Vegetarian stuffed peppers are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser! Filled with tender potatoes, our healthy stuffed peppers are not only gluten-free but are also without tomato sauce, rice, and rice substitutes. Shall we?
The Balkans is known for its amazing peppers and many tasty pepper dishes.
A great example are today's delicious, no-rice, vegetarian stuffed peppers!
Locally known as paprike punjene krompirom, these Mediterranean-inspired healthy stuffed peppers are a delightful combination of hearty flavors and creamy texture.
Instead of the usual boring rice substitutes, here we have perfect pepper stuffing made from soft, velvety potatoes making each bite a heavenly experience.
Plus, this oven baked casserole doubles as a flavorful main course and a decadent side dish!
It bears repeating: today's healthy vegetarian stuffed peppers are without rice, without tomato sauce, and are completely gluten-free!
Here's the kick! Our scrumptious healthy stuffed peppers require only four ingredients + herbs and seasonings.
What peppers should you use for these healthy stuffed peppers? Depending on where you live, look for:
- sweet bell peppers (US, UK, NZ, AU),
- European sweet peppers or sweet Italian peppers (Western Europe),
- paprika babura (the Balkans),
- and capsicum (Asia).
(If you call them differently, please let us know in the comments!)
All of these are pretty much the same pepper, although they slightly vary in color. In taste, they range from sweet to somewhat hot.
The best peppers to stuff are on the sweeter side, smaller, and approximately the same size.
(Side note: we usually skip the dark green peppers as they tend to be sour.)
Russet, Yukon Gold, Kennebec, or Bintje work best. Dice them small so they bake thoroughly. Think the size of a quarter of a die.
- Heavy Cream:
Regular heavy cream is best. Exchange with a vegan equivalent as long as consistency and textures are similar.
Vegetable, sunflower, avocado, coconut (melt beforehand), and/or olive oil (not our favorite for this dish) are your choices here.
- Herbs and Seasonings:
Parsley is perfect for the stuffing! Also, use some stock powder, Vegeta, or a bouillon cube (crushed) to bring the flavors together. Finish it off with some black pepper for the kick.
(Tip: in Balkan cuisine black pepper is used to elevate potato taste. See burek.)
Wondering how to make these healthy stuffed peppers in the oven? You're just a few steps away from the most delicious dinner yet!
Step 1: Wash the peppers. Take one, push the stem in, then pull it out and discard. Repeat for all. Wash out the seeds keeping the peppers intact. Heat oven to 430°F (220°C).
Step 2: Peel and dice potatoes. Mix with herbs, seasonings, and 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream. Stuff each pepper to the top. Oil the baking pan generously.
Step 3: Transfer your healthy stuffed peppers to the baking pan. Add any remaining stuffing. Add a glass of water. Bake.
Step 4. Flip peppers around after 15 minutes so they can blush on the bottom side as well.
Step 5. About 30 minutes after you put the peppers in, lower heat to 400°F (200°C). Pour the remaining heavy cream over your vegetarian stuffed peppers and bake another 20-ish minutes.
Serving: serve with a dollop of sour cream (if desired), a side of fresh salad, and bread. Consider adding a side of meat, such as cutlets or breaded chicken for protein.
Storing: this dish is tastiest the day it's made. However, it keeps up to 24 hours in the fridge. Cover with foil and transfer to fridge when it cools down.
Reheating: reheat using your preferred heating method. Microwave and oven both work well.
Freezing: look at FAQ.
When thawed, baked peppers turn soggy, so we don't recommend freezing them.
If you opt to have these healthy stuffed peppers as a vegetarian dish, you can serve themadd a dollop of sour cream, a fresh or fermented salad, and homemade bread.
Otherwise, you can fortify this dish with some protein like cutlets, or breaded chicken.
No. They bake for long enough to achieve a perfect consistency. If you boil and bake them for the same dish they'll be overprocessed and soggy.
Peppers have a high water content. Other than consuming them fresh, or fermenting them, they will always be more "watery" than other vegetables.
Keeping that in mind, our vegetarian stuffed peppers have the perfect pepper consistency that combines softness and perfect gritty potato stuffing.
Don't add too much water and/ or heavy cream, however, or you may risk adding too much fluid to the casserole. Just follow our directions and these healthy stuffed peppers will be every foodie's dream.
All baked stuffed peppers are best when consumed hot. The only stuffed peppers that are tasty when cold are fermented peppers. (These are usually stuffed with cabbage or cheese.)
Baked peppers are mild and they depend on good seasonings to come into their own. Try our healthy stuffed peppers for an example of how peppers are anything but bland.
Other Stuffed Vegetables Recipes
- Oven Baked Stuffed Eggplant
- Oven Baked Stuffed Zucchini
- Sour Cabbage Rolls Sarma
- Stuffed Vegetable Medley
If you made vegetarian stuffed peppers with potatoes and liked it, please consider giving it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5-star) rating. This helps others find the recipe more easily!
Also, feel free to leave a comment (I read each one!), and don't forget to tag a photo #balkanlunchbox, or us @balkanlunchbox, on IG.
Prijatno and bon appetit!
(Adapted from the recipe by S. Hajdarević)
Easy Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- 4-5 potatoes larger
- 12-14 bell peppers smaller, the size of a ½ tennis ball, or 8-10 larger ones
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced, or 2 teaspoons dried
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon stock powder or a bouillon cube, crushed, or Vegeta
- 7-8 ounces heavy cream divided
- 4-5 tablespoons oil divided
- salt to taste
- Wash and decore the peppers. You can use a knife, or push the stem in with your thumb, and slowly pull it out and dicard. Wash out the seeds keeping the peppers in tact. Heat oven to 430°F (220°C).
- Peel potatoes and dice small (think the size of quarter of a die). In a medium sized bowl combine potatoes, herbs, seasonings, 2-3 tablespoons of oil, and 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream. Mix well. Stuff the peppers with the stuffing to the top. Generously oil your baking pan with remaining oil.
- Layer stuffed peppers into the pan. (Optionally, flip them around so they get a light film of oil). If you have stuffing left over, pour it in between the peppers. Add one cup of water and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
- By now the peppers will blush, so flip them upside down. Continue baking for another 15 minutes. (If they blushed too much you can lower the temperature to 400°F or 200°C. If not, keep the temperature the same.)
- About 30 minutes of baking lower the temperature to 400°F or 200°C (if you haven't already). Add the remaining heavy cream. Mix and flip peppers around if necessary. Return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Taste the potatoes to check whether they're done, and there should some liquid left in the pan.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream (if desired), a side of fresh salad, and bread. Consider adding a side of protein. Store: in the fridge for up to 24 hours. (Wait for the dish to cool down, cover with foil, and then transfer to the fridge.) Reheat using your preferred heating method. Do not freeze!