Sunday, May 8, 2011

Portoborzo Stuffed Bell Peppers

Question: When did bell peppers become the most expensive groceries... well, pine nuts excluded?

I still don't have the answer, but I realized this was a problem about 40 minutes after I decided I wanted to make stuffed peppers and went to the grocery store. $3 each. Craziness. Those things are worth approximately 99 cents to me.

Seeing the outrageous price I decided I would stuff portobello mushrooms instead. Turns out there really isn't enough of a cavity to stuff things into a portobello mushroom. So, I chopped up the mushrooms and now had a bunch of undercooked orzo and uncooked mushrooms in a red sauce. My hand had been forced. I had no choice... back to the store for some overpriced peppers.

All said and done with bitterness about having to buy pricey peppers aside, these suckers are tasty. And quite healthy too. Bonus.

Recipe modified from here.

Portoborzo (Portobello + Orzo) Stuffed Bell Peppers
Serves 6

1 28-oz can whole Italian Tomatoes
3 portobello mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan plus extra for topping
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup orzo
6 bell peppers of your desired color
chopped basil and parsley

Kick that oven on to 400 and start to heat the vegetable broth up to a boil.

Take the tomatoes out of the can (use the sauce as well) and break them up with your hands. You can squish them through your fingers to break them... it's fun. Now add the oregano, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Now the vegetable broth should be boiling. Add the orzo and cook for 3 minutes (this won't cook it all the way). Drain the orzo so that the broth is poured into the baking pan and not wasted. Add the orzo to the tomato-mushroom mix.

Cut the tops off the peppers and remove all the ribs and seeds. Take a small little slice off the bottom so that they can stand up. Load the peppers up, put them in the broth filled dish, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle cheese over the top, and cook for another 15 minutes or so.

Touch it up with a little parsley and basil to make it pretty.


  1. Yum! I've kinda "stuffed" portobellos by using two and making a sort of sandwich where the mushrooms are the "bread." This is the same principle behind shake shack's "shroom burger" except they then bread and fry the 'shrooms. See, e.g.,

  2. Ben, if you're ever so inclined, but obviously skip the burger...

  3. This looks phenomenal. I LOVE stuffed peppers. I just love peppers, period... but stuff them with things? Even better!

  4. Three bucks a pepper?!?!? Holy cow.... That's insane! What about stuffing a different type of pepper, like a Poblano? In any event, they look delish!

  5. Whoa. That faux-'shroom burger looks like too much trouble for me to attempt it. But perhaps I'll have to once I move away from shake shack...

  6. This dish has such a lovely presentation. And it sounds divine! Looking forward to trying this. Oh, and $3 a pepper is absurdly expensive!

  7. I made this last night - thank you!