“Cheesy” Eggplant Stuffed Peppers are not your ordinary, bland stuffed pepper. They are a feast for the taste buds, and easy too!
It’s All in the Stuffing
I was never a fan of the stuffed bell pepper. I like bell peppers, but when you fill them with gray meat, onion and tomato sauce and roast them? Something gets lost for me: flavor!
Thanks to my new recipe that has all changed. I have been trying to beef up (definitely no pun intended–these are plant-based!) my repertoire of main dishes that are easy and flexible enough to be made ahead of time or even frozen.
Stuffed peppers are a great candidate for this, so I set out to make a recipe that would change my bias against stuffed peppers forever. Ever since the success of my recipe for Vegan Italian Meatballs, where I use roasted acorn squash in place of ground beef, I have been on a mission to see how many meat-based dishes I can replace with plant-based ingredients.
Eggplant to the Rescue
I was going to use acorn squash again, but when I opened the refrigerator and saw an eggplant staring me in the face I knew it had to be a sign! I roasted that bad boy up with some celery, onion and seasoning, and mixed it in the food processor with tomato paste and Daiya cheese. I stuffed the peppers and popped them in the oven for 40 minutes. Wow! It was delicious.
Nutritious Stuffed Peppers
I am now seeing stuffed peppers in a totally different light, which is great because any excuse to eat a whole bell pepper is one that will fill your body with:
- over 150% of your DV of vitamin C;
- significant amounts of vitamins A and B6;
- minerals like magnesium, iron and calcium.
And that’s just the pepper!
Eggplant Stuffed Peppers
To find out what to look for when selecting an eggplant hop on over to the third paragraph of my post for Eggplant Caponata.
This dish is so easy you can assemble it ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it. Refrigerate until the next day when you just pop it in the oven for dinner while preparing a nice salad or mashed potatoes to serve alongside. Or freeze for another time when you need a tasty nutritious meal that just requires a little thawing before placing in the oven.
Make them now and enjoy them now . . . or tomorrow . . . or in a few weeks. This flexible recipe is a dream come true for people who desire a delicious home cooked meal but may be running a little short on time. Enjoy!!
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"Cheesy" Eggplant Stuffed Peppers are not your ordinary, bland stuffed pepper. They are a feast for the taste buds, and easy too!
- 1 medium eggplant (approx. 1 to 1-1/2 pounds)
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 medium onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
- dash sea salt and pepper
- 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese (I use Daiya)
- 1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 6 medium/large bell peppers
- 1) Peel and dice eggplant. (See picture in post for tip on peeling eggplant.) Dice celery and onion. In a large mixing bowl, pour olive oil. Mix oregano and garlic salt into olive oil. Add diced eggplant, celery and onion to olive oil mixture and mix well to coat. Spread mixture in even layer on parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After 15 minutes turn vegetables over with a spatula and return to oven for another 15 minutes (30 minutes total). Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to touch but can still be warm.
- 2) While veggies are cooling slice off top 1/4-1/3 (around the equator) of bell peppers and set aside. Remove seeds and membrane from the bottom portion of the peppers. If the bottom portion of the pepper is lopsided and won't stand up, cut a thin slice off the bottom as well to make it level. Stand bottom portion of peppers in a 12" x 8" baking dish (you can use a larger or smaller dish depending on the size of your peppers)
- 3) Place roasted veggies in food processor. Add vegan mozzarella cheese and tomato paste. Pulse / mix until blended. I combined the mixture until it was approximately the consistency of ground beef (see picture in post), but if you don't have a food processor, or you prefer a chunkier filling in your peppers, you could mix everything by hand. If you choose to mix by hand I would do this when the veggies are still hot as this will help the tomato paste to spread easier.
- 4) Fill peppers with mixture and cover each with matching top of pepper. Spread 2 tablespoons of water (1 teaspoon at a time) in empty areas between peppers around the pan. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven to bake for approximately 40 minutes. If you prefer a brown top on the pepper filling you can remove the aluminum foil and tops of the peppers at 35 minutes and let them continue baking until the desired level of browness is achieved.
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