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Easy Vegetarian Spanish Stuffed Peppers with Rice and Cheese

Lauren Aloise
My easy vegetarian Spanish stuffed peppers with rice and cheese make the perfect meal!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4 servings
Calories 441.82 kcal


Homemade Spanish Tomato Sauce

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes cores removed
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1-2 dried cayenne peppers depending on how spicy you like it
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Splash of sherry wine or brandy
  • Salt to taste

Rice Filling

  • 1/2 large sweet onion diced
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ñora pepper or sub a dried sweet chili pepper of choice
  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of short grain rice you can substitute risotto rice such as Arborio
  • About 2 cups of vegetable stock depending on the rice you use
  • 4 bell peppers
  • Creamy cheese such as Spanish tetilla cow's milk


  • To make the tomato sauce, pulse the tomatoes in a blender or food processor until still slightly chunky and reserve.
  • Coat the bottom of a heavy pan with olive oil over a medium heat and add the garlic and cayenne. Sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant and then add the wine/brandy, tomato puree, sugar and salt. Cook on low for 25 minutes, until reduced. You may want to remove the cayenne peppers when finished.
  • To make the rice filling, cook the onions over a medium heat in a heavy pan until starting to brown. Then add the dried ñora pepper and sauté for a couple more minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, sugar, and salt and sauté until the sofrito thickens.
  • Rinse the rice under cold water and then add it to the sofrito and stir for about 30 seconds on medium high heat. Add one cup of liquid and bring to a simmer. Then lower the heat and start to add the remaining liquid little by little (about 1/2 cup at a time), stirring constantly. Only add new liquid when everything is almost completely absorbed.
  • Cook this way until the rice is cooked al dente, meaning it is still a bit firm and even slightly underdone (it'll cook more in the oven). Remove the ñora pepper.
  • Finally, stuff the peppers. Cut the tops off in a wide circle and save them to use as lids. Remove the seeds with a spoon, and stuff each pepper a little less than halfway with the rice filling.
  • Add a cube of cheese (I like a big cube because I love cheese), you could also add a layer of shredded cheese if you prefer. Then cover to the top with rice (but don't pack it down because the rice will expand a bit more while baking.
  • Cover each pepper with its top, and place in a baking dish on top of the homemade tomato sauce.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour at 400°F (200°C). Then remove the foil and bake about 15 more minutes (until the peppers are browned on top).


Calories: 441.82kcalCarbohydrates: 71.9gProtein: 8.84gFat: 12.75gSaturated Fat: 2.25gCholesterol: 2.97mgSodium: 584.83mgPotassium: 966.96mgFiber: 6.65gSugar: 17.44gVitamin A: 6054.83IUVitamin C: 203.69mgCalcium: 83.11mgIron: 1.95mg
Keyword easy stuffed peppers, rice stuffed peppers, vegetarian stuffed peppers
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