Need ideas to make it a meal? Here’s what to serve with stuffed peppers: all best ideas that don’t use up oven space!
Making stuffed peppers and not sure what to serve with them? It’s a great question. The challenge to serving stuffed peppers is this: how do you find side dishes ideas that complement them without using your oven? The oven is tied up with making the peppers, so you’ll need to rely on side dishes you can prep without it.
Here are all our best side dish ideas for what to serve with stuffed peppers! You’ll want to focus on easy salads, sauteed vegetables, and make ahead breads to round out your meal. You can also opt for any whole grain that’s not stuffed inside your pepper.
Note: The side dishes below are selected to pair with Italian-style or Mediterranean-style stuffed peppers. If you’re making Mexican stuffed peppers, there are many more options! Go to Best Sides to Go with Tacos for more inspiration.
And now…what to serve with stuffed peppers!
Favorite stuffed pepper recipes
Of course, we couldn’t leave you with only what to serve with them! Here are some of our best stuffed pepper recipes:
- Classic Stuffed Peppers A hit every time! The roasted bell peppers are filled to the brim with melty cheese and Italian flavor. (Scroll down for the recipe.)
- Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Recipe A colorful and delicious healthy dinner, full of Mediterranean flavors like lemon, parsley and feta.
- Mexican Style Stuffed Peppers These have a simple Mexican inspired filling that packs big flavor!
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers The zesty filling features rice, corn, black beans, and of course: gooey cheese.
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 filling (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. 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.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian inspired
Keywords: What to serve with stuffed peppers
More sides to go with…
Need more side dish ideas? We’ve got you covered:
- Sides to Serve with Soup
- What to Serve with Mac and Cheese
- Best Sides to Serve with Enchiladas
- What to Serve with Lasagna
- Sides to Go with Salmon
- What to Serve with Scallops
- What to Serve with Crab Cakes
- Best Sides to Go with Tacos
- Sides to Go with Pizza
- What to Serve with Chili
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.