Spice up your weakened meals with this delicious vegetarian barley stuffed pepper recipe. The barley is chewy, plus has an excellent texture that holds well 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 makes it more pleasing. The hint of tanginess from the tomato makes it a divine experience.
Overall, every bite is amazing.
The peppers are my foodie weakness. And we keep making it often in different variations. And each time we discover the 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 up your expectation.
It's definitely one of the most adoptable 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 regular grocery store in the United States. It’s commonly available in different types like, pearl barley, hulled barley, 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 over stove top. For this, I have added one cup of barley to two cups of boiling water. And cooked for about 20 minutes in the 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 turns out to be the highlight in this barley stuffed pepper recipe.
Chickpea. Belongs to the legume family and considered as one of the rich vegan protein sources. It's called garbanzo beans. You may find them in the baking/international aisle.
It is available as dried and as canned form(cooked chickpea). I have used both 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, since I ran out of these, I have used canned chickpeas. Not to mention here, this is the most convenient and effortless way. And do not forget to drain the liquid before using.
Bell peppers. Bell peppers of any color works great for this barley stuffed pepper recipe. As the cavity is huge compared to other chili peppers. However, you may swap with other large chili pepper types like poblano, Anaheim peppers also.
Onion. Adds a hint of sweetness. Further, it plays 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 fire roasted tomato. Feel free to use regular diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes.
Onion powder and garlic powder. Key ingredients for building up the flavors. Since 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. And 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, cooked chickpeas, diced tomatoes, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Stir well until all the ingredients combine together and until no-liquid is seen.
Let them sit aside.
Blanching the peppers. Slice the bell peppers lengthwise. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add in the sliced peppers and allow them to cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the peppers slightly 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. And 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
Though barley stuffed peppers are filling, satisfying, and are good to serve as a stand alone dish. Here are some ideas to serve along with.
Soups. To turns this dish a filling and crowd pleasing, serve 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 awesome to pair with.
How to store?
To refrigerate. Store the leftover barley stuffed peppers in an airtight container to use upto three days.
To reheat. You may reheat the stuffed peppers in the conventional oven 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 a vegan dish, except the cheese. You may swap the cheese with the vegan cheese or the nutritional yeast. Or simply 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 with ground chicken/beef.
Vegetables. Add in zucchini, celery, corn, carrots.
Saute pan. Perfect for making the stuffing and stir fries.
Measuring cups and spoons: Ideal for making a recipe as per the instructions.
Deep baking tray. Perfect size to hold enough large peppers.
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.