Spice up your weakened meals with this delicious vegetarian barley stuffed pepper recipe. The barley is chewy, plus has an excellent texture that holds the sauce and the spices.
This barley stuffed pepper is made wholesome with the grain-barley, and legume-chickpea. The added spices and the bell peppers make it more pleasing. The hint of tanginess from the tomato makes it a divine experience.
To put it simply, every bite is fantastic.
The peppers are my foodie weakness. We try making it often in different variations. Not to mention that each time, we discover a whole new dimension of these incredible peppers. And our experiments and our success stories never end.
This barley stuffed pepper recipe is on the milder side. However, there are so many ways to make this dish to match your expectations.
Above all, It's one of the most adaptable recipes. Ground meat or your favorite spices in your mind? Please go ahead and start exploring.
Ingredients for the barley stuffed pepper
Barley. It’s a whole grain and easy to get in any grocery store in the United States. It’s commonly available in pearl, hulled, and quick barley.
You may use any of these and cook it according to the instructions on the package.
Today, I used quick barley and cooked it over the stove top. For this, I have added one cup of barley to two cups of boiling water. And cook for about 20 minutes in low heat.
Naturally, barley has a neutral flavor and taste. Blends fabulously with other added ingredients. On top of it, the cooked barley pearls have a chewy texture, which is the highlight of this barley stuffed pepper recipe.
Chickpea. Belongs to the legume family and is considered one of the rich vegan protein sources. It's called garbanzo beans. You may find them in the baking/international aisle.
It is available in dried and canned form(cooked chickpea). I have used both of these versions in the past. Generally, I soak the dried chickpeas. And slow cook it until it turns al dente. And freeze them in individual zip-lock bags.
But this time, I have used canned chickpeas since I ran out of these. Not to mention here, this is the most convenient and effortless way. Do not forget to drain the liquid before using.
Bell peppers. Bell peppers of any color work great for this barley stuffed pepper recipe. The cavity is enormous compared to other chili peppers. However, you may swap with large chili pepper types like poblano or Anaheim peppers.
Onion. Adds a hint of sweetness. Further, it acts as a binding agent that brings all the ingredients together. I have used red onions. White or yellow onions are the equivalent substitutes.
Fire-roasted diced tomato. I have used the canned fire-roasted tomato. However, feel free to use regular diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes.
Onion powder and garlic powder. Key ingredients for building up the flavors. This barley stuffed pepper recipe needs minimal ingredients, and every ingredient matters. I would highly suggest not to skip any of the ingredients listed here.
Cheese. Cheddar or the mozzarella would be perfect.
How to make?
Prepping. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange all the ingredients for the barley stuffed pepper recipe listed below.
Make the stuffing. Place a pan over medium heat. Add cooking oil and chopped onion. Sauté until the onions become soft.
Now stir in cooked barley, chickpeas, diced tomatoes, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Stir well until all the ingredients combine and until no liquid is seen.
Let them sit aside.
Blanching the peppers. Secondly, slice the bell peppers lengthwise. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the sliced peppers and allow them to cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until they lose their color and turn slightly soft.
Take out the peppers and place them in the deep baking tray.
Assemble. Place all the blanched peppers in the baking tray and fill it with the stuffing we made.
Next, finally, top it with grated cheese.
Bake. Bake it in the preheated oven at 350° for about 10 minutes or until the edges of the peppers shrink. Optionally, garnish with the chopped cilantro. And enjoy!!!
Best to serve with barley stuffed peppers
Barley stuffed peppers are filling, satisfying, and suitable for serving as a stand-alone dish. Here are some ideas to serve along with.
Soups. To turn this dish filling and crowd-pleasing, serve it with soups like
Roasted vegetables. Spicy roasted vegetables or any roasted/steamed veggies are excellent with this stuffed pepper.
French fries. Planning for a party or a special occasion? French fries(like this Chinese French fries), or sweet potato fries are fantastic to pair with.
How to store?
To refrigerate. Store the leftover barley stuffed peppers in an airtight container for up to three days.
To reheat. You may reheat the stuffed peppers in the conventional or microwave oven until it turns hot.
To freeze. This is a freezer-friendly recipe. Store the leftovers in the freezer-safe airtight containers/bags for up to three months. To thaw, place the frozen peppers overnight in the refrigerator.
To make ahead. The stuffing and blanched bell peppers are good to make a day in advance. Refrigerate them separately. Assemble and bake it whenever needed.
Vegan. This barley stuffed pepper recipe is almost vegan except for the cheese. You may swap the cheese with the vegan cheese or the nutritional yeast. Or skip it altogether. Skipping the cheese will not highly impact this dish’s original flavors.
Meat. Chickpea is a vegan source of protein. Give it a try by substituting it with ground chicken/beef.
Vegetables. Add in zucchini, celery, corn, and carrots.
Saute pan. Perfect for making the stuffing and stir-fries.
Measuring cups and spoons: Ideal for making a recipe per the instructions.
Deep baking tray. Perfect size to hold enough large peppers.
Printable recipe card
Barley stuffed peppers
- 2 cups barley cooked
- 8 oz chickpeas 1 can /cooked chickpeas
- 8 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes 1 can
- ½ cup onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice the bell peppers lengthwise.
Make the stuffing
- Over medium heat, place a pan.
- Add cooking oil and chopped onion. Sauté until the onion turns soft.
- Now add in cooked barley, cooked chickpeas, fire roasted diced tomatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.
- Stir well until the liquid gets evaporated and the mixture turns slightly thicker.
Blanch the peppers
- Place a pot over high heat, and add water to the level where the peppers can submerge.
- Bring it to boil, add the sliced peppers and allow them to cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the flesh of the bell paper turns slightly soft.
- Using tongs remove it from the water and place them in a deep dish baking tray.
- And fill it with the stuffing we set aside earlier.
- And finally sprinkle the cheese.
- And bake it in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese on the top melts. Remove it from the oven and enjoy.