The beauty of stuffing bell peppers and poblanos is their versatility. You may recall my popular red pepper rice bowls stuffed with brown rice, black beans, corn, and cilantro and topped with a creamy avocado sauce. Or maybe your were a fan of the more recent vegan chile rellenos with lentils and a walnut taco meat that’s since become a household favorite.
Whether using sweet or spicy peppers, the key is starting with a hearty base – either brown rice, quinoa, a whole grain like bulgur, millet or farro, or beans and legumes work well . From there, add whatever roasted or sautéed veggies your have on hand along with some fresh herbs and/or spices, and if you’d like, toasted nuts. You really can’t go wrong.
For my latest stuffed peppers recipe, I opted for a brown rice base, and because I’ve been on a mushroom kick lately, I added plenty of cremini mushrooms. To boost nutrients and flavor, I also folded in a big bunch of baby arugula and diced carrots, and for a little crunch, toasted pine nuts. Of course, I’m always generous with the onion and garlic.
You’ll need a large sauté pan or work, and start by sautéing the onion, then adding the and garlic and carrots, followed by the mushrooms, and then the arugula. From there, you’ll fold in the cooked brown rice and mix gently with the parsley and pine nuts. You can either cut your peppers in half like I did with my previous recipe, or “core” the peppers and remove just the stem and seed like I’ve done here. After stuffing with the rice and veggie mix, you’ll cover with foil and bake the peppers in a pyrex or ceramic cooking dish for about 45 minutes to an hour until the peppers are roasted and slightly charred.
Finally, be sure to top your peppers with a good sauce like my avocado crema or one of these delicious salsas. I went with the grilled tomato and chipotle salsa and the flavors worked perfectly with the dish.
Note: this recipe serves about 8 adults, so you may want to half the amount of ingredients, but the peppers do make for great leftovers for lunch the following day.
Let me know what you think, and please, send me your favorite variety of stuffed peppers. As always, I love hearing from you.
- 8-10 sweet bell peppers, stems and seeds carefully removed
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1-2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 pound Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- salt and pepper
- 1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped (save some for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onion. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and carrots and sauté for another few minutes.
- Fold in the arugula until just slightly wilted.
- Add the cooked brown rice and gently mix well.
- Add the pine nuts and parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill the peppers with the rice and mushroom mix and place in a roasting pan or pyrex dish. Top with foil and cook for 45 mins to 1 hour until the peppers are cooked and softened.
- Pour some roasted tomato salsa on each plate and carefully place a stuffed pepper over the salsa. Top with remaining parsley for garnish.