Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Peppers




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Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Red Peppers

Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Peppers ~ this classic comfort food gets an exotic makeover with ground lamb, lightly spiced with cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, and nutmeg, along with fluffy couscous to replace the traditional rice.  The aroma is swoon-worthy!

Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Red Peppers in a casserole dish

I love to create recipes where animal proteins, in this case lamb, aren’t the star of the show, but part of a cast of delicious characters all working together in unison.  I love to put meat and plant based foods on equal footing, and here the spiced lamb is just one of the many flavors that make up this dish.  I get lots of inspiration from other cultures where meat is treated more like an accent rather than the main focus of a meal.  In these stuffed peppers 12 ounces of ground lamb stretches easily to feed eight.

Spiced Lamb and Cous Cous Stuffed Red Peppers with mint yogurt sauce

My beautiful red peppers are stunning to begin with, the color really pops.  But they get even more brilliant after cooking.  Best of all, they keep their structure and their ‘bite’, never getting mushy.  I purposely don’t pre-cook them like so many stuffed pepper recipes advise.  Tenting the pan in foil keeps enough steam in to tenderize the peppers while keeping them firm.

Spiced Lamb and Cous Cous Stuffed Red Peppers with mint yogurt sauce on a table

Couscous is a great binder for stuffed peppers because it stays fluffy, unlike traditional rice which can get starchy and stodgy.  I like to add pine nuts, (toasted first!) and currants for a punch of texture, flavor and sweetness.  You can substitute dried cranberries for the currants, and walnuts for the pine nuts if you have trouble finding them.

Toasting pine nuts for Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Peppers

Feta cheese gives the filling for these stuffed peppers a nice sharp tangy element.

Making the filling for Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Peppers

I make sure to mound the filling into each pepper because I know it will shrink down a little as it cooks.  I want each pepper to be a satisfying meal in itself, no skimpy peppers for me.

Spiced lamb and couscous stuffed peppers ready to bake

Ingredient spotlight: Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is an amazing ingredient that I won’t be without.  It’s basically pomegranate juice that has been reduced down to a thick syrup, and the flavor, as you might imagine, is explosive.  It adds a pop of sweet/tart flavor to so many dishes from dressings  and dips to all kinds of sauces and marinades.  It needs no refrigeration and lasts a long time in the cupboard.

Hint: You can make it yourself, too, I have instructions here.

 

Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Red Peppers in a casserole dish

Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Red Peppers
Rate this recipe
3 ratings

Category: main course

Cuisine: Mediterranean

Yield: 6-8 servings

Serving Size: one stuffed pepper

Calories per serving: 238

Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Red Peppers

Ingredients

  • 6 -8 red bell peppers (look for similar sizes and shapes so they cook evenly)
  • 12 ounces ground lamb
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups cooked couscous (I cook mine in chicken stock for extra flavor)
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes (or any plain tomato sauce)
    Yogurt mint sauce
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Slice the tops off of your peppers and reserve. Remove the seeds and veins from the insides of the peppers.
  3. Brown the ground lamb and the spices in a skillet, breaking apart the meat as you cook. After it is well crumbled and no longer pink, remove it to a plate.
  4. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes, until translucent. Remove to the plate with the lamb.
  5. Add the pine nuts to the pan and toast, stirring almost constantly, until they turn golden. Add a touch of olive oil if the pan is dry.
  6. Add back the meat and onions to the pan, along with the cooked couscous, currants, and feta. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste. I like to drizzle in a little pomegranate molasses, if you have some, but it's optional.
  7. Pour the tomato sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish that just fits your peppers. Arrange the peppers on top. Fill each pepper with the filling, pressing down slightly to insure each one is completely filled. Mound the filling up a bit at the top. Replace the tops loosely on the peppers.
  8. Cover the casserole dish and peppers with a sheet of foil. Crimp the foil along the sides of the pan so the peppers can steam. Bake for about one hour and 20 minutes, removing the foil for the last 20 minutes. The peppers should be tender and slightly browned.
  9. Serve with yogurt mint sauce on the side.
  10. To make the yogurt mint sauce, blend the ingredients together in a small food processor.

More stuffed veggie recipes on the blog ~

Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Peppers ~ this classic comfort food gets an exotic Middle Eastern makeover with ground lamb and couscous. #recipe #easy #lamb #couscous #redpeppers #bellpeppers #dinner #groundlamb #comfortfood #maincourse

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Leave a Reply

15 Comments

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    October 8, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Stuffed peppers have never looked better, these are delicious!

  • Reply
    2 Sisters Recipes
    October 5, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Wow we love lamb in our house! I know my husband would love these stuffed peppers! I will be making them soon – thanks Sue!

    • Reply
      2 Sisters Recipes
      October 5, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      FYI I also pinned your photo to my dinner board!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 5, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      Hope you love it!

  • Reply
    Enid
    October 4, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    This looks awesome! I can hardly wait to make this! I’ve made many of your recipes, and they are always so delicious! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    October 4, 2018 at 5:59 am

    Prettiest stuffed peppers ever Sue! And I love that filling. Gotta get these on our weekly menu!

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    October 3, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Sue, “the honorary Mediterranean chef”! You made a Wonderful dish! The stuffing is superb, and you are so right to not pre-cook the peppers. To keep them juicy, fork their “bottoms” once -so liquids can go in and keep them fluffy-.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 3, 2018 at 8:32 am

      I was born in the wrong country, Alexandra ;) And great tip!

      • Reply
        Alexandra
        October 3, 2018 at 8:37 am

        No, stay where you are! There is no better!

  • Reply
    Berni
    October 3, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Wow, beautiful!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    October 3, 2018 at 7:47 am

    I feel like I’ve been transported to a fine little café in the Middle East. But I don’t have to pack my bags, I can just make these wonderful peppers!!

  • Reply
    Tricia
    October 3, 2018 at 6:03 am

    Oh my, this is one gorgeous meal! Those peppers are mouthwatering and all that flavor packed goodness, wow. You knocked it out of the park again Sue – my husband would adore this recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 3, 2018 at 8:38 am

      You’re lucky, Grant hates stuffed peppers so we don’t have them often enough!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    October 3, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Wow! So pretty and such great flavours going into these peppers. Such a great dinner for this time of year :)

  • Reply
    angiesrecipes
    October 3, 2018 at 3:20 am

    It looks incredibly delicious! Now I really am tempted to give lamb a try!

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