Vegetarian stuffed peppers are one of my go-to summer dinners. They’re so easy that when I posted this picture on instagram last week, I got tons of emails asking for the fully measured recipe. Ask and you shall receive, so here it is: my current favorite recipe for vegetarian stuffed peppers. But don’t let the measurements fool you – feel free to eyeball your ingredients if you don’t feel like breaking out the measuring cups. This recipe is simple, forgiving and very customizable.
Don’t have orzo? Use couscous. Gluten-free? use millet or quinoa. Don’t have mint? Try basil, oregano, or other herbs and spices you like. I put some chopped up kale in my vegetarian stuffed peppers this time, but you can try roasted broccoli or zucchini instead. Don’t have red peppers? Well then go find another recipe! (kidding: you can use Anaheims, poblanos, or any mild stuff-able pepper).
You have two options for baking these. The first is to fill your peppers, smother them with cheese and bake until the cheese bubbles on top. The second is a lighter version (pictured); I skip the melty cheese but roast the peppers fully before filling them so that the orzo filling doesn’t dry out in the oven.
- ½ cup uncooked orzo
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3-4 kale leaves, stems removed, chopped
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Juice and zest of 1 small lemon
- Big handful of chopped fresh mint
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- White cheddar or pepper jack cheese, to melt on top (optional)
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Finely chopped mint, basil or oregano
- Squeeze of lemon
- Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the orzo pasta for about 7-9 minutes, or until al dente.
- Meanwhile, roast your bell peppers. Slice them in half and remove the seeds and ribbing. Drizzle each half with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place cut side up and roast them for 20 minutes or until they become soft and golden brown around the edges.
- Prepare your filling. In a large glass bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, kale and chickpeas. When your orzo is al dente, drain it and add it (warm) to the bowl and toss. Stir in the feta cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, mint, red pepper flakes and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Fill the red pepper halves with the orzo salad and serve.
- Optional: add a layer of white cheddar or pepperjack cheese on top of your stuffed peppers and pop them under the broiler (or a hot hot oven), until the cheese is bubbling and browned.
- Optional: mix together the yogurt sauce ingredients and serve on the side.
Make it vegan: skip the cheese and add something tangy like olives or sun dried tomatoes.