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Stuffed vegetables are their very own class within Mediterranean cooking. In Greece, they are called gemista or yemista (γεμιστά), which means things that are filled.

In the Middle East, they're called mahshi, which means stuffed!

In Turkey, you; see stuffed eggplants and zucchini - a famous dish from the Imam palace.

About the recipe

These stuffed bell peppers are delicious and hit all the right flavors. It all comes down to two things:

- the tasty Greek-style stuffing, and

- the two-step preparation, first grilling the peppers and then cooking them stuffed.

The stuffing mixture is dairy-free and gluten-free made of well-seasoned meat mixture with rice, chickpeas, and fresh parsley. For spices, use a combination of allspice, sweet paprika, and garlic powder (use 2 minced garlic cloves if you don't have all-natural garlic powder). The meat mixture is cooked first before stuffing the peppers in this recipe.

The bell peppers.

Leave them whole by laying them on their side and cutting the stem.

Mix red and yellow peppers as they do not all taste the same. Green peppers are a bit more savory/bitter, while red peppers tend to be sweeter.

Cook the peppers well: In Greek-style stuffed peppers (and throughout the Mediterranean) must be cooked until fully tender; they can not be crunchy or taste raw in any way. So, before they're stuffed, grill the peppers for a few minutes (gas grill or indoor griddle will work) until they gain a nice char all around (great flavor)! Then, the peppers finish cooking in the oven, covered once stuffed. A little bit of liquid in the baking dish creates some steam that cooks the peppers until they are nice and super tender.

You'll love these stuffed peppers, prepared Greek-style and stuffed with a perfectly seasoned meat mixture with rice and chickpeas, and fresh herbs. You can prepare parts of this recipe ahead of time and freeze leftover stuffed peppers! Serve them as the main course or a side dish.

  • 4 bell peppers

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ of a yellow onion, diced

  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles

  • ½ cup tomato puree

  • 1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 16 ounces of ground beef

  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt

  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning

  • ¼ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for topping

  • Sour cream, for topping

  • Cilantro, minced, for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the peppers by hollowing them out. Make a horizontal slice to cut the tops off. Scoop out the membrane and seeds with a spoon. Set the hollowed-out peppers on a plate. Reserve the tops of the peppers for baking.

  2. In a Dutch oven or large oven-safe saucepan, add two tablespoons of butter. Turn the heat on medium and allow the butter to fully melt. Add in the garlic and onion and cook until lightly golden brown.

  3. Add the ground beef into the pot, and break it up with a spoon. Stir in the garlic salt while cooking. Allow the ground beef to cook until fully browned.

  4. Add in the tomato purée, taco seasoning, and red chili pepper flakes, and stir. Add in the black beans and green chiles and stir to combine.

  5. With the peppers standing up on a plate, scoop the filling into the peppers. Fill them all the way to the top.

  6. Once the filling is scooped out of the pot, put the filled peppers back into the pot. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, and put the tops of the peppers back on. Put the lid on the pot and bake the stuffed peppers for 45 minutes until tender.

  7. Remove the stuffed peppers from the oven and allow to cool before serving. Serve with additional shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and minced cilantro.

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