stuffed peppers sides

What To Serve With Stuffed Peppers? Try These 7 Side Dishes

Stuffed peppers are in right now! Everyone wants to try making these at home because they are healthy and high-protein. Still, they are not necessarily a full meal on their own, so knowing what to use as a side dish for stuffed peppers is key.

In this article, we will give you some ideas for when you are wondering about the best side dishes for stuffed peppers!

What Are Stuffed Peppers?

Stuffed peppers refer to a dish that can be common in many parts of the world, consisting of hollow or half peppers filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese. In most cases, bell peppers are used and stuffed with cheese, ground meat, and tomatoes. In Spain, however, stuffed peppers are a traditional dish that consists of piquillo peppers stuffed with Manchego cheese, chicken, or cod with red sauce.

This dish has also been traditional in Indian cuisine, where bell peppers are filled with potatoes, meat, onions, and spices. The stuffed pepper is also baked or pan-fried. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines also serve stuffed peppers that include tomatoes, onion, zucchini, eggplant, grape leaves, and more.

Lately, North Americans have adopted this dish because it is healthier and can save calories. Most recipes include a stuffing made with ground beef or turkey, cooked rice, eggs, herbs, and spices. In Mexican cuisine, jalapenos and poblano peppers are stuffed with cheese, salsa, and sometimes meat as well.

Nutrition Facts

One stuffed bell pepper (198 g) with sausage and rice has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 200 calories
  • 10 g protein
  • 8 g fat
  • 19 g carbohydrate
  • 1.98 g fiber
  • 5.01 g sugar
  • 79.2 mg calcium
  • 1.09 mg iron
  • 440 mg sodium
  • 102 mg vitamin C
  • 2500 IU vitamin A
  • 35.6 mg cholesterol

Preparing stuffed peppers is not hard at all, and it can be a healthy meal any time of the day. While for the most part, this meal is low-fat and high-protein, be careful with what sauces and cheese you add, as they can increase the caloric and fat content. For the most part, using lean meats, and low-fat cheese, and baking your peppers results in a wholesome meal.

The Best Stuffed Peppers Side Dishes

Below are the easy to make sides for stuffed peppers at any time!

#1. Cauliflower Risotto

If the idea is to make a high-protein, low-carb meal, then this cauliflower risotto is a great choice. Not only is it quick to make, but it also has a lot of fiber, and low carbs, and fat while packing a ton of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups cauliflower rice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your cauliflower risotto:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the mushrooms until they turn brown and soften. Add the minced garlic and mix well.
  2. Lower the heat to a slow simmer, and add the white wine vinegar, continue to cook until it is absorbed. Add the cauliflower rice along with the recommended water, and the chicken or vegetable broth.
  3. Cover your saucepan and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is crispy.
  4. If you want to serve your cauliflower rice as is, add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
  5. For a smoother risotto, add the cauliflower and remaining liquid to a blender. Blend for a few seconds, and return to the saucepan.
  6. Cook over low heat, add more olive oil if necessary. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese, mix well, and cook for two more minutes,
  7. Serve warm, with stuffed peppers on the side.

#2. Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Nothing says summertime like a good pasta salad, and this one is very fresh, full of nutrients, and extremely tasty. Serve it cold with your stuffed peppers and add more flavors to your meal!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bowtie pasta
  • 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup diced green bell peppers
  • ½ cup red onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup chopped mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Mediterranean pasta salad:

  1. Start by cooking your pasta according to the instructions.
  2. Once the pasta is al dente, drain it, and place it in a bowl.
  3. Chop your cherry tomatoes, green bell peppers, and red onions. Add the chopped vegetables to the bowl with your pasta.
  4. Pour the olive oil and lemon juice on top. Mix well. Add feta cheese and garlic, and continue mixing.
  5. Add salt, pepper, and mint. Mix one last time.
  6. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Serve cold with stuffed peppers on the side.

#3. Sweet Potato Wedges

For those that want to have a little treat with their stuffed peppers but stay on the healthy side, then these potato wedges are the right choice. You can make these in the oven and serve them with sour cream.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅓ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅓ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dry rosemary
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your sweet potato wedges:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In the meantime, wash your sweet potatoes and pat dry. Cut them into wedges.
  3. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place your potatoes and sprinkle olive oil on top. Add the cumin, cinnamon, and rosemary as well.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes. Rotate the potatoes, and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes more.
  5. Serve warm, with sour cream on the side.

