a photo of lamb stuffed green peppers with their name written over them in white letters

On any night I use this recipe to make a quick dinner for my family. I tend to keep green peppers on hand and lamb in my freezer. It’s one of those dishes you can pull together in no time. I shop for ground lamb, or you can use ground beef, at the butcher department of the grocery store. He can always grind you a pound or two. Choose the rice you prefer.

Whatever you have on hand works; this is what I call a pantry recipe.

  • Choose your meat, lamb or beef, or use only mushrooms and rice for a meatless version.
  • Select whatever hard cheese you may have on hand. I used a salty hard Greek cheese.
  • Choose your grain and nuts. I use organic rice and pine nuts, but you can use walnuts, almonds....
  • Choose your onion. You can use red or white onion, leeks, green onions, shallots, and garlic.

Let’s get started….

Lamb Stuffed Green Peppers

This is a perfect Greek main dish to serve to your family any night. Prepping can be done ahead of time, baking when you get home. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. This recipe has been in our family for years, tried and true.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: California Greek
Servings: 4 people
Author: Mary Papoulias-Platis


  • 1 pound ground lamb or meat of your choice  
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large leek
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed  
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste  
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1 cup rice of your choice
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped 
  • 3/4 cup Kefalograviera Greek cheese or any hard cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Wash your peppers, then cut them in half. Clean out the inside of each pepper, dry it, and place it cut side up in an oiled casserole dish.
  2. In a large saute pan with deep sides or a Dutch oven, add 2 teaspoons of oil and begin to saute the lamb. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Add the leek, garlic, tomato paste, and oregano, and saute until the meat is brown, and the juices have evaporated.
  4. Add the rice, pine nuts, and parsley, and continue to cook for 15 minutes on low to par-cook the rice. Taste to see if more seasoning is needed. It is very important to taste as you go. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water.
  5. Stuff the peppers in the casserole dish with the cooked mixture, filling them to the top. Add the cheese. Drizzle the peppers with olive oil.
  6. Add a little water to the bottom of the dish, then bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 375 degrees F until the peppers are soft.
  7. Remove the stuffed peppers from the oven, and serve them warm with Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Recipe Notes

You can make this ahead and freeze it before baking. Or you can prep it ahead of time, refrigerate it, and bake it in the evening. Make the meat mixture the day before and refrigerate it, then bring it to room temperature before stuffing.

This is a slightly edited version of a recipe first published on the California Greek Girl website. Thanks to author and culinary instructor Mary Papoulias-Platis for permission to republish her recipe and use her photos.

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I made this, flavors are good but next time I'd cook the rice completely. The "par cooked" rice never really finished cooking and was kind of crunchy.

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