Bell Peppers Stuffed with Rice in Tomato Sauce

stuffed bell peppers
Photo: Jason Lowe

The most common filling for this dish is a mix of ground pork and rice, but this one with rice alone makes a beautiful dish for vegetarians. It is best to use short-grain or “round" rice, which is soft and sticks together when cooked. Choose peppers with a good base so they can stand up in the baking dish.


Makes 6 servings

The Tomato Sauce

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ to 1 red chile pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt

The Filling

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped oregano
  • Salt

stuffed bell peppers


Step 1: For the sauce, cut the tomatoes into quarters (you do not need to peel them) and remove the hard white bits near the stem ends. Blend them to a light puree in a food processor.

Step 2: Heat the garlic and chile pepper in the oil in a wide skillet, stirring, for 30 seconds, until the aroma rises, then add the tomatoes, sugar, and some salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and thick.

Step 3: For the filling, fry the onion in the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until soft and golden. Add the tomatoes, sugar, oregano, and a little salt, and cook until the liquid has almost disappeared. Add the rice, stir well, then add the stock (or water and bouillon cubes).

Step 4: Stir in the saffron, and salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed but the rice is still underdone.

Recipe courtesy of The Food of Spain.

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