I made these for dinner and they were so delicious. Growing up, I had the traditional green bell peppers stuffed with hamburger meat, white rice and onions. I was never a huge fan of them. I liked the ingredients, just not all together. I decided to make mine completely different. These have an ENTIRELY different flavor profile. I used a few jalapeno slices for a nice kick and cumin for a deep smoky flavor, as well as make a zucchini puree that turned out to be one of the best things my husband said I’d ever made. The zucchini purée becomes a gorgeous golden color that compliments the red bell peppers beautifully. I’m always selective when creating recipes to ensure my dishes are tasty, as well as beautiful to look at. I chose vegetables that are filling, so no need for meat in this bell pepper! Click here for a spinoff of this recipe for my zucchini soup!
Recipe: Serves 4-6 Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 1 hour combined Click here for a printable version
Ingredients for bell pepper stuffing:
4 large red bell peppers or 6 small ones
7 small red potatoes boiled and then diced
1/2 red onion chopped
2 large garlic cloves minced
1 medium zucchini diced
5 jalapeno slices (from a jar) chopped
1/2 cup low sodium tomato sauce
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for drizzling
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
Few grinds fresh black pepper
Zucchini puree ingredients:
2 heaping cups peeled and shredded zucchini
2 jalapeno slices (from the jar) chopped
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Few grinds fresh black pepper
First, boil the red potatoes for about 20 minutes or until a fork can pierce them without falling apart. Go ahead and prepare the other vegetables while the potatoes are cooking. Dice the zucchini, finely chop the onion and jalapeno and mince the garlic. Once the potatoes are done, let them cool before dicing.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the bell peppers for 2-5 minutes just to soften. Do not cook them more than 5 minutes, they could fall apart. They will finish cooking in the oven.
At this time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next, you will prepare the bell pepper stuffing mixture. In a large sauté pan, add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and turn to medium-low heat. Add the onions and salt and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Next, add the zucchini, red potatoes and all the spices listed under stuffing. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes more until the onions and zucchini are starting to tenderize. Now add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more, until all the vegetables are tender. Add the jalapeño slices, tomato sauce, and the nutritional yeast. Stir just to heat through and turn the heat off.
Stuff the peppers with the cooked stuffing mixture. Save the pan to cook the zucchini purée in. (Prepare the zucchini purée while the bell peppers are cooking) Place the bell peppers into a small compact round cake pan so they remain standing up. Drizzle a little olive oil over each bell pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the skin is looking crinkled. Sprinkle nutritional yeast on the tops of each bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes more.
This is the size pan I used.
Now, in the same sauté pan, add the olive oil and turn to medium-low heat. Add all of the zucchini purée ingredients, except the lemon juice. Cook 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice and stir to heat through. Turn the heat off. Purée in a food processor. Spoon on a plate as a bed for the bell peppers and serve! You could easily double the zucchini purée to make more. This just makes enough for 4 peppers, but I will double it next time because it is so tasty!