There are certain dishes I’ve really had to persuade my husband to eat because of his childhood experiences. For example, stuffed peppers were one of my greatest hurdles because he was used to traditional peppers, cooked in a giant pot of tomato broth. I’ve assured him every time I make stuffed peppers that mine are nothing like that and slowly he’s warmed up to the idea. This particular recipe comes from The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen and is one of my favorites from the book. These lasagna stuffed peppers embody everything in lasagna but in fun, individual portions. I like to slightly pre cook the peppers but if you prefer a crisp, crunchy pepper, you can easily skip that step.
Lasagna Stuffed Peppers
Combining two classical dinner dishes into one, these lasagna stuffed peppers use orzo in place of the lasagna noodles for quick assembly.
- 2 red or green bell peppers
- 2 ounces whole wheat orzo
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- Turn on your oven's broiler or preheat your oven to 500˚ F. Broil the peppers, turning occasionally, until just soft and starting to blister, 1 minute or so- keep a close eye on them. Let cool slightly. Place in a roasting pan and cut a slit down the side of each pepper. Remove the core and seeds. Lower the oven temperature to 375˚ F.
- Cook the orzo, drain, and set aside. Stir together the ricotta, egg white, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Slice the peppers in half and layer with the tomato sauce, orzo, ricotta, and then more tomato sauce. Sprinkle the peppers with the shredded mozzarella cheese. Place in a baking dish.
- Bake the peppers until the cheese is melted and the filling is hot, 20 to 25 minutes.
Tips & Tricks: Depending on the pepper size, you might have extra filling. I like to mix everything together in a small baking dish, top with a bit of extra cheese and bake until bubbling.
For the tomato sauce, you can make your own or use store-bought to speed up the recipe.
Nutrition: See the information.
Lasagna Stuffed Peppers
Any variation of a lasagna recipe could easily be turned into a stuffed pepper. As a result, you can easily experiment with the filling. I like to use the homemade roasted tomato sauce listed above when I have fresh tomatoes during the summer or I’ll occasionally make a white sauce instead. But if you’re looking for inspiration, here are a couple ways you could mix this recipe up.
Greens: I like to add spinach and/or kale to the lasagna stuffed peppers. I’ll wilt the greens with a bit of olive oil and garlic then mix it into the ricotta before stuffing the pepper.
Cheese: I usually use a mild cheese but a more flavorful cheese could be used. I like smoked gouda, goat cheese, or even blue cheese.
Gluten-Free: You could use a gluten-free grain like quinoa or you could use a smaller, gluten-free pasta. Delallo makes a gluten-free orzo that would be perfect!
Peppers are one of the ingredients I always have on hand during the summer. However, they rarely take center in a recipe. I love showcasing the sweet (and occasionally spicy) flavor of the peppers along with other summer produce. Look for different varieties of peppers at the markets- my favorite is a sweet Italian frying pepper called Jimmy Nardello peppers.