Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers with Tomato Sauce

With my dad on a business trip to Kazakstan I seized the chance to make stuffed bell peppers. Everyone in my family, including me, love stuffed bell peppers, except for him. He says that he loves raw bell peppers, but when they get cooked or roasted he just cannot stand them. Therefore any time I make anything with roasted vegetables in it, such as the crustless quiche, I make one without bell peppers and one with. When he is home and I decide to make stuffed bell peppers, I usually make sure to buy 1-2 large mushrooms and use my recipe for stuffed tomatoes and stuffed mushrooms, that way he gets something that he likes and is not too different from what we are having.

When picking your bell peppers I recommend you try to find the ones with an even bottom, so that they can stay up without falling over and spilling out all the filling. When it comes to the vegetable-filling you can absolutely use whatever you and your family like, and this recipe is a really good basic recipe when stuffing any vegetable.

Ingredients, makes 4 servings:
  • 4 bell peppers
  • 150g dry brown rice (or quinoa)
  • 1/3 head broccoli, chopped
  • 3 asparagus spears, chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/3 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped (optional)
  • Roasted Zucchini Pesto recipe here
Tomato Sauce:
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • fresh basil leaves
  • black pepper
  • dried rosemary
  • dried Thyme

  1. Start by cooking the quinoa or brown rice according to the package. The ratio for water is usually the same in both, which is 1 part quinoa/rice and 2 parts water/vegetable broth. When I make quinoa I always prefer to use vegetable broth as opposed to water, because in my opinion water on its own makes it taste a bit too bland, but when I make brown rice I just make it regularly. While that is cooking start making the roasted zucchini pesto as I have written in that recipe. When both the quinoa/rice and pesto is done mix this together in the pot, leave the lid on and let it sit while you are preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees Celsius/365 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large non-stick pan dry-roast the chopped vegetables in 2 batches, so that they get evenly roasted. When they are all done place them in a large bowl. Cut of the top of the bell peppers and remove the seeds, but save the top for later. Now you can start by adding in equal layers of pesto-quinoa/rice and roasted vegetables in whatever order you prefer, until the bell peppers are completely stuffed and place the top on. Remember to really mash down each layer, so you get it as full as possible. 
  3. Place all the stuffed bell peppers on a baking sheet or in an oven-proof pan (I use 2 small casserole dishes so the bell peppers do not tip over or anything), and bake in the oven for 40-60 minutes, or until they are properly tender but not burnt. If you wish to make the tomato sauce as well (you really should), you just heat up the can of chopped tomatoes and taste while adding in the spices. Do this about 5 minutes before the bell peppers are done so you get the sauce as fresh as possible!

Depending on the size of your peppers you might not be able to use all of the vegetable- and quinoa/rice-filling, so I suggest you combine whatever left-overs in a bowl and serve it as a side dish for those who want extra filling.

As always I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe, and make sure to let me know if you liked it!

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