In my culture, there’s nothing better than Bulgarian stuffed peppers. Stuffed peppers are a traditional dish that can be seen in every Bulgarian household and every restaurant around the country. Being Eastern European, I have had my share of stuffed peppers from many surrounding countries and nothing has compared to our stuffed pepper recipe! Not only is the meat and rice filling drool worthy, we make our peppers with the most incredible creamy white sauce. The white sauce is optional for many but absolutely mandatory for me. The white sauce which we dip with bread is what makes this traditional dish unique.
I was born and raised in Bulgaria so nothing brings me more pride and joy than when I share our culture with the world. Our beautiful little country doesn’t get put on the map as much so I want to make sure I bring awareness as much as possible. If you make stuffed peppers in your culture, please let me know what you do differently in the comments and don’t forget to leave a review on the blog if you love our recipe.
Bulgarian Stuffed Peppers
- 8'' by 13'' baking dish or any making sure the peppers are snug
- large pan
- 8 medium bell peppers, we used aloha (900 grams total)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or any you like
- 1 finely diced onion
- 1 peeled grated carrot
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of each salt, paprika, and dry oregano
- 1 cup of rice (200 grams)
- ⅓ cup tomato sauce (80ml)
- 2 tabelspoons water
- 400 grams ground pork or any
The White Sauce:
- 2 egg yolks
- 1.5 cups plain yogurt (350 grams)
- pinch of salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup of the liquid in the baking dish after the peppers have baked
- pinch of salt on top of the peppers before baking
- pinch of salt (to taste) on top of the ground meat after adding it in the pan to the rice
- drizzle of olive oil on peppers before baking them
- chopped parsley for garnish
Please stir in between each ingredient when you add it into the pan as you cook. Please practice “mise en place” which means you prep/chop all of your ingredients before you start. I want you to be ready so that you don’t scramble for ingredients or get flustered.
Stuffing the Peppers:
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Wash all the peppers, cut the tops and discard all of the seeds with a spoon. Make sure you save the tops and place them to the corresponding pepper so they can bake together later.
- In a large pan on the stove add the oil. Let it heat up on medium heat and sauté the onions and grated carrot. Add in the garlic and make sure you stir in between when adding each ingredient.
- Add the salt, paprika, and dry oregano (stir). Add in the washed rice (stir). Add the plain tomato sauce, (stir again). Add two tablespoons of water and incorporate into the rice and veggies.
- Take the pan off the heat completely or turn off the stove.
- Add in the raw minced meat and sprinkle a pinch or two of salt on top of the meat (to taste) and mix it really well. Make sure the meat is mixed with the rice and veggies fully.
- Take a spoon and stuff each pepper to the top with the meat and rice mixture. Proceed until the peppers are all stuffed and the filling is all finished. If you have any extra filling left over make sure you have an extra pepper on hand to stuff or look at my notes below.
- You can also use the extra filling in the fridge to stuff tomatoes/zucchini or so many other veggies too!
- Arrange the stuffed peppers into a baking dish making sure you put the tops onto each one. The peppers should be really snug so please use a baking dish that's not overly big.
- We make sure the opening of the peppers are facing each other with the tops on so that the mixture doesn't spill out. Be sure to use a dish that will fit all the peppers so that they are nice and snug. My baking dish is 8 by 13 inches but any dish will work.
- We add a pinch of salt on top of the peppers and a drizzle of oil onto each one.
- Pour 2.5 cups of water into baking dish and bake uncovered at 425F for 45-60 minutes depending on the oven and depending on the baking dish as well (some take longer based on the material).
- You will know when the peppers are done as they will have a beautiful char on top and will be super soft when you touch the skin.
- Remove the peppers out of the oven and carefully (with oven mitts on) tilt the baking dish pouring out any of the remaining liquid into a bowl. If you're not making the white sauce you can definitely skip this step and enjoy the peppers as is! We got about 1/2 cup of liquid total out of the baking dish.
Making the Sauce:
- In a separate bowl, add two egg yolks, plain yogurt and a big pinch of salt (salt to taste). Mix it really well and whisk in the flour.
- Take the baked pepper water that was poured out of the baking dish and slowly pour it into the sauce as you whisk. This step is called tempering as we are bringing the eggs up to temperature.
- Pour this sauce over the peppers and put the dish back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Take the peppers out of the oven, garnish with parsley and enjoy! The sauce is incredible when dipped with fresh bread.
This sounds delicious! Will def give it a try. Just wanted to also mention your website. It’s so well done, easy to navigate, really eye appealing. Thanks!
Thanks Jackie! So happy you find it user friendly
Hi, are you supposed to add the rice raw to the veggie beef mixture and let it bake in the oven?
yes the rice is raw, it bakes with the water in the oven. Add as much water to the halfway mark of the peppers.
Hi! Can you freeze leftover mixture to use to stuff peppers another time?
you can definitely freeze the mixture
This was incredibly delicious! Thank you
This was incredibly delicious! Thank you!!
My pleasure Victoria 🙂 Happy Friday love