Couscous Stuffed Peppers (Vegetarian)
These couscous stuffed peppers are a mouthwatering, Mediterranean-inspired vegetable side dish. Simple, vegetarian, and nutritious, these baked peppers are filled with creamy goat cheese, fresh basil, moroccan couscous, and plenty of spices!
We have been LOVING these stuffed peppers with couscous this week – the leftovers have held up so well! They’re an awesome option for a healthy, yet incredibly tasty vegetable and grain-based side dish.
This stuffed peppers recipe makes 4-8 servings (depending on if you want a half or whole pepper). They’re great for serving a family, including in a dinner party menu, OR as a batch cooking option for a smaller household.
As a dietitian, I’m happy to share that both bell peppers and couscous are packed with so many nutrition benefits, like vitamin C and fiber. Simply pair with your favourite protein to make a complete meal!
Ingredients needed + possible substitutions
- Large bell peppers: You may use either red, orange, or yellow bell peppers for this recipe. I chose an assortment of colours!
- Couscous: I used the smaller Moroccan-style couscous for this recipe. If a gluten-free option is needed, feel free to swap couscous for quinoa or millet. While their cooking time and method is a bit different, they will have a similar size + texture!
- Vegetable broth: I used vegetable broth instead of water to cook the couscous. It adds SO much more flavour! You are welcome to use chicken broth instead (if you aren’t vegetarian).
- Olive oil: Used to both brush the peppers before roasting, and to stir into the couscous for taste + texture.
- Garlic: I used freshly minced garlic for this recipe, but you can use garlic powder if preferred. It gets stirred into the couscous prior to stuffing!
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice gets added to the couscous mixture for a touch of acidity.
- Smoked paprika: Along with dried basil and thyme, smoked paprika gets stirred into the couscous for extra flavour.
- Dried basil: While I love the extra flavour both basil and thyme give, if you don’t have any on hand it’s ok to leave it out. You will still get lots of flavour from the veggie broth and other ingredients!
- Dried thyme
- Goat cheese: Goat cheese is my all-time favourite cheese pairing for bell peppers. It gets added to the top of the peppers and becomes a little browned + melty in the oven. You may use a dairy-free alternative if you have a brand that you enjoy. I’ve also tried this recipe with feta – it works too, although goat cheese is my first choice 😉
- Fresh basil: Added as a garnish before serving.
Visual guide: how to make couscous stuffed peppers
Start by slicing bell peppers in half and removing their core + seeds. Place halves on a baking dish and brush with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the couscous. Once cooked, you’ll stir in the spices, minced garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil.
Remove peppers from the oven and stuff with cooked couscous. Top each pepper with goat cheese before returning to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Remove peppers from oven once they’re cooked and the goat cheese has melted and browned a little. Top with fresh basil + serve.
Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
What to serve with stuffed peppers
These couscous stuffed peppers are a both a source of fiber-rich carbohydrates, veggies, and healthy fats. To make a nutritionally-balanced meal, I recommend serving them with a simple protein dish like:
- grilled, baked, or pan-cooked chicken or steak – we served these with grilled chicken, and it tasted so good together!
- oven-baked salmon or white fish, like cod
- oven-baked tofu or tempeh, for a vegetarian option
- or, something super simple like sunny-side up eggs!
TIP: since you already have the oven on for this recipe, it’s super easy to do an oven-baked protein at the same time 😉
Nutrition benefits of bell peppers
Did you know that bell peppers are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin C? One bell pepper provides 180% of your daily vitamin C needs.
In addition to vitamin C, bell peppers are also a source of:
- dietary fiber
- vitamin B6
- vitamin K
- vitamin E
- vitamin A
Thanks to their vibrant red and orange colours, bell peppers are rich in carotenoids, which are plant pigments that have antioxidant properties.
Nutrition benefits of couscous
Couscous is a source of fiber and plant-based protein. For a 1 cup serving of cooked couscous, you’ll find about 2.2 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.
Couscous is rich in selenium, providing more than 60% of your daily needs in 1 cup. Selenium is a mineral involved in thyroid and immune function. Selenium also acts as a powerful antioxidant, helping to prevent against cellular damage.
Couscous also provides a small amount of other micronutrients, like vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
More bell pepper recipes
- Easy Roasted Peppers & Zucchini
- Roasted Pepper Salad With Farro
- Butternut Squash & Red Pepper Soup
- Red Pesto With Peppers & Sundried Tomatoes
Did you give this Couscous Stuffed Peppers Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!
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Get the Recipe: Couscous Stuffed Peppers (Simple Vegetarian)
- 4 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup moroccan couscous, dry (see notes for GF option)
- 1 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth if not vegetarian)
- 1/2 a lemon, juiced
- 2-4 large cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 4 ounces goat cheese (113 grams or standard small log)
- Approx. 5 large leaves fresh basil, chopped
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- PREP: Preheat oven to 350F. Wash and dry bell peppers. Slice each pepper in half, lengthwise. Remove the core and seeds.
- Place halved bell peppers on a large baking sheet. Brush the insides of each half with a small amount of olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. *note = save the remaining olive oil for the couscous!
- Transfer bell peppers to the oven and allow to bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook couscous according to package directions, using boiled vegetable broth in place of water.
- After couscous is cooked (about 6 minutes), fluff it with a fork. Then, stir in the minced garlic, lemon juice, smoked paprika, dried thyme, dried basil, and the remaining olive oil.
- Remove peppers from the oven. Evenly spoon the couscous mixture into each half. *note = if you have too much couscous, you can save it for another meal!
- Crumble goat cheese on top of each pepper half. Return to oven for another 15 minutes, or until the goat cheese is lightly browned.
- Remove peppers from oven. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and season with more black pepper. Serve and enjoy!
- I served this with chicken in my house, but it would taste great with salmon, cod, tofu, tempeh, steak, or even eggs.
- TIP: As you already have the oven on, you can easily make your protein in the oven at the same time 😉
- If a gluten-free recipe is needed, feel free to swap couscous for or . While their cooking time and method is a bit different, they will have a similar size + texture! Please follow the cooking instructions on the package, using veggie broth in place of water. Then, continue recipe as written.
- For a dairy-free recipe, you can use a vegan goat cheese alternative. If you choose to leave the cheese out entirely, I would advice drizzling with additional olive oil, or perhaps adding some cubed avocado. While it won’t be the same flavour-wise, it would help to replace the fatty mouthfeel that the goat cheese provides!
- While I love the extra flavour both dried basil and thyme give, if you don’t have any on hand it’s ok to leave out. You will still get lots of flavour from the veggie broth and other ingredients.
As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.
Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.