Lemon Orzo Stuffed Peppers
Try these stuffed peppers with an Italian twist. Lose the rice & replace it with a lemon orzo, along with olives, artichoke hearts, capers, tomatoes, & MORE
I've been seeing lots of stuffed pepper recipes lately and thought I would try to make something new. So, I decided to make Italian stuffed peppers, using orzo instead of rice.
For anyone who doesn't know what orzo is (aka me before I cooked this recipe), orzo is a rice-shaped pasta. It looks super similar to rice, which makes the two pretty easy to mix up.
Although the two grains look alike, the textures are distinct and will change the taste of the dish. So just make sure when you are getting some orzo you don't mistakenly get rice.
Now that we have familiarized ourselves with the main ingredient, let's cook!
Marinate the Tomatoes
Here we are going to make almost like a small batch of tomato bruschetta, this will give a nice light, fresh touch to the dish.
Do them first to give the tomatoes lots of time to marinate, while everything else is cooking.
Start by slicing the tomatoes in half. Then, add them to a large mixing bowl along with:
- 1 clove of garlic
- olive oil
- basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes
Mix everything together, then set aside to marinate. Now let's move on to bigger and better things like preparing those peppers.
The Red Peppers
Don't forget to preheat oven to 400° F.
Then, slice the peppers in half. You can leave the stem on the red pepper if you want to add a decorative splash to your dish. If not, you can discard it, along with the seeds and membrane.
Next, drizzle the peppers with a little olive oil - about 1-2 tsbsp, sprinkle with a 1-clove of garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Once spiced, roast the peppers in a casserole dish for 20-30 minutes at 400° F.
The Lemon Orzo Stuffing
To prepare the stuffing, first, cook the orzo according to the package. This will be very similar to cooking pasta, so about 6 minutes until it's al dente.
Make sure you don't overcook if anything undercook because the orzo will be going back in the oven for 10-15 minutes once it has been stuffed into the peppers.
Since we are making Italian Stuffed peppers, we are going to need some Italian Flavours. So, once the orzo is done mix it in with the kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, pine nuts, basil, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Set this aside for now.
Stuff the Peppers
Don't worry we are almost done. This recipe does seem to have a long list of ingredients, but keep in mind that a lot of the ingredients are repetitive. ALSO, this dish is amazing and worth every step.
Finally, time to put everything together! Stuff the orzo mixture into the roasted red peppers. If there is some of the mixture left over, stuff it around the peppers in the casserole dish.
Next, squeeze the small lemon over the top of the stuffed peppers, then put the casserole dish into the oven at 350° F for 10-15 minutes- just to warm it all back up.
The peppers are cooked and it is almost time to indulge.
Plate the orzo stuffed peppers, then top with the marinated tomato toppings and a drizzle of balsamic. Also, add extra toasted pine nuts to the top for some added texture.