Stuffed Yellow Peppers, with Beef and Orzo

Remember when Stuffed Green Peppers were a thing of horror?

Usually over-cooked, limp, bitter green peppers with a rather tasteless stuffing, featuring Minute Rice,  smothered in faux cheese and tomato sauce, they were not a favorite.

Now I love stuffed peppers of any color and any flavor. I make them often in the fall.

Oriental Style has a stir-fried filling; Beef, Barley and Mushroom is finished with a yogurt sauce; Americas Style is closer to the traditional American version of my childhood, but uses quinoa.

This one uses some of the wonderful spices I bought in Morocco.

Stuffed Yellow Peppers, with Beef and Orzo

Total time: 45 minutes


  • 6oz (180gr) ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 slices ginger, minced (1 – 1 1/2 tbs)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon 
  • 2 cups (16oz, 450gr) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (3oz, 90gr) orzo
  • 1/3 cup Greek olives, chopped
  • 1/3 cup feta, crumbled
  • 2 nicely shaped yellow bell peppers

Stuffed Peppers with Beef and Orzo


  • Put a large pot of water on high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Cut peppers in half the long way (try to find the best flat sides before cutting so that they will lay nicely) and remove stem end and seeds.
  • When water is boiling drop peppers in and simmer for 8 minutes.
  • Remove (use tongs) and put into a baking dish that will just hold them (if possible).
  • Keep water boiling and add orzo, cook according to package directions (usually 8 – 10 minutes). Drain in a strainer if your colander has big holes.
  • In nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.   
  • Add onion and sauté until transparent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, mustard and cinnamon. Sauté 1 minute.
  • Add beef and sauté until cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks.
  • Add tomatoes, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until needed.
  • When ready remove from heat and stir in orzo, olives and feta. 
  • Spoon mixture into the pepper halves.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400F (200C).
  • Remove from oven and serve.

Note: If all the stuffing doesn’t fit into the peppers, keep warm over very low heat while peppers bake. Serve on the side.

Print Recipe

Did I forget to mention shopping in Marrakesh?

Yes, of course I bought pointy-toed slippers and wide-legged pants and earrings…. I did spend rather a lot of time in the souks, after all.

But it was the little ceramic bowls and the spices that kept drawing me back.The spices were amazing – such strong aromas that make anything I buy here in France positively insipid.

The cumin (yellow bowl) was double-bagged in plastic and I could still smell it through the suitcase. What a wonderful scent.

And the cinnamon (orange)….. I could move to Marrakesh just to get cinnamon like this all the time. I would eat oatmeal 3 times a day just to have this cinnamon on it.

I also bought saffron (blue & white bowl) and za’atar (herbs in blue bowl).


The za’atar in the souks is the herb (I learned) not the ‘condiment’ which is what I have purchased here in France in the past. The herb is similar to a wild, mountain thyme.

And it is….

Wild, I mean.

When the young man put it in the bag for me he made sure that I could tell the difference between the herbs and the sticks or stems that were in the mix.

He pulled out the leaves and said “za’atar”.

The he pulled out a stick and said “not za’atar”.

I may be a bit slow sometimes, but I think I got it.


Did I forget to mention shopping in Barcelona?


In the big market in Barcelona, Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria I found za’atar, the condiment. It’s in the jar in front and you can see the sesame seeds in it.

It does not have sticks.

Something that I couldn’t find in the souks in Marrakesh was sumac. No one had heard of it.

But I found it in Barcelona and very different from what I had previously from France. The tube is the sumac I bought here. The dark red crystals are what I bought in Barcelona.

Just when I think I know stuff…..

Since I was in Spain it only seemed right to buy a big tin of smoked paprika.

I’m ready for winter cooking.

Last update on November 15, 2015

3 thoughts on “Stuffed Yellow Peppers, with Beef and Orzo”

  1. I don’t know that I’ve ever had sumac, the seasoning. I have never seen it here either.

    I have never used green peppers when I’ve stuffed them. Though you know peppers and I don’t mesh, my husband likes them, but I use the yellow because they hold up to the heat of baking better and have a milder taste that he likes. I eat the stuffing sans pepper and it’s all good. I’ll have to try this one though because I can guarantee just from looking at the ingredients that he would love it.

    How are you? How is the country at large? Did the shock waves reach you or not so much?

  2. nightsmusic, only minor shock here – in comparison. There is a culinary sumac – it has a lovely, lemon flavor. I hardly ever use green peppers, although that used to be the standard. I think they’re bitter.

    Kate, that’s why I didn’t buy too much…. wouldn’t want it to go stale, and it’s such a short trip (relatively speaking)

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