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These delicious and healthy Italian Stuffed Peppers are made with brown rice, zucchini, spinach, diced tomatoes, and mozzarella. They’re great for a weeknight dinner and can be prepped in advance or eaten as leftovers!
It’s easy to pigeonhole vegetable recipes as side dishes or salads, but let’s not forget that veggies can shine as the primary base of a recipe!
Using a spiralizer to make vegetable “noodles” is one of my favorite ways to create a fully veggie-based dish (see: Spiralized Golden Beet Salad), but I also love making veggie patties (see Sweet Potato Black Bean Patties) or, better yet, stuffing vegetables!
So many of the veggies that are in season during the summer are great for stuffing, but bell peppers work especially well. They’re wide and hollow enough to serve as the perfect vehicle for other nutritious foods.
Plus, roasting peppers brings out their sweetness and enhances their flavor. So if you’re looking for a tasty, colorful, healthy, and vegetable-based recipe for your next meal, you’ve come to the right place.
How to Make Italian Stuffed Peppers
To make stuffed peppers, you can either slice the peppers in half lengthwise or cut off the tops and keep the rest intact.
I personally like slicing the peppers in half lengthwise, then removing the seeds and stems. It’s easier to “stuff” them with a filling if they’re prepared this way.
After you prep your peppers, make the filling by sautéing some onion and zucchini in garlic and olive oil. Add diced tomatoes, spinach, oregano, basil, and cooked brown rice, and cook for a few more minutes.
Stuff each pepper half with a large spoonful of this filling and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top. Pop the peppers in the oven, and dinner can be served in 25 minutes!
You can sub any whole grain for the brown rice in this recipe. To make these peppers vegan, skip the mozzarella.
Can you prep stuffed peppers in advance?
Yes! Stuffed peppers are a great dish to prepare in advance, especially for busy weeknights. You can make the filling beforehand and keep it in the fridge, then stuff and bake the peppers later.
You could also prep the entire recipe and put the stuffed peppers on a baking sheet or in an airtight container in the fridge, and then just pop them in the oven when you’re ready to eat.
How to Reheat Stuffed Peppers
These Italian Stuffed Peppers also make great leftovers. To reheat, put on a microwave safe plate and heat on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Or, put them on a baking sheet and reheat them in the oven at 300 degrees F for 10 minutes.
What to Serve with Italian Stuffed Peppers
These are an excellent vegetarian main dish and would taste great with a side salad, Chili Sesame Sautéed Broccolini, Charred Broccoli and Red Onion, Quick Braised Collard Greens, Sautéed Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts, or Garlic Lemon Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower.
You can also serve stuffed peppers as a side to meat or fish.
If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
For another stuffed peppers recipe, check out the Spaghetti Stuffed Bell Peppers.
Vegetarian Italian Stuffed Peppers
- 4 bell peppers – sliced in half lengthwise, stems and seeds removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic – minced or pressed
- 1 yellow onion – diced
- 1 zucchini – diced
- 3 cups spinach – loosely packed
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes – with their juices
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cups brown rice – cooked
- 1/2 cup mozzarella – shredded, more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare the peppers and place them cut side up on the baking sheet. Set aside. If you do not have cooked brown rice on hand, prepare it according to package instructions.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add the onion and zucchini, and sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the spinach, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, and cooked brown rice to the skillet. Cook for another few minutes, or until the spinach is completely wilted.
- Remove the skillet from heat, and put a large spoonful of the filling into each pepper half. Top the halves with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.
- Put the peppers in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy immediately, or keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or in the oven at 300 degrees F for 10 minutes.
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Have a great week!