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Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers With Lentils

Stuffed peppers on a platter covered in cheese.

Vegetarian-Stuffed-Peppers-3

It’s the weekend! And here I am, at 8 am on a sunny Saturday morning, updating an old recipe post. Blog life: you never really stop working ;)

But I have coffee; I can’t be upset.

When I have the energy, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. The fatigue I’m experiencing throughout this pregnancy is REAL and “nap roulette” is a game I play often. (Will I wake up from this nap at dinner time, or tomorrow morning? Let’s find out!) On those days, I don’t get much done. And because of those days, I have the utmost respect for women who work outside of the home while pregnant. Because holy crap, I’ve been borderline narcoleptic over here. So yeah. On days where I feel alive and awake, I hit the ground running. Once baby is here, I’ll be taking some time off. So! The more content I can update or create and throw in the bank, the better.

This recipe was inspired by these meaty stuffed peppers, which I came up with… what feels like another life time ago. Before this blog even existed. Once I did bring them to the blog, they was a hit. But then the demand for vegetarian stuffed peppers was on the rise and I wanted to get in on that early. I’m happy I did, because this meatless recipe remains one of my most visited to this day.

So let’s talk about these peppers.

They’re ridiculously good. So good that my lentil-hating husband eats them without complaint. They’re stuffed with a delicious saucy mix of hearty lentils, brown rice, tomatoes, black olives, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese. If you aren’t keen on black olives or mushrooms, you can easily swap those ingredients for other veggies—like zucchini or shredded carrots. Feel free to get creative. All veggies are welcome.

I like to mow these down on their own as a main dish, but they’re also an ideal all-in-one veg and starch side dish. And if you end up with leftover filling, save it. Tuck it into lettuce wraps the next day, stuff it into some taco shells, or eat it on its own. It’s that good.

Cooked stuffed peppers on a baking sheet.

Plated stuffed pepper.

If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you. Then snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme to be featured in our newsletter.

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4.67 from 9 votes

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers With Lentils

These hearty Vegetarian Lentil-Stuffed Peppers make for a tasty main or side dish. Cheesy and saucy, the stuffing includes tender mushrooms, juicy tomatoes, and black olives.
Course Entree, Side Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

  • 4 large bell peppers, cut in half and gutted
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced onion I use red, but white/yellow/sweet will work
  • 1 cup roughly chopped mushrooms
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked lentils *See notes
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup roughly chopped black olives not kalamata olives, just plain black olives from a can are fine
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano (optional)
  • Roughly chopped fresh parsley or basil, for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook the rice as per the packages instructions. If using dry lentils, also cook them now, as per instructions on package, but use vegetable broth instead of water (it's way more flavorful this way). 
  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Wash your peppers, cut them in half, gut them, and set them on a baking tray face down.
  • Place the peppers in the oven and roast them for 15-20 minutes or until they start to blister. Remove and set aside to cool. (While the peppers roast, proceed with the next step.)
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and onions, and sauté until the garlic is fragrant and the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Stir often and care not to brown the garlic, or it will result in a bitter taste.
  • Add the mushrooms and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms soften (about 5 minutes). 
  • Finally, add the lentils, rice, black olives, tomato sauce, and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Stir well, bring the heat to low, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Set the broiler to high, and set oven rack one space higher than the middle (this can depend on your oven, so use your best judgement).
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and, with a large spoon, ladle the stuffing into the open roasted peppers. Stuff them to the brim!
  • Sprinkle each pepper with the remaining mozzarella cheese, and grate some fresh parmesan or pecorino romano on there if you'd like. 
  • Place the peppers in the oven and broil until the cheese starts to melt and turn a nice light golden color (approx. 3-5 minutes, but it depends on your oven, so keep a close eye on it.)
  • When done, remove the peppers from the oven and garnish with freshly chopped herbs.

Notes

  1. This recipe can feed up to 4 people as a main, or 8 as a side.
  2. If you're cooking dry lentils, follow the instructions on the package and if you can, swap the water for vegetable broth for extra flavor.
  3. Prep time for this meal varies. It really depends on if you're using dry lentils or canned lentils.
  4. Depending on the size of the peppers, you might be left with extra stuffing. It keeps in the fridge just fine for about five days, so hold onto it. You can eat it on its own later in the week, or stuff it into lettuce cups for a tasty low-carb meal!

31 Comments

  • […] Try my Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Lentils! […]

    Reply
  • Aretha
    May 31, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Absolutely amazing we tweet it a Little. But so delicious
    The left over mixture can it be frozen it says in the fridge for 5 days but can we freeze the left over as we have quite a lot.

    Reply
  • Sherry Stookey
    October 27, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    4 stars
    We ended up enjoying this recipe with just a few incidental tweaks. I didn’t have tomato sauce so left it out. I also thought that we did not need the mozzarella in the lentil mix, so left that out.
    since we didn’t have any fresh herbs handy I sprinkled Italian herbs in the lentil mixture to taste. I loved the tsp of black pepper in this mix. It added a spicy bite. I didn’t take a picture of the finished product. They didn’t look much different than your photos, maybe just a bit less red without the tomato sauce. We are adding this recipe to our list of favorite vegetarian meals!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      October 27, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Sherry! Glad your tweaks worked our well :)

      Reply
  • Kristin
    October 2, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    For the lentils, don’t you mean substitute veggie broth for water? It says the opposite.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      October 2, 2019 at 7:56 pm

      Yes! Thanks for catching that.

