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Rice Packed Peppers on a white ceramic plate

Dorie Greenspan’s Rice Packed Peppers

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If you’re a fan of stuffed peppers, Dorie Greenspan’s Rice Packed Peppers with garlic, spinach and cheese will hit the spot!

A vegetarian side dish or entree, once I coerced the picky hubby to take a bite, he changed his tune on stuffed peppers!

Rice Packed Peppers on a white plate

Dorie Greenspan’s Rice Packed Peppers

Our recipe this week for French Fridays with Dorie was a  lovely side dish called Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach.  Doesn’t that sound delectable?  Dorie often suggests a Bonne Idée, a twist to the main recipe. And it’s frequently brilliant! I jumped at the chance to stuff some lovely bell peppers with this fabulous “almost” risotto. I picked out some jewel toned bell peppers knew they’d look as beautiful as they were destined to taste. Dorie’s rice packed peppers were phenomenal!

Rice Packed Peppers ready for the oven in a white baking dish

How to Make Stuffed Peppers Filling

I made Dorie Greenspan’s rice packed peppers for the first time while my dad was visiting back in 2010. I think the last time I ate stuffed peppers was my mom’s version with rice and ground beef, which he always adored.  So I knew he would appreciate these.  In fact he asked more than once if they were ready to eat, especially after I gave him a sample of the filling composed of Arborio rice, spinach, onion, garlic, Gruyère and cream.

The rice was made by bringing it and chicken broth to a boil, reducing the heat and allowing it to cook and simmer with the lid on.  The addition of cream gave the illusion of risotto without all the babysitting involved with the traditional technique. Then mixed with onions, garlic, spinach and cheese, the delicious filling was ready to be packed into vibrant fresh bell peppers and popped into the oven.

These pepper were marvelous, even the picky spouse agreed, but he needed to be coerced to take an initial bite. You know I don’t like stuffed peppers, he griped. But you love sausage and peppers, fajitas and other dishes with cooked peppers, was my logical response. Truthfully, I think he was most worried that these were the entree, not a side dish. Thank goodness I was convincing as he ate every single bite!

Rice Packed Peppers in a casserole dish

Tips for Making the Best Stuffed Peppers

These Rice Packed Peppers were made with rice, duh! But other grains can be used. Other cheeses can be used. Herbs can be added to the mix. The options are endless. Here are a few tips for making terrific stuffed peppers.

  • Select unblemished fresh bell peppers from the produce department of your favorite market. I like using a variety of colors for a beautiful presentation, red, yellow and orange. Back in the day, my mom would use green bell peppers, which aren’t as sweet, but are another option.
  • I like to slice a bit off the bottom of my peppers so they stand up straight in the casserole dish. Place them in the dish first, and observe which way the peppers tilt, and trim just enough without cutting an opening into the pepper.
  • I cut off the tops of my peppers and created a lid which can be baked on top of the filling. I like the way these look! You can also cut the peppers in half from top to bottom and place the pepper halves on their side. This will create double the servings for lighter appetites.
  • Place the peppers in a casserole dish where they fit tightly.  If your peppers are too wobbly in an ordinary baking dish, try a muffin tin or Bundt pan.
  • A little water in the dish and a cover of foil allows the peppers cook in a steamy environment.
  • An additional 15 minutes cooking time uncovered  lets any residual moisture evaporate. If desired, this would  be the perfect time to add an extra sprinkle of cheese to the top of the peppers.
  • As mentioned above, stuffed peppers are very easy to customize. Start with quinoa instead of rice. Add some diced bell pepper to the rice mixture. Add some minced fresh herbs or pesto! Shredded chicken or ground beef would please the meat lovers.
  • Fill your peppers with leftovers from your fridge.  Save extra taco filling, rice, veggies and make up your own version!

 

This recipe can be found in Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

If you love peppers, here are some more delicious pepper centered recipes to try. These Taco Stuffed Peppers from Wine and Glue are easy enough for a busy weeknight. Kalyn’s Kitchen shared Ten Low-Carb Stuffed Peppers and how about this Feta Stuffed Red Bell Peppers appetizer from Give Recipe?

Rice Packed Peppers on a white ceramic plate

This 2011 “Rice Packed Peppers” post was updated with new photos and text.

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Rice Packed Peppers ready for the oven in a white baking dish

Dorie Greenspan’s Rice Packed Peppers

If you’re a fan of stuffed peppers, Dorie Greenspan’s Rice Packed Peppers with garlic, spinach and cheese will hit the spot!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Side Dish, Entree, Vegetarian
  • Method: Sauting, Simmering, Baking
  • Cuisine: American, French-American

Ingredients

4 large bell peppers, I used 2 red, 1 yellow and 1 orange, tops cut off and reserved, and ribs and seeds removed

3 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (use vegetable broth to make this dish vegetarian)
1 cup Arborio rice
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces fresh spinach, stems trimmed, then chopped
1/4 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Place the peppers in a small casserole dish so they’re fit tightly together. Trim a small slice from the bottoms if any do not stand upright.

