Move over traditional stuffed peppers. This budget friendly and flavorful lentil stuffed peppers is the new kid in town and it is here to stay! You’ll be adding these to your monthly rotation in no time.
What You’ll Need For Lentil Stuffed Peppers
- Uncooked rice
- Uncooked lentils
- Vegetable broth (I always use Better than Bouillon Paste for broth or I make my own)
- Oil such as avocado or olive
- Medium onion
- Tomato paste (see recipe for how to use leftover paste)
- Cloves of garlic
- Fire roasted canned tomatoes
- Green bell peppers
- Monterey cheese
How to Make
The first step is to combine the uncooked rice, lentils and broth together in a pot. As it gets brought to a boil stir it occasionally so the rice and lentils don’t get stuck. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cover it with a lid. Allow to cook for twenty minutes.
While it simmers, cut the tops off of the bell pepper. To do this, cut vertically into the pepper and pull off the top gently so you don’t knock off the seeds. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and start sautéing them in oil. Saute for 3-5 minutes and add tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, it will be thick. Add the cooked lentils and rice to the pan with the onions. Combine well and stir in the can of tomatoes.
Spray your 9×13 pan with cooking spray and place the bell peppers inside. Fill each pepper with equal parts of the mixture and if you have left over mixture, pour it into the pan between the peppers. Top with cheese and bake!
Certainly there are things you can always do to boost a meals’ nutrient density. If you want to add more minerals and a cheesier flavor, add in some nutritional yeast to your mixture. I would add about one fourth cup.
Another option, since this recipe is not high in quality fats, is to mix in some flax meal or hemp hearts to the mixture.
Can you swap in meat instead of lentils?
Absolutely! One cup of uncooked lentils is an equivalent to one pound of meat. Try ground turkey, pork, beef, or chicken. I recommend cooking the during the onion and garlic step.
How do I make sure my peppers are cooked?
I check them when the timer goes off by cutting into one with a sharp knife. If you can easily run the knife down the side of the pepper, it’s ready. If not, continue baking and checking the dish in five minute increments.
How do you cut the peppers to avoid the seeds?
Keep the pepper upright and cut straight down the top as if you’re carving a wide opening for a pumpkin. Once the cut is complete, gently pull the top off. Tap the pepper upside down to remove any seeds that have slipped out.
If you want to see a demonstration of this, head to my Healthy Kitchen Community by clicking here. In the community group I do monthly cooking demos and share nutrition in the kitchen inspiration every week.
Do they reheat well
They do reheat well in the microwave but it is recommended to cut them in half so the mixture gets cooked evenly in the microwave. You can also cut the peppers up and add the pepper and stuffed mixture into a pan to reheat like a scramble. Top with scrambled eggs and enjoy them for breakfast!
Personally, one of my favorite pairings if I’m not sure what to set out with a meal is bread/toast and butter. It’s a classic, littles (if you have a toddler like me) usually like it, and it can really complete a meal. Set out anything else you like, such as apple sauce on the side.
Other Dinner Recipes To Try
- Sante Fe Salad
- Shrimp Fajitas and Cilantro Lime Rice
- Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
- Pumpkin Sweet Potato Soup
Lentil Stuffed Peppers
- 1 9×13 pan
- 1 Frying pan or skillet
- 1 stock pot
- 6 green bell peppers
- ½ cup uncooked rice
- 1 cup uncooked lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion white or yellow, medium size
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 14.5 oz canned tomatoes I recommend fire roasted
- 2 tsp oregano
- 4 oz Monterey jack cheese
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- cooking spray
- Bring broth to a boil and add lentils and rice. Return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Saute in oil. Add tomato paste, oregano and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste. Stir well it will be pasty.
- Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove any seeds.
- Mix cooked rice/lentils with the onion mixture and stir in the can of fire roasted tomatoes.
- Place the peppers in a greased 9×13 pan. Fill with mixture. Extra mixture can go along the bottom of the pan in between the peppers.
- Distribute cheese across the top of each bell pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes and remove to check doneness. If the pepper isn't fully cooked yet, bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Freeze the left over tomato paste in an ice cube tray to use later. Each ice cube equals a tablespoon of paste.
- The left over mixture is great reheated with the pepper and eaten whole or chopped up and sautéed in a pan. Add scrambled eggs for an easy leftover breakfast.
- Swap in one pound of ground meet and cook with the onion/garlic mixture if not using lentils