      Reply
      • Kristin
        October 4, 2019 at 7:08 am

        5 stars
        Also, I made these after I commented. Added in some leftover grilled veggies i had. Super delish! Thanks!!

        Reply
  • Martha
    July 30, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    3 stars
    Found it to be too bland for us. Sprinkled some red pepper flakes on top after they came out of oven, more salt and pepper. Both helped. Admittedly I think I under salted while cooking, but still feel It needed a lot more seasoning. The fresh basil on top was great, will use more next time. I will try again, but add pepper flakes and lots of oregano/basil/Italian seasoning to stuffing mixture as it cooks and I think think it will be better suited to my family’s tastes.

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      July 31, 2019 at 8:49 am

      Hi Martha! Thanks so much for your honesty. I’m a salt fiend and am surprised to hear this seemed under-seasoned, but I’m glad you were able to alter it to your taste and will be making it again. Thanks for stopping by with feedback!

      Reply
  • Alyssa
    June 26, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    5 stars
    Thanks for a great recipe. Absolutely delicious! Only thing I changed was cooking the rice and lentils in chicken broth. It was a hit with my husband and 2.5 year old daughter as well. Will be a frequent meal in our home!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      June 29, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      Alyssa! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed these :)

      Reply
  • Miriam Stohs
    May 16, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Sooooo good!!!

    Reply
  • […] Dinner: Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers […]

    Reply
  • Alanna
    April 11, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    5 stars
    I will definitely be making these again! I used cheddar instead of mozza, as that’s what I had in my fridge. I had some filling leftover and just ate it without the peppers the next day and it was amazing!!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      April 12, 2019 at 9:56 am

      Alanna! I’m so glad you enjoyed these. I’m sure they were awesome with cheddar (cheddars are totally my favorite type of cheeses). I always manage to have leftover filling too, and it’s so good on its own.
      Thanks so much for stopping in with feedback <3

      Reply
  • […] Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Lentils from Killing Thyme […]

    Reply
  • Judy McClelland
    November 30, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    5 stars
    This was awesome. I like it so much I am making another batch. I had them in the freezer and reheated them . They were so yummy. I used my own veggie broth for cooking the organic brown rice and lentils. Way too many lentils for my 4 peppers will do less lentils but more peppers next time. 6 peppers for this next one. Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes and sauce. I also added grated organic carrot. This was so good doing it again. I am really liking being veggie. I hate what they do to the billion chickens ever day and the cows too just not going to add to their suffering any more . Thank HP and thank you for the awesome recipe. Not only helping the animals- I stopped my diabetes-no more metformin 2 x’s day, and all my joints feel so way much better.

    Reply
  • Amy
    October 30, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    5 stars
    Delicious!! Any recommendations for reheating leftovers? I wasn’t sure if broiling again would be too much for the cheese

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      October 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      Hey Amy! Glad you enjoyed these. Great question. I’d just give them a quick bake in the oven at 350 for eh, 5-10? Just enough time to heat them through. Or, the microwave if you’re in a rush ;)

      Reply
  • Jazmine
    October 18, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    5 stars
    Wonderful and healthy recipe! I used fresh tomatoes, cut the lentil amount in half (and it was still too much!) and used 6 bell peppers. Additionally I used tomato paste w/ chicken stock since didn’t have tomato sauce. Still VERY delicious!!!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      October 24, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      So glad you enjoyed this, Jazmine! Yeah, there are always so many leftover lentils. I need to adjust the servings on this bad boy.
      Thanks for taking the time to come by and drop some feedback!

      Reply
  • jason k.
    September 24, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    hello…. what do you consider “black olives”? im adjusting the recipe a bit by adding sultanas, cayenne and saffron. won’t the olives (like kalamata or a brined italian variety) overwhelm everthing else? especially a cup.

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      September 25, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Hi Jason!
      The black olives I used were plain ol’ black olives from a can, not super garlicky kalamata olives. The lather would definitely be overwhelming. I hope that clarifies things. I should edit the recipe to reflect this. I’m excited to hear about your adaptations!

      Reply
  • Silvia S.
    May 1, 2018 at 12:28 am

    5 stars
    I tried your recipe today because I’m trying to eat a little more healthy. This recipe is fantastic. Thank you very much.

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      May 1, 2018 at 8:33 am

      Hi Silvia!
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. When I stopped eating pork and beef, I was giving up one of my favorite recipes which was a stuffed pepper recipe. I wanted to recreate a healthier vegetarian spin and this happened!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to drop in with feedback :)

      Reply
  • Eyecandypopper
    April 28, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Oooh this sounds delicious! I’ve made stuffed peppers with quinoa in the past, but haven’t tried with lentils yet. I like the sounds of it!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      April 28, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Ohh, I have some quinoa stuffed peppers on the blog as well and oddly, even my non-loving quinoa husband enjoyed the heck out of them! I mean, whatever. Quinoa is amazing. Haters gonna… be shown to love.

      Reply
  • kellyohnona
    April 28, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    what a great idea! I love peppers and I love lentils, definitely something I am gonna try!

    Reply
  • thefoodblognet
    April 28, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I’m a fan of stuffed peppers, and these ones look so good! Lentils are a perfect stuffing base. Awesome as usual! :-)

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      April 28, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks, Colleen!

      Reply
  • Best Stuffed Peppers - Killing Thyme
    April 7, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    […] your convenience, but if you like this recipe and want  to try something meatless, check out my Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers With Lentils, or my Best Quinoa Stuffed Peppers! Thanks for stopping […]

    Reply

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