Vegan Stuffed Peppers (Italian-Style) – Connoisseurus Veg

These vegan stuffed peppers are filled with an Italian-spiced mix of lentils and rice, and topped with zesty marinara sauce. The perfect meal when you’re looking for some healthy comfort food!

Vegan Stuffed Peppers in a baking dish with tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese.

Stuffed peppers were a regular when I was growing up. They were usually filled with ground meat and rice, and served with tomato sauce. I’m guessing a lot of you guys ate pretty much the same thing when you were kids!

One thing I noticed recently is that even though there are tons of vegan stuffed pepper recipes out there on the interwebs, most have a twist. There are lots of recipes Tex-Mex stuffed peppers and stuff like that. Even on this site, I have falafel stuffed peppers, risotto stuffed peppers, and vegan jalapeño poppers, but nothing like the classic stuffed peppers that mom used to make.

I decided it was time for a recipe for some good old classic stuffed peppers, and these did not disappoint! They satisfied all of my comfort food cravings in the best way.

Jump to:

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. You can substitute another type of high-heat oil, but olive oil will give your peppers the best flavor.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Vegetable broth. I’m a big fan of Better Than Bouillon in seasoned vegetable flavor.
  • Rice. The recipe calls for long grain brown rice. You can substitute another variety, but you might need to adjust the amount of broth and cook time.
  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce. Most brands of Worcestershire sauce contain anchovies, so look out! Annie’s, Edward & Sons, and Whole Foods brands are all vegan. Homemade vegan Worcestershire sauce is also really easy to make.
  • Spices. You’ll need dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes.
  • Lentils. We’re using dried brown lentils. You could also use precooked lentils, in which case you’ll need 2 cups.
  • Diced tomatoes. Use canned tomatoes packed in juice, which we’ll be draining.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Bell peppers. Any color! Green, red, yellow, or orange!
  • Marinara sauce. Feel free to use homemade marinara sauce or store-bought.
  • Fresh herbs. Optionally, you can sprinkle your finished peppers with some basil or parsley.
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese. This is also optional, for topping our vegan stuffed peppers. You can use store-bought or homemade vegan Parmesan.

How They’re Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

The Filling

  • Heat up some olive oil in a pot, then add diced onion. Cook it until it begins to soften up, for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook it with the onion until it becomes very fragrant.
Onions cooking in a saucepan with a wooden spoon.
  • Stir in your broth, rice, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Crank up the the heat and bring your broth to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and cover the pot. Let the rice simmer for a while. No peeking! Rice cooks best when it’s undisturbed.
  • Cook your lentils while the rice boils.

Tip: Use a pot with a clear lid so you can keep an eye on your rice without removing the lid.

Broth being poured into a saucepan with rice, onions and herbs.
  • Let your pot sit with the lid on for 5 minutes after removing it from the burner.
  • Drain the tomatoes and stir them into the cooked rice, along with the lentils. Season your stuffed pepper filling with some salt and pepper.
Rice, lentils and tomatoes in a saucepan with wooden spoon.

The Peppers

  • While the rice and lentils cook, start roasting your peppers. Cut each pepper in half, scoop out the insides, and rub the outside with a bit of olive oil.
  • Place your pepper halves on a baking sheet, cut sides down, and roast them just until the flesh starts to blister. Briefly roasting the peppers like this begins softening them up so they’re easier to stuff!

Variation: For larger servings, you can cut the tops off of your peppers instead of cutting them in half.

Roasted bell pepper halves on a baking sheet.

Assemble & Bake

  • Pour some marinara sauce into a baking dish, then fill each of the pepper halves with your filling and place them into the sauce. You might need to pile some of the filling on top to get it all to fit!
  • Pop the dish into the oven and bake your peppers until the sauce is bubbly.
Partially filled bell pepper halves in a baking dish filled with tomato sauce.
  • Let the peppers sit for a few minutes when they come out of the oven, then spoon some of the sauce from the dish over each pepper.
  • Top your vegan stuffed peppers with fresh parsley or basil and vegan Parmesan, then serve!

