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Almost every nationality has their own version of stuffed peppers and Bulgaria is no exception. What’s unique about these stuffed peppers? The addition of paprika which gives a bit of sweetness as does the choice of red rather than green or yellow bell peppers.
We should note that this won’t be the only Bulgarian stuffed pepper recipe you’ll find. Cheese is a popular substitute for the meat, veggies are added in place of – or with – the rice and when using skinny peppers, they’re covered with breadcrumbs and fried.
- 2 red bell peppers cored and seeded
- 6 ounces ground meat pork or beef
- 1/4-1/2 cup cooked rice
- ½ red onion chopped
- 1 tsp sweet paprika powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small bunch of parsley chopped or 2 T dried parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions for 2 minutes until soft.
- Add the ground meat and cook for 5 minutes until browned and cooked.
- Season with salt, pepper and paprika powder.
- Add the cooked rice to the meat mixture.
- Using a spoon, stuff each bell pepper with the meat and rice mixture
- Place the peppers in an oven dish filled half way with hot water to create steam to cook the peppers
- Cover with foil and cook for 40 minutes in the oven
- Uncover and cook for 5 more minutes to lightly brown the tops
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- Don’t substitute smoked for sweet paprika since the flavors are entirely different. If you don’t have paprika, skip it, as many Bulgarians do.
- Add tomato paste to the water along with some garlic, paprika and a bit of flour to thicken. Besides steaming the peppers, you’ll have a tomato sauce to top the peppers.
- You can substitute any protein of your choice, like poultry or even fish for the beef or pork. For a vegan version, use meatless crumbles or ground “meat”.