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.

Bulgarian stuffed peppers by the modern nonna stuffed peppers
The best peppers ever

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 by the modern nonna stuffed peppers

Bulgarian Stuffed Peppers

This recipe has been in my family for generations. Bulgarian stuffed peppers with white sauce is the ultimate comfort food. If you're looking for the best stuffed recipe out there, you've come to the right place! This recipe is a tribute to my family who taught me how to cook. I wouldn't be able to share these recipes with you if it wasn't for them.
4.75 from 16 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Servings 8 medium peppers


  • 8'' by 13'' baking dish or any making sure the peppers are snug
  • large pan


The Peppers:

  • 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)
  • 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

Additional Ingredients:

  • 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.


    Depending on the size of the peppers you may need to add more water. Ours were small so we added 2.5 cups which was half way. The water is needed so that the meat an rice can cook on the inside. 
    Depending on how big or small the peppers are, you may have some extra filling left over. IF you have extra filling you can core a few tomatoes, save the tops, stuff them, and bake separately with the tops on. We bake them uncovered with a splash of water in the dish (100ml) for about 45 minutes. 
    You can use any ground meat of choice. We love ground pork the most but you can use ground beef, veal, chicken, turkey, or anything you like. 
    To make these vegetarian you can use a plant-based ground meat of choice but be sure to choose one that has a great taste and one you enjoy. 
    We like using the thin long peppers or smaller bell peppers. If you purchase the really large bell peppers you may need more filling as they hold a lot more of the mixture. We purchased 8 medium sized ALOHA peppers for this recipe which weighed 900 grams exactly.
    You do not need to make the white sauce but I personally cannot eat these peppers without it. I love the sauce so much but I will leave it up to you.  
    Any rice will work for this recipe. We have used long grain, short grain, and jasmine in the past. 
    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. 
    This recipe is a staple on Christmas Eve in Bulgaria but we make it only with rice as we don’t eat meat on December 24th. 
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    If you love one of my recipes, please leave a review. It would mean so much to me if you did. Thank you for being here and bringing me into your kitchen.

    9 Responses

    1. 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!

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