Eggplant and Orzo Stuffed Red Peppers

Whenever I ask Apolinaras where he’d like to go out to dinner, he inevitability suggests his favorite BBQ place in Boston, Blue Ribbon. I have to admit that I’m a pretty big fan too, and actually just writing this post is making me crave some pulled pork and burnt ends! But, while their BBQ is amazing, out of all the side dishes I’ve had there, and believe me, I’ve pretty much tried them all, only the mashed potatoes really do it for me. So, I usually order one of their special sides of the day and last time they were featuring eggplant orzo.  I was pleasantly surprised when it was quite addicting! Apolinaras actually immediately requested I try to recreate it at home, which is a first for him.

During one of our big snowstorms this winter, I was craving some summer flavors and finally got around to making the dish. I mixed the orzo with eggplant, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes, and lots of feta, and dressed it with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Then I stuffed the mixture into roasted red peppers – so tasty! I calculated out (yes, I’m a dork!) that the amount of orzo in this recipe makes enough to fill 10 bell peppers, but I actually only stuffed 4 and we enjoyed the rest of the orzo on its own. Red bell peppers are pricey, but I went ahead and included all 10 in the cost below. I think I’m going to try roasting the veggies next time too instead of sautéing them. Can’t wait to make this again!

Eggplant and Orzo Stuffed Red Peppers
Printable Recipe

10 large red bell peppers, tops cut off and seeded
1 pound orzo
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1-inch cubes
2 zucchinis, chopped into 1-inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of one lemon
1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
2 cups crumbled feta
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400˚F. Place peppers on a greased baking sheet and roast at 400˚F for 20 minutes or until tender.

Prepare orzo according to package directions, drain, and place in a large bowl.

Place 2 tablespoons olive oil, red onion, eggplant, and zucchini in a very large nonstick skillet (working in batches if needed) and sauté 7 to 9 minutes or until veggies are tender, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic and sauté one additional minute. Mix cooked veggies, lemon juice, remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, feta, and salt in the large bowl with the orzo. Stuff orzo mixture evenly into roasted peppers. Makes 10 servings.

Nutrition: 398 calories, 15.9g fat, 7.8g fiber, 13.2g protein per serving
Cost: $2.24 per serving

37 Responses to Eggplant and Orzo Stuffed Red Peppers

  1. John and I went to Blue Ribbon for the first time last weekend, and we were sold ;). Do you guys go to the one in Newton or Arlington? The Newton location is so tiny!

    These stuffed peppers sound delicious – I’m sure they’re great either as a side dish or vegetarian main course! I miss eggplant and zucchini, and might have to go ahead and make this before the summer rolls around.

  2. I love when a restaurant meal is so much better than you expected!! Glad you could recreate it at home..and I love the idea of stuffing the peppers with it. I’ve always been a huge fan of stuffing foods with different things–it’s just fun..and tasty! :-)

  3. I LOVE blue ribbon. I’m actually a big fan of their collards. specifically when I mix them into the mashed potatoes!…with burnt ends….

    Oh man, I need to make a pilgrimage!!

  4. I’m shocked that you found a recipe like this at a bbq place! That’s insane. And awesome.

    How did I never go to Blue Ribbon while I was there? Tragedy.

  5. This sounds really delicious — with or without the peppers! The sundried tomatoes and feta call out to me. I think roasting the veggies would be a great way to try it next time too.

  6. I know, red peppers can destory a grocery budget…but they’re sooo worth it :) They go on sale a lot 2 for $3 around here, which makes me happy :) I am definitely saving this recipe…it sounds perfect for warmer weather, or a craving for something summery and light! Too much comfort food in my house lately!

  7. I love that you made those calculations . . . because I would have done the same thing! :) Orzo is probably my favorite pasta, and I love having it with veggies. Great recipe!!

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