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Easy Israeli Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

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Easy Israeli Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms has the wonderful Middle Eastern flavor of cumin. It is a delicious, simple to make, dairy free dish. Enjoy as a main, a side, or even an appetizer!

There are a whole variety of ways Israelis make stuffed artichoke bottoms; with peas, without peas, cooked in a tomato sauce… It just depends on ones taste.

Of course, Easy Israeli Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms are not stuffed with Israelis, but with delicious and flavorful meatballs!

The cumin and turmeric in Easy Israeli Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms gives the recipe its Middle Eastern flavor.

Here’s another delicious version of the recipe that includes peas. Try it! Easy Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms with Peas.

Like Israeli recipes? Try these!

A little of my cooking background

I really wanted to title this blog “If I can make it, anyone can”, because – honestly – if I can make it, anyone can.

I never really liked cooking and when I was single, a meal for me meant grilled cheese, eggs, tuna, or something else that didn’t require effort or time.

When my kids were young, I was still able to get away with preparing only a small variety of easy meals, but the older they got, the more dishes I learned to make at their request.

Still, I insisted on keeping it simple.

Honestly, I never understood why some cooks unnecessarily complicate meals. I have seen recipes that have several ingredients that don’t really seem to add much, if anything, to the dish. So, why bother?

It has always been important to me that whoever eats at my table will have plenty to enjoy and that includes my kids (I never agreed with the “You will eat what is served or you won’t eat” ideology) and, because I keep it simple, I can prepare a variety of dishes in a relatively short period of time.

I have a philosophy regarding being a great cook: Prepare food according to the tastes of those who will be eating it and they will love your cooking!

As far as I am concerned, start with the basic ingredients that make the dish what it is, adapt according to taste, and voila! you are an amazing cook!

The bottom line is that while there are certainly delicate recipes out there for specialty dishes, making delicious meals doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. It’s not difficult to impress – just make sure it tastes good.

While some of the recipes on my blog are more time-consuming than others, they are all tried and true easy-shmeezy!

Of course, one always has to consider the conditions under which they cook. Weather (humidity, heat, cold), different types of ovens, different quality of pots, etc. – all of which can affect your cooking and baking.

Nevertheless, as I said, if I can do it, anyone can!

Everyday pantry essentials (suggested)

As I learned to prepare more and more recipes, I also learned which basics and seasonings are good to have on hand to have the ability to make a dish on short notice and not have to run out to the store or borrow from a neighbor.

While I will admit that I am not always prepared when one of my kids will ask for eggplant parmesan or lasagna at the drop of a hat (which they have done), I dislike having to postpone making something just because the ingredients needed to make a reasonable meal were not readily available.

So, I maintain selection of what I consider “pantry essentials” in my refrigerator and on my shelves at all times.

Initially, many of the herbs and spices were useful to me only on occasion (having been purchased for a particular recipe) and I usually just had them around as leftovers. However, as I began to cook more of a variety, I was really glad to have them (hey, look, I already have that !) and that is how my list began.

While, of course, most of the essentials will not be needed just for any one recipe, at least some of them are needed for most recipes, and you would be surprised how many recipes be made just with this list. So, if you keep whatever you use regularly on hand, it can really save you time and effort.

Everyone has their favorite recipes, preferred seasoning, and just whatever they like to use to cook. Your own list should certainly reflect your own cooking tastes and style.

Just to give you an idea, the list below is a comprehensive list of what I normally keep on hand (this does not necessarily include what I keep for baking and there may be some overlap between the two lists as some items are used for both, such a brown sugar) and, of course, it reflects the meals and desserts that I like to make for my own family and guests.