Variation: You could optionally sprinkle your peppers with some shredded vegan cheese during the last few minutes of baking. Try using a mozzarella-style variety!

Baking dish filled with Vegan Stuffed Peppers with a spoon on the side.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover stuffed peppers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these stuffed peppers gluten-free?

They are, as long as your Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free (Edward & Sons brand is).

Can I replace the brown lentils in this recipe with another variety of lentil?

You can! Green lentils would work great, though they will take a bit longer to cook. Red lentils fall apart and get super mushy when you cook them, so your filling will have a totally different texture, but I think it would still be good!

More Bell Pepper Recipes

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Close up of Vegan Stuffed Peppers in a baking dish.

Italian Vegan Stuffed Peppers

These vegan stuffed peppers are filled with an Italian-spiced mix of lentils and rice, and topped with zesty marinara sauce. The perfect meal when you’re looking for some healthy comfort food!

Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


For the Filling

  • 1
    olive oil
  • 1
    medium onion,
  • 3
    garlic cloves,
  • 1 ½
    vegetable broth
  • ¾
    long grain brown rice
  • 1
    vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1
    dried basil
  • 1
    dried thyme
  • 1
    dried oregano
  • ½
    fennel seeds
  • ¼
    red pepper flakes,
    or to taste
  • ¾
    dried brown lentils
    (Note 1)
  • 1
    (14 ounce or 400 gram) can
    diced tomatoes in juice,
  • Salt and pepper,
    to taste

For the Peppers

  • 4
    large bell peppers,
    any color
  • 1
    olive oil
  • 2 ½
    marinara sauce
    (homemade or jarred), plus more if desired
  • Fresh parsley or basil,
    for serving, optional
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese,
    for serving, optional


  1. Begin by making the filling. Coat the bottom of a medium pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook it, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.

  3. Add the garlic and cook it for about 1 minute, until very fragrant.

  4. Stir in the broth, rice, Worcestershire sauce, basil, thyme, oregano, fennel, and red pepper flakes. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.

  5. Lower the heat until the liquid is just simmering. Cover the pot and allow the rice to simmer for about 40 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

  6. While the rice cooks, place the lentils in a small saucepan and cover them with a few inches of water.

  7. Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil.

  8. Lower the heat and allow the water to boil until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. You can add more water during cooking if too much of it dries up. 

  9. While the rice and lentils simmer, begin preparing the peppers. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  10. Cut each pepper in half, then scoop out the seeds and core. (Note 2)

  11. Rub the outside of each pepper with olive oil, then place the peppers, cut side down, on a baking sheet.

  12. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake the peppers until the skin just starts to blister, about 15 minutes.

  13. When the lentils are done cooking, drain them in a colander and return them to the pot.

  14. When the rice has finished cooking, allow the pot to sit with the lid on for 5 minutes.

  15. Remove the lid from the rice and stir in the lentils and tomatoes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

  16. When the peppers have finished baking, remove the dish from the oven, but leave the oven on.

  17. Spoon the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

  18. Spoon the filling into the pepper halves, mounding some on top if necessary, then arrange the stuffed pepper halves in the baking dish.

  19. Place the dish to the oven and bake the peppers for about 15 minutes more, until the sauce is bubbly.

  20. Remove the dish from the oven and let the peppers sit for a few minutes.

  21. Sprinkle with fresh basil, parsley and/or vegan Parmesan cheese. Divide the peppers onto plates. Serve.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you’re substituting canned or precooked lentils, you’ll need 2 cups.
  2. For larger servings you could cut the top off of each pepper instead of cutting it in half. If you’ve got a big appetite and/or aren’t making any side dishes, this might be the way to go. You may also be able to use smaller peppers and get 6 medium-ish servings (1 pepper each).

Nutrition Facts

Italian Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Amount Per Serving (1 pepper half)

Calories 267
Calories from Fat 61

% Daily Value*

Fat 6.8g10%

Saturated Fat 1.3g7%

Sodium 490mg20%

Potassium 740mg21%

Carbohydrates 43.5g15%

Fiber 9.9g40%

Sugar 12.4g14%

Protein 9.5g19%

Calcium 40mg4%

Iron 3.1mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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