PP Peppers Stuffed with Italian Lentils and Rice

Jessica Meyers Stuffed Peppers.jpg

Chef:  Jessica Meyers Altman; Gardenfreshfoodie.com
Makes:  12 Servings
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  60 minutes
Total Time:  1 hour 20 minutes


For the lentils

  • 1 ½ c brown or green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 ½ c onion, small diced
  • 1 ½ c carrots, small diced
  • 1 ½ c celery, small diced
  • 1 quart of canned tomatoes, or 28 oz can, separate out the liquid and set aside
  • 2 T garlic minced
  • 1 T rosemary, thyme, and oregano
  • 1 t salt, reduced to ½ t if using salted broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • ¼ t black pepper
Jessica Meyers Stuffed Peppers 3.jpg

For the rice

  • 1 ½ c brown rice
  • 3 c water
  • 3 t freshly prepared bouillon (see recipe on PBNSG or Gardenfreshfoodie.com) or add additional salt and paste to taste
  • 2 T tomato paste

For assembly

  • 10 multi-colored peppers
  • Jarred or freshly prepared pasta sauce (no oil added), about ½ a jar
  • Freshly chopped parsley and crushed red pepper for garnish
Jessica Meyers Stuffed Peppers 2.jpg


  1. To cook rice in a pressure cooker:  place rice, tomato paste, water/broth, and bouillon into a pressure cooker, cover, bring to pressure, reduce heat to low and cook for 12 minutes.   Turn off and let pressure drop.  
  2. To cook in a traditional pot:  bring water/broth to a boil, add in bouillon if using, rice and tomato paste.  Reduce heat to low and cook until water has been absorbed and rice has softened, about 40 minutes.
  3. While rice is cooking make the lentils:  Sauté onions, carrots, celery, herbs & garlic in a good-sized soup pot., along with a little of the reserved tomato juice to prevent sticking.  Add bay leaves and cook until vegetables have softened.  Season with salt, pepper and add in tomato paste.
  4. To the reserved tomato juice, add enough water/broth to measure out 4 cups of liquid.  Add to the pot along with tomatoes and lentils.  Cover and cook until lentils have softened.
  5. Once lentils and rice are finished cooking, add rice to lentils until desired consistency is found.  We added almost all of the rice, leaving a little for a lunch the next day.
  6. While lentils and rice cook, bring a pot of water to boil, along with a pinch of salt.  Slice peppers in half and remove their seeds.  Drop into boiling water and cook for 1 ½ minutes.  Remove from the water.
  7. Pour enough of the jarred tomato sauce into 2 9 x 13” pans to coat the bottom and prevent the peppers from sticking.  Put the peppers into the sauce (we found 10 halves/5peppers fit in each pan).  Fill with lentil stew and top each pepper with 1-2 tablespoons of sauce.
  8. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes, uncover and cook for 10 more minutes
  9. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and crushed red pepper if desired.  Serve with a big salad and enjoy those colors!
Jessica Meyers Stuffed Peppers 4.jpg

Jessica Meyers Altman; Garden Fresh Foodie
Associate Professor of Whole Food Nutrition & Living
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