This stuffed peppers recipe is a hit every time! The roasted bell peppers are filled to the brim with melty cheese and Italian flavor.
For the mushroom walnut crumbles (or use 1 pound ground beef and the spices; see Step 2 below)
- 1 cup whole walnuts
- 4 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (or coconut aminos for soy free)
- 1 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon each fennel seeds, dried oregano, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
For the stuffed peppers
- 6 multi-colored bell peppers (red, yellow and green)
- 3/4 cup dry short grain rice or 2 cups cooked (reheated to warm with a splash of water and a pinch of salt)
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce (purchased or homemade)
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella balls (or cut into bite-sized chunks)
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, and/or Italian panko or bread crumbs (omit for gluten-free)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook the rice: Start the rice to cook. (See Make Ahead Tips in the notes below*.)
- Pre-bake the bell peppers: Wash the peppers and cut them in half lengthwise; remove the stems and seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the peppers on top. Bake with the cut side down for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip to cut side up, draining any with water. Sprinkle with salt (about a heaping 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt divided between the peppers). Bake another 15 minutes until tender, then remove and stuff (see below).
- Meanwhile, make the filling: Roughly chop the mushrooms. Place them in a large food processor, then add the walnuts and tamari, ketchup, spices, and salt. Pulse gently multiple times until everything is evenly chopped, being careful not to over process (or it will be too mushy). If you don’t have a food processor, use a chef’s knife to roughly chop everything and place in a bowl with the spices.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add the walnut filling and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring until it releases all of its liquid then becomes dry and browned. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Ground beef variation: Drizzle olive oil into a skillet. Add the beef with the spices and salt and pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes until browned, then drain the fat. Taste and add additional salt as needed.
- Stuff the peppers: Once the peppers are pre-baked, mix the filling from the previous step with 2 cups cooked rice (measure it), pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, and kosher salt. (If desired, add a mix-in like drained capers or chopped olives; see above.) Taste and add additional salt if necessary. Spoon the filling into the peppers.
- Bake the peppers: Top with a handful of shredded mozzarella, and grated Parmesan and/or panko or breadcrumbs. Place the peppers back onto the parchment lined baking sheet and bake 20 minutes until the cheese melts. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.
*Make ahead tips: You can make the rice in advance, but make sure to reheat it with a splash of water and a pinch of salt before assembling the peppers. You can make the entire filling in advance and re-warm before stuffing the peppers. You also can pre-bake the peppers in advance, then fill and bake them day of. Finally, you can make the entire pepper recipe in advance and refrigerate: then top with breadcrumbs and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until warmed through and the cheese is melted.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian inspired
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: Stuffed peppers, Stuffed peppers recipe, Stuffed bell peppers, How to make stuffed peppers