Mediterranean Meat And Meatless Stuffed Peppers (with video)

Mediterranean Meat and Meatless Stuffed Peppers, traditionally stuffed with lamb and rice or lentils and barley are equally delicious.

Meatless or Meat and Rice Stuffing for Peppers
Meatless or Meat and Rice Stuffing for Peppers

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

Certainly Mediterranean stuffed peppers have been in my kitchen since I was a kid.

However, they have changed a little over the years, as dietary preferences have inspired new ways to prepare peppers.

While ground meat and rice are traditional, barley, lentils, quinoa and pine nuts are great pepper stuffings too!

What makes Mediterranean style stuffed peppers so delicious is the herbs and spices used in either meat or meatless stuffed peppers.

Traditional Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers
Traditional Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Traditionally, rice was the grain of choice to stuff things: peppers, squash, eggplant, grape leaves, cabbage and other stuff-able things. 

But the modern twist on traditional food says, “the sky is the limit.”

Here are just a few interchangeable ideas to the traditional rice and meat filling.

  • Multi colored rice medley
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Farro
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Ground meats of your choice, or not…
  • Chili
  • Veggie medley

Mini Peppers

I don’t remember seeing these adorable, sweet, mini peppers growing up.

They taste more gentle than bell peppers and the color is not lost when cooking. 

These mini peppers have little inside to clean out, so prepping them to stuff is fast and easy.

Simply cut the tops (save to cover), pull out the string that has a few seeds, and you are ready to stuff.

Make sure to cook the stuffing you will use, beans, lentils, rice, barley or meat, because once these delicate peppers are stuffed, they only take about ten-minutes in the oven to soften them, and warm the filling. 

Mini Sweet Peppers
Mini Sweet Peppers

Stuffed Peppers From Leftovers

Coming from a large family, I never learned how to cook for just two people! I inevitably have leftovers. 

Since I often cook lamb, I like to save a small amount to chop into bits and save for other meals.

A mixture of the barley, I simmer in some of the meat drippings, lots of garlic and water, makes for a perfect stuffing for peppers.

Meat and Meatless Stuffed Peppers
Meat and Meatless Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Zucchini and yellow squash are my favorite go-to veggies for so many dishes I make. They are so colorful (which I like in my food), and when grated, they disappear in sauces, yet amp up the flavor and nutrients. 

Grandma’s Sneaky Meatballs with ground meat (or ground lentils), was something I created for my picky eater grandkids when they were little.

I would grate zucchini and squash and mix it into the ground meat or lentils for a healthy meatball-ish!

Shaving zucchini and yellow squash, slightly sauté them in olive oil, garlic and lemon, just enough to soften but not overcook, then stuffing them into a roasted bell pepper, makes for a delicious stuffed vegan pepper!

Ingredients Needed

  • Peppers
  • Cooked Grain – barley, rice or quinoa
  • Ground meat Or Lentils
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice Onion
  • Fresh marjoram or oregano
  • Cinnamon

Equipment Needed

  • Cooking pot with a lid
  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Saute pan
  • Cooking spoon
  • Small spoon
  • Baking dish
  • Foil
  • Oven
Vegan Stuffed Pepper
Vegan Stuffed Pepper
Mediterranean Meat And Meatless Stuffed Peppers

Mediterranean Meat and Meatless Stuffed Peppers

Ground meat or lentils with grain, nuts and herb stuffed peppers.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Tapas
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Meat and Meatless Stuffed Peppers
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • Large stock pot
  • Baking dish


  • 1 lb Mini Peppers or 6 bell peppers
  • 3 cups Cooked rice or barley
  • 1 lb Ground meat or 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Marjoram fresh or dried
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Cut the tops off the peppers and clean out the seeds.
    Save the tops to cover once the peppers are stuffed.
  • Cook the grains, as directed, rice or barley, preferable in meat or vegetable broth.
  • If using lentils, have them cooked just until tender, about 15-minutes.
  • Meat – In a large saute pan, saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil.
    Add the ground meat and cook just until the pink is gone.
    Add lemon juice, spices, and salt to taste.
  • Lentils – In a large saute pan, saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil. Add lemon juice, spices, and salt to taste.
    Blend in the cooked lentils.
  • Fold in the cooked rice or barley into the meat or lentil mixture. Stir until blended.
  • Place peppers in a baking dish, open side up.
    Spoon the filling into the peppers, replace the tops, cover loosely (to create a little steam), and bake until peppers are tender to the touch, about 20-25 minutes.


Rice Medley and Lamb Stuffed Peppers
Rice Medley and Lamb Stuffed Peppers
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
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