Seasoning and flavoring:

  • salt (my receipes use regular table salt)
  • ground black or white pepper
  • granulated garlic or garlic powder (I prefer granulated)
  • onion powder
  • sweet paprika and/or sweet pepper flakes (paprika is ground dried red pepper, pepper flakes are crushed dried red pepper)
  • hot paprika, hot pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper (moderately spicy dried ground chili pepper) for those occasional spicy dishes
  • ground turmeric
  • ground cumin
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground Cloves (for pumpkin flavors)
  • sugar (granulated)
  • brown sugar
  • chicken consomme powder / beef bullion powder (regular or vegetarian)
  • onion soup mix
  • onion flakes (substitute for fresh onion – 3 tablespoons for 1 medium onion).
  • various herbs
  • additional spices to adapt taste to preference


  • oil / margarine / butter / cooking spray
  • coconut cream as a dairy free cream substitute
  • corn starch as a thickening agent
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • bread crumbs or Corn Flake crumbs (you can make these with your blender or food processor) for coating
  • condiments – such as ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce
  • tomato sauce/tomato paste/canned tomatoes – diced or crushed/pasta sauce
  • soy sauce
  • ready made pie crusts and dough (to just add filling)

We always have eggs in the fridge and onions, rice, and potatoes on our shelves as well as pasta.

In addition, having some fresh vegetables in the fridge, such as carrots, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers (red, green, etc), etc. can be very useful when putting together a quick, but delicious meal.

It is also a good idea to have some ground meat or chicken (breast, ground, or in parts), in the freezer for anyone who likes meat dishes in a snap.

Weather can have an affect on some of the spices and on the chicken consommé powder, so I keep as many of the seasonings in the refrigerator or freezer as I can and I keep everything tightly closed in containers (you will be surprised to know just how determined moths are at getting into sealed bags and how hot red pepper powder can attract little black bugs – YUCK!).

Therefore, store your items well.

Why are these pantry essentials beneficial to have on hand?

Personally, having the above ingredients in my kitchen is very advantageous, as I make a variety of dishes and use most of the items on the list regularly enough to warrant storing them. However, I do not store items for dishes that I make seasonally or only on rare occasions or those that spoil easily.

Whether or not it is workable for you depends on your cooking style, the space you have to store, and whether or not you mind running out to the store as needed. Of course, the more you cook and the more varied your recipes, the more you will use, and the more you will need.

A little about Israeli cuisine

Some people complain about cultural appropriation in cuisine when food from one country is attributed to another country.

However, national cuisine in itself is often a mingling of food from of a variety of cultures, often due to a change of ruling countries and a shifting of borders.

Turkish cuisine, for example, goes back to the Ottoman Empire and was a combination of several cultures under Ottoman rule.

When people move from country to country, they will take their cultures with them and their decendents may adapt their traditional cuisine with that of their new home and, if they don’t, others might.

Chinese food in US restaurants is quite often not really authentic Chinese, but American Chinese.

Americans have created a whole variety of types and styles of pizza and pineapple pizza was apparently created in Canada by a Greek immigrant. Yet, everyone still calls them all “pizza”, which originated in Italy.

Spaghetti is thought to be an Italian food, but many historians believe that it was brought back to Italy from China by Marco Polo.

Apparently, battered fried fish was from the Portuguese Jewish community as a sabbath food and ended up in England via Holland during the Spanish Inquisition, yet everyone attributes the food to the British.

…and don’t get me started on Hummus.

When one lives in a melting pot, such as the US or Israel, it is just unrealistic to expect that food from a particular culture won’t mingle with that of other cultures.

That being said, “Israeli cuisine” is basically Middle Eastern (as opposed to Eastern European food) that was brought to Israel by Jews when they fled or were expelled from Muslim countries and moved to Israel mostly after the declaration of the State of Israel (collectively known as Mizrahi Jews).

Recipes were passed from generation to generation and, although decades have passed, the foods are still known by the culture they came from and everyone seems to have their own way of making them.

That said, there are many variations of pretty much any “Israeli” recipe, because of background, custom, or even just taste. When choosing a recipe, one has to know what actually constitutes a main ingredient – what makes the dish what it is – and what is left up to individual taste.

I personally find it very arrogant and quite irritating when a blogger(not naming names) will put “authentic” in the title of an “Israeli” recipe, as if all the rest are mere imitations. What’s worse, is when that blogger makes the recipe with her own twist and then calls it authentic!

