Easy Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

These vegetarian stuffed peppers are one of our favorite summer dinners! Filled with an herbed orzo & kale salad, they're light, healthy & easy to make.

Easy Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are one of my go-to summer dinners. In fact, 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 vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe is simple and customizable!

  • If you don’t have orzo, use couscous.
  • Gluten-free? Millet or quinoa would also work well in place of the orzo.
  • And basil, oregano, or your favorite herbs would be a good substitute for the mint.

I put some chopped kale in mine this time, but you can add spinach, roasted broccoli, or zucchini instead. And if you don’t have red peppers, go find another recipe! (Kidding: you can use Anaheims, poblanos, or any mild stuff-able pepper – even mini ones!).

You have two options for baking these stuffed peppers:

  1. Fill your peppers, smother them with cheese, and bake until the cheese bubbles on top.
  2. For a lighter version (pictured), skip the melty cheese but roast the peppers before filling them so that the orzo filling doesn’t dry out in the oven.

Once you make these vegetarian stuffed peppers, please let me know how they turn out for you in the comments. I hope you love them as much as we do. Enjoy!


4.6 from 5 reviews
Easy Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe is one of our favorite summer dinners! Filled with herbed orzo and kale, they're light, healthy & easy to make.
Author:
Serves: 2 as a main, 4 as a side
Ingredients
  • 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)
herbed yogurt sauce (optional):
  • ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Finely chopped mint, basil or oregano
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the orzo pasta for about 7-9 minutes, or until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, roast your bell peppers. Slice them in half and remove the seeds and ribbing. Then, 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.
  4. Next, 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.
  5. Finally, fill the red pepper halves with the orzo salad and serve.
  6. 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.
  7. Optional: mix together the yogurt sauce ingredients and serve on the side.
Notes
Make it gluten-free: use millet or quinoa instead of orzo
Make it vegan: skip the cheese and add something tangy like olives or sun dried tomatoes.

 

18 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Kathryn from londonbakes.com
    09.01.2015

    This is pretty much perfect summer eating in my book. Simple but just so delicious.

  2. daniella
    09.01.2015

    I can’t wait to make! Adding it to menu this week! Also, gluten free orzo is now available in most markets. I stock up on it when I see it.

    • jeanine
      09.01.2015

      oh you’re right – I have been seeing gluten free orzo – so exciting how many new GF pastas are out now!

  3. Dimitris from foodblogstarter.com
    09.02.2015

    These look amazing, I will definitely try them. I usually cook stuffed peppers a bit differently. I don’t precook the orzo (or rice) I mix it with the blended flesh of tomatoes and a bit of vegetable broth and fill the peppers up to 2/3rds and then let it cook in the oven inside the peppers with those liquids.
    I hope that makes sense.

  4. Allyson from consideringtheradish.wordpress.com
    09.02.2015

    How clever to roast them first instead of later. My mom used to make stuffed peppers all the time, but I was never a huge fan of them- they were always filled with ground beef and rice, which was never my thing. This might be the recipe to change my mind.

  5. Elena from bittemehrdavon.com
    09.02.2015

    Oh these colours! 🙂
    Love this end of summer dish!
    xoxo
    Elena

  6. These look incredible! I’ve never put chickpeas in stuffed peppers, what a great way to add protein. I’d eat these for dinner anytime!

    • jeanine
      09.02.2015

      Ha, I have a way of sneaking chickpeas into so many things – it’s my go-to (quick) protein 🙂

  7. Looks like the perfect dish to cook with my fresh peppers! Subbing quinoa for orzo sounds great – but of course, I will try this first with orzo 🙂

  8. Foodie from bestfoodsteamers.com
    09.02.2015

    Looks delicious!

    Do you think I could get a similar result by putting all of the ingridients inside the pepper and just steaming it for an hour or so?

    Thanks!

  9. Emily from instructables.com
    09.03.2015

    Such a great idea, I’m gonna make it for dinner tonight. I am trying to eat less acidic foods lately, but I’m having a hard time. I love cooked food, but most of my recipes include meat or are fried/ baked heavy meals. It’s difficult for me to find a meal to cook, but a lighter one and with no meat if possible. This is a true treasure, thank you Jeanine 🙂

  10. Meredith
    09.05.2015

    Made this for my boyfriend and I and added chicken sausage (he isn’t a big vegetarian fan) and used quinoa instead of orzo. It was amazing and we both loved it and we can’t wait to make it again. I never rate or comment on recipes so this is really a testament to how good it is.

    • jeanine
      09.05.2015

      Ha, thanks for commenting!! So glad you liked it and could adapt easily to your preferences 🙂

  11. Actually I cooked it and whole family liked it! :_ Thanks 😀

  12. Kayla B
    06.22.2017

    Loved every bite of these peppers! I added the olives which gave it the perfect tangy touch. I highly suggest making the greek yogurt sauce to help with the moisture. 🙂

  13. Mandy
    07.21.2019

    Hi Jeanine & Jack, tonight we had your Vegetarrian Stuffed Peppers with your Crispy Baked Zucchini. It was delicious. I picked the Courgettes(as we call Zucchini here in England) and the Mint from my garden which makes it extra special. My husband and I loved these recipes and they are definitely ones to cook again in our house.
    Thank you so much for the inspiration you gave me to make these dishes. I love your website and your photography and I’m thinking I really should buy your cookbook soon.

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.