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Mom's Stuffed Peppers

Delicious Stuffed Peppers
Katrin Ray Shumakov / Getty Images
Cook Time:
1 hr 10 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins


  • 3 large bell peppers
  • 1 cup medium grain rice, washed and soaked for 1 hour
  • 2/3 pound (about 2½ cups) ground beef, 85/50 fat if possible
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon safflower or paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 8 cloves garlic pounded with 2 teaspoons salt
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint

Chef notes

If my mom wanted to spoil us, she would make these stuffed peppers during Ramadan. There are a lot of steps involved, but once you make it, this dish becomes really easy to throw together when you want something special and nourishing. This recipe has been passed down from my grandma in Syria and combines amazing spices typical of my heritage, like safflower, cumin and dried mint. Somehow, the recipes with the most love take the longest to make.



Core the peppers carefully: Cut a small hole around the stem of the bell peppers and gently remove the core and seeds inside. Give them a rinse to ensure all seeds are discarded.


In a bowl, combine the soaked rice, ground beef, ghee, spices and water, and mix until well-combined. Scoop up the filling and gently fill up each pepper (no need to force it in — it should spread out naturally), leaving a bit of room at the top so they're not overflowing.


In a large pot, submerge the peppers in water until they're just covered. Add the tomato paste, pounded garlic with salt and lemon juice, and bring to a boil.


When the mixture is bubbling, cover with a lid, drop the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 1 hour.


Finish with dried mint and enjoy!