Adding more or less of a spice or adding a spice that is not in the recipe, does not make it less authentic, but calling it “authentic” and then adding unnecessary extra ingredients above and beyond what needs to be there, is misleading.

For example, “authentic” Israeli salad (what Israelis call Israeli salad) is diced tomatoes and cucumbers. Sometimes, they will add some oil salt and pepper, but THAT’S IT. Anything else does not have to be there, but if you leave out the cucumbers or the tomatoes, you no longer have an “Israeli salad”.

So, find the recipes you like with the ingredients you prefer, add your own twists, and בתאבון (literally translated, “with appetite”) !

A little about artichokes

The artichoke was first found in the Mediterranean growing wild, as it still does in some places today.

The artichoke (scientific name: Cynara Cardunculus) has a long history in the Mediterranean and stories have even been made up about the plant.

For example, there is a Greek myth that describes how the artichoke came into being.

Zeus, king of the Greek gods, who was known for his weakness with women, went to visit his brother, Poseidon, god of the seas.  The brothers met on the shores of the island of Zinari, where there was a young local girl, Cynara, collecting shells along the beach (some versions say she was bathing).

Zeus immediately fell in love with her and seduced her, won her heart, and brought her back with him to Mt. Olympus, home of the Greek gods.  Zeus granted her the status of a goddess on the condition that she would give up her life with mortals, including her parents.

Cynara at first loved the status that begin a goddess afforded her, but before long, her yearning for her parents became unbearable, so she snuck home to see her family.

When Zeus found out what she had done, he threw Cynara off Mt. Olympus and turned the poor girl into a thorny and ugly bush – the artichoke. 

The Greeks and Romans believed the artichoke was good luck for the birth of a son.

There is more than one idea for how the artichoke spread through Europe and to North America.  

One of these is that the Arabs brought the plant to Spain and then Spanish settlers brought the plant to North America in the 17th century.  

Another is that Catherine De Medici brought artichokes to France when she was 14 and married off to Henry II and from there it spread to other European countries and later the French brought the plant to North America.

The plant found a permanent home in Castroville, California, which is located 19 miles northeast of Monterey and nicknamed “The Artichoke Capital of the World”. The town currently provides the largest supply of artichokes in the United States.

Artichokes have health benefits, such as being rich in fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin C and vitamin K), minerals (such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron), and antioxidants (which are believed to help reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease), but are low in fat.

So, enjoy Easy Israeli Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms!

Yield: 4 servings

Easy Israeli Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

8 artichoke bottoms stuffed with ground beef in a gravy of cumin and turmeric in a cast iron pan.

Mediterranean dish of stuffed artichoke bottoms with ground beef and peas.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 8 artichoke bottoms (medium to large)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion (medium or large as desired), chopped or diced
  • 4 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt or chicken consommé powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon dried cilantro or 4 teaspoons fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • ground black pepper to taste (optional)
  • splash lemon juice (optional for a tangy taste)
  • oil for frying onions
  • water


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion powder, coriander, 1 teaspoon of salt or consumme powder, and 1 teaspoon of turmeric.
  2. Shape balls to fit inside the artichoke bottoms and push in so they stick. Set aside or put in refrigerator to chill.
  3. Lightly fry the onion with minimal oil in a pot or pan that will be large enough for all of the artichoke bottoms and not be on top of one another (if you used too much oil, drain excess). Add, the remaining, tumeric and salt or consumme powder, and cumin (and pepper, if desired). If you like this dish a little tangy, add a little lemon juice to taste. Mix well.
  4. Place artichoke bottoms in pan so they are not on top of one another.
  5. Fill the pot so with enough water to cover the filled artichoke bottoms.
  6. Cook on medium heat for 45 minutes or until you can slide a fork easily through the largest arichoke bottom. (Baste occasionally so the tops don't dry out as the water will somewhat evaporate as it becomes sauce. If you feel that too much has evaporated, add a little being careful not to dilute the sauce).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 554Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1328mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 16gSugar: 5gProtein: 44g

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