Bring a little Mediterranean sunshine onto your dinner table with this simple Greek stuffed pepper recipe filled with some of the island’s favorite ingredients, olives and Greek olive oil, beef or lamb, tomatoes, feta cheese, and fresh thyme. These ingredients are bound together in the peppers with long-grain rice, white or brown for a nuttier taste. Greek stuffed peppers are the perfect all-in-one starter, or serve two halves for an entrée.
You can use any color bell pepper for this dish, but using ripe yellow peppers brings added sweetness and vibrant color to the dish. Where possible, use fresh ripe tomatoes for a more authentic flavor, but if not available, use canned.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Greek if possible but not essential)
- 2 tablespoons yellow onion (finely chopped)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1/2 cup fresh ripe plum tomatoes (roughly chopped, or canned)
- 8 ounces lean ground beef or lamb
- 4 tablespoons red wine
- 2 teaspoons fresh or dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup cooked long-grain rice (white or brown)
- Kosher salt
- 2 bell peppers
- 1/2 Feta cheese (crumbled)
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan to medium-hot, add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes, making sure the onion does not brown. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes more.
Tip the tomatoes into the pan and stir through the onions, cook for three minutes continually stirring until they start to break up; if using canned simply stir through.
Add the meat, wine, and thyme to the pan and stir well, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring to break up the meat. Once cooked, stir again, add the rice, and a little salt for taste.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cut the peppers into halves lengthwise. Pack together into an oven-proof baking dish and fill equally with the ground meat mixture. Cook in the center of the heated oven for 15 minutes, sprinkle over the crumbled feta evenly over each pepper, and return the dish to the oven for a further 25 to 30 minutes ensuring the peppers are heated throughout and the peppers soft but not falling apart. If the peppers start to collapse, reduce the heat of the oven.
Serve immediately with a light sprinkling of thyme and black pepper.
You Choose the Meat
In Greece, lamb is the more popular meat, but beef is also readily available. For authenticity, lamb works best; however, you will most certainly not be disappointed with ground beef. Buy lean to keep the dish from becoming greasy.
A bowl of juicy Greek olives, black or green, and crusty bread are delicious alongside the peppers. The peppers are also delicious cold, perfect for a summer lunch or picnic.