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    Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

    These vibrant and colorful Mediterranean Stuffed Bell Peppers really capture the essence of the Mediterranean.They’re stuffed with all my favorite flavors: the briny taste of kalamata olives, the tangy kick of feta cheese, the nuttiness of pearled couscous, and a burst of freshness from cherry tomatoes. I also add some toasted pine nuts for crunch and mix everything with ground beef and fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, and oregano.

    This is all you need to change your basic stuffed peppers to the level of exotic. Try it and you will fall in love with me… yes me, for introducing these beauties to you!!

    mediterranean stuffed peppers

    You see, I love colorful, good looking food… you must have figured that out by now. They say the more colors on your plate, the more the nutrients you get. Have you ever heard the phrase “Eat a rainbow a day?” It simply refers to consuming fruits and vegetables in a wide variety of colors. Thousands of pigments contribute to the beautiful colors of our produce, and they all have unique health benefits.

    Because they are mostly fruit and vegetable originated, sometimes from whole grains, beans and nuts, they are so important. They are called phytochemicals. “Phyto” means “plant” in Greek. And the easiest way to gain all the benefits of these nutrients is simply looking at how many different colors you have on your plate.

    mediterranean stuffed peppers

    Because the region around the Mediterranean is so abundant with fruits and vegetables and prime seafood, it reflects in their cuisine with the freshest of the produce, resulting in amazing flavors and textures. With just a few of their indigenous vegetables, you can create the same flavors in your very own kitchen. These peppers are inspired by my love of colors, as you can see I have used all possible pepper colors I can pick up from my grocery store.

    mediterranean stuffed peppers

    Ingredients Needed

    ingredients for mediterranean stuffed peppers
    • Bell Peppers – The more different colors, the prettier it will look. Apart from yellow, orange and red, I even used green. Some might not like green, but I love all. My husband’s favorite is red… what’s yours?
    • Ground Beef – A lot of Mediterranean stuffed peppers are meatless, but we love our protein. We are using 90% lean meat.
    • Pearled Couscous – You will love the crunchy nuttiness of this one. Great texture.
    • Onion – Chopped. I love them, my husband doesn’t… but then he is trained to weed them out.
    • Garlic – Yum!
    • Cherry tomatoes – Cherry because I like the way they retain their crunch even after baking.
    • Kalamata olives – You can use regular black olives, but if you have kalamata give them preference.
    • Feta – Oh, my feta. It has to be there to top it all in the end.
    • Pine nuts – A little toasted. That buttery flavor is excellent when you bite into them.
    • Herbs and spices – Oregano, thyme, paprika and some fresh parsley.
    • Tomato paste – For extra flavor.
    • Salt and pepper
    halved bell peppers

    Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers Recipe

    I start by sautéing some chopped onions in olive oil until they’re soft and translucent. Then, I add the ground beef, crumbling and browning it for a few minutes. Next, I toss in chopped garlic, herbs, spices, and a bit of tomato paste, mixing everything well. I cook it until the beef is fully cooked, then set it aside to cool a bit before stuffing the peppers.

    spices and tomato paste added to cooked ground beef

    Meanwhile, I cook the couscous according to the packet instructions. Usually, I start by toasting it lightly in a bit of olive oil, then I add boiling water and let it cook for about 5-10 minutes until it’s fluffy and ready to go.

    pine nuts roasting in a pan

    I toast the pine nuts in a small, ungreased pan over medium heat just until they’re lightly browned. I make sure to stir them frequently because they can burn very easily.

    mixture for mediterranean stuffed peppers in a bowl


    In a big bowl, I mix the cooked ground beef with the cherry tomatoes, which I either quarter or halve depending on their size. I add chopped kalamata olives, chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts, and the cooked couscous. I make sure to mix everything well so all the flavors blend together.

