Traditional Stuffed Red Peppers


Traditional Stuffed Green Peppers are one of the more maligned dishes that grace the American table.

In many cases justifiably so.

I have seen Stuffed Green Peppers in cafeterias and diners that don’t even vaguely resemble anything that I would want to eat.

And I have tasted some that lived up (or should I say down to) that image. They were soggy, bitter, and disgusting.

These are not those.

These are good…. Fantastic, in fact.

First – they’re red peppers, not green. Green peppers are not ripe and they’re bitter. If you like that, fine. If not use ripe red, yellow or orange peppers.

Second – parboil them before stuffing and cook whatever you’re filling them with. Then you just have to reheat and it won’t all turn to mush.

Traditional Stuffed Red Peppers

Total time: 45 minutes


  • 7oz (200gr) sausage, removed from casings if needed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240gr) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup, (8oz, 240ml) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup (3.3oz, 975gr) Basmati
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) beef stock
  • 1/2 cup(2oz 60gr)  shredded cheese 
  • 2 medium  / large nicely shaped bell peppers, any color  4-sided peppers work best, cut in half, cleaned

Stuffed Red Peppers


  • Cook rice in stock until done, about 15 minutes, or according to package directions.
  • Put a large pot of water on high heat and bring to a boil.
  • When water is boiling drop peppers in and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove (use tongs) and put into a baking dish.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté paprika and cumin briefly.
  • Add garlic, celery and onion, sauté until tender, 5 – 7 minutes.
  • Add sausage and sauté until cooked through breaking it up as it cooks.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, basil and simmer 5 – 10 minutes, until it thckens.
  • Add rice stir well.
  • Remove from heat and spoon mixture into the pepper halves.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400F (200C).
  • Remove foil from peppers, spoon tomato sauce over and top with cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and serve.

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There are other ways these aren’t quite traditional.

The first recipe I had for stuffed peppers used ground beef, not sausage. Nothing wrong with that but I like the additional flavor one gets from a good sausage.

It also used Minute Rice. Is Minute Rice still available? Nothing wrong with that either but I like the flavor of Basmati.

It didn’t used chopped tomatoes or paprika or cumin or, or, or….

You get the idea. Like everything else in life the end result depends on what is used to achieve it. In this case – if you want lots of flavor use lots of flavor.

And be kind to your ingredients.

Last update on September 1, 2017

2 thoughts on “Traditional Stuffed Red Peppers”

  1. Yes, they still make Minute Rice; I haven’t bought any in maybe 35 or more years, brown rice is my staple (yes to Basmati). I pronounce this totally traditional if you are going for good healthy not just fast tasteless food. And I am totally with you on red over green!

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