If you are reading this, you are undoubtedly interested in creating and eating side dishes with peppers. Bell peppers are rich in Vitamin C, packing more than double the daily recommended allowance. You can also find beta-carotene and Vitamin B in them. It also helps that there are so many ways to create side dishes with peppers outside the classic stuffed bell pepper.
Here are the top 4 side dishes with peppers you need to try.
1. Couscous Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed bell peppers come in all types of fillings; however, the couscous stuffed peppers are a healthier alternative to other forms. These stuffed bell peppers are inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, as couscous is mixed with pistachios, herbs, and balsamic vinegar.
Want to wow your guest with a Mediterranean-inspired dish? This grilled vegetable tray is sure to do the trick.
To make couscous stuffed peppers, you will need the following ingredients:
- 6 bell peppers of all different colors,
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup of couscous
- 3 medium shallots chopped
- ¾ cup of pistachios chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- Lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Black pepper
- Sea salt
- ¼ cup of feta cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash your peppers and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and stems.
You can then line a baking tray with parchment paper, placing the peppers on top. Bake the peppers with the cut side down for about 15 minutes before flipping them over. When flipping them over, sprinkle a pinch of pepper and salt, then bake for another 15 minutes until the peppers become tender.
While the peppers are cooking, start on the couscous. First, boil 1 1/4 cup of water (or vegetable broth) in a medium pot. When the water is boiling, add a little salt, a piece of butter and a drizzle of olive oil, then add 1 cup of couscous. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and let it steam for about 5 minutes.
How do you know when it’s ready? Check to see if the water is absorbed. Use a fork to fluff the couscous to make sure there’s no water left in the bottom of the pan.
Mince the parsley, shallot, and garlic, then chop the pistachios. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the red pepper flakes, shallots, and garlic for about 2 minutes or until the shallots become translucent. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients, adding sea salt to taste.
Spoon your filling into the roasted peppers before garnishing with feta cheese crumbles and the rest of the parsley.
2. Sheet Pan Veggie Fajitas
Roasted peppers are versatile, and they work well with other vegetables. Try this recipe for a quick vegetarian and vegan meal.
For sheet pan veggie fajitas, you’ll need:
- Medium purple onion
- 2 yellow bell peppers
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 green bell peppers
- 6 ounces of sliced mushrooms
- Olive oil
- Your favorite tortillas.
- You can add black beans if you want to beef up the protein.
For the seasoning, you’ll use
- 3 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Sea salt
The first step to preparing these sheet fan fajitas is to preheat the oven to 400°F. You’ll make the seasoning by mixing all the spices in a small bowl. Next, prep all your veggies and place them into a large bowl. (If you’re using black beans, stir them into the bowl at this point, too.) Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze the lime juice overtop, and then toss to coat. Add the spice mixture and gently mix everything together.
Spread the veggies on a baking sheet. Make sure they’re in a single layer so they cook evenly, and roast for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven, mix, and then pop the pan back in the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes, depending on how tender you like them.
Now, it’s time to serve. Warm your tortillas if desired, then add a spoonful of the veggie mixture and add your toppings, like sliced avocado or pico de gallo. You can eat these fajitas as a meal or serve them as a side with grilled chicken breast or tuna steak.
3. Beautiful Vegetable Medley
This recipe contains green broccoli florets and red pepper slices to create a colorful medley that is sure to brighten your summer. The key to this recipe is to use mild seasoning to let the veggie flavors shine.
For this recipe, you will need
- 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon granules
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- 2 cups of fresh broccoli
- 2 cups of thinly sliced medium zucchini
- 1 cup of sliced celery
- 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
- 2 medium carrots thinly sliced
- Olive oil
The hardest part about this dish is the prep work because it uses so many vegetables. Once you have everything seeded, sliced, and ready to go, heat the water and bouillon in a small saucepan for about a minute. Add the spices. Let everything simmer for a minute, then remove the saucepan from the burner.
Now it’s time to cook your veggies, but the key to this dish is making sure you add them in the right order because they cook at different speeds. First, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.
Once heated, add the carrots, onion, broccoli, and celery. Cook them for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add your bouillon mixture and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add your zucchini and red peppers and cook for 3 more minutes. Finally, add your cabbage and mushrooms and cook for one to two more minutes. Then you’re ready to serve.
4. Roasted Bell Peppers
Are roasted vegetables actually healthy for you?
One of the ways you can cook bell peppers is to roast them in the oven. Roasted red peppers are chock full of flavor as roasting brings out this healthy recipe’s charred and sweet taste. The flavor is extremely difficult to describe, so much so that it is easy to believe the bell peppers have been transformed into another veggie entirely.
And, believe it or not, there’s a lot you can do with roasted bell peppers. After we cover this simple recipe, we’ll give you some ideas about what to do with them.
- 6 bell peppers in any color. If you want to make your dish look interesting, mix it up and get red, orange, yellow, and green!
What else you need will depend on the method you choose to roast them.
There are a few ways to roast bell peppers. The easiest way is in the oven. It’s also the best way to roast a large number of peppers at once. If you choose this route, you’ll need a baking sheet and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the pan with olive oil, then cut the peepers in half, pull out the stem, remove the seeds and lay them on their sides.
Put the peppers in the oven for 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet to turn them, then roast them for another 20 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the skin is charred and soft. When they get to that point, remove them from the oven.
If you’re only roasting one or two peppers, you can do so on your stovetop. If you have a gas stove, you can turn on the burner and place the peppers directly on it, allowing the flame to char it. Turn the pepper every 5 minutes or so. It usually takes about 20 minutes to completely roast a pepper in this way, and make sure you don’t leave the pepper unattended on the stove!
You can also use a grill pan to roast a pepper on the stovetop. Just put the pepper on the pan, turning it every five minutes or so for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Now, the best way to roast a bell pepper in the summer is to do so on the grill. Place the pepper directly on the grate. Roast it for about 20 to 30 minutes, turning it every 5 minutes or so.
Do you need to skin the roasted peppers? You can absolutely leave the skin on if that’s what you prefer. However, some people don’t like the taste of the charred black skin; in this case, just simply peel the skin off; it should come off pretty easily.
Now, what can you do with roasted bell peppers? If you want something simple, sprinkle them with some salt and pepper for a sweet, healthy snack. But get creative! There are a lot of ways to use these peppers. Try chopping them up to make salsa and using them as a topping for grilled chicken or eating with your favorite tortilla chips.
Or, you can cut them into thin strips and add them to pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and some parmesan cheese. If you like bruschetta, try mixing them with fresh herbs and adding them to top of crusty bread.
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