as a main dish in Romania, especially during fasting periods for Orthodox Christians who abstain from meat. Its versatility allows it to be more than just a garnish or a casual meal, playing a significant role in Romanian dietary and religious practices. Unlike many stews that have specific ingredients, ghiveci is about using whatever vegetables you have on hand, reflecting the rich and resourceful nature of Romanian home cooking.

Romanian Ghiveci

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Romanian



  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 3 bell peppers varied colors preferred, chopped
  • 2 zucchinis chopped
  • 1 eggplant chopped
  • 200 g green beans trimmed and cut into pieces
  • 4 medium tomatoes peeled and chopped (or substitute with a 400g can of diced tomatoes)

Herbs and Spices

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped (or use fresh dill if you like)
  • Fresh basil for garnish
  • Salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika


  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 liter of water


  • Prepare the Vegetables: Chop the carrots into smaller pieces for uniform cooking, and if they are large, you might want to pre-boil them. For the garlic, I prefer to split each clove in half instead of crushing them; this way, they release their flavor gradually throughout the cooking. Snap off the ends of the green beans and trim the tail if desired. You can also cut them in half depending on your preference.
  • Sauté the Base: In a large pot, warm some vegetable oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until they turn translucent, around 5 minutes.
  • Add Root Vegetables: Toss in the carrots, bell peppers, and green beans. Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of sweet paprika, then sauté everything for about 7 minutes or until the peppers soften. Pour in some water and cover the pot, making sure to check occasionally to prevent the water from fully evaporating. Adjust the water as needed, depending on how quickly the carrots soften.
  • Introduce Zucchini and Eggplant: Add zucchini and eggplant to enrich the dish with more texture. Let them cook for roughly 10 minutes, or until they start to soften.
  • Add Tomatoes: Stir in the tomatoes and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, ensuring the vegetables are perfectly tender yet still maintain their shape.
  • Garnish and Serve: Finish off with a sprinkle of fresh basil or parsley to enhance the freshness of the dish. Adding dill can introduce an extra layer of flavor. Serve the dish warm.

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