All the Ways to Stuff Peppers

By: Emily Lee

Food Network's Sweet and Sour Couscous-Stuffed Peppers

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

When it comes to ingenious culinary designs, few foods are as impressive as the bell pepper. When cooked, its thin yet sturdy skin becomes sweet and tender without breaking down, and its hollow center provides built-in stuffing possibilities.

Rachael Ray's Quinoa Stuffed Peppers As seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

While most traditional fillings tend to involve rice, any hearty grain-and-vegetable combo works well as a stuffing, and since peppers are known to walk the flavor line among several different cuisines — think Greek, Italian and Cajun — there’s no limit to ingredient pairings. Check out these best-ever stuffed pepper ideas below to get Rachael Ray’s spin on a classic, Ellie Krieger’s light, Mediterranean take, as well Food Network Kitchen’s top-rated versions.

FNK_CreamCheeseandHamStuffedPeppers_H

FNK_CreamCheeseandHamStuffedPeppers_H

Food Network Kitchen’s Cream Cheese and Ham Stuffed Peppers for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.,Food Network Kitchen’s Cream Cheese and Ham Stuffed Peppers for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.,Food Network Kitchen’s Cream Cheese and Ham Stuffed Peppers for KIDS/THANKSGIVING/CAMP CUTTHROAT, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

These sweet bell peppers loaded with nutty whole-wheat couscous, browned beef and plump golden raisins are the foundation of a well-rounded dinner. The bold colors of the antioxidant-packed bell peppers aren’t just for decoration — the more bright colors you can pile onto your plate, the healthier your meal will be.

Lightened Up Stuffed Peppers

Lightened Up Stuffed Peppers

Lightened Up Stuffed Peppers

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Lightened Up Stuffed Peppers

Red bell peppers make colorful shells for a fluffy quinoa and Rachael Ray’s chile, eggplant and zucchini stuffing. Serve the stuffed peppers topped with crumbled feta.

If you don’t have time to prepare stuffing from scratch, consider repurposing your leftovers. Food Network Magazine stuffs sweet bell peppers with leftover ragu and tops them off with grated Asiago cheese.

These creamy and crunchy stuffed peppers are perfect for a packed lunch. Use scallion instead of parsley or deli turkey instead of ham for a variation.

Brown rice, dried currants and walnuts add excellent hearty texture to these turkey-stuffed bell peppers. Serve the peppers with a simple side salad for a wholesome and well-rounded weeknight dinner.

A flavorful blend of spinach, bulgur and lean ground beef fills these sweet red peppers, which are sprinkled with feta cheese and baked until tender.

Precooking the peppers in the microwave ensures that these quick-fix peppers from Food Network Magazine are simple to prepare in a hurry, while the andouille sausage-studded filling promises bold Cajun flavor.

These tricolored bell peppers are stuffed to the brim with savory ground veal, garlic and long-grain rice.

Cook red and yellow baby bell peppers in a skillet until the skins blister, then stuff them with ground pork and Muenster cheese to add extra smokiness. Use the same skillet to cook the meat — it’ll cut down on the meat’s cook time in the oven.

Oregano, cinnamon and cumin help to boost the flavor of these lighter-than-usual stuffed peppers filled with lean ground beef, brown lentils and rice.

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