I think these vegan Italian stuffed bell peppers are my new favorite dinner… Sweet blistered bell peppers stuffed with a flavorful risotto style sun dried tomato rice, chickpeas and topped with the easiest toasted sunflower basil pesto. They’re easy to make, packed with veggies and so delicious!
In the past, I’ve stayed away from stuffed peppers because in my experience, the peppers end up kind of watery which makes the filling soggy. Overall, not too much texture or flavor. These stuffed peppers, however completely changed the game. Instead of baking everything together in the oven, the sun dried tomato rice comes together on the stove with chickpeas and herbs while the peppers cook in the oven. This way, the peppers are perfectly soft with just the right amount of char when it comes time to fill them.
Probably my favorite part about these vegan Italian stuffed peppers: the sunflower pesto. Instead of pine nuts, I like to use toasted sunflower seeds. They’re always my go to for delicious nutty pestos and add such an interesting flavor. This one is super easy, everything comes together in a blender or food processor. Also a bonus—like the rest of the dish, it’s vegan!
How to Make Vegan Italian Stuffed Peppers
- The first thing you want to do is get the bell peppers in the oven so they can cook while you make the rice. Just use a sharp knife to cut the peppers in half and remove any seeds. Place them in a baking dish and toss with some olive oil, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. These go in the oven until they’re tender and lightly charred— about half an hour. My peppers were extra big and beefy so they took almost 40 minutes.
- For the rice, start by sautéing the shallot until caramelized. Add in the rest of the aromatics, sun dried tomatoes and herbs along with the rice. I like to toast the rice for a few minutes before deglazing the pan with a little white wine. Make sure you stock is warm, I measured it out before hand and popped it in the microwave for a few minutes before adding it to the pot. Bring everything to a boil and cover. Cook the rice for about 20 minutes. Stir at 15 minutes and if it seems like the rice isn’t cooking, it probably needs more warmed stock.
- While the rice cooks, make the pesto. Simply combine everything in a high speed blender until smooth. I like to use toasted sunflower seeds to add that extra nutty flavor, you can do this by dumping the seeds in a skillet over medium low heat and toasting until fragrant and golden brown. They burn easily so keep an eye on them!
- Once everything is cooked, pour out any water that has accumulated at the bottom of the pepper then fill with rice. Spoon over the sunflower basil pesto and serve fresh with vegan feta. Enjoy!
Other Recipes To Try
- Fluffy baked rice with chickpeas and crispy tofu feta
- Savory sweet potato scallion pancakes
- Roasted red pepper meatball
- Vegan lemon artichoke flatbread with za’atar