These bison and mushroom stuffed peppers contain lean ground bison, meaty mushrooms, and chewy rice to create a 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 rice, 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.
- Peppers: I like to use red bell peppers as they are naturally the sweetest, but I’ll use yellow or orange peppers as well.
- Onion: Diced white onion gives some flavor while not being too strong.
- Carrot: Adds texture to the filling as well as nutrients and a bit of a sweet taste.
- Garlic: Pungent, aromatic flavor that sweetens as it cooks with the meat.
- Ground bison: A wonderfully lean, yet flavorful alternative to ground beef.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms absorb the flavors of the ingredients around them, and have a great chewy texture.
- Oregano: Strong, earthy, and somewhat minty flavor.
- Thyme: Savory, somewhat peppery taste that pairs well with oregano and other Itlian herbs.
- Worcestershire sauce: Adds flavor to the sauce in the filling, and a wonderufl umami taste.
- Mustard: Whole grain mustard adds a depth of flavor to the filling.
- Chili flakes: Just a little kick of heat that isn’t overbearing for the dish.
- Tomato paste: Helps to thicken the sauce a bit, and blends well with the tomato sauce.
- Tomato sauce: The base of the sauce for the filling, a little tangy and acidic.
- Rice: I love using already cooked, leftover rice for this recipe, or leftover farro or bulgur wheat.
- Parmesan cheese: Nutty, salty, and melts to be stringy and delicious.
How to Make Bison and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers
Start your bison and mushroom stuffed peppers by dicing your carrot and onion, and halving coring your bell peppers.
Then in a bit of oil or a pan with cooking spray, saute the onion and carrot until they start to soften.
Then add the grated or minced garlic along with the ground bison. Break up the bison as it cooks into smaller bits.
Once the bison is mostly browned, add the sliced mushrooms along with the spices (oregano, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and chili flakes).
Season with some salt and black pepper, and once the mushrooms have lost most of their moisture, add the tomato paste and tomato sauce, stirring and mixing to coat the meat.
Add your cooked rice or farro and mix in until heated through.
With your filling finished, take heaping half cups worth and fill the halves of your red peppers. Sprinkle each filled pepper half with parmesan cheese, cover with foil, and then toss in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Once parmesan cheese has melted and peppers are softened, remove from the oven and garnish with fresh parsley.
Serve and enjoy your Bison and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers!
- Switch the grain. Farro is another favorite of mine for stuffed peppers, but you can use any kind of rice, quinoa, or even bulgur wheat!
- Change the protein. Ground turkey is another great low calorie option, but regular ground beef works also. Or make them vegan or vegetarian and don’t use meat at all, use lentils or beans!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have to boil peppers before stuffing them?
Some recipes will have you boil them, I personally don’t! I like to stuff them and then bake them in the oven. It’s makes them tender and a little bit crisp around the edges. Delicious!
What is the best pepper to stuff?
Most commonly people will use bell peppers, but there are definitely recipes for other kinds of stuffed peppers.
How do you store leftover stuffed peppers?
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
More Dinner Recipes
- Lebanese Stuffed Kousa Squash
- Grilled Shrimp Shawarma Skewers
- Easy Chicken Soup with Greens
- Ground Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry
- Sausage and Eggplant Baked Pasta
Eat It, LIke It, Share IT!
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These Bison and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers are super forgiving, and a great way to use up anything you want to from your fridge. Make them your own and let me know how it goes in the comments!
Your fork is waiting.
Bison and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers
- 4 red peppers (halved & seeds and stem removed)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 1 carrot (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (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 rice ((or farro, 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 rice. 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 rice 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.