These stuffed peppers are cooked on the grill and combine pearl couscous and fresh veggies for a light summer meal!
One of the fun things about food blogging is that sometimes I have to push myself to try new things. These lovely, and very tasty, stuffed grilled peppers are a good example. While I'm a fan of bell peppers, more so raw than cooked, stuffed peppers are not something I'd normally think about making. The more I blog, the more I come up with new and different ideas and ways of combining ingredients. That's part of the adventure of cooking!
We've been having a bit of a heat wave here in Chicago this week, so the idea of heating up my kitchen by turning on the oven is not very appealing. So that means grilling - which is actually one of my favorite things to do on a nice summer evening! It's a great way to take advantage of nice weather and a good excuse to sit outside with a nice glass of wine. The night I made these peppers the wine was a lovely Pinot Gris from Eyrie Vineyards.
Making this a vegetarian dish allows it to be a really nice light summer meal. You could also add some grilled chicken if you wanted a little bit more protein.
If you don't happen to have a grill, or you want to make these in the winter and not have to go outside, you can use a grill pan for the peppers. The cook time will be a little longer since you won't have the extra heat circulating like you do when the grill cover is closed. I always list full cooking and prep times for my recipes, so you know how long you'll be "working" when you make something, that said, you can definitely start grilling the peppers while the couscous is cooking.
Tips for Grilling Peppers
Like most grilled veggies, grilled peppers are really easy to make.
- Brush the skin of the peppers with oil. I like avocado oil for grilling due to its high smoke point.
- Start with the skin side down so you get nice grill marks on the outside of the peppers.
- Keep the heat at a medium temperature - about 350°F if your grill has a built-in temperature gauge.
- Except for when you need to turn the peppers, keep the lid closed when cooking.
notes from the kitchen
- When grilling peppers you want to get a nice char on all sides of the pepper, so turning them frequently is key. It's ok to let them blister a bit as it gives them a nice smokey flavor.
- I find pearl couscous to be much better in salads and recipes like this; I actually prefer it overall. It's so much more hearty than traditional couscous and I think it picks up the flavors of the seasonings in a recipe much better.
I designed this recipe as it if were a main dish, so the serving size is two peppers per person. If you want to use these peppers side dish you can serve four. The couscous salad also makes a great side dish on its own - I've already served it a few times this summer!!
More vegetarian recipes
- Roasted Tomato Ricotta Crostini
- Ancient Grains Vegetarian Buddha Bowl
- Sweet Potato Hash
- Fresh English Pea Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Stuffed Grilled Peppers
For the peppers:
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Pearl Couscous
- 4 orange or yellow bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup Cherubs or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
- ⅓ cup cucumber, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, use any combination you like
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup diced bell pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the sauce:
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dried shallots
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- dash ground black pepper
- dash dried lemon peel
- Preheat grill to medium heat, about 350°F.
- Make the couscous. In a medium saucepan bring the water to a boil. Add couscous and return to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove couscous from heat, keep covered and let cool.
- Prepare the peppers. Cut the tops off the peppers and clean the insides by removing the membranes and seeds. Brush lightly with olive oil.
- Grill the peppers. Place the peppers on the grill; grill for 5 minutes then turn and grill an additional 3-5 minutes on each side until cooked. Remove from grill and let cool slightly.
- Prepare the couscous mixture. After the couscous has cooled slightly add the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, herbs, feta, bell pepper and ground pepper to the couscous pan. Mix well.
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl combine the yogurt, vinegar, shallots, oregano, lemon juice, ground pepper, and lemon peel. Stir well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Assemble the peppers. Place each pepper upright on a plate. Divide the couscous mixture among the four peppers. Drizzle with the yogurt sauce and serve immediately.