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Persian Spiced Stuffed Peppers


The seasoned lamb or beef in this recipe is terrific on its own, over basmati rice or rolled into puff pastry and baked like a deli roll. Stuffed in peppers, these are dressy and can be served as a side dish or an appetizer. They can be made a day ahead of time and reheated, covered.


Prepare the Persian Spiced Stuffed Peppers

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about five minutes. Add ground meat and cook until browned, about six to eight minutes. Drain any excess fat from the meat and return skillet to heat. Add crushed tomatoes, paprika, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook for three minutes. Add parsley and remove from heat.
3. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. Set aside.
4. Place the bell peppers in a greased nine- x 13-inch baking dish, cut-side up. Evenly divide the beef mixture among the pepper halves. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.
5. Make the gremolata (alternatively, just use store-bought seasoned panko): In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add panko and garlic and cook over medium heat, until garlic is soft and panko is toasty, about three to five minutes. Add lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, and parsley and cook an additional minute so the juices are absorbed.
6. Remove peppers from the oven and uncover. Sprinkle with gremolata and bake, uncovered, for another five minutes.


Photography by Chay Berger