Couscous Stuffed Red Peppers

A fresh late-summer dinner. Red peppers are stuffed with a delicious mix of lemony kale, mint, pine nuts, and cilantro. Vegan, gluten free option.

I’m not always good at simple. Looking back at some of recipes I’ve posted recently, I realized that I heavily rely on my Vitamix and my food processor. To me, these things are not a hassle, but “old me”, (in a previous life, I never used to cook), would completely skip over a recipe if it asked me to drag out my food processor. Even if i could find all of the pieces for it, I wasn’t interested in the mess and the cleanup.

So the other night, I set out to make something that didn’t require fancy ingredients or any kind of gadget. This stumped me for a few minutes and then I revisited Nigel Slater’s book, Tender… which I think is the perfect book when you need “less-is-more” kind of inspiration. His recipes don’t require exact measuring, and they serve as more of a guide than a precise process.

In lazy late-summer spirit, I settled on this herb-packed roasted red pepper recipe with  yogurt sauce. I realize the ingredient list here doesn’t look super short, but I promise it goes quickly. And feel free to put away the measuring spoons… it’s ok eyeball your ingredients and alter things as you wish.

adapted from Nigel Slater’s Tender

5.0 from 1 reviews

Couscous Stuffed Red Peppers

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
For the yogurt sauce:
  • 1 individual-sized container plain yogurt (about ½ cup)
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • Splash agave
  • Pinch paprika
  • Mint, small handful chopped
  • Cilantro, small handful chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
For the stuffed peppers:
  • 2 red bell peppers, halved, seeds and ribbing removed
  • ¾ cup Israeli couscous (pre-cooked), or quinoa or other grain
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 big handfuls baby greens (I had baby kale)
  • Mint, small handful chopped
  • Cilantro, handful chopped
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, lemon zest and juice, agave, paprika, mint, cilantro, and pinches of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Place the peppers cut side open on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
  4. Cook the couscous in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes). When it’s finished, drain and set aside. Toss it in a bit of olive oil so the little pearls don’t stick together.
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, pour a few splashes of olive oil and toss in the scallions, paprika, garlic, and pinches of salt and pepper. Stir a bit, then add the lemon zest and greens. Stir some more to let the greens wilt down a bit. Add a big squeeze of lemon juice and stir in the herbs, toasted pine nuts, currants, and red pepper flakes. Add the couscous. Mix together until the herbs and greens are just wilted and everything is combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. (If it’s a bit too bold and spicy at this point, that’s ok – once you bake it with the sweet peppers, the flavors will dial down).
  6. Fill the peppers. If all of the filling doesn’t fit, it’s ok, just set the remainder aside and scoop it on top at the end.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for about 10 -12 minutes. Alternatively, if you like your peppers much softer, cover them with foil and bake longer. I prefer my cooked peppers to still have a little bite. I pre-baked the peppers so the herbs in the filling wouldn’t burn – I find, unless you cover your stuffed peppers with a layer of cheese, grain fillings become a bit dry if cooked the entire way with the peppers.
  8. Remove peppers from oven. Spoon on any of the remaining couscous mixture. Top with the yogurt sauce and any extra herbs.
  9. The sauce is also delicious on some whole grain toasted baguette, which I served with our meal.




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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Rachel Cantin

    Very good! Unfortunately, I made the yogourt sauce and forgot it on the counter when I served it. It would definitely have been better with it, but it was still good!

  2. Elizabeth

    I made this tonight, in one yellow pepper and three Anaheim peppers (which I’d grown in my yard), and it was delicious! Thank you for the recipe.

  3. I am a big fan of quinoa stuffed peppers so seeing this recipe brings me alot of joy! Really beautiful pictures!

  4. Noelle

    Delish! I made this for dinner last night using regular couscous as I couldn’t find Israeli at the last minute and scaled it up a bit to feed 6. Really paprika forward (yum) and easy to throw together. Thanks!

  5. Jess from

    I just stumbled across your website via JustB and it’s been so fun to explore. The photography is beautiful and so is the design. I’m definitely going to be trying this recipe. I love Israeli couscous!

  6. Jess from

    Yum – herbed yogurt! Trader Joe’s makes this lovely grain mix with couscous that I’ve been searching for inspiration to use. This is it!

  7. Bre

    I am totally making these this week. I might add some toasted walnuts and cheese…mmmm I’m hungry already!

  8. süsk from

    Oh, my! I’ve somehow stumbled over your blog while trying to convert 4.5oz of cashews into grams (us silly Europeans), and HOLYCRIPES this is like byond food porn- all surrounded with a comfortable amount of white space and splendid photos. Design+food+eating food? Yesplease!

    In other words? I’m in heaven. And totally bookmarking now. God, yum! Thanks! For existing! Too many exclamations! Eye dart.

    • jeanine

      thanks! This might be the best comment I’ve received yet 🙂

  9. I’m in love with this recipe! Yum! I have to try it this week. So many delicious things in one lovely little pepper. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    ps. Have a wonderful long weekend! xo

  10. Kathryn from

    Tender is one of my favourites too and such an inspiration (just like your blog).

  11. Kelsey from

    Couldn’t agree more about Tender.

  12. See once again, we’re thinking alike – I just posted a stuffed peppers recipe this morning. haha I love all of the color in your photos, these look delicious! As usual your photos are just plain incredible!

    • jeanine

      I know I saw that! Yours look delicious 🙂

  13. Stephanie

    Some chickpeas and a little cumin added to this would add a little extra protein. Looks amazing!

  14. Nicole from

    I immediately thought of Tender when I saw these pictures. I’ve had Nigel’s recipe on my list to make, so hopefully I’ll try it this weekend.

  15. Yes! I got a food processor a few short years ago, but now I can’t imagine living without it. Just today I was feeling guilty, too, about posting too many recipes using it.

  16. Christina from

    I like the wrinkles on the red pepper (or ‘capsicum’ as we call it).

  17. megan from

    these look delicious! i wish i was having these for lunch today… and i completely agree, i use my food processor most of the time. it has changed the way i cook for sure.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.