Couscous Stuffed Peppers
Looking for a tasty way to shake the winter blues? Put these Couscous Stuffed Peppers on the dinner menu! Packed with Mediterranean flavor, these peppers were a huge hit in our house!
If it wasn’t for mac-and-cheese, peanut butter and chicken fingers, I don’t know what Robbie would eat. As many of you parents out there fully understand, kids can be picky eaters. Robbie is no exception. Laura and I had grand plans of introducing him to everything we eat. Well, we introduced him, but he had no interest in meeting those foods. We’ve found a balance that works well, so we roll with it. Including wheels, tubes-and-tunnels and mini-bow pastas.
Fortunately for us, Robbie realized early on that mac-and-cheese is delicious. Now he won’t eat our traditional version of mac-and-cheese, but he will eat our short-cut American cheese version. So that’s what we do. Buttered pasta with American cheese. And I have to admit that it’s oddly comforting. It’s like the boxed mac-and-cheese that I ate as a kid…except way better! And we do mix it up from time to time – by changing the pasta shape.
I’ve mentioned before that I keep a ridiculously large variety of types of pasta in our pantry. That has worked out well for Robbie as wheels (rotini), tubes-and-tunnels (ditalini) and mini-bow (farfalle) all make regular appearances for mac-and-cheese night. Enter a new one: tiny balls. Pearl couscous (also known as Israeli couscous, or ptitim) is actually a type of pasta rather than couscous. The name is misleading. And what makes it even more confusing is that pearl couscous is often found in the grains section of the grocery store rather than the pasta aisle. Nevertheless, pearl couscous is a type of pasta.
Couscous Stuffed Peppers
No matter where it’s stocked on the grocery store shelf, I often forget about pearl couscous. And whenever I make a recipe with it, I always tell Laura that we should make it more often. Of course, a year will inevitably pass before I think about making pearl couscous again. Not anymore. I suspect pearl couscous will be making more appearances in our house – as “tiny balls pasta” for Robbie’s mac and cheese nights!
Stuffed peppers are a favorite around here, and I recently made a batch of these Couscous Stuffed Peppers. This is one tasty recipe! I leaned heavily on Mediterranean flavors for this recipe, and we agreed that these peppers will appear on our menu again sometime soon. Laura pointed out these Couscous Stuffed Peppers tasted even better as leftovers. Similar to how the flavors in soup come together after sitting in the fridge overnight, the filling for these peppers did indeed taste better on Day 2. I appreciate leftover nights for their simplicity, and if they taste even better than the original? Win-win!
The stuffing for these Couscous Stuffed Peppers is packed with all sorts of deliciousness. Toasted walnuts (for crunch), dried cranberries (for sweetness), feta cheese and Kalamata olives (for saltiness), fresh parsley (for brightness)…the list goes on. While the ingredient list might look long, trust me when I say this filling is worth the effort! In fact, we ate a bit of the filling cold on Day 2, and we both agreed that this filling could work as a cold summer salad.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! These Couscous Stuffed Peppers are a healthy way to stay on track after the holidays without sacrificing flavor. Enjoy!
Did you make a batch of these Couscous Stuffed Peppers at home? Or did you make the filling as a summer salad instead? Leave a comment or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
Couscous Stuffed Peppers
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1½ cups pearled Israeli couscous
- 1 cup chopped walnuts lightly toasted
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ cup dried cranberries chopped
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese divided
- 1 13.75-oz. can artichoke hearts, rinsed and chopped
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives pitted and chopped
- ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 bell peppers assorted colors
- Using a small bowl, add tomatoes and vegetable oil; toss until tomatoes are coated.
- Spread tomatoes on a small broil-safe pan. Broil on low for 8-12 minutes, or until skins burst.
- Meanwhile, add the chicken broth, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic to a small saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir in the couscous. Remove pan from heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using a dry skillet, add the chopped walnuts. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, or until walnuts are lightly toasted. (Once you can smell the walnuts, they’re toasted!)
- Using a large bowl, add the tomatoes (from above), cooked couscous (from above), toasted walnuts, celery, cranberries, ¾ cup of feta cheese, artichoke hearts, olives, parsley, egg and Parmesan cheese; stir until well combined.
- Slice a thin layer off the top of each pepper. Remove seeds and inner membranes.
- Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with baking spray. Stuff peppers with the couscous mixture and place upright in dish.
- Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until peppers are tender.
- Remove foil. Sprinkle tops of peppers with remaining ¼ cup of feta cheese. Bake for 5-10 more minutes.
Looking for more Mediterranean inspired recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
Lamb Sliders with Feta Tzatziki Sauce
Grilled Mediterranean Baguette
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Will be making this soon can i use vegetable broth and vegan cheeses can i use olive oil to make this healthier can i use mushrooms as am not a big fan of bell peppers i never had couscous stuffed peppers before missed your recipes last 2 weeks perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
Hey Ramya! You can certainly use vegan options here. Using mushrooms would add a fun depth of flavor to this recipe. Give it a shot and let me know how it turns out!
Happy New Year, David! I’ve got a huge bag of couscous — this would be the perfect meal to make at this time of year! Looks hearty and delicious!
Happy New Year right back at ya, Michelle! Sounds like you’re all set for this recipe. I love couscous with Mediterranean flavors, and stuffing it all inside of bell peppers was a fun way to serve this one. Cheers!
Yum. I love seeing the feta in there! When I was young I ate nothing except fruits and sausages! With time, I learned to eat just about everything. Except uni. There’s hope!!!
Haha – I have to agree with you on the uni front, Mimi! 🙂 This recipe is a good one for cold winter days – I love the combination of couscous with Mediterranean flavors. Happy New Year!!
I am a huge fan of couscous and love the pearled couscous too! I love how you’ve paired it with Mediterranean flavors and stuffed it in peppers! Such a great idea for dinner.
I feel like pearled couscous just begs for Mediterranean flavors. The combination is fantastic! Thanks, Kathy! 🙂
These stuffed peppers are so lovely David! What a great way to use Israeli couscous. Tomatoes, feta, celery, dried cranberries, parsley, Kalamata olives…you’ve seriously got all my family’s favorite flavors here. What a gorgeous, delicious, and healthy way to start the New Year!
I love Mediterranean flavors, but they really call to me on cold winter days. Perhaps it’s the brighter flavors? Whatever the reason, these stuffed peppers have earned a spot on the meal rotation in our house. Thanks, Shannon!!
I really like this one David and have plans to make it tomorrow and will be serving it alongside of some lamb koftas and fresh pita bread.
Pearl pasta is a great shape for soups as well, we keep it in the pantry for making 2-minute lifeguard calamari. I wonder if Robbie would like it? It has pasta balls in it. I’ll let you know how your stuffed peppers turn out. I’m intrigued by the flavor profile.
Hey Ron! Oh man, I think you’re onto something with the lamb koftas and fresh pita bread. In fact, I’m pretty sure my stomach just growled at the thought of that meal! Lifeguard calamari? That’s a new one to me! And as far as Robbie? Umph. He’s a creature of habit, but every once in a while he gets in a mood where he’s willing to try new things. It’s unpredictable at best!
Happy New Year, David! Lots of good flavours on that stuffed peppers they look pretty too
Thanks so much, Raymund! I love the flavors in this recipe. 🙂 Oh, and Happy New Year right back at ya!
this sounds great david. i used to make an italian version of stuffed capsicums with anchovies and tomatoes etc. delish!
Ooo – I like the Italian idea here, Sherry! Do you use rice for that one? I might need to give that a try sometime soon…you know we love our Italian flavors here in our house. 🙂