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turkish stuffed peppers in pan

Turkish stuffed peppers

  • Author: Amélie
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Main course
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Turkish
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Turkish stuffed peppers are the perfect vegetarian addition to any feast! These sweet and tender small bell peppers are filled with the most flavorful lemony and tomatoey rice filling.



For the Turkish stuffed peppers:

  • 200g Turkish baldo rice, or use jasmine rice (1 cup)
  • 3 tomatoes, divided
  • 5 parsley sprigs
  • 1 big yellow onion
  • 55ml extra-virgin olive oil (¼ cup)
  • 3 tsp fine sea salt, divided
  • 1 tbsp Turkish mild repper paste (tatli biber salçası), or use tomato paste
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ tsp ground dried mint (nane)
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 to 12 Turkish mini green bell peppers
  • to serve: Turkish yogurt, or use full-fat Greek yogurt

For the cooking liquid:

  • 1 tbsp Turkish mild repper paste (tatli biber salçası), or use tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Wash and soak the rice.  Put the rice in a colander and rinse it under lukewarm running water until the water runs clear. Put the rice into a large bowl, cover it with lukewarm water, and mix in 1 tsp of salt. Let the rice soak for 30 min then drain using the colander again.


  2. Make the filling. Grate 1 tomato on the largest holes of a box grater into a deep plate and discard the skin. Pick off the parsley leaves from the sprigs, chop them and set aside. Peel the onion and finely chop it. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Cook the onion until softened, about 7 to 8 min, stirring occasionally. Add the mild red pepper (or tomato) paste and spread it all over the onion using a wooden spoon. Cook for 2 min. Stir in the grated tomato, caster sugar, drained rice, and the remaining 2 tsp of salt. Cook for 7 min, stirring from time to time. The rice should have softened slightly but still be crunchy. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, chopped parsley, and spices.


  3. Stuff the green peppers. With a sharp knife cut around the stem deep enough to cut the core free. Pull the stems to remove the core. You might need to shake the peppers a little bit to remove some of the seeds that have fallen at the bottom. Take a lidded pot that will be wide enough to accommodate all the peppers sitting upright in one single layer. The green peppers will need to fit snugly to prevent them from falling over. If your pot is too wide, slice big chunks of potatoes or any kind of vegetable you have in the fridge. You’ll place them around the green peppers to stick them in place. Divide the filling among the green peppers making sure it fills each vegetable three-quarters full. The rice will expand while cooking so it needs some space! Arrange the green peppers sitting upwards inside the pot in a single layer. Make sure it’s a tight fit. Cut the remaining 2 tomatoes in half and remove the stalks. Cut the halves into pieces that’ll be just big enough to fit inside the top of the green peppers. Push the tomato lids on top of the filling, smooth side up. These will stop the filling from spilling out during cooking.


  4. Cook. Make the cooking liquid by mixing the paste in 475ml (2 cups) of water using a whisk. Pour the liquid around the stuffed green peppers. The water should not cover the green peppers, merely reach halfway up the sides of the green peppers. (or three-quarters up the sides at the maximum). If there isn’t enough liquid, add some water to reach halfway up the sides. Drizzle the olive oil on top. Bring to the boil over high heat. Cover with the lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. For example, the heats of my induction stove go from 1 to 9 ½ (9 ½ being the hottest) and I reduce the heat to 4 when I cook Turkish stuffed peppers. Cook the green peppers, covered, for 50 min. After 50 min, uncover and prick the biggest green pepper with the tip of a pointy knife. It should insert with no resistance. Remove the tomato lid and taste a little bit of the rice to check if it’s cooked. Be careful not to burn your tongue! If the green peppers or the rice aren’t soft enough to your liking, cook for 5 to 10 more min and try another one. Add more water if there isn’t enough left in the pot.


  5. Serve. Once cooked, grab the Turkish stuffed peppers one by one using a tablespoon and place them onto a serving dish. Let them rest and cool down for at least 15 min. Serve them warm or at room temperature. I actually prefer mine fridge-cold! Serve with big dollops of cold yogurt on the side.


You can keep the Turkish stuffed peppers stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up 4 days.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 151

Keywords: summer vegetarian recipes, typical turkish food, meatless stuffed peppers