Stuffed peppers were always one of my favorite dishes my mom and aunt made around the holidays. The savory blend of meat, cheese, spices, and bell pepper was like pure heaven! But, I was surprised to find out that I didn’t really know how to eat stuffed peppers, as I would always just eat the stuffing and not the pepper – big mistake.
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In the middle of the 20th century, stuffed bell peppers were almost always made with ground beef, rice, cheese, and tomatoes. However, in recent years, we’ve seen all types of recipes for stuffed peppers. You can stuff your bell peppers with chicken, quinoa and other grains, and nearly any type of meat.
Later in life, I figured out that the pepper itself was equally delicious and worthy of being devoured too! Plus, I discovered that I’d been missing out on so many excellent health benefits by not eating my peppers. For example, bell peppers can boost your immune system, support eye health, help prevent cancer, and reduce cholesterol, among many other incredible things!
But, another problem I faced when I started making my own was what to serve with stuffed peppers? This was a daunting problem as it seemed stuffed peppers are like a one-person show.
Stuffed peppers are a versatile and delicious dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. You may be wondering what to serve alongside these tasty gems to create a well-rounded meal for your family or guests. Rest assured, there are plenty of complementary dishes that will enhance the flavors of your stuffed peppers and satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
When selecting side dishes, consider the primary ingredients and flavors within your stuffed peppers. This way, you can choose options that either contrast or complement those flavors, ensuring a balanced and appealing meal. Popular accompaniments for stuffed peppers are salads, grains, and various types of bread.
Several light and refreshing salads pair beautifully with stuffed peppers, whether they contain rice, vegetables, or meat. Grain-based side dishes, such as quinoa or couscous, can offer additional textures that work well with the soft and flavorful peppers. Finally, assorted breads like crusty baguettes or warm garlic bread provide a delicious way to soak up any extra sauce or filling.
What goes with stuffed peppers? Why, there’s a ton of delicious options from veggies to grains to bread.
Below we answer the question of what sides to eat with stuffed bell peppers by offering 16 fantastic sides for stuffed bell peppers that are sure to make your taste buds sing!
Salads make one of the best sides for stuffed peppers. And when it comes to winter salads, celery green apple salad with walnut is one of the best in town! Not only is this salad wonderful with a healthy stuffed pepper, but it’s also loaded with nutrients and fiber.
You want to make sure you do with this recipe to purchase whole celery and not just celery hearts. The celery leaves add a lot of peppery flavors, and you would really be missing out on a tasty experience without them.
Plus, you can make this salad ahead of time as the lemon juice helps to keep your apples from turning brown, and the celery actually becomes crispier while sitting in the dressing.
Another tasty and straightforward answer to what goes good with stuffed peppers is glazed carrots. This super-easy dish takes about ten minutes to prepare and cook and pairs well with any meal!
Carrots are legendary for their nutritional value and unique sweet flavor.
The ingredients you’ll need to make this dish include butter, diced sweet onion, chicken or vegetable stock, canned sliced carrots, honey, salt, pepper, and fresh or dried parsley.
If you don’t wish to use butter, you can substitute it for olive oil. Also, we highly recommend, if only serving adult company that drinks alcohol, adding a bit of bourbon or brandy to the recipe. The carrots cook up the same way, and the spirits give this recipe a delicious complexity that’s simply incredible!
Bread is another fantastic side dish for stuffed peppers. And this recipe for no-knead French bread makes baking your homemade bread super simple.
And while this recipe does call for using yeast, you don’t have to worry about spending minutes fighting with your dough. The ingredients mix well to form a ready-to-bake dough in about five minutes.
For this recipe, the ingredients you’ll need include all-purpose or cake flour, instant or fast-acting dry yeast, sugar, salt, warm water (not boiling, but hot to the touch), and melted butter.
While it’s tempting, it’s better to avoid slicing your bread right out of the oven as it will have a very doughy consistency. Let it cool for about five to ten minutes. That way, you’ll have nice and neat slices.
Another great option when figuring out what to eat with stuffed peppers is quinoa. Now, some folks say they are not a fan of quinoa, but that’s only because they’ve not had it prepared properly.
When cooked and seasoned the right way, quinoa is actually quite flavorful. And this ancient superfood is so good for you! Quinoa tastes like a cross between brown rice and oatmeal and delivers a naturally nutty flavor with a nice crunch as it’s a seed and not a grain.
The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe include vegetable oil, onion or small shallots, ground cumin, garlic, raw quinoa, water, kosher salt, ground black pepper, lemon, lemon juice, Italian parsley, dried or fresh thyme, sliced almonds, and sliced radishes.
For mushroom lovers, sauteed mushrooms and onions are the obvious choices as an ideal side for stuffed peppers. This dish packs so much incredible flavor and is crazy simple to make.
The delicious taste of the caramelized onions, seasoning, and mushrooms makes this dish the perfect companion to any meal.
The ingredients you’ll need include butter, Worchestershire sauce, sliced white button mushrooms (or any mushroom), thinly sliced large sweet Vidalia onion, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
Regarding the best types of mushrooms to use, I recommend baby Bella mushrooms, a more mature version of a white button mushroom. This mushroom packs a more robust flavor. You can also use the larger portobello if you chop them up.
Chopped salad is another fantastic side dish for stuffed peppers. This recipe uses a Caesar-like dressing that’s dairy and egg-free but still delivers a flavorful, creamy taste.
The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe include romaine lettuce hearts, cheery tomatoes, bacon, cooked chicken, and diced avocado.
