Filed Under: Italian | Side Dish

Orzo-Stuffed Peppers

Recipe By Tessa Arias
April 28th, 2011

 Spring makes me think of bright, bold, pretty colors. I bet it makes you think of that too. That’s one of the reasons I was drawn to this dish, it’s just so beautifully bright! Not to mention lately I’ve been seeing a lot of stuffed peppers around online, on television, in restaurants. Sometimes a recipe, food, or idea just haunts you until you make it/eat it.

So with the idea of stuffed peppers in my head I scoured my ever-growing collection of cookbooks and found this recipe from Giada. It was simple enough and I loved that it used orzo so I was off to the kitchen to cook. And now I’m at my computer blogging, with a lot of chopping, boiling, baking, and photo-taking that happened in between. 

And now I want to stop blogging because I have some cookies calling my name. So read the recipe and make it! Or not. But you won’t regret it, you may even want to take a photo to capture the beauty of bell peppers. And who would have thought peppers could be so pretty?

Recipe Rundown
Taste: Salty, tangy, savory, fresh.
Texture: The peppers are tender without being mushy, as is the orzo. My favorite part is the crisp cheese on top!    
Ease: Easy but not necessarily fast.   
Appearance: So pretty with the red, yellow, and green colors. Would look great on a dinner table!
Pros: This recipe is perfect as a light main dish or gourmet side dish, would be great for a picnic, potluck, or dinner party.
Cons: None, except the long cooking time.
Would I make this again? Yes, maybe with ground meat.

Orzo-Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4-6
Adapted from Giada’s Kitchen

  • 1 (28-oz) can whole Italian tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian dish)
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 6 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow)
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl and break them into pieces using kitchen shears or your fingers. Add the oregano, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 3 minutes. The orzo will be only partially cooked. Drain the orzo through a sieve, reserving the chicken broth. Add the orzo to the tomato mixture and stir to combine. Transfer the warm broth to a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all the inner ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up.

Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Place the peppers in the baking dish with the warm chicken broth. Cover the dish with non-stick foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle each pepper with cheese, and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully transfer the stuffed peppers to serving plates. Garnish with basil, if desired.

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    tiedwithblue — April 28, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    That looks AMAZING!
    Ah, I'm drooling!

  2. #
    amo1736 — April 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I love your blog! I've been enjoying reading your posts for a while now, and especially love them because I too am a college student who has always wished she were in culinary school! I am CONSTANTLY thinking about what I can make next time I am near a kitchen or visit home…my desk is covered in post-it notes of recipes I want to try, I bet you can relate! Anyways, just wanted to say this recipe for stuffed peppers is one of my favorites my mom and make at home, we also thought it would be great with some ground meat added in (mostly for my hungry brother) and so we've been making it with spicy italian chicken or turkey sausage…yum.

    Keep up the cooking!

  3. #
    Maeve — April 29, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Looks so tasty…what would you serve these with?

  4. #
    NickEatsFood — May 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I made this and they were fantastic! Added some portobello mushrooms… yum. Check it out if you want!

  5. #
    Cate — August 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I made these last night but added some crumbled vegetarian sausage and they were a HUGE hit. Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. #
    Susan — December 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Do you think this would work with Quinoa? I am gluten-free, but htis looks amazing!

  7. #
    Jakkob — January 20, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    I know that this is, like, four years late, but I added 1 lbs of Ground Beef seared w/ 2 tsp of chopped Garlic to this recipe. Talk about amazing, thanks!!!!

  8. #
    Bridget — March 28, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Thank you for posting this awesome recipe! I made it this past weekend. I did not miss the absence of ground beef in this recipe. A vegetarian dinner is really a nice change from the norm.

    Since I only made four peppers, I backed off on some seasonings like the basil and the garlic. I also topped with mozzarella cheese.

  9. #
    Cheryl — August 14, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Delish. Had guests who announced they were new vegetarians/sometimes pescatarians. Served this as directed with zucchini/yellow squash/red onion/garlic/s&p sautée and swordfish (we are on Cape Cod for those who wanted). Fabulous meal. I used the long Italian green sweet peppers. So good.

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