Well hello! I’m in a tizzy with good news this morning and can’t wait to share with you all. There’s excitement in air, too. Can you feel it? Summer might be winding down, but I just spied a pumpkin at the store and I’m looking forward to all the fun activities that fall brings.
Before I get ahead of myself, I thought we’d better make good use of those glorious end-of-summer bell peppers. I wanted to make stuffed bell peppers that weren’t super heavy and cheesy, so I drew some inspiration from Middle Eastern mujaddara and stuffed them with a simplified couscous version.
Basically, the peppers roast in the oven while lentils simmer away on the stove, which then gives you some free time to properly season the couscous with aromatics and tomatoes. Then you just toss the lentils and couscous together with feta and basil, stuff the peppers and serve them right away.
I chose Bob’s Red Mill’s petite green lentils for this recipe because they retain their shape and look far more appetizing than the standard brown version. They’re cute, right? Like all lentils, they’re rich in fiber and iron, but this variety has more flavor than the rest.
I’ve bought lentils from bulk bins that have taken thirty to forty minutes to cook because they’ve been sitting on the shelf for so long, but these Bob’s Red Mill lentils took just over twenty minutes, which I take as a sign of their superior freshness.
These stuffed peppers are a light meal, for sure, so I’d suggest pairing them with a big green salad. This one is my go-to, and the lemony dressing would go so well with the lemony lentils. Please let me know how you like this one! In hindsight, this recipe reminds me of Jeanine’s recent stuffed peppers recipe, so check out those beauties, too!
- 4 large red bell peppers, halved vertically, seeded and membranes removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Petite French Green Lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 1¼ cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped (to yield 1 cup chopped onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- ½ cup whole wheat couscous
- ½ cup vegetable broth or water
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus extra for garnishing
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the prepared peppers on the sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Use your hands to rub the oil all over both sides of the peppers, then arrange them with the cut side up and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the peppers are tender and a little blistered around the edges.
- Meanwhile, combine the lentils, broth or water and bay leaf in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, about 23 to 25 minutes. (Add another splash of water if necessary to prevent the lentils from scorching.) Drain off the excess water and return the lentils to the pot. Discard the bay leaf.
- While the lentils cook, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, medium pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and a sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are turning golden on the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and pour in the couscous and ½ cup broth or water. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff the mixture with a fork.
- In a medium serving bowl, combine the cooked lentils and couscous. Add the crumbled feta, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, chopped basil, ¼ teaspoon salt and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and season to taste with additional salt, pepper and lemon juice, if necessary.
- Spoon a generous amount of filling into each roasted pepper halve and sprinkle with a little more chopped basil. Serve these with a fork and a knife, for slicing!
Make it gluten free: Substitute quinoa for the couscous (add the water and quinoa at the same time, stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let it steam for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and carry on.)
This post was created in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!