In this relatively easy stuffed peppers recipe, colorful bell peppers make a “nest” for a tasty Mediterranean-style rice stuffing! Step-by-step tutorial below.
To people of the Mediterranean, the many flavors in which one vegetable can be dressed are as endless as the preparation methods! From raw preparations with a simple drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil, to stuffed vegetables, which are their very own class within Mediterranean cooking.
My mom’s signature stuffed peppers recipe is one of the classic comfort foods I have always loved. I’ve adapted her recipe with a few of my own tweaks here.
This easy stuffed bell peppers recipe begins with a gluten free, Mediterranean-style stuffing–spiced ground beef, rice, and chickpeas.
And while that’s cooking, I prepare my colorful bell peppers which act as the carrier for my flavor-packed stuffing. To get a little char and added smokiness, I like to grill the peppers briefly first. This is a completely optional step, but I think it makes a difference.
Once stuffed, the peppers finish cooking in the oven with a little bit of broth.
What to serve with Mediterranean-style stuffed peppers
This stuffed peppers recipe never fails to provide a stunning and delicious centerpiece. And there are a couple of ways that you can prepare it ahead, if you like (see the recipe notes).
To serve as a light entree, add a side of Greek tzatziki sauce or plain Greek yogurt along with a salad like, fattoush, Greek salad, or this simple 3-ingredient Mediterranean salad. My family will often enjoy a Mezze platter like this one to start with.
Step-by-step photos below the recipe.Print
- Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- salt + pepper
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley, more for garnish
- 1 cup short grain rice, soaked in water for 10-15 minutes, drained
- 1/2 tsp hot or sweet paprika
- 3 tbsp tomato sauce
- 2 1/4 cup water
- 6 bell peppers, any colors, tops removed, cored
- 3/4 cup chicken broth (or water)
- In a medium heavy pot, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Saute the chopped onions until golden. Now add the meat and cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned. Season with salt, pepper, allspice and garlic powder. Stir in the chickpeas and cook briefly.
- To the same pot, now add the parsley, rice, paprika and tomato sauce; stir to combine. Add the water and bring to a high simmer until liquid has reduced by one half.
- Turn the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and no longer hard nor too chewy.
- While the rice is cooking, heat a gas grill to medium-high. Grill the bell peppers for 10-15 minutes, covered. Be sure to turn the peppers occasionally so that all sides get charred. Remove from the grill and let cool briefly.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Assemble the bell peppers, open-side up, in a baking dish filled with 3/4 cup broth or water. Spoon in the cooked rice mixture to stuff each of the peppers to the very top.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and place it in the 350 degree F heated oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley, if you like. Serve immediately with your favorite salad and a side of Greek yogurt.
- To prepare ahead, you can follow the recipe up to step # 3 to prepare the rice. And you can also prepare the peppers. Store each separately in tight lid containers in the fridge. OR, follow the recipe up to step #6 assembling the stuffed peppers in a baking dish. However, do not add liquid. Instead, cover tightly and store in fridge. When ready, bring to room temperature, add liquid and bake at 350 F as instructed.
- Recommended for this recipe Our Private Reserve Extra Virgin Olive oil. And from our all-natural spice collection Allspice and Sweet Spanish Paprika
Step-by-step for stuffed belled pepper recipe:
Brown the meat with the onions. Add spices and chickpeas.
In the same pot, add parsley, rice, paprika and tomato sauce. Add water and bring to a high simmer until liquid has reduced by one half. Cover and cook for 20 mins.
Optional: grill the bell peppers for 10-15 minutes, covered, turning them occasionally to get that nice char on all sides.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your baking dish adding 3/4 cup broth or water. Set the bell peppers in the dish, open side up. Spoon in the cooked rice mixture to stuff each of the peppers to the top.
Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven add a little more parsley, if you like. Serve immediately with your favorite Mediterranean salad and a side of Greek yogurt.
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*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2015 and has recently been updated.