Vibrant Greek Stuffed Peppers have healthy dinners wrapped. Think of them as your personal healthy dinner present!
Colorful orange, green, and red bell peppers stuffed with rice, seasoned ground meat, feta, and chickpeas, this Mediterranean twist on my master Stuffed Peppers recipe offers every food group in a single forkful.
- Vegetables. Tender baked bell peppers are the vehicle, and tomatoes help make the filling juicy.
- Lean Protein. Ground meat (use lean ground beef, bison, or lamb for a traditional flavor) and chickpeas make these peppers filling.
- Whole Grains. Cooked brown rice, quinoa, or another whole grain of your choice provides fiber and nutrients.
- Good Stuff. Feta, herbs, and warm spices. Because for a healthy dinner to satisfy, it can and must taste fabulous.
Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired foods are (at the risk of offending Mexican Stuffed Peppers and Italian Stuffed Peppers), perhaps my all-time favorite flavor profile and showcasing of ingredients.
Over the last several years, the Mediterranean diet has been popularized and promoted for its long-term health benefits such as preventing heart disease, stroke, and even depression (read more about the research and benefits here).
All of the above is good news, and we have great news too: Mediterranean food is DELIGHTFUL.
From warm spices like cumin, coriander, and even cinnamon, to zesty herbs, to the way vegetables and whole grains are allowed to shine, Mediterranean food is as lively, aromatic, pleasurable, and delicious as it is nutritious.
About Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers are popular in many countries. They come from Spain, India, and North America mostly, though many other countries have developed iterations of the recipe.
In Greek food, vegetables that are stuffed then baked until tender are referred to as Gemista (or yemista), which means “filled with.” Most often, Gemista refers to Greek stuffed green peppers and tomatoes, that also includes mint, potato wedges, garlic cloves and red onions. This definitely makes me want to take a trip to Greece! The filling can be vegetarian or include meat.
How to Make Greek Stuffed Peppers
From classic iterations like Stuffed Zucchini to the less conventional Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers, I adore making stuffed vegetables because they are such a tasty and efficient way to serve up a healthy dinner.
Plus, the leftovers are fantastic, and you can 100% prep them in advance.
If you are looking for a nutritious, yummy meal to add to your dinner rotation, you are going to love these Greek stuffed peppers with feta!
- Bell Peppers. Once baked, the bell peppers are lightly sweet, tender, and the perfect flavor complement for the filling. Plus, with oodles of vitamins, bell peppers are a healthy choice.
- Ground Meat. This recipe can be made with lean ground beef, bison, or lamb. For those who haven’t tried bison before, it will taste very similar to ground beef. Ground lamb also tastes similar to ground beef, but it will have a slightly more gamey flavor.
- Spices. A mixture of garlic powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper gives this recipe bold flavor. The cayenne doesn’t make the peppers spicy, but you can omit it if you prefer yours without any spice or even add a dash of black pepper.
- Chickpeas. Not only are chickpeas delicious in Mediterranean recipes, but they’re also healthy. Chickpeas are packed with protein, helping make these peppers more satisfying.
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes. Rich, smoky flavor in the convenience of a can.
- Brown Rice. Helps make these stuffed peppers more filling and nutritious. Brown rice is rich in fiber and magnesium.
- Fresh Parsley. For beautiful presentation and freshness.
- Feta. Creamy, salty feta cheese was made to be paired with Mediterranean flavors.
- Hollow out the peppers and stand them up in a baking dish.
- Cook the beef and spices in a large skillet.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chickpeas and tomatoes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the rice, parsley, and part of the feta.
- Mound the filling inside the peppers.
- Cover and bake Greek stuffed peppers at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining feta.
- Bake for 15 minutes more. Top with parsley and DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. For the best results, cut the peppers into a few pieces first so that they warm evenly. Place stuffed peppers in the oven in a baking dish cut-side-up, and warm at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. You can also gently reheat leftovers in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Place cooked leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the recipe as directed up until baking (no need to preheat the oven or put water in the baking dish). Cover the peppers and refrigerate until you’re ready to add the water and bake.
Dice up leftover stuffed peppers and serve them over a bed of greens for a twist on a Greek salad, or toss them with Lemon Rice.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Dish. Ideal for making Greek stuffed peppers.
- Non-Stick Skillet. Non-stick skillets make for easy cleanup.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. A sharp, high-quality knife makes all the difference in recipe prep.
The next time you need an easy, healthy dinner that your family will adore (ummmm, tonight), turn to these Greek stuffed peppers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you will cook the meat before stuffing peppers for this recipe. While I have other stuffed pepper recipes that don’t require cooking the meat beforehand (like Crockpot Stuffed Peppers), it is necessary for this particular recipe.
No, you do not need to blanch the peppers before stuffing them. Blanching them first may cause them to become soggy during baking.
I prefer this recipe with ground beef, bison, or lamb to best highlight the Greek spices. However, if you prefer, you can swap ground turkey or ground chicken.
Yes, you can make low carb stuffed peppers. Use cauliflower rice instead of brown rice.
Greek Stuffed Peppers
- 8 large bell peppers (we like red or a mix of red, orange, and green)—look for ones with flat bottoms if possible as they are the easiest to stand up in the pan
- 1 pound lean ground beef, lamb, or bison
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1 (14-ounce) can reduced sodium chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes in their juices
- ¾ cup cooked brown rice bulgur, quinoa, or cauliflower rice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley plus additional for serving
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese divided
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour a little bit of water into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish, or a similar casserole dish that is large enough to hold the peppers with them standing up (if they all won’t fit in one dish, you can divide them between two and bake on the upper/lower thirds of the oven instead).
- Prepare the peppers: Cut the tops off of the bell peppers (cut as close to the top as possible to allow max space for stuffing). With your fingers, carefully remove and discard the ribs and seeds, leaving the walls of the peppers intact. Stand them up in the baking dish side by side so that they do not fall over.
- Prepare the filling: Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, salt, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne. Cook, breaking apart the meat, until the beef is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. If at any point the meat begins to stick to the pan or looks very dry (this will vary based on the fat content of your meat), drizzle in a bit of olive oil as needed.
- Stir in the chickpeas and diced tomatoes and their juices. Let simmer for 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the rice, parsley, and 2/3 cup feta. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. If the filling seems overly dry, splash in a few tablespoons of water (I added about 2 tablespoons).
- With a small spoon, mound the filling inside the peppers, pressing it down lightly with your fingers as needed so you can use it all (the peppers will be very full).
- Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup feta.
- Return them to the oven to bake until the feta is slightly browned and the peppers are fork tender, about 15 minutes more. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: For the best results, cut the peppers into a few pieces first so that they warm evenly. Place stuffed peppers in the oven in a baking dish cut-side-up, and warm at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. You can also gently reheat leftovers in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Place cooked leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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