Vegetarian Italian Stuffed Peppers: roasted bell peppers stuffed with cheesy risotto baked until soft and fragrant! Ready in 40 minutes, these stuffed peppers with rice are cheesy, comforting, flavorful and so easy to make! (Naturally Gluten-Free)
Vegetarian Italian Stuffed Peppers
Today I’m sharing with you this Vegetarian Italian Stuffed Peppers recipe!
It’s a very rich, fun recipe to spice up your weekly meals or Holiday menu!
The peppers are cut in half and roasted until charred, stuffed with cheesy Italian risotto and baked!
They’re very easy to make and so so good, especially if you’re a cheese lover! 🙂
Let’s get started!
Ingredients for Italian Stuffed Peppers
You’ll find the full recipe + ingredients in the recipe card down below but this is what you’ll need:
- Bell peppers. Select medium-size, fresh (firm with no wrinkles) bell peppers. I like using red and yellow for a splash of color but you can also use all red or all yellow. I wouldn’t recommend green for this specific recipe because they’re usually a bit more tart.
- Olive oil. You’ll need this for roasting the peppers, sauteing the onions and garlic, and toasting the rice.
- Onion. Both sweet and red onions will work for this recipe so pick your favorite. I used red for extra flavor but sweet would be great as a milder option.
- Garlic. Use garlic cloves, no flakes or powder!
- Rice. Please stick to Arborio rice for this recipe! Arborio is short-grained and very starchy which is what makes risotto deliciously creamy.
- Vegetable broth. You’ll use this for cooking the rice. You can also use water but I recommend broth as it adds extra flavor to your rice. Please use low-sodium so you can have more control over the amount of salt!
- Tomato sauce. This is optional and I mostly use it to add a bit of color to the rice, you can skip it or even substitute it with ketchup (I tested it once and it worked very well).
- Italian seasoning.
- Salt and pepper.
- Fontina cheese. Fontina can be semisoft or hard, I recommend selecting a semisoft block of Fontina and shredding it at home for best texture and flavor! It has a gentle buttery, nutty taste that will really take your risotto filling to the next level! As an alternative, you can use young semisoft Gouda cheese. Do not use hard cheeses for this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese. This is optional but recommended for extra flavor and cheesy, golden tops! Again, I recommend shredding your own Parmesan at home for best texture and flavor 🙂 .
How to Make Italian Stuffed Peppers
You’ll find the full recipe with step-by-step instructions in the recipe card down below but this is what to expect:
- Roast the peppers. I like to pre-roast the peppers before stuffing them with risotto as it adds more flavor to the peppers. Drizzle them with olive oil and roast them until charred, softened, and fragrant.
- Make the risotto. While the peppers are roasting, make the risotto! Start by sauteing the onions and garlic in olive oil, then toast the rice until slightly golden and fragrant, add in the tomato sauce (optional), season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Pour in the broth and cook until creamy, stirring from time to time. Once the rice has softened, add in the Fontina cheese and mix!
- Stuff the peppers. Stuff the peppers with spoonfuls of cheesy risotto, and top with extra Fontina cheese and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake and serve hot!
Can you make stuffed peppers ahead of time?
Yes, you can partially make these ahead of time. Roast the peppers and allow them to come down to room temperature before storing them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a day.
The next day, make the risotto, stuff the peppers, and bake.
Please do not stuff the peppers ahead of time as risotto can dry up overnight.
Can you refrigerate stuffed peppers?
Yes! Allow the peppers to come down to room temperature before storing them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Reheat in the oven at 350 F until hot. The center of the risotto should measure 165 F, you can use a kitchen thermometer (I like this one) to make sure your peppers are fully heated through!
What to serve with stuffed peppers:
- Healthy Oven Roasted Vegetables (using any veggies)
- Italian Fried Zucchini Flowers
- Spicy Lebanese Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Fries with Aioli
- Sauteed zucchini.
- Sauteed mushrooms.
- Or any salad of your choice!
HAPPY COOKING LOVES!! I hope you’ll love this easy Vegetarian Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe much as I do!
PS: Please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating ⭐️ if you make it! Your comments make my day!! You can also tag me on Instagram @itsdamnspicy 🌈💘
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Vegetarian Italian Stuffed Peppers
- 4 red and yellow bell peppers medium-sized, fresh, firm with no wrinkles
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1/2 medium sweet or red onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup (215 g) Arborio rice
- 3 cups (710 g) vegetable broth I recommend low-sodium
- 1 tbsp tomato sauce or ketchup optional
- 1-2 tsp Italian seasoning to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 and 1/2 cup (170 g) shredded Fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Roast the peppers. Slice the peppers in half (from top to bottom), remove all the seeds and membranes, then drizzle them with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt to taste (if desired). Make sure the olive goes on the inner and outer layer of all the peppers. Bake for 15 minutes or until softened and fragrant. Meanwhile, make the risotto filling. Once the peppers are ready, remove them from the oven.
- Prepare the risotto. In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once the oil sizzling, add the minced onion and sautee for 2-3 minutes or until softened, then add in the garlic and sautee for another 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the rice. Toast the rice for 1-2 minutes or until slightly golden and toasted, stirring constantly. Pour in the vegetable broth, tomato sauce (if using), Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, once it's boiling, turn down the heat to medium and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the rice has softened but it's still slightly firm. Make sure to stir the rice from time to time for a creamy risotto! Once the rice is ready, turn off the heat and add 1 cup (115 g) of Fontina cheese to the pot and mix it into the rice until it's melted and creamy.
- Stuff the peppers. Stuff the peppers with the prepared risotto. I like to stuff them until the rice forms a little mound on top. Top them with the remaining Fontina cheese and grated parmesan.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately!
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