Stuffed peppers are a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern staple, with many traditional variations of the dish. The best part about making homemade stuffed peppers is the control you have over what goes into them. For this recipe, I avoided the excessive use of salt and fat as well as the common addition of meat. This jasmine rice stuffed green pepper recipe makes for an unintimidating and unique vegan dish that will pique your senses and more than satisfy your palette. Enjoy!
I had jasmine rice on hand and figured it'd be fun to add to the mix, but feel free to replace the jasmine rice with white rice, brown rice, wild rice or quinoa, and get creative with the other add-ins. I chose green bell peppers for this recipe, but you can use yellow or red bell peppers as well.
Also, be sure to choose your cooking pot carefully, as it is important that the stuffed peppers are able to stand upright, supporting each other side by side, without falling over. The recipe calls for extra veggies in case your pot is too big to achieve this. Chop any vegetable you have around that is nearing its last leg and place the pieces in between the peppers to buffer them.
Jasmine Rice Stuffed Green Peppers
Makes 6 stuffed peppers
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 hot green pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup currants
- 6 green bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tomato, sliced
- Extra leftover veggies — hot green pepper, zucchini, tomato (optional)
- Fresh mint and parsley for garnish
Saute the onion and pepper in olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 2 minues, or until the onion softens.
Add the jasmine rice, currants, salt, and pepper. Stir for about one minute until evenly combined. Add 3 cups of water, stir, and then put a lid on the pot. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the water is completely absorbed. The rice won't seem completely finished because they will cook further after stuffed into the peppers.
While the rice cooks, cut off the top of each bell pepper -- about 1 inch deep -- to create a lid. Remove the seeds and flesh inside each pepper. When the rice is finished cooking, stuff each pepper to the top with it. Do not overstuff.
In a pot small enough to hug the peppers so that they are able to stand up straight when places side-by-side, add about 2 cups of water and the tomato paste and stir together on medium-low heat until the tomato paste has broken up and spread evenly. Place the peppers, top-side up into the pot. When you put the peppers into the pot, you don’t want the water to exceed three-quarters up the height of the pepper. Top each rice-stuffed pepper with a slice of tomato. Place the caps back on top of the peppers and close the pot's lid. My peppers tend to fall over when I place them upright in the pot, so I like to add other things between the peppers to help hold their balance. In addition to pouring in the leftover rice, I also like to add chopped hot peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini, depending on how much space I need to fill. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Cook for 30 minutes or until the peppers are tender, including the caps.
Serve aside a main dish or enjoy as a snack or light lunch. Garnish with parsley or mint. You can eat this cold or warm. I prefer cold, because the flavors intensify. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Aylin Erman