Recipe: Lentil Stuffed Peppers

This is the perfect time to make stuffed peppers where I live, because green bell peppers and tomatoes are currently 97 cents a pound  and a 630 ml can or jar of tomato sauce is also on sale for 97 cents! It’s super easy if you have leftover rice and lentils for this; otherwise you will need to make them first.

Lowly Lentils and Rice

Lowly Lentils and Rice

Of course, you have to love peppers to make this recipe, and not just “kind of” like them.

I save this recipe for weekends because the total time is 90 minutes. Skip to the end for a quicker variation!

You will need:

Uncovered casserole dish (baking pan) with sides at least 2″ / 5 cm high
I use a lasagna pan
Olive or other cooking oil for greasing the baking dish
4 large or 6 medium bell peppers, about 2 lbs or 1 kg
Green are the cheapest; red, yellow and orange are sweeter. You will want to check each pepper at the market to see if it can stand up without help, LOL!
2 cups cooked rice
I used 2/3 cup basmati to make 2 cups cooked
2 cups cooked green lentils
I used 3/4 cup dry and boiled them until tender
2 cups prepared tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce
Last year I used roasted tomato sauce I made myself
Optional: 1 tablespoon dried herbs if your sauce is not seasoned
My favourite is dried basil
Optional: 4 T. Parmesan or 2 oz. grated cheddar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C. Grease the baking dish and set aside.

Prepare rice and lentils if you don’t have cooked rice and lentils on hand. Time: about 25 minutes

Chop the tops off each pepper and save them. Of course you will want to remember which one belongs with which, ha ha! Hollow out each pepper, discarding the seeds and membranes. If your peppers lean a lot, you can chop a bit off the bottom to straighten them up for your baking dish. Stand the hollowed-out peppers in the baking dish. It’s fine if they lean against each other or the sides of the pan.

The Pepper Assembly Line

The Pepper Assembly Line

In a large mixing bowl, stir the cooked rice, cooked lentils, 1 cup tomato sauce  and the dried herbs, if using.  Fill each pepper with the mixture – right to the top. Spoon some additional tomato sauce on top of each pepper (about 3 tablespoons). Put the tops back on the peppers to keep them moist while baking.

Reassembled with Their Lids

Reassembled with Their Lids

Note: You can spoon more tomato sauce over the peppers while they bake, however, the sugars in the sauce may blacken in the pan.

One Hour Later

One Hour Later

Bake for 1 hour, or until the peppers can be easily pierced with a knife. They should be very soft. The poor peppers will now be saggy, wrinkled, and maybe even a little fire-roasted where they touched the sides of the pan.

In the last few minutes of baking, you can heat additional tomato sauce to pour over the peppers when served.

If using grated cheese, remove tops from peppers, sprinkle with cheese, and broil until bubbly, 1-2 minutes.

Lift the baked peppers onto plates using a slotted spoon.

If you don’t think the peppers look cute anymore with their loosened skins, they can be cut in two from top to bottom to appear more impressive on the plate.

Properly Served on Corelle Dinnerware

Properly Served on Corelle Dinnerware

To eat, you chop the pepper and eat it along with the filling – you don’t scoop it out and leave the pepper behind – in case you were wondering (unless you love peppers so much that you want to eat the filling first and the pepper after!)

Quick Variation:

For the same flavours in a no-bake recipe, make the lentil and rice filling as above. Chop the green peppers and stir fry them until tender, then  add them to the lentil-rice mixture and serve.

This is meant to be an inexpensive recipe – you can certainly jazz it up with premium ingredients if you like.

Let me know if you try it!


  1. I’ve always wanted to stuff a pepper.

  2. Lisa

    Looks yummy and healthier than my mom’s recipe, which is yours minus the lentils plus ground beef/mince. I think I will have to try yours for our veggie-only nights.

    • I used to make them with ground beef in my pre-veggie days and that worked fine, too. You didn’t need a lot, maybe 8 oz (before cooking) for the recipe. But I like not buying and preparing meat these days.

  3. Fiona

    My parents are growing peppers at the moment and we always end up with more than we can eat. This will be a perfect way to use them up without wasting them! We love the red peppers best!

  4. Nice – not sure it’d pass the BF’s rigid standards, which involves meat meat and meat!! I have made variations of them before though, for my family.

  5. I usually make a filling of rice and veggies, but I like your lentil idea. Thanks! 🙂

  6. These look absolutely delicious!!!
    I wish my kids would eat these, they look at that green vegetable and think it’s going to bite them!
    I’m sure I was the same at one time, but I just tell them “Just try it”… nope.
    They act as if they might die!
    So I guess you’ll have to invite me over for some!! lol 🙂

  7. When I used to work at the Turkish restaurant we made these but we also put sultanas (raisins) in them and they were tasty 🙂 I have a whole lot of red peppers in the fridge and some mince in the freezer so I might give the meat ones a go this week.

  8. My Hungarian grandma used to make stuffed peppers. They were similar to yours but she had mince instead of lentils. I don’t eat meat anymore, so I must try your version 🙂

  9. You know what makes me crazy? My kids like every single ingredient in this in isolation. Put them all together and you’d think it was the apocalypse on a plate. One day. One fine day, they will appreciate the simple and pure goodness of stuffed peppers.

  10. Pingback: Lazy Vegetarian Meals for Menu Plan Burnout | An Exacting Life

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