Lean ground bison, meaty mushrooms and chewy farro create this hearty, satisfying twist on a comfort food classic.
We didn’t grow up eating stuffed peppers but my Middle Eastern relatives have been stuffing vegetables for years. My all time favorite is Lebanese Stuffed Kusa Squash but I’m also a huge fan of Stuffed Eggplant with Beef and Pine Nuts, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and Meat Stuffed Grape Leaves. (Are grape leaves a vegetable?)
Anyway, my husband recently requested stuffed peppers so I decided to create a meaty, protein-packed stuffing. We had ground bison on hand (my newest obsession), some leftover cooked farro and mushrooms. If you’ve never tried ground bison, it tastes just like ground beef (much more so than ground turkey) but it has fewer calories and less saturated fat and cholesterol per serving.
Farro is one of my husband’s favorite ancient grains and it’s packed with protein and fiber. It’s much more nutritionally dense than brown rice or white rice so I decided to use it in these peppers. Feel free to swap with anything from bulgur wheat to quinoa to white rice to spelt! The goal is to simply turn whatever you have on hand into a new and delicious dish your whole family will love.
Your fork is waiting.
- 4 red peppers - halved, seeds and stem removed
- 1 medium onion - diced
- 1 carrot - diced
- 3 garlic cloves - grated
- 20 ounces ground bison (or beef, turkey, etc.)
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 14 ounce can tomato sauce - low sodium
- 1 cup cooked farro (or brown rice, bulgur, spelt, etc.)
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- fresh parsley, minced - optional garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and place red pepper halves in a large glass baking dish; set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and add diced onion and carrot. Cook onion until softened, 3-4 minutes.
- Add grated garlic to the pan and heat 30 seconds before adding ground bison. Bump heat up to medium-high and brown the bison while breaking it down with a wooden spoon. While bison is browning, throw in the mushrooms and spices (oregano through chili flakes.)
- Once mushrooms have lost most of their moisture and bison is nicely browned and starting to form a crust (after about 10 minutes), stir in the tomato paste. Use wooden spoon to help incorporate paste into the meat mixture.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and cooked farro. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until mixture is warmed through. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly before removing pan from the heat.
- Fill each pepper half with a heaping half cup of the bison and farro mixture. If there is leftover mixture simply add it to the pan around the peppers.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of shredded parmesan on top of each stuffed pepper. Cover pan with foil and bake until peppers are soft, about 30-40 minutes.
- Optional: Once peppers are cooked, remove foil from the pan and broil peppers for 30-60 seconds to brown the cheese and form a bubbly crust on top.
- Garnish with freshly minced parsley to serve.