Warning: These are not your mama’s stuff bell peppers. This mediterranean twist on a weeknight classic is sure to be a fast favorite. Though hearty and satisfying, the addition of lemon zest and fresh herbs like mint and parsley keep this dish bright and vibrant. Ground lamb is full of flavor and offers a good bit of fat to keep the pepper filling moist and delicious; however, if lamb isn’t your favorite, you can certainly substitute ground beef or ground turkey. If you opt for a lean ground meat, you may want to stir in an additional 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
How to Make It
Cut tops from peppers, and reserve tops. Remove seeds and membranes, and place hollowed peppers in an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Add water to bottom of dish; cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on HIGH until peppers are slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Remove plastic wrap; discard water, and allow peppers to cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare rice according to package directions, and place in a large bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add lamb, and cook, stirring often to crumble meat, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often, until lamb is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Do not drain lamb, and add to bowl with rice. Chop pepper tops; discard stems, and add 1 cup chopped pepper tops to skillet over medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add cooked peppers, feta, onion, tomato, parsley, olives, olive oil, vinegar, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper to lamb and rice mixture; stir to combine.
Stuff peppers with lamb and rice mixture, packing mixture into peppers to fill completely. Mound a bit of filling on top of each pepper, and pack lightly with your hand. Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake in preheated oven until warmed through, about 30 minutes.
While peppers bake, combine panko, olive oil, and dill in a small bowl. Remove foil, and top peppers evenly with panko mixture. Bake at 375°F, uncovered, until panko is browned and crispy, about 10 minutes.
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