Pepperoni pizza stuffed peppers are a hit with the whole family and can be on the table in about an hour!
Peppers make such nice little containers, don’t they?
I remember having a crab stuffed pepper at my grandparents house that I loved. I was probably 5 or 6 at the time. After that, I would always insist that I liked stuffed peppers, but whenever I had one I would be disappointed – they were always heavy and meaty and the pepper itself didn’t seem to make sense flavor-wise. But I finally found another stuffed pepper that I like: pepperoni pizza stuffed peppers! This pepper isn’t like those other ones. The bulk of the filling is orzo, which is mixed with pasta sauce, cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings. They’re not nearly as dense as traditional stuffed peppers, and using fresh ingredients keeps the flavors light.
I really like peppers as a pizza topping, so the pepper itself actually compliments the flavor of the stuffing. One of my favorite topping combinations is pepperoni and peppers, so I decided to go with that theme this time. They’re also great with sausage, mushrooms, and sauteed onions in the filling. Really, you can use whatever you typically like on your pizza – just keep the meat to about 1/4 of the volume of the filling or less so you don’t end up with a heavy, greasy pepper.
- 3/4 cup orzo
- 6 red or green bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 oz pepperoni, chopped
- 3/4 cup tomato basil pasta sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
- 6 oz mozzarella, shredded
- Heat oven to 350ºF. Boil orzo according to package. Drain.
- Prepare peppers by slicing off the tops and removing the seeds and membranes from the inside. If needed, cut a thin slice off the bottom of each pepper to help it stand up. Arrange peppers in a baking dish.
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook 3-5 minutes, or until soft. Add the cooked orzo, sauce, pepperoni, seasonings, and 3/4 of the cheese. Divide the filling between the peppers. Pour about 1 cup of water into the bottom of the baking dish, around the outside of the peppers. Cover with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until peppers soften. Top the peppers with remaining cheese and return to oven until cheese melts - about another 5 minutes.