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the rice and cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the broth is almost all absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow the residual heat to finish the cooking process.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a saute pan. Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes, and then add the the garlic. Continue to cook until the onion is tender, and then stir in the spinach. Cook until the spinach has wilted.

Add the rice to the spinach mixture, along with the cheese and cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir until everything is well combined. Add more cream if needed.

Spoon risotto mixture into pepper shells and top with the tops. Pour 1/2 cup water into the bottom of the casserole dish and cover loosely with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes. Serve hot.

Notes

The rice stuffing alone makes an excellent side dish!

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73 comments on “Dorie Greenspan’s Rice Packed Peppers”

  1. I almost bought some peppers to stuff with my leftovers yesterday, but I think I might get some today…. It would be a great way to make the leftovers into something delicious!…. I bet this was a great treat for your dad!

  2. Always kinda funny that stuffed peppers typically look better prior to cooking. 🙂 Love the combination in the filling.

  3. Love that you made the stuffed peppers version for this rice dish. So colorful!

  4. I did not stuff peppers with my rice but clearly I should have! They look lovely!

  5. These are beautiful, Lizzy! The sweet pepper must have been a great foil to the cheesy rice. Mindless stirring does not bother me when making risotto, but it was fun to see that Arborio does ‘cream up’ even when it is just boiled.

  6. I have had stuffed peppers, but the idea of using a cheesy rice in there is wonderful. Ha-your dad was hovering around after that sample. I am sure he enjoyed those peppers. Awesome photos here-have a great weekend Lizzy!

  7. Lovely and yummy, how not to drool over the rice inside!!!!

  8. ultimate comfort food! These are gorgeous Lizzy!

  9. They look almost like unreal! 🙂 And really heavenly delicious!

  10. Look fabulous! Only problem is that I would just have to make them for me. Rick doesn’t care for rice! #@%*

  11. Hey..when the picky spouse agrees, you know you’ve done something special!

  12. Ooh they look so good! What a good idea to use a risotto to stuff them!

  13. Great looking stuffed peppers. I never thought of putting spinach or arborio rice in stuffed peppers. Great idea!

  14. Goodness, they look good unbaked and baked and everywhich way! The colors are simply lovely.

  15. Nice, it seems to be one of those dishes where you get great result with not much physical effort (lot of thinking/planning required though:)). Have a nice weekend.

  16. These stuff peppers look delicious Lizzy, Love the colours, have a nice weekend! gloria

  17. Love the colors and healthy too!

  18. Yummmm…great pics Lizzy!

  19. I must make this dish. I was actually planning on making some stuffed pepper (the peppers are in the crisper as we speak). I like that you used all the colors here (I only have green ones). Thanks for sharing this idea… I love the filling. 🙂

  20. Looks and sounds delicious, Lizzy! I’m like your mom and stuff mine with ground beef and rice, but since we’ve recently fallen in love with risotto these would be a wonderful alternative! Thanks for posting!

  21. Oooooh I love the idea of using the cheesy spinachy rice to stuff peppers! My parents used to make the rice-and-ground-beef ones all the time when I was a kid, but I didn’t like the green bell pepper. I think I’d really love it with red ones, though.

  22. These are gorgeous! I am not a fan of bell peppers, but they sure are pretty.

  23. I used different kinds of stuffing in pepper but never thought of using rice. This really looks nice.

  24. They look great! Can’t wait to try them out as a nice dinner option. Yum!

  25. Looks great. Nice photos.

  26. Liz! These are beautiful! I’ve had peppers stuffed with a variety of things….but I much prefer a cheesy risotto! Especially since you didn’t have to ‘babysit’ them!

  27. delicious looking stuffed bread and colourful

  28. Your stuffed peppers look lovely! Glad your company liked it.

  29. I love the idea of “almost risotto”! This looks so good and cheesy rice with garlic and spinach sounds like the perfect stuffing for these peppers!

  30. Love stuffed peppers! Yours sound divine!

  31. This looks so good. I tried stuffed peppers for the first time this year and just fell in love with them. This looks like an amazing version of them.

  32. YaY! It’s French Fridays! I really do like this series! Whether I cook or not for it, I’m getting this cookbook! (I may have to wait, I just bought SEVEN cookbooks at the book store on Wednesday!)

    BTW – I’m following you on Google Follower…I don’t know why I haven’t been…I practically LIVE here!

  33. Your peppers look delicious and how nice that you were able to share this recipe with your dad.

  34. Unbaked and baked they’re GORGEOUS! 😀

  35. I bet your Dad loved these! My parents would have loved them too. Such beautiful colors!

  36. Beautiful roasted peppers. This was a fun recipe with a new method for me to try…always up for new ideas especially ones that are so beautiful and delicious. Nice post.

