Stuffed peppers are enjoyed all over the world, they are prepared in many ways with different ingredients.
These tasteful Romanian stuffed peppers in tomato sauce (ardei umpluti) are absolutely delish, a staple recipe in Romanian homes, a summer recipe loved by everyone.
If you didn’t cooked them before, I tell you: it’s a must try. I hope the pictures in this post will convince you.
Mind you: they taste even better than they look! 🙂
This recipe uses sweet yellow Hungarian peppers. They’re stuffed with a combination of ground pork, onion, rice and herbs.
Slowly cooked in a delicious tomato sauce and served with sour cream for even more deliciousness (optional).
Sounds tasty, yet?… Let’s see the ingredients list.
🍅 Ingredients For Romanian Stuffed Peppers
- Hungarian sweet yellow peppers
- Ground pork (with enough fat, for better taste)
- Rice for the filling mixture
- Yellow onions – cannot do without
- Fresh herbs – thyme, parsley and dill
- Ripe tomatoes for a delicious sauce (puree or passata)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Some bay leaves
- Sour cream for serving (optional)
- Cooking oil
🍲 How To Make Romanian Stuffed Peppers
Well, this recipe require some work and time, but it’s definitely worth it! Cook it in the week-end and make a large batch as I usually do with many meals, to have you covered for at least 2-3 days.
1️ Step one: Prepare the filling mixture
Wash and drain the rice. Let it dry for 5 minutes. Chop 2 onions, 2/3 of the fresh herbs and add them to the ground pork. I put some fresh thyme but also dry thyme for a stronger flavor.
Add the rice, salt and black pepper to taste. Mix everything well, cover with cling film and let it rest in the fridge until you prepare the peppers.
Wash and peel the tomatoes. Cut them in small cubes and set aside.
2️ Step two: Prepare the peppers
Wash the peppers and remove their tops. I don’t cut the tops, because I want to make just a small hole.
Grab the stem and push it into the pepper with one firm move. Then pull it out slowly and discard the seeds and any membranes that you can. Do this with all the peppers.
Get the meat mixture out of the fridge and stuff every pepper as well as you can. To cap them back, use slices of tomatoes.
Set aside until you prepare the sauce.
3️ Step three: Make the sauce
Finely chop the remaining onion and saute it on medium heat in 4-5 tbs neutral cooking oil.
When it turns golden, add the tomatoes and let them simmer for a little while to reduce their acidity and water. Add salt to your taste and the bay leaves.
Now it’s time to add the peppers.
4️ Step four: Cook the peppers
Add the stuffed peppers gently into this sauce. Add some hot water so the liquid level goes above half way up the peppers.
Lower the heat at minimum and cover the pot with a lid, leaving some space to release the steam.
Cook them about 1 – 1 1/2 hours depending on the meat.
They are done when the fork goes easily through the meat and the rice is done. Watch them closely and add more hot water from time to time if necessary.
Stir occasionally and turn the peppers on all sides, so they can cook evenly.
You can cook them in the oven also, covered with aluminum foil for one hour, remove the foil and let them cook another half hour without cover.
🍽️ Serve Romanian Stuffed Peppers With Sour Cream
When done, turn off the heat and sprinkle with freshly chopped dill and parsley.
Serve them hot with lots of delicious sauce, sprinkled with more fresh herbs and a dollop of sour cream on top.
And that’s a real delish right here. Enjoy!
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Update 8/18/22: I just cooked them the other day. The more tomatoes, the better.
Other delicious recipes to try:
- Garlic Chicken Tomato Sauce (full of color and flavor)
- Delicious Pan Fried Zucchini (easy summer recipe)
- Tomato Scrambled Eggs (quick & easy anytime)
Romanian Stuffed Peppers (Ardei Umpluti)
- 12 sweet yellow Hungarian peppers
- 2.2 lbs (1kg) ground pork (preferably with lots of fat)
- ¾ cup (150g) rice (washed and drained)
- 3 medium sized onions
- 3 tbsp freshly chopped dill & parsley
- 4.4 lbs (2kg) fresh ripe tomatoes (can be substitute with passata)
- 1 tsp dry thyme
- 4-5 bay leaves
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 4-5 tbsp neutral cooking oil
- sour cream to serve (optional)
- Put together the ground meat, the rice, 2 chopped onions, 1 tsp dried thyme and 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley and dill. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well until everything combines together. Cover with some cling film and let it rest in the fridge.
- Prepare the Hungarian peppers. Wash them and get rid of their tops, seeds and membranes. Wash and peel the tomatoes, chop them in small cubes.
- Stuff the peppers with the pork mixture and cup them with tomato slices. Set aside and prepare the sauce.
- Put a large enough pot on the medium heat with 4-5 tbsp cooking oil. Chop the remaining onion and saute until golden. Add the chopped tomatoes and let them reduce their acidity and volume about 10 minutes.
- Add the bay leaves and salt. Put the stuffed peppers into the sauce. Add some hot water just enough to rise the liquid level above half way up the peppers. Cover partially and let them cook on low heat about 1 to 1 1/2 hour, depending on the meat.
- Keep an eye on them, stir occasionally and add more hot water if necessary. They are done when a fork goes easily trough the meat and the rice is cooked. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with some fresh herbs.
- Serve immediately topped with sour cream for more deliciousness.