    I preheat my oven to 375°F. Then, I cut the bell peppers in half vertically and carefully stuff them with the beef and couscous mixture. I place them in a greased pan, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. After that, I remove the foil and let them cook for an additional 15 minutes. To check if they’re done, I gently poke them with a knife. I like them to be a little crunchy but also a bit soft—definitely not mushy or saggy. If they need a bit more time, I just pop them back in the oven for a few more minutes.

    mediterranean stuffed peppers

    There are lot of recipes that call for steaming or blanching the peppers before baking, which is I feel such an unnecessary step. Just baking gives you perfect looking, vibrant and tasting peppers. Why take an extra step? This way it’s easy and quick. And that’s it… just arrange them on a serving platter, garnish with crumbled feta, relax and enjoy the Mediterranean way of life.

    mediterranean stuffed peppers

    Serving Suggestions

    I love serving these stuffed peppers on their own, but they’re also fantastic with a side salad or a bowl of soup. They make a great antipasto or can be the centerpiece of a Mezze platter. And if I’m feeling extra indulgent, I pair them with some crusty bread dipped in good olive oil. It’s a delicious and versatile dish that fits into any meal plan.

    mediterranean stuffed peppers

    Variations

    I like to mix things up with the grains I use in my Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers. You can try anything from regular couscous to orzo, farro, freekeh, bulgur, wild rice, or even simple brown or white rice. If you’re not into red meats, swapping in ground chicken or turkey works great. For a vegetarian version, I just replace the meat with extra grains and tomatoes. And if you’re following a keto diet, you can omit the grains altogether and just add an extra half pound of meat to fill out the peppers.

    These peppers are incredibly versatile. As long as you keep the base flavors of tomatoes, olives, and pine nuts, along with some herbs, you’re all set for a delicious dish!

    mediterranean stuffed peppers

    Try these out and let me know if you are in love with me or not in the comments below! More and more colorful food coming your way 2020… keep on reading!!

    Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    mediterranean stuffed peppers

    Try these other great Mediterranean recipes!
    Greek Meatballs (Soutzuokakia)
    Spanish Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)
    Moutabal (Eggplant Dip)
    Fasolada (Greek Bean Soup)
    Eggplant Parmesan
    Mediterranean Fish
    Tzatziki Sauce
    Chermoula Sauce
    Chicken Provençal
    Olive Tapenade

    Stuffed peppers.

    Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

    Yield: 4 servings
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour

    These colorful Stuffed Peppers are packed with your favorite Mediterranean flavors like feta cheese, kalamata olives and pine nuts. Impress your guests with these fancy treats... but don't tell them how easy they are!

    Ingredients

    • 4 bell peppers
    • 1.25 lbs lean ground beef
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 3/4 cup cooked pearled couscous
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
    • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 1/8 cup pine nuts
    • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    • 2 Tbsp cooking oil

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. Heat oil in pan over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add ground beef, break up with spoon and brown. Mix in herbs, spices and tomato paste. Sauté until beef is cook through. Set aside.
    3. Cook couscous according to directions on packet. This should take abut 10 minutes total.
    4. Toast pine nuts in ungreased pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir frequently and watch carefully to avoid charring them. They should be lightly browned.
    5. Chop kalamata olives, tomatoes and parsley.
    6. In a large bowl, mix meat, couscous, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, olives and parsley.
    7. Cut peppers vertically. Lay halves on their side in greased baking pan. Stuff with stuffing mixture and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake and additional 15 minutes. Check doneness with a knife, peppers should be softened but still have a little crunch. Baking times vary by oven, if need be, bake an additional few minutes.
    8. After removing from oven, sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over peppers... enjoy!

    Notes

    Leftovers: Make a big batch and they are great leftovers for lunches. You can refrigerate up to 2 days. Just heat them up in the microwave.

    For freezing, all you need to do is wrap them individually and freeze them in an airtight container or ziploc bag up to 2 months. Thaw them and simply bake them at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until they are heated.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 4 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 607Total Fat 33gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 135mgSodium 908mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 4gSugar 6gProtein 47g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    long pin of mediterranean stuffed peppers
    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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