#4. Roasted Carrots

When it comes to adding crunch without having a starchy vegetable, carrots are the way to go. You can add a touch of honey to make them sweet, a bit of teriyaki sauce to make them Asian, or even Brussel sprouts to add more fiber.

Ingredients:

  • 6 or more large carrots
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your roasted carrots:

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 375 or 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash your carrots, and pat them dry, cleaning any dirt off. Cut them lengthwise, to the desired size.
  3. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place your carrots, and sprinkle the olive on top, along with the garlic. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Roast your carrots for about 15 minutes, moving them around, and then adding more time if needed. Your carrots should become wrinkled, soft, and brown on top.
  5. Serve warm with chopped parsley on top, and with stuffed peppers on the side.

#5. Creamy Parmesan Polenta

When you want something delicate and delicious, this creamy Parmesan polenta is a good way to balance out the crunchiness and denseness of your stuffed peppers. You can add other types of cheese, and more vegetables if needed.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup light cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your creamy Parmesan polenta:

  1. In a large pot, heat your vegetable broth and water. Once it boils, add the cornmeal slowly, and reduce the heat to a medium.
  2. Whisk your cornmeal often, so no big lumps form during cooking.
  3. Add the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Continue to mix well, so there is no scorching at the bottom.
  4. Your polenta will thicken within 10 to 15 minutes. Once it does, turn the heat off. Add the Parmesan cheese and your light cream.
  5. Continue to mix until everything is homogenous and soft.
  6. Serve warm on the side.

#6. Quinoa with Mint

To continue on a health kick, this quinoa with mint is all sorts of fresh, and very filling! You can whip this recipe together with a couple of ingredients and only a few minutes to spare.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your quinoa with mint:

  1. Add the water and broth to a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, salt, and pepper.
  2. Bring to a boil again, and then reduce the heat to a low. Cover your quinoa and continue cooking until all the water is absorbed. This process can take up to 20 minutes or more.
  3. Add the olive oil to your quinoa and mix well. Add the mint, and continue to mix.
  4. Serve warm with stuffed peppers on the side.

#7. Chard Salad with Tomatoes and Pistachios

When you want something fresh, and easy to make, this chard salad with tomatoes and pistachios is just for you. You can also swap the chard out with some spinach or arugula if needed.

Ingredients:

  • 12 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • A bunch of chard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your chard salad with tomatoes and pistachios:

  1. Wash your chard and tomatoes and allow them to air dry.
  2. Cut your tomatoes in halves, or leave them whole if desired.
  3. Mix your chard, tomatoes, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Add the pistachios and continue to mix.
  4. Serve your salad cold, add balsamic vinegar if needed.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Sides for Stuffed Peppers?

As you can see, stuffed peppers are very versatile. You can choose any sort of filling and make a whole meal with just a few ingredients. These are often considered healthy meals, so finding a side dish can be difficult if you are not sure what to choose.

When you fill your stuffed peppers with just sauce and cheese, choose a side dish that is a little more filling. You can go for the Mediterranean pasta salad or sweet potato wedges. You can also add chickpeas or chicken to your Mediterranean pasta salad to make it more filling.

If you are filling your stuffed peppers with meat, vegetables, and possibly cheese, then go for a lighter dish. You can try the cauliflower risotto or quinoa with mint. If you want, add a few mushrooms or asparagus to make the side dishes more complete.

On the other hand, if you are baking your stuffed peppers, you can choose a side dish that is also roasted, or complement it with something fresh instead. Choose the roasted carrots or the chard salad with tomatoes and pistachios. You can also saute your chard with olive oil if you want it warm.

Conclusion

While many are making stuffed peppers more and more as a healthy meal alternative, not everyone knows what to eat with stuffed peppers. Do not ruin your meal, and choose something that complements the flavors. You can mix and match with some of these options too!

See more: How to reheat stuffed peppers

*image by directornico/depositphotos

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