  37. That’s how we make our peppers as well, rice and beef!
    This version does look pretty good though!
    Your pics are so colourful and look delicious!

  38. Lizzy…yours look delicious…I stuffed the bell peppers with my cheesy rice and baked them…gosh, they were truly delicious and I shall make this again 🙂 Lovely photos !

  39. Love the stuffed peppers! They look great both uncooked and cooked. I used my leftovers to stuff peppers and was quite pleased. This one’s a definite winner.

  40. I love the ‘almost risotto’ Lizzy and the peppers look soooooo delicious. Excellent meatless recipe, coming to a plate near me very soon!

  41. Oh my goodness, how the world has changed since stuffed green peppers were on the menu. These are beautiful and I know I would eat every bite, which I did not do with the green ones. Somehow I never liked the green peppers. Hurrah for colorful red and yellow peppers.
    Sam

  42. Those stuffed peppers look gorgeous!

  43. Every time I see this kind of delicious stuffed peppers i remind to my summers in Africa, when I was very young and maybe I tried for the first time this recipe on the beach… wonderful memories!!!

  44. Beautiful colours and always a little amused they are called bell peppers instead of capsicum like we do here in Oz. 🙂

  45. beautiful blog, yummy food.

  46. Wow – if this was picky spouse approved, it must be good 🙂
    And a happy birthday to your sister – she has quite the birth date too…

  47. Absolutely beautiful and with all that gorgeous creamy cheesy rice – what a winner!
    Mary

  48. Spinach, onion, garlic, Gruyère… wow!! I am sure they are as delicious as they look. The photos are great!

    Have an awesome weekend 😉

  49. You just made me VERY glad I own a copy of Around My French Table!

  50. Lizzy! Another winner from Dorie! I’m sorry I didn’t have the opportunity to comment yesterday….crazy busy! I love this recipe and it’s amazing how many different ways it was served…I am a new fan to stuffed peppers, and hubby ADORES them! Buzzed!

  51. I havent made stuffed peppers in forever and I am so making these. They look amazing! I love how pretty and colorful they are!

  52. Those look good… I’ve actually never had one before… 🙁

  53. Well I can’t beleive we are really on the same page these days.. just posted shrimp stuffed peppers, yours are so beautifully done! Love the clear photos and I just can smell that fragrance coming from your kitchen everyone loves that smell here!

  54. What a wonderful idea…. The cheesy rice is perfect for peppers.
    Really beautiful and colorful pictures!!

  55. i love the idea of these stuffed peppers and the shortcut to the creamy risotto. And the cheesy … deliciousness!

  56. I love stuffed peppers!!! And what a great idea to use that cheesy rice as filling! Amazing dish… and now I am hungry!!! SIGH

  57. These are lovely lizzy! I made stuffed peppers the other day at work but they weren’t nearly as pretty as yours! Love that you put the tops back on them for presentation!

  58. These look perfect! I wish I saw this last week. I had a lot of peppers from a trip to a local farm that I would have used!

  59. Wonderful stuffed peppers, the rice filling sounds so delicious!

  60. Lizzy-I’m back tracking with the comments…a busy weekend, and I’m so behind with commenting!
    Your Dorie challenge rice dish with spinach in the gorgeous pepper cups are so amazing, and look so delicious!
    They deserve to be on Top 9…if they haven’t (which I would also have missed, as well)

  61. Oh these do look wonderful indeed…the rice sounds delightful and stuffed into these gorgeous peppers even better!

  62. YUM! Just got back from holiday and am catching up on your blog… I’ve already bookmarked about four recipes to try and I’ve only been on here about two minutes!!

  63. I love the colour contrast between the two sorts of peppers. I made the stuffed peppers, too. Such a great meal.

  64. Those are indeed gorgeous!!!! And, the filling sounds scrumptious. I need to spend more time with that cookbook!!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂 xoxo Kate

  65. I love that so many Doristas went with the stuffed pepper version! Yours look great.

  66. they look delicious!

    Amanda
    softandstiffpeaks.blogspot.com

  67. I love stuffed peppers I think I could eat these for even breakfast!

  68. I haven’t had stuffed peppers in a couple of years, thanks for the reminder. Yours sound very good, I’m pinning. 

  69. My husband is a fellow pepper hater, but I’ll have to try this recipe on him. Great time about that extra 15 minutes of cooking to avoid the soggy pepper status. Great recipe!

  70. Beautiful. And sounds delicious! I have that book – i need to get it out and go through it again. It’s been too long.

  71. These stuffed peppers sound amazing. The stuffing sounds very tasty

  72. I love stuffed bell peppers, these look delicious!

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