This Stuffed Peppers recipe is inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean. It is easily modifiable for different meats and cheeses and I give you the details. So easy, really flavorful and a simple meal to prepare, Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers will become a go-to meal for you.
Mr. Saucy and I both love stuffed peppers and I have made them for us for years. I’m not sure why I haven’t published this recipe before but, here it is, finally!
As I have said, if you’ve been following me, we adore lamb. This dish is perfect for the use of ground lamb. That said, if you’re not a lamb fan, just substitute ground beef – it’s wonderful in these also.
Then there is the cheese…I use either goat cheese, or feta, depending on what I have on hand. They are both delicious in the peppers, and in combination with the other herbs, spices and flavorings.
Like many of my recipes, I have used vermouth. Cooking with alcohol enhances flavors and I always have vermouth on hand (as well as brandy, sherry, red and white wines). You can substitute a dry white wine for the vermouth, but I encourage you to get some vermouth to keep in your kitchen to use in your cooking.
All of these things that you can substitute just prove the point that you really can make this recipe your own.
Many recipes call for pre-cooking peppers before stuffing them. I don’t do this step. The reason I don’t is, even though the stuffing ingredients are all cooked before they are put in the peppers, the peppers will have the opportunity to cook in the oven. Once the peppers are stuffed, they are placed in a baking dish, along with some white wine, covered and baked. The peppers steam in the wine; this allows them to cook, but not cook to mush (or too much). They retain a nice texture and bite. Also, because the dish is covered, the stuffing in the peppers stays nice and moist. There is little worse than crunchy couscous. *wink*
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try.
- 3 large sweet bell peppers, halved, seeded and membranes removed
- pound ground meat (I use lamb, but ground beef works fine)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1½ teaspoons oregano leaves
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon dry marjoram leaves
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ground black pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup dry vermouth
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ cup pearl (Israeli) couscous
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (or feta)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large skillet (with a lid), over medium heat, place the ground meat, onion and garlic.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula, break up the meat.
- Cover the pan and allow the meat to brown (covering will also help so soften the onion and garlic more quickly).
- Cook for about 7 minutes (or until the meat is completely cooked).
- Drain off most of the fat.
- Return the skillet to the heat and add the oregano, coriander, thyme, marjoram, salt, vermouth, water and couscous.
- Stir to combine and place the cover back on the pan.
- Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until the couscous has absorbed the moisture and is tender.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Stir in the crumbled cheese.
- Spoon the meat mixture into the pepper halves and place them in a shallow baking dish.
- Pour the wine around the peppers into the bottom of the baking dish, cover with foil and place into the preheated oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve hot.