Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just want to spice up your weekly dinner menu, these grilled stuffed peppers are the answer.

Stuffed bell peppers are a popular entrée that is frequently prepared in an oven inside.

But today, our variation are easily made for the grill, keeping the taste of the outdoors as well as the flavor of grilled vegetables. This is how it’s done.

Grilled stuffed peppers can be served as an appetizer (cut peppers into fourths) or as an entrée (cut peppers into eighths) (cut peppers into halves).

How to make grilled stuffed peppers

Ingredients

This recipe makes about 8 servings if the peppers are split in half.

Stuffing (based on Claiborne, 1990)

  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • ½ cup of chopped onion
  • About ¼ cup of good quality cooking oil (Canola or olive)
  • 1 pound of ground beef or veal
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • ½ to ¾ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic, about one clove, minced
  • Optional: 2 Tablespoons pine nuts

Peppers

  • 4 large bell peppers (use a mix of green, orange, yellow, and red for visual effect).

Sauce

  • Puree stewed tomatoes (about ½ cup) or use one can (approximately 6 oz) of tomato juice.

Preparation

Bell peppers are cooked as a baked dish by cutting away the stem end of the pepper and removing the pith and seeds. A filling is made and then put into the hollowed-out pepper through the top hole. The stuffed peppers are smothered in tomato sauce. Because traditional stuffed peppers are cooked upright and coated in sauce, certain grill changes are required.

The grilled, stuffed pepper is made in a similar fashion, with a few changes to make it fit for the grill.

To begin, the peppers are split lengthwise so that they do not have to stand erect on the grill.

Second, the peppers are roasted for a few minutes before the filling is added. Grilling the peppers before adding the stuffing mixture keeps the veggie soft but crisp, and the fire improves the flavor of the grilled peppers.

First stage

  • Split the peppers in half from top to bottom with a sharp paring knife.
  • Rinse after removing the stems, seeds, and pith.
  • Set aside to drain on a paper towel.
  • Each pepper half will be shaped like a little boat.
  • Large peppers can also be cut into quarters and served as an appetizer.

Second stage

This stage can be done on the stovetop or outside on a sufficiently hot side burner (many burners integrated into standard commercially available grills do not provide enough heat to cook meat).

  • Sauté the onions and garlic together until the onion chunks are transparent. Brown the ground beef (or veal) in the skillet.
  • Remove any extra grease before adding the rice, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Don’t scrimp on the Parmesan cheese because it helps to hold everything together.
  • Mix thoroughly, then add the pine nuts last.
  • Place aside.

Grilling the Peppers

  1. Preheat the grill to medium (approximately 300°F). Unstuffed peppers should be cooked for about four minutes, skin side up. Turn the parts around so that the “boat” is ready to be filled.
  2. Place the peppers in a mesh grill pan or a vegetable grilling basket if you have one. This will make removal easier and catch any rice that could otherwise fall into the grill.
  3. To stuff the peppers, remove them from the grill for a few minutes. Stuff the peppers with the rice and pork mixture using a large spoon.
  4. Drizzle the tomato puree or tomato juice over the top, using a measuring cup with a pouring lip to ensure that some of the puree soaks into the rice without running over the side of the pepper.
  5. Top with more Parmesan cheese or shredded cheddar cheese. Return the peppers to the grill for another five minutes on medium heat. The skin may blister slightly, but this is normal. The fire is too hot if the skins blister severely.

Preparation Tips

Stuffing can be made ahead of time and kept for subsequent use in stuffing peppers. Preparing the stuffing ahead of time makes it easier to control the grill, especially if the chef will be working on the grill outside while preparing the stuffing mixture inside.

  • Allow the stuffing mixture to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before adding it to the peppers.

Otherwise, the peppers may overcook while the stuffing cools.