Vegan Stuffed Peppers (Italian-Style)

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These vegan stuffed peppers are filled with an Italian-spiced mix of lentils and rice, and topped with zesty marinara sauce. The perfect meal when you’re looking for some healthy comfort food!

Stuffed peppers were a regular when I was growing up. They were usually filled with ground meat and rice, and served with tomato sauce. I’m guessing a lot of you guys ate pretty much the same thing when you were kids!

One thing I noticed recently is that even though there are tons of vegan stuffed pepper recipes out there on the interwebs, most have a twist. There are lots of recipes Tex-Mex stuffed peppers and stuff like that. Even on this site, I have falafel stuffed peppers, risotto stuffed peppers, and vegan jalapeño poppers, but nothing like the classic stuffed peppers that mom used to make.

I decided it was time for a recipe for some good old classic stuffed peppers, and these did not disappoint! They satisfied all of my comfort food cravings in the best way.

Jump to:
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How They’re Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Bell Pepper Recipes
  • Italian Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. You can substitute another type of high-heat oil, but olive oil will give your peppers the best flavor.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Vegetable broth. I’m a big fan of Better Than Bouillon in seasoned vegetable flavor.
  • Rice. The recipe calls for long grain brown rice. You can substitute another variety, but you might need to adjust the amount of broth and cook time.
  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce. Most brands of Worcestershire sauce contain anchovies, so look out! Annie’s, Edward & Sons, and Whole Foods brands are all vegan. Homemade vegan Worcestershire sauce is also really easy to make.
  • Spices. You’ll need dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes.
  • Lentils. We’re using dried brown lentils. You could also use precooked lentils, in which case you’ll need 2 cups.
  • Diced tomatoes. Use canned tomatoes packed in juice, which we’ll be draining.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Bell peppers. Any color! Green, red, yellow, or orange!
  • Marinara sauce. Feel free to use homemade marinara sauce or store-bought.
  • Fresh herbs. Optionally, you can sprinkle your finished peppers with some basil or parsley.
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese. This is also optional, for topping our vegan stuffed peppers. You can use store-bought or homemade vegan Parmesan.

How They’re Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

The Filling

  • Heat up some olive oil in a pot, then add diced onion. Cook it until it begins to soften up, for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook it with the onion until it becomes very fragrant.
  • Stir in your broth, rice, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Crank up the the heat and bring your broth to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and cover the pot. Let the rice simmer for a while. No peeking! Rice cooks best when it’s undisturbed.
  • Cook your lentils while the rice boils.

Tip: Use a pot with a clear lid so you can keep an eye on your rice without removing the lid.

  • Let your pot sit with the lid on for 5 minutes after removing it from the burner.
  • Drain the tomatoes and stir them into the cooked rice, along with the lentils. Season your stuffed pepper filling with some salt and pepper.

The Peppers

  • While the rice and lentils cook, start roasting your peppers. Cut each pepper in half, scoop out the insides, and rub the outside with a bit of olive oil.
  • Place your pepper halves on a baking sheet, cut sides down, and roast them just until the flesh starts to blister. Briefly roasting the peppers like this begins softening them up so they’re easier to stuff!

Variation: For larger servings, you can cut the tops off of your peppers instead of cutting them in half.

Assemble & Bake

  • Pour some marinara sauce into a baking dish, then fill each of the pepper halves with your filling and place them into the sauce. You might need to pile some of the filling on top to get it all to fit!
  • Pop the dish into the oven and bake your peppers until the sauce is bubbly.
  • Let the peppers sit for a few minutes when they come out of the oven, then spoon some of the sauce from the dish over each pepper.
  • Top your vegan stuffed peppers with fresh parsley or basil and vegan Parmesan, then serve!

Variation: You could optionally sprinkle your peppers with some shredded vegan cheese during the last few minutes of baking. Try using a mozzarella-style variety!

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover stuffed peppers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these stuffed peppers gluten-free?

They are, as long as your Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free (Edward & Sons brand is).

Can I replace the brown lentils in this recipe with another variety of lentil?

You can! Green lentils would work great, though they will take a bit longer to cook. Red lentils fall apart and get super mushy when you cook them, so your filling will have a totally different texture, but I think it would still be good!

What sides go well with vegan stuffed peppers?

They’d go great with mashed potatoes or vegan scalloped potatoes, balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts, or a green salad!

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