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Stuffed Bell Peppers with Lebanese Spices

These stuffed bell peppers with Lebanese spices are filled with beef and rice then cooked in a garlic and mint infused tomato broth. 

Stuffed bell peppers with Lebanese spices.

Stuffed vegetables are extremely common in Syrian and Lebanese cuisine, and for good reason! They keep vegetables on the center stage of the dinner plate, they allow you to stretch your food budget by using less meat, and they are full of flavor! To serve, we always have a bowl of Lebanese Laban (cucumber yogurt sauce) on the table for people to help themselves. Made with more mint, garlic, and lemon juice – it’s the perfect cool topping for these hearty stuffed peppers. Or keep it off, and this dish is both gluten free and dairy free!

Ingredients

  • Bell peppers: Slightly sweet and deliciously crisp, bell peppers are affordable and cook wonderfully without breaking down.
  • Ground sirloin: Low in fat, high in protein and rich meaty flavor, it’s also called 90% lean ground beef.
  • White rice: Makes the filling just that: more filling! Helps to keep you full and to bind the meat mixture together.
  • Garlic: Nutty, earthy, and slightly sweet when cooked, this recipe doubles down on this delicious vegetable.
  • Tomato juice: Savory, robust umami flavor that turns into a delicious sauce.
  • Dried mint: Commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking, it is sweeet and fragrant.
  • Lemon juice: Bright, fresh, and acidic that cuts through the sauce and elevates the other flavors.

How to Make Stuffed Bell peppers with Lebanese Spices

Adding rice to meat

Start your Stuffed Bell Peppers with Lebanese Spices by creating the meat mixture. Add the white rice to the ground sirloin in a large bowl.

Liz grating garlic

Next add freshly grated garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix all together with your hands. Set stuffing aside.

Pouring tomato juice into bowl

Next, pour tomato juice into a large bowl.

Seasoning added to bowl

Next add the mint leaves, fresh or dried.

Grating garlic into sauce

As there can never be enough garlic, using a microplane add garlic to the sauce.

Adding lemon juice 1

Finish with fresh lemon juice, and whisk until fully combined.

Liz hollowing out bell pepper

Next cut the tops off of your bell peppers, and trim out any excessive ribbing.

Stuffing peppers with beef

Stuff your peppers evenly with the meat mixture.

Placing peppers in pot

Then place your stuffed bell peppers into a large pot.

Adding sauce to peppers

Take your sauce and poor it over all of the peppers until they are fully covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes.

Stuffed bell peppers with Lebanese spices.

Once meat is cooked and rice is tender, remove from the pot and serve with a dollop of Lebanese Laban sauce. Enjoy your Stuffed Bell Peppers with Lebanese Spices!

Substitutions

  • Switch out the protein. Use ground lamb or turkey instead of beef.
  • No tomato juice? You can also use tomato paste thinned with water.
  • Use fresh or store-bought. While fresh lemon juice and herbs is always going to be nice to use, don’t let it stop you from trying a recipe. You can use bottled juice or dried herbs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you have to boil peppers before stuffing them?

Nope! Some recipes might call for it, but if you do a slow and long cook, you’ll get tender peppers and fully cooked filling at the same time.

Do you have to cook the meat before stuffing bell peppers?

Again, no! Like I mentioned before, some recipes might call for different steps, but you can cook the peppers and meat at the same time.

How do you store leftover stuffed peppers?

Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Stuffed bell peppers with Lebanese spices.

More Lebanese Recipes

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Liz eating stuffed bell peppers with Lebanese spices.

Comforting, filling, and delicious, my Stuffed Bell Peppers with Lebanese Spices will please the whole family. Let me know how it goes in a comment!

Your fork is waiting.

Stuffed peppers with Lebanese spices

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Lebanese Spices

4.66 stars average
These stuffed bell peppers with Lebanese spices are filled with beef and rice then cooked in a garlic and mint infused tomato broth. 
PREP: 20 mins
COOK: 45 mins
TOTAL: 1 hr 5 mins
Pin Recipe
Servings: 4

Ingredients
 

  • 4 large bell peppers (top removed, hollowed out)
  • 1 pound ground sirloin (or lamb)
  • ½ cup long grain, enriched, par-boiled white rice (uncooked )
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic (grated and divided )
  • 20 ounces tomato juice (or tomato paste mixed with water)
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Lebanese Laban Cucumber Yogurt Sauce (to serve)

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, mix together ground sirloin, uncooked white rice, salt, pepper, and 3 of the grated garlic cloves. Stuff peppers equally with 1/4 of the mixture then place peppers in the bottom of a deep pot.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together tomato juice, dried mint, lemon juice, and remaining 3 cloves of grated garlic. Pour mixture over the peppers, making sure that the peppers are covered with the liquid. (Add more tomato juice if needed.)
  • Bring pot to a boil on high heat then reduce to low and cover with lid. Cook on low for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender and rice and meat is cooked through. Serve with Lebanese Laban Cucumber Yogurt Sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pepperCalories: 416kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 25gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 681mgPotassium: 1080mgFiber: 4gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 5855IUVitamin C: 242.6mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 4.6mg
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Liz DellaCroce

Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families.

39 Comments

  1. Hi Liz! I just wanted to say that I’m Lebanese too and really liked this recipe! I made this last night but added Lebanese 7 spice mix to the stuffing and it was really good! I personally prefer the mint in the stuffing instead as opposed to the broth and added more salt, lemon, garlic and olive oil to the broth as a slurry on top of everything like my family does with grape leaves.

  2. I’ve made this recipe twice! The first time was fantastic and the second time the rice was too hard. Any tips to avoid this in the future?

  3. This is not a full proof recipe ! The rice needs to be cooked or parboiled ! I used basmati rice which cooks fast . Waste of time . Most online recipes are not full proof .

  4. This recipe looks like something I would love. Do you think I could just substitute out the rice for cauliflower rice or would that change the texture of the filling too much.

    1. This turned out a disaster! You really need to change your recipe to say cooked rice. I had to take the stuffing out of the cooked peppers to try to cook the hard rice to salvage the meal, unbelievable!!

      1. Hi There! So sorry this didn’t work out for you. Did you use long grain, enriched, par-boiled rice? If so it cooks in 15 minutes. We don’t use cooked rice in this recipe. Similar to grape leaves or stuffed kousa, we always start with uncooked rice but it cooks in the 15 minutes so long as you use enriched, long grain, par-boiled (we love Uncle Ben’s!)

    2. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish

      These stuffed peppers sound amazing! We’re big fans of stuffed peppers in my home, especially with mint in them. I LOVE that flavor! I bet these are so delicious with that beautiful cucumber yogurt sauce over the top.

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