Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

There’s nothing I don’t love about a good stuffed pepper.

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Bell peppers are one of those amazingly versatile vegetables that work in just about anything, but stuffing them is by far my favorite option. You can play around with the filling — meat or no meat, grains or no grains — experiment with seasonings, cheeses, other veggies, the works! They’re simple and they’re satisfying, making them an ideal go-to when you need a practical dinner for two.

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

I actually made these peppers months ago, long before WRY became WRY and when the days were very short and very, very cold. Greek food always perks me up because it just tastes summery, so whenever I’m in need of a fresh and crisp meal I like to cook up something Greek. For this rendition I kept things simple, zoning in on classic Greek flavors — lemon, olive oil, garlic, dill — and complimenting these components with artichokes, tomatoes, and extra-lean ground chicken. Ground chicken is typically sold my the pound, but if you purchase it from a butcher you can buy the exact 1/2lb this recipe needs. OR, you can buy the full pound, then save the other half for something else.

Some suggestions?

A small batch of theses meatballs, or incorporated into stuffed squash or baked quinoa.

And of course, you could always just double-down on this recipe, then eat peppers twice in one week! Cooking is about being flexible and creative, so always keep an open mind, and mouth.

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

I really like my peppers tender, so I’ve gotten into the habit of baking them prior to stuffing. This doesn’t add any extra time — you’ll be busy prepping the filling while they tenderize — but if you’re into tougher, crunchier peppers, skip this step. As for the filling, consider my ingredients an outline. You could be naughty and swap chicken for lamb, skip the quinoa and use leftover rice, add more veggies (fruits? whatever) like olives or cucumbers, and generally beef this baby up or scale it down however the hell you want to. It’s your life, I’m just vaguely in it.

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

I opted not to stir the mozzarella into my filling because I’m always trying to cut down on cheese, even though I’m literally nibbling on a block of cheddar as I type this. Like the rest of the recipe this portion is flexible too, so feel free to stir cheese into the filling once everything’s cooked, or play around with other varieties like feta or fontina.

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Also? When I photographed this I stupidly bought a ball of fresh mozzarella, then grated it, which was a particularly messy decision/disaster. So avoid my mistakes, and just buy the stuff shredded!

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Part-skim, of course — your bikini will thank you.

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bell Peppers (any color)
  • 1/2 lb Extra Lean Ground Chicken
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Artichokes Marinated in Oil, diced (purchase a 6 oz. jar like this)
  • 1 Small Tomato, diced (~1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Cooked Quinoa*
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsps Crushed or Minced Garlic
  • 1 – 2 tsps Fresh Dill
  • pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • Tzatziki for dipping (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. On large cutting board slice bell peppers vertically, then gut of seeds. Transfer sliced peppers to oven-safe baking dish and cook for 20 minutes until just becoming tender – Set aside.
  3. While peppers cook, in large skillet heat EVOO over medium flame before adding in ground chicken, cooking until no pink parts remain (~10 minutes). Next, stir in all other ingredients except the cheese, then reduce flame to low and cover. Allow skillet to simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add a shallow layer of water to baking dish with peppers. Spoon filling into each tenderized pepper, then top with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven for another 20 minutes until cheese has melted and peppers are bubbling – Immediately plate and serve, topping with additional dill and pairing with tzatziki if desired.

* 1/4 cup dry quinoa + 1/2 cup water and/or chicken broth will yield the 1/2 cup cooked quinoa you need for this recipe – prepare as directed on quinoa instructions.

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppersgreek!

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers
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