And for your dressing, the ingredients include avocado, anchovy fillets, lemon juice, garlic, avocado or extra-virgin olive oil, and dijon mustard.
Other great ingredients you can add or substitute in your salad include shallot, English cucumber, green olives, black olives, sliced pepperoncini, red pepper flakes, and Parmesean shreds or shavings.
Another fantastic cooked veggie side dish for ground beef stuffed pepper is pan-roasted broccoli with garlic. This quick and easy side dish gives you crispy pan-fried broccoli florets that are as healthy as they are addicting!
The raw garlic and rich olive oil give this dish a savory flavor you’re sure to love.
The ingredients you need for this dish include a bunch of broccoli, olive oil, garlic, salt, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes (optional).
You can also add ingredients like cooked bacon pieces and shredded Parmesan cheese.
One of my favorite solutions for what sides go with stuffed peppers is hot and fresh cornbread muffins. Honestly, folks, this side dish can do no wrong!
Cornbread is so sweet with a texture like nothing else. The cornbread’s mealy texture only matches the satisfying crunch of the crust. And when you think about it, a “mealy texture” isn’t an excellent compliment for most dishes, but then again, cornbread is like no other dish!
The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe include butter, eggs, milk, canned creamed corn, yellow cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, white sugar, and salt.
Believe me, folks, this recipe blows that store-bought cornbread mix off the shelf!
Crispy, fluffy, perfectly seasoned pan-fried potatoes are another delicious complement to your ground beef stuffed peppers. These humble tators are usually one of the first things to get gobbled up at our table!
And there’s just something about those seasoned crispy bits that delights your taste buds.
Ingredients for this recipe include Yukon Gold or red potatoes, vegetable oil, kosher salt, ground black pepper, finely chopped fresh herb like oregano, thyme, or rosemary, and unsalted butter.
I always recommend using cast-iron skillets for dishes such as this when it comes to cooking. They just do a fantastic job of browning potatoes and giving them that super crispy crust.
As I grew older, I realized how much of a bad rep Brussels sprouts have gotten over the years. And like quinoa, this food’s usually not given the justice it deserves in many recipes. However, when seasoned right, Brussels sprouts are amazing.
In this salad, Brussels sprouts are joined by ingredients such as cranberries and red apples to give the dish a wonderful sweetness. They also use a homemade lemon vinaigrette that’s to die for!
The ingredients for this dish include thinly sliced or shaved Brussels sprouts, red apple, sliced almonds, cranberries, red onion, and goat cheese.
You’ll need olive oil, lemons, Dijon mustard, honey (or maple syrup), garlic, salt, and pepper for the dressing.
Arugula salad is another delicious stuffed pepper side dish that brings something unique to the table. This is a beautiful salad you can throw together within ten minutes.
The small dab of honey helps soften the tartness of the lemon juice-based salad dressing while also enhancing the peppery flavor of the arugula. And the nutty flavor of buttery pine nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese rounds everything out.
The ingredients you’ll need to make this salad include baby arugula, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, honey, lemon, and extra-virgin olive oil.
And for this recipe, you want to make sure you get baby arugula as it has a much milder flavor than found in mature arugula.
A simple yet delicious side dish option for stuffed pepper is sautéed cabbage. This super-easy side takes just 20 minutes to make from start to finish. Plus, you can use all kinds of variations to jazz it up a bit.
The ingredients for this dish include unsalted butter, a small head of cabbage, small yellow onion, salt, and pepper.
For bold and delicious new flavors, you can also add ingredients like bacon crumbles, apples, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes.
Another simple veggie side dish for stuffed peppers is sautéed Swiss chard. And this recipe is straightforward to prepare and is packed with loads of delicious flavors.
Don’t get me wrong, I love roasted spinach, but every so often, it’s good to switch things up a bit. And one fantastic green alternative that’s perfect with stuffed peppers is Swiss chard.
Now, for those unfamiliar with this veggie, Swiss chard is a leafy veggie related to beets.
The ingredients you need for this recipe include Swiss chard, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, large onion, salt, dry nutmeg or thyme, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar (optional).
Without question, sauteed green beans are one of my favorite veggie dishes of all time! There’s just something addictive about them. They seem to soak up any seasoning you throw at them, and you can prepare them in so many ways.
In this recipe, your green beans are joined by ingredients such as lemon zest, garlic, pistachios, and Parmesan cheese for a flavorful explosion sure to enhance your stuffed peppers.
You can also customize this recipe with other ingredients, such as cooked bacon. This dish is perfect for picky eaters who don’t like veggies under the delusion.
One bit of these green beans, and they’ll become true believers!
Sauteed spinach is my go-to side dish for just about any meal. It’s so easy to make, and the robust garlic flavor takes this green to a whole new level.
Ingredients for this recipe include spinach, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper and lemon juice.
The ingredients you need for this dish are spinach, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and lemon juice.
Parmesan garlic roasted cauliflower is another veggie dish that takes your stuffed peppers to a new level. This recipe has the flavors of black pepper, Parmesan, garlic, and paprika to create an unforgettable culinary experience sure to tickle and delight your taste buds!
Ingredients for this recipe include a large head of cauliflower, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, minced garlic, paprika, grated Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley (for garnishing).
Now that you know what sides to eat with stuffed bell peppers, check out this amazing recipe for smoked stuffed bell peppers in the video below.
What To Serve With Stuffed Peppers (+Apples and Celery Salad)
- 1 thinly sliced apple
- 5 cups celery slices
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic clove
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl.
- Toss to coat.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.