Size, shape do matter

peppers-topI love stuffed peppers for lunches, weekday dinners or for a large crowd because they can be made up to five days in advance and served perfectly cooked if they are slightly undercooked during preparation.

Stuffed peppers are also great for getting rid of leftovers hanging around your fridge.  You basically need a grain, some vegetables, your favorite spices and peppers.  I prefer to use yellow, red or orange peppers, as the unripe green peppers can taste bitter when cooked.

Size and Shape Does Matter: Bell peppers usually have three or four lobes/bumps on their bottoms.  Contrary to popular belief, this has no bearing on the sweetness or genetic sex of the pepper. However, it is something to consider when selecting a pepper for stuffing.  The larger the pepper, the more delicious stuffing you can fit inside. In addition, choosing a pepper that has well balanced lobes will allow your pepper to stand-up independently when stuffed.

This is recipe was made with items I had around the kitchen.  Feel free to mix it up and substitute at will.

Serves: 4

Roast time – 60 minutes


Roasted peppers.

Stuffed peppers can be prepared in advance and keep for up to 5 days before re-heating for a quick ready-made meal.

4 – bell peppers, large (yellow, red or orange)
1 tbsp. – cooking oil *
1 – red onion, large, chopped
2 cups – oyster mushrooms, shredded
2 – cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup – carrots, chopped
1 – green pepper, small, chopped
1 cup – pineapple, chopped
2 cups – rice (brown or white)
1/4 cup cashews, roasted
1/2 cup – cured meat, chopped – I used Droewors (dry sausage) from the South African Butcher (optional)
½ cup – feta, crumbled (optional)
2 tsp. – soy sauce
1 tsp. – sesame oil
Pinch of chili flakes
1 tbs. – basil, oregano or parsley, chopped
3 – spring onions, chopped
Pinch of sesame seeds

* I like grape seed oil for its high smoking rate.  Olive oil will burn.

1.    Cut the tops off of the peppers, clean out the insides removing all the white veins, set aside.
2.    Cook rice according to package directions.
3.    Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
4.    In a large wok, heat a tbsp. of cooking oil over medium-high heat, then add the onion and mushrooms to the wok.  Satay for 5 minutes, then add carrots, cured meat and garlic. Continue to stir-fry until the mushrooms have reduced and onions are translucent (approx. 10min). Remove from the heat. Set aside to cool.
5.    Add the pineapple, feta, cashews, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili flakes, herbs, spring onions, salt and pepper to taste, and rice; stir to combine and then stuff the peppers with the mixture. **
6.    Place the peppers in your oven and cook for 50-60 minutes. ***
Serve with a lovely side salad.

**Peppers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Undercook the peppers by 20 minutes; reheat for 20 minutes at 180 degrees or microwave for 3-4 minutes.
*** Cooking time may vary depending on the temperature and size of your oven.

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About the Author

Chakula Chick
Teacher extraordinaire by day, creator of good food by night. Join me as I cook my way through Tanzania with (mostly) local ingredients!