Italian Stuffed Red Peppers

italian stuffed red pepper
  • Servings : 2-3
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 60m
  • Ready In : 1:15 h

The recipe

Italian Stuffed Red Peppers is a great vegetarian alternative to peppers stuffed with minced meat.  The addition of rice makes the dish more substantial and filling and so the whole thing is a complete meal with no side dishes necessary, just a tomato sauce.  The tomato sauce in this recipe is the classic Mariana sauce which originated in Naples in the south of Italy.  It is just a simple recipe using a few basic ingredients and it goes well with stuffed peppers and is also a sauce for pizzas toppings and pasta dishes. You can use green peppers in this recipe, but I think the red peppers are best as they are a little sweeter and compliment the other ingredients well.


  • For the Mariana sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped and crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
  • For the stuffed peppers
  • 3 very large red bell peppers, or the equivalent if only small ones are available
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 80g white onion, chopped
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 100g courgette, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh thyme)
  • 10 black olives, pitted and chopped
  • a small handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 50g white rice, cooked
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 25g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


Step 1

For the Mariana Sauce

Step 2

Place the garlic and olive oil into a saucepan on a medium heat and cook until the garlic just starts to brown. Turn the heat down and carefully add the tinned tomatoes, which will spit as they reach the hot oil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 20 minutes until well reduced and thickened. Add the chopped basil at the end and cook for 1 minute.

Step 3

For the Stuffed Peppers

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

Step 5

Slice a small amount off the bottom of each pepper so that they sit well on a flat surface. Cut the tops off and remove the seeds and white veins from inside.

Step 6

Add the olive oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes and then add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the onion is starting to brown on the edges. Add the courgette, garlic and thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the olives, basil, cooked rice, about a third of the Mariana sauce and about half of the grated cheese. Mix everything together and then spoon the mixture into the prepared peppers. Put them into a small roasting dish and pour the rest of the sauce around the peppers. Cover with kitchen foil and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the peppers and return the dish to the oven, uncovered for about 15 minutes, until the peppers are just tender. Serve.

Recipe Type: